Visa credit cards

Chances are you have a card in your wallet with the Visa symbol stamped on it, but what does it actually mean?


  • Find cards you may be eligible for with our handy smart search tool
  • Avoid interest payments by paying off your balance in full each month
  • Missing a payment could cause your interest-free period to end prematurely

What is a Visa credit card

A Visa credit card uses the Visa global payment network to process transactions. It connects the customer’s and retailer’s bank so the payment can go through successfully.

Visa will assess whether you have the credit needed to make the payment. If you do, then the funds will be taken from your card issuer and sent to the retailer’s bank or building society.

Visa will not issue the credit card to you though. It will come from the bank, building society or financial institution that you applied for the card through.

Other major payment networks include Mastercard and American Express.

You can find out whether your credit card uses the Visa network by checking for its symbol on your card. Banks and building societies including HSBC, Barclaycard and Nationwide use Visa to process payments.

Visa is also used as a payment network for debit and prepaid cards, too.

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Why compare Visa cards?

It’s important to compare credit cards before choosing the right one for you.

There are many different types of credit card to choose from. A 0% balance transfer card could be helpful if you’re paying interest on an existing credit card debt.

If you’re looking to make a large purchase and want to spread the cost, a 0% purchase card may be the one to pick.

A rewards or cashback card could be useful for everyday spending if you want to earn while you’re doing your weekly shop.

As well as choosing the type of card you need, each card issuer will have its own advantages and disadvantages. Compare introductory offers, interest rates and check for annual fees to get a complete picture of the card before applying.

You can use our smart search tool to check which cards you’ll be more likely to be accepted for before taking the plunge. A failed application can affect your credit score, so it’s best avoided.

What charges do I pay on a Visa credit card

As a customer rather than a retailer, any fees that you receive when you’re using your credit card will be from the card issuer rather than Visa.

You could be charged for going over your credit limit, using your credit card abroad, withdrawing cash at an ATM, or even an annual fee. Make sure you check the terms and conditions of the card to get the full list of charges.

How long does it take to get a credit card?

This will depend on the credit card issuer, but once you’ve been accepted it will usually be with you within a fortnight.

Some banks and building societies can even accept your application immediately or within minutes

Where can I use a visa credit card

You can use a Visa credit card worldwide and it will be accepted almost everywhere that allows card payments.

  • What are the advantages of a Visa credit card?

    Take a look at the pros of having a Visa credit card:

    • Visa credit cards are accepted pretty much everywhere in the world, so you won’t have to worry about getting caught out
    • If your card is lost or stolen, you won’t be held responsible for any fraudulent payments made
    • Visa Secure requires two-step authentication on payments made online to help make them more secure
  • What are the disadvantages of a Visa credit card?

    As Visa is only the payment network rather than the card issuer, any disadvantages that your credit card has will likely be because of the card itself.

    For instance, it may have a high interest rate or charge fees for transactions you do often, like spending online on foreign websites.

    Whichever card you choose, it’s important to make your monthly repayments. Ideally, you’ll pay off the balance in full each month to avoid paying interest, making it a smart way to borrow rather than a financial burden.

What is Visa Premium?

Visa Premium is available to those with higher spending limits. It has three tiers:

  • Gold
  • Platinum
  • Infinite

Depending on the level, you can receive offers on travel, shopping and dining. You can also get access to a cardholder enquiry service. Visa Infinite even provides you with extensive travel insurance as part of the package.

How do I get the best deal for me?

The best way to get a great deal is to compare credit cards using our smart search.

We’ll do all the hard work and show you a range of options based on your details and the type of card you want. You can then easily see which is the right fit for you and view important information before applying, without affecting your credit score.

Is Visa or Mastercard better?

There really isn’t a big difference between using the Visa or Mastercard payment networks. Finding the best one for you will be down to the features and drawbacks of each card, rather than how the payments are processed.

That’s why it’s important to compare your options, so you can find a card that is an asset to your finances.