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Credit Card Issuers

Who are the top UK credit card issuers? Who issues credit cards? How do these credit card issuers affect balance transfers?

These are all common questions that we have seen on numerous occasions over recent months as customers look for details on the UK’s credit card, card issuers.

There are currently over 50 balance transfer credit cards available online in the UK. There are also a small number of additional credit cards available offering cash back or rewards, as well as some credit cards designed for customers with poor credit ratings.

Although there a large number of credit cards available to customers, there are far fewer credit card issuers in the UK. This is because some of the top credit card issuers provide a range of different credit cards. These cards may be issued under different brand names.

Credit Card Issuers UK

Credit Card Issuers

It is not always immediately apparent who the actual credit card issuer is for each and every different credit card. The actual name of the credit card issuer may only be found in the small print of the credit card agreement.

Did you know for example that the M & S balance transfer credit card, the HSBC balance transfer credit card and the John Lewis Partnership credit card are actually all cards from the same credit card issuer, HSBC?

Why does this matter? Well the credit card companies do not allow balance transfer between credit cards which are both issued by the same company.

So a customer who applied for a John Lewis Partnership credit card while looking to make a balance transfer from a M & S credit card, may get accepted for the card, but the balance transfer would be refused.

Here at Balance Transfer Expert, to help cardholders avoid the above issue, we have done all the hard work of finding out which credit card issuers are behind each brand. All of the balance transfer credit card on our website show those cards from which you cannot make a balance transfer to that card.

Card Issuers UK

The main UK card issuers, at the time of writing, include all of the following banks and card companies. This list of UK credit card issuers shows the name of the issuing bank, and some of their most popular branded cards.

  • American Express – AMEX cards, British Airways, Nectar
  • Barclaycard
  • Capital One – Post Office balance transfer card
  • Creation – IHG credit card
  • Co-operative Bank
  • Danske Bank
  • Bank of Scotland – Bank of Scotland and Halifax credit cards
  • HSBC Bank – HSBC, M&S and John Lewis credit cards
  • Jaja
  • Lloyds Bank
  • MBNA
  • Nationwide
  • NatWest – Royal Bank of Scotland, Ulster Bank and NatWest
  • New Day – Amazon
  • Sainsbury’s Bank
  • Santander
  • Tesco Bank
  • TSB
  • Vanquis Bank – Aqua, Vanquis
  • Virgin Money

Popular featured balance transfer cards from these UK card issuers include the following cards with 0% introductory offers:-


Balance Transfer Expert may receive commissions from some of the credit card companies that we refer users to. How this site works.

Card Offers

Balance Transfers:
0% for 29 months
Balance Transfer Fee:
2.75%
Purchases:
0% for 3 months
Representative APR:
21.9% APR (variable)
More Information

Card Details

M&S Transfer Plus*
  • 0% for 29 months on balance transfers made within 90 days of account opening
  • 2.75% balance transfer fee, minimum £5
  • 0% on purchases for 3 months from account opening
  • Collect M&S points every time you shop anywhere in the world with your card
  • One point for every £1 you spend in M&S and one point for every £5 you spend elsewhere
  • Manage account online
  • Annual Fee: None
More Information

Application Criteria

M&S Transfer Plus*
  • You are a UK resident
  • You have an annual income or pension of at least £6,800
  • You are aged 18 or over
  • You have not held a credit card with M&S Bank within the previous 12 months
More Information
Representative Example: 21.9% APR representative (variable). Based on an assumed credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 21.9% p.a. (variable)
No balance transfers allowed to this card from first direct, HSBC, M&S or Partnership credit cards

Card Offers

Balance Transfers:
0% for 29 months
Balance Transfer Fee:
2.75%
Purchases:
0% for 3 months
Representative APR:
21.9% APR (variable)
More Information

Card Details

HSBC Balance Transfer*
  • 0% interest for 29 months on balance transfers made within first 60 days of account opening
  • 2.75% balance transfer fee applies (minimum £5)
  • 0% interest on purchases for 3 months from account opening
  • At end of promotional period, balance transfers and purchases will revert to standard variable rate
  • Worldwide offers and discounts with HSBC home&Away
  • Manage your card online
  • Annual Fee: None
More Information

Application Criteria

HSBC Balance Transfer*
  • You have an annual income or pension before tax of £6,800 or more
  • You are a UK resident
  • You are aged 18 or over
  • You do not hold an HSBC Basic bank account
More Information
Representative Example: 21.9% APR representative (variable). Based on an assumed credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 21.9% p.a. (variable)
Credit is subject to status, affordability and applicable terms and conditions
No balance transfers allowed to this card from first direct, HSBC, M&S or Partnership credit cards

Card Offers

Balance Transfers:
0% for up to 12 months
Balance Transfer Fee:
2.9%
Purchases:
0% for up to 12 months
Representative APR:
34.9% APR (variable)
More Information

Card Details

Post Office Classic
  • 0% on balance transfers for up to 12 months
  • 2.9% balance transfer fee
  • 0% on purchases for up to 12 months
  • Credit limit up to £8,000
  • Online account management
  • Annual Fee: None
More Information

Application Criteria

Post Office Classic
  • You are a UK resident
  • You have a bank or building society account
  • You are aged 18 or over
More Information
Representative Example: 34.9% APR representative (variable). Based on an assumed credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 34.9% p.a. (variable)
No balance transfers allowed to this card from Capital One or Post Ofice credit cards

Card Offers

Balance Transfers:
0% for 20 months
Balance Transfer Fee:
2.9%
Purchases:
0% for 20 months
Representative APR:
21.9% APR (variable)
More Information

Card Details

M&S Shopping Plus*
  • 0% for 20 months on balance transfers made within 90 days of account opening
  • 2.9% balance transfer fee, minimum £5
  • 0% on purchases for 20 months from account opening
  • Collect M&S points every time you shop anywhere in the world with your card
  • One point for every £1 you spend in M&S and one point for every £5 you spend elsewhere
  • Manage account online
  • Annual Fee: None
More Information

Application Criteria

M&S Shopping Plus*
  • You are a UK resident
  • You have an annual income or pension of at least £6,800
  • You are aged 18 or over
  • You have not held a credit card with M&S Bank within the previous 12 months
More Information
Representative Example: 21.9% APR representative (variable). Based on an assumed credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 21.9% p.a. (variable)
No balance transfers allowed to this card from first direct, HSBC, M&S or Partnership credit cards

Card Offers

Balance Transfers:
0% for 24 months
Balance Transfer Fee:
3%
Purchases:
0% for 4 months
Representative APR:
20.6% APR (variable)
More Information

Card Details

Co-operative Bank Balance Transfer
  • 0% interest for 24 months for balance transfers made within 60 days
  • 3% balance transfer fee, minimum £5
  • 0% interest on purchases for 4 months from account opening
  • All successful applicants will receive this exact rate and offer
  • Online account management
  • Annual Fee: None
More Information

Application Criteria

Co-operative Bank Balance Transfer
  • Only available to customers who have held a Co-operative Bank or smile current account for 1 month or more
  • You are a UK resident
  • You have annual income of £10,000 or more
  • You are aged 18 or over
More Information
Only available to Co-operative Bank customers
Representative Example: 20.6% APR representative (variable). Based on an assumed credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 20.6% p.a. (variable)
No balance transfers allowed to this card from Co-operative credit cards

British Credit Card Companies

There are a number of other smaller more specialised British credit card companies as well, but most credit cards available in the UK today are issued by one of above main companies.

Credit limits are dependant on a customer’s individual financial circumstances. Many UK card customers may be able to get a credit card with a £4000 limit, provided they have a good credit history, and no recent missed payments or bad debts.

Al of the top credit card issuers issue their credit cards using either the MasterCard or Visa payment network. Cards issued using either of these payment networks are accepted at millions of locations around the world.

UK customers can make a Mastercard to Mastercard transfer, when both cards are issued by different credit card issuers. This also applies as well for a Visa to Visa card transfer.

MBNA are one of the few card companies, that have in the past used both Mastercard and Visa. They also issued a few AMEX balance transfer cards in the UK, with American Express branding.


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Published: June 24, 2021, Updated: September 14, 2021 by Balance Transfer Expert

All 0% balance transfer credit card offers on this website are updated daily