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Credit Card Issuers UK

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

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

There are currently around 60 balance transfer credit cards available online in the UK, with 0% introductory offers. There are also a small number of additional credit cards available, in the UK. These cards offer cash back or rewards, and there are also 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 biggest credit card issuers provide a range of different credit cards. These cards may be issued under different brand names.

Credit Card Issuers

Credit Card Issuers

It is not always immediately apparent who the actual UK 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 also the John Lewis Partnership credit card are actually all cards from the same credit card issuer, HSBC?

Why does this matter? Well the UK credit card companies do not allow balance transfers 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 UK 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.

Credit Card Companies 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 32 months
Balance Transfer Fee:
1.99%
Purchases:
0% for 3 months
Representative APR:
21.9% APR (variable)

Card Details

M&S Transfer Plus*
  • 0% for 32 months on balance transfers made within 90 days of account opening
  • 1.99% 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

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
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 33 months
Balance Transfer Fee:
2.7%
Purchases:
0% for 3 months
Representative APR:
21.9% APR (variable)

Card Details

HSBC Balance Transfer*
  • 0% interest for 33 months on balance transfers made within first 60 days of account opening
  • 2.7% 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

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
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 24 months
Balance Transfer Fee:
2.9%
Purchases:
0% for 24 months
Representative APR:
21.9% APR (variable)

Card Details

M&S Shopping Plus*
  • 0% for 24 months on balance transfers made within 90 days of account opening
  • 2.9% balance transfer fee, minimum £5
  • 0% on purchases for 24 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

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
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 28 months
Balance Transfer Fee:
1%
Purchases:
0% for 3 months
Representative APR:
21.9% APR (variable)

Card Details

HSBC Balance Transfer Low Fee*
  • 0% interest for 28 months on balance transfers made within first 60 days of account opening
  • 1% 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
  • Contactless payments to quickly and securely pay for purchases under £100
  • Manage your card online
  • Annual Fee: None

Application Criteria

HSBC Balance Transfer Low Fee*
  • 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 have not held a credit card with HSBC Bank in the last 6 months
Low Balance Transfer Fee
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 24 months
Balance Transfer Fee:
3%
Purchases:
0% for 4 months
Representative APR:
20.6% APR (variable)

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

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
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

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)

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

Application Criteria

Post Office Classic
  • You are a UK resident
  • You have a bank or building society account
  • You are aged 18 or over
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

British Credit Card Companies

There are a number of other smaller, more specialised, British credit card companies as well. However, most UK credit cards available today are issued by one of main British credit card companies, listed above. Barclaycard, for example have millions of customers within the UK.

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 in the UK, 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 all 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 have also in the past, issued a few Amex balance transfer cards in the UK, with American Express branding.


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Published: April 11, 2022, Updated: April 11, 2022 by Balance Transfer Expert

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