Best first credit card for new UK resident?

Discussion in 'Air miles' started by TravelZork, Jul 27, 2017.

  1. TravelZork

    TravelZork New Member

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    New UK resident, what would be the "best" first UK credit card to apply for over the next few months. Primary carrier is BA (Avios), but also not opposed to hotel programs. I have some thoughts, but would be interested in the opinions of others. Trying to avoid AMEX, since I would prefer a card in £ that can be used everywhere.
     
  2. Barry1984

    Barry1984 Member

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    Check out the Head for Points site by Raffles. There's a wealth of information on there comparing all the various credit cards which earn airline and hotel loyalty points.

    Couple of useful articles here:
    http://www.headforpoints.com/best-uk-avios-airline-hotel-credit-cards/
    http://www.headforpoints.com/2017/03/13/comparing-13-credit-cards-that-earn-you-avios-points-2/

    If you want to avoid Amex, he recommends this one if you don't mind the card fee:
    HSBC Premier World Elite MasterCard (£195, 45000 Avios bonus under the current special offer, 1 Avios per £1)
     
  3. tommyl

    tommyl Co-founder Staff Member

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    For me it has to be Amex

    First up I'd say the Amex Preferred Rewards Gold Card.

    Free for the first year, 22,000 point sign up bonus and then the ability to convert your points into a wide range of loyalty schemes.

    Next up I'd recommend the British Airways Amex for the Companion Voucher (aka 241/buy one get one free voucher).

    Non Amex? The Hilton Barclaycard is great for the relatively low spend threshold and the free night.
     
  4. FlyingPiggie

    FlyingPiggie Active Member

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    I'm not aware of any UK credit cards in the miles and points space that have no FX fees. Amex is probably more expensive than Visa/MC for converting to £ but that is compensated by generally higher rewards.

    Of course as a new resident you might need to build up some credit history, and you might only get approved for a low-limit card from your main bank. Amex are sometimes better at looking at your overseas record, if you have an Amex from elsewhere.
     
  5. britabroad

    britabroad New Member

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    Like tommyl, I'd have to recommend the Amex Gold. Yes I know you said you'd prefer to avoid Amex, but it's generally accepted, free for the first year and the rewards (inc the sign up bonus) are massive.
     
  6. vmanznsb

    vmanznsb New Member

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    How about the free MBNA Virgin White Amex & Visa combo? The link is here. Every now and then the sign up bonus is 10,000 Flying Club Miles. It's completely free and includes a Visa so would be accepted in most locations. In my opinion it might be quite good to start collecting Virgin miles given news of their recent agreements with KLM/Air France.
     
  7. Benoit33

    Benoit33 New Member

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    Does anyone know when will it be possible to reapply for the Virgin cards?
     
  8. Barry1984

    Barry1984 Member

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  9. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    I'm very interested to see what sort of package they put together. Given the changing state of the UK credit card rewards market, it might give us some good pointers as to what Amex etc might have up their sleeves too.

    What sort of benefits would people want to see in a paid card and how much would you be willing to pay?
     
  10. Greg

    Greg New Member

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    The best one is definitely the Amex Gold, you can sign up here for 2000 extra points when signing up. The points prove it to be the most versatile 'currency' and being free for the first year makes it a no-brainer!
     
  11. UKNoobie

    UKNoobie New Member

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    Being in a similar situation myself - I can confirm, unless you have a previous credit history in the UK, your best bet is to apply for the Amex charge cards (Gold / Plat), build up a credit history for 6 months, and then start applying for the rest.

    Frustrating, but eventually, works out :)
     
  12. FlyingPiggie

    FlyingPiggie Active Member

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    Charge cards is an interesting idea.

    Once you manage to open a bank account, though, your bank should eventually let you have a low limit credit card from the bank. Use that wisely and you'll build up history.

    Also, make sure to join the electoral roll if you have any sort of local voting eligibility (Commonwealth, EU, etc.).
     
  13. Constantine

    Constantine New Member

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    If you're aiming for low point reward yes
     
  14. EmilB

    EmilB New Member

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    I moved to the UK last year in August. I am currently considering applying for the Amex Gold Credit Card. I am registered on the electoral roll, opened a bank account as soon as I could after arriving and have a steady income.

    Do you think I would get approved for the card with my limited credit history?
     
  15. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    Hi Emil - welcome to InsideFlyer!

    I think the problem here would probably be that the Amex Gold is a credit card these days rather than a charge card. I don't have any direct experience, so you may be ok going straight for the Gold, but I would suggest having a chat with your bank first to get a low limit credit card from them, and then apply for the Amex Gold once you've built up some credit history - maybe in 6 months or so.
     
  16. EmilB

    EmilB New Member

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    Thank you Joe.

    I will have a chat with my bank about a low limit credit card from them and then try to apply for the Amex Gold card in a few months time.
     
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  17. D4BV2

    D4BV2 New Member

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    Get AMEX preferred rewards for your first card.
     
  18. AlexBA9719

    AlexBA9719 New Member

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    I agree that AMEX is your best first choice. The stigma that amex isn't accepted anywhere is just that - 99% of places do now take it.

    The best non amex in my opinion is Tesco Mastercard for Avios or get a Virgin Atlantic MasterCard and rack those up over time and redeem on a one way flight perhaps.
     
  19. EmilB

    EmilB New Member

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    I absolutely agree with you that Amex is the best choice for my first card. But my issue is if I will get accepted for an Amex Good credit card with my limited credit history in the UK.
     
  20. Darren0291

    Darren0291 Member

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    amex gold is deff the best choice
     

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