Best credit card offers and promotions (January 2022)

The best offers and promotions for credit cards from 0% interest through to introductory bonuses.

Used responsibly, credit cards can help you earn money on purchases, give you stronger consumer protections, make holidays cheaper, help you clear debts or spread the cost of a big purchase. 

Everyone’s situation will be different, so these are just the best cards out there – you might have to settle for a shorter deal or lower rate of cashback.

This list is updated at least every month – check the published date to see when this last happened.

best credit cards

Credit card rules

Andy’s Credit Card Basics

Why eligibility is more important than offers

I’m sharing here the cards which I think offer the best deals – the market-leading ones. But there’s no guarantee you’ll get accepted for these top cards so always do an eligibility check beforehand. Here’s more on why this is important and how these work.

I recommend going via a comparison site such as Money Saving Expert as you have the advantage of seeing other options (n.b. this doesn’t show the full market – just cards they get a commission for).

You can also check directly with the card providers (and some make you do this before applying) but you miss out on seeing your chances for success with other companies if you skip the comparison site.

The key rules with credit cards

One: Pay at least the minimum balance every month so you don’t get hit with extra charges or lose offers like 0% interest. A direct debit will make sure you don’t forget.

Two: Ideally pay the full amount each month to avoid interest. If you can’t clear it all then as much as you can afford minimises the interest you’ll be charged.

Three: Don’t spend what you can’t afford. Credit cards have uses, but they’re not an excuse to spend what you don’t have. Cashback cards, in particular, are pointless if you get charged interest.

Four: You often can’t transfer between credit cards with the same bank.

Why I’ve not listed interest rates

You’ll notice I don’t mention interest rates at all below. And the big reason is I don’t want you to get a credit card if you are going to get charged interest.

That means clearing the balance in full every month, or in the case of 0% interest cards, clearing the balance before that special offer ends.

If you think that you will have to pay interest some or most months then very simply you need to look for the lowest rate you can and ignore things like cashback.

You can watch my latest video roundup or listen as you read

Best American Express cashback & reward credit card deals

I’ve got a full guide to cashback and reward credit cards, but here are the top picks

Amex Preferred Rewards Gold: Up to £184 welcome bonus

The top pick is the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold credit card if you haven’t already had an Amex welcome offer.

This card offers 20,000 bonus points if you spend £3,000 in the first three months, plus the equivalent of 0.5% back in rewards for each £1 spent.

If you convert the 23,000 points earned in that initial period to Avios points, and then switch again to Nectar points, it’s worth £184. Read more about the card here.

Amex Nectar: Up to 1% cashback

The American Express Nectar credit card offers two Nectar points on each £1 spent, the equivalent of 1% back. With the drop in cashback from the Amex Platinum Cashback card in July this is the best paying card if you’re not eligible for a reward bonus (though the Chase Bank debit card offers 1% for 12 months too)

It comes with a £25 annual fee, though it’s free in year one.

There’s also a 20,000 Nectar point bonus for the first three months if you spend £2,000, which is worth an extra £100 alongside the £20 you’ll make from that spending. You can’t have had an Amex in your name in the last two years to get this welcome bonus.

Referral bonus: Up to £30

Go via cashback sites Quidco or TopCashback and you can get a little more back when you apply, usually between £5 and £30 depending on the card you are applying for and which site you use (it’s worth checking both).

Or if a friend already has an Amex then ask for their referral code. Again it varies as to whether this will beat the cashback site rate. You can use my link here. To see all the different referral options then click the button at the top of the page.

New to cashback sites? Get an additional bonus of up to £17

Quidco new members can get £17 when they spend £10, while TopCashbcack new members can get £10 when they spend £10.

The best Visa and Mastercard cashback & reward credit cards

Not everywhere takes American Express so if you want to earn money on your other spending then you’ve got limited choices. Don’t forget the Chase Bank current account pays 1% and is a debit card.

Lloyds: Up to 0.5% back

Plus £20 welcome bonus

You’ll get 0.25% on the first £4,000 you spend, then 0.5% above this in a calendar year. It’s a higher rate but still not as good as the best Amex cards. Here’s my review of the Lloyds card.

Barclaycard: 0.25% back

This Barclaycard Rewards credit card is a Visa and my top back up to Amex as the credit is given in full every 12 months. It’s also fee free to use abroad.

Natwest: 0.25% back / 1% at supermarkets

If you have a Natwest Reward current account (here’s my review) then you’ll automatically be refunded the annual £24 fee on this Reward credit card. It’s a Mastercard which also offers 0.25% back, or an increased 1% at supermarkets. You need to earn £5 back before you can cash it in.

John Lewis: 1.25% at John Lewis & Waitrose / 0.25% elsewhere

Plus a £20 voucher with £250 spend at JL/Waitrose until 31 January 2022

If you regularly shop at John Lewis or Waitrose then the John Lewis & Partners Mastercard is worth a look. It offers 0.25% on most shopping, but increases to 1.25% for John Lewis/Waitrose spends. You’ll be paid in £5 vouchers each time you reach 500 points.

Amazon: Up to 1.5% at Amazon / 0.25% elsewhere

Plus £20 to £40 Amazon voucher if successfully apply

Or there’s the Amazon Platinum card. This also gives 0.25% at most retailers, except at Amazon where you get 1.5% if you have Prime, 0.75% if you don’t. You’ll get paid in Amazon vouchers worth £10 when you earn 10,000 points. It’s issued by Mastercard and New Day.

There’s usually a £10 gift card when you get accepted, but at times it’s boosted to £40.

Best travel credit cards

Here’s more on the best cards to use overseas – including debit cards.

Barclaycard: Fee-free spending, withdraws and 0.25% cashback

The Barclaycard Rewards credit card is a good all-rounder to use abroad as there are no charges – not even interest on cash withdrawals. You’ll also earn some cashback!

Andy’s podcast

Listen to Cash Chats, Andy’s twice-weekly podcast. Episodes every Tuesday and Friday.

Best 0% Purchase card deals

Longest: Up to 24 months

Barclaycard is offering up to 23 months at 0% and you can get cashback via Quidco/TCB, while M&S Bank guarantees 23 months.

Bonus cashback: Up to £25

Cashback sites Quidco and TopCashback offer between £20 and £25 to successful applicants for credit cards from Santander, Tesco, TSB and Barclaycard. Rates can change, so check out both sites.

Best Balance Transfer card deals

Before you get a 0% balance transfer card make sure you read my guide to how to properly use them to reduce the cost of debts.

Longest: Up to 35 months at 0% with fee

The longest offers right now is a full 35 months at 0% interest from Virgin Money. The transfer fee is 2.94. A shorter card from Santander offers 0% for 31 months but going via Quidco will get you £30 cashback.

Cheapest: 21 months interest-free with no fee

Sainsbury’s Bank will give any successful applicant for its balance transfer credit card up to 21 months at 0% interest with no fee to move the money over. Some applicants might be offered 13 or 17 months instead so check eligibility first. You can also earn up to 5,000 Nectar points (worth £25) via the card. To get this you need to spend £35 at Sainsbury’s to receive 500 points, up to 10 times in the first two months.

Bonus cashback: Up to £30

Rates can change, but here’s an idea of the rates and cards which offer extra cashback for people who successfully get a balance transfer card.

You can get up to £30 cashback via Quidco and TopCashback for Santander’s Everyday credit card, which has 18 months at 0% with no transfer fee. Since this card has no transfer fee you’re making money!

There’s also up to £25 back for Barclaycard (24 months) and Tesco Bank balance transfer cards.

This could work out better than the no-fee option. So for example, the Barclaycard Platinum transfer fee is 0.9%. Transfer £2,222 or less and the cashback wipes out the fee.

These rates can change so it’s worth checking each site to see which pays first. And if you’re new to either then there’s a welcome bonus available for each.

Andy’s YouTube

Watch new videos every week on the Andy Clever Cash channel, plus a regular live Q&A

Best 0% Money Transfer card deals

You can read more about Money Transfer cards in my guide.

Longest at 0%: Up to 18 months

MBNA is offering up to 18 months with a 2.99% or 3.49% fee. You might get offered a shorter 14 months.

Best credit building credit card

If you’ve got a poor credit rating then spending on a credit card and then clearing the debt completely each month can help boost your score.

I’ve written in detail about this type of card, so make sure you check it out.

Bonus voucher: £20 Amazon voucher

The Amazon Classic credit card works like other credit building cards but also comes with a free Amazon voucher. It’s usually £10 but is currently boosted to £20. There’s also three months 0% interest on purchases.

Bonus cashback: £20 cashback

If you’re eligible for the Barclaycard Forward card then apply via Quidco or TopCashback to get £20 cashback.

Get paid to switch bank

Check out the latest bank switching incentives, plus the current accounts with the best rewards, cheapest overdraft and highest interest.

best bank switching offers

2 thoughts on “Best credit card offers and promotions (January 2022)

  1. The Amazon Card is now giving a 30 pond voucher


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