06:15 15 July 2013
With its new-look Aspire World card, Capital One is offering consumers something for when they're at home or away - cashback on all UK purchases, and no fees when you spend abroad.
Here's a look at the details of the recently-re-launched card, the accompanying small print and how it fares against some of its rivals.
What's the deal?
Capital One's new Aspire World card has no fees on foreign transactions, which means you won't pay anything other than the value of the purchase when you use the card abroad. Some cards charge as much as 3% for this with every transaction.
It also comes with up to 1.25% unlimited cashback when you use the card at home in the UK. The tiered cashback system pays 0.5% on purchases of up to £5,999.99, 1% on purchases between £6,000 and £9,999.99, and 1.25% on purchases of £10,000 or more.
The card has no annual fee and comes with an Identity Alert service provided by Equifax, which will give you an "early warning service against identity theft".
Who is it good for?
If you're likely to use the card both at home and abroad for purchases, it could be a good fit because you'll benefit in those two distinct ways.
If, however, you are looking for a credit card specifically to use abroad, or one specifically to make purchases with in the UK, there will be better options (set out below).
First off, the card is only available for a limited time, so if you want it you'll have to act soon.
Next, only applicants with an excellent credit rating will be accepted; anything less and your application is likely to be rejected - leaving a smudge on your credit file.
The representative rate on purchases and balance transfers is 19.9% APR (variable), which means it's pretty expensive if you don't clear your balance in full each month. For reference, the average representative credit card annual percentage rate is 17.32%.
The cashback criteria also mean that you'll need to make some pretty significant purchases before you start earning the maximum tier.
Finally, while there are no fees for paying on your card whilst abroad, fees for withdrawing cash from a foreign cash machine will still apply. You'll either pay 3% of the amount withdrawn or £3 per withdrawal (whichever is greater).
If the name of the card looks familiar, it's because it has actually been around for a while. In its former guise it used to offer 5% cashback on all purchases over the first three months up to £100. The fee-free foreign purchase aspect, however, is new.
What's the verdict?
If you only like to carry one card in your wallet which you can use both at home and abroad, this one is a good bet. As well as fee-free spending abroad, the cashback element at home is another boon - but bear in mind you may earn the minimum 0.5%.
However, if you don't object to carrying two credit cards in your wallet, there are more valuable alternatives.
If it's a card for overseas spending you're looking for, the Halifax Online Clarity credit card doesn't charge any fees for foreign transactions either - including cash withdrawals - and comes with a much cheaper APR at a representative 12.95% (variable).
The Saga Platinum card doesn't charge any fees on foreign transactions either and offers 0% on purchases for nine months with a representative APR of 11.9% (variable) - but it's only available to the over-50s.
Similarly, the Nationwide Building Society Select Card charges no fees on purchases abroad, offers 0% on purchases for a year and pays 0.5% cashback on purchases in the UK. It has a representative APR of 12.9% (variable) - but is only available to Nationwide FlexAccount customers.
On the other hand, if you're looking for a credit card just for earning cashback and don't care about overseas spending, there are deals that will pay you more.
The Barclaycard High 5 Cashback Card (representative 19.9% APR), for example, pays 6% cashback on your top five purchases in the first three months and up to 2% thereafter. The card has an annual fee of £24 after the first year, taking the equivalent representative APR to 24.8% (variable).
The American Express Platinum Cashback Credit Card (representative 14% APR) pays 5% cashback for the first three months and 1.35% thereafter. This one comes with an annual £25 fee, which takes the representative APR up to 18.7% (variable).
The Santander 123 cashback credit card pays 1% cashback on supermarket spending, 2% on department store spending, and 3% on fuel and rail travel. The card has an equivalent representative APR of 22.8% once the annual fee has been factored in.
Our Smart Search tool will tell you your chances of being accepted for the Capital One Aspire World card without having to apply for it, which means there's less risk of being rejected and ending up with a black mark on your credit file.
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