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Is it the right time to get a credit card?

AltoYuma Forumite Posts: 1 Newbie
Hi everyone. 

I have a current account with a well-known bank here in England.  I used to have a credit card, but after a while I paid it off and stopped using it - this is about ten years ago.  I am thinking about getting a credit card again.  My credit score is good and I'd use it only to pay for shopping and perhaps flights overseas.

My questions are: 

is it the right time to get a credit card?
if so, what type of credit card?  Should I reopen my old credit card (not sure if this is possible)?

Thank you all for your help :)



  • Brie
    Brie Forumite Posts: 7,423
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    The CC might still be live and you may just need a new actual card to be able to use it.  You could try checking your credit history to see if anything is listed for it still.  And then phone the bank that issued it.  Might be easiest to resurrect if it was with your same bank as your current account as that might mean you can get through security for it.  

    As for a "right time" well, that's immaterial really.  If it's a good time for you to have a card then you should get one.  If your old card is well and truly dead then you might need to start with a low limit high interest card to build up your credit worthiness again - it will depend on what other credit you have (overdraft, phone contract, mortgage etc) and your income.  
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”

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  • jbrassy
    jbrassy Forumite Posts: 542
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Posts Name Dropper
    The answer to your question really depends on what you want to use the card for and how you will use it.

    If you're planning to get a rewards credit card and intend to pay the balance off in full every month, the interest rate is irrelevant so there is never a 'right' or 'wrong' time. 

    If you intend to carry a balance (i.e. actually borrow money), then using a credit card to pay for shopping and flights is never a good idea either.
  • CliveOfIndia
    CliveOfIndia Forumite Posts: 782
    500 Posts Name Dropper
    Check whether your old card account is still active.  I suspect it will have been closed by the bank after being dormant for 10 years, but you never know.
    What is your main reason for wanting a card?  If it's to build up a credit history then any card will do.  But if you have a reasonable credit history already then you could try applying for one of the cards that gives you rewards of some kind.  Use the lender's own eligibility checker first to give you an idea of whether you might be accepted.
    There's no "right time" to get a credit card, it depends on individual needs.  Arguably lenders are being a bit more cautious at the moment than they have traditionally been in the past, but there's no harm in running a few eligibility checks.
    And you can safely ignore the score you see on your credit report, it plays no part whatsoever in lending decisions.
    PRAISETHESUN Forumite Posts: 3,355
    Fifth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    It all comes down to why you actually want a CC. I started to use one to build up some UK credit history, but now use it mostly for rewards and s75 protection. I agree with the posts above about checking if your previous card is still valid, but even then it would be worthwhile having a look at the types of cards now available and seeing which ones (if any) take your fancy. Make sure to use an eligibility checker before you make any applications so you don't potentially hurt your credit file by getting rejected for a card you were never going to get anyway!

    As always, only use them for planned purchases, pay them off in full every month, etc.

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