The best bank card in the UK 2023

The most popular means of payment in the UK, the bank card can be used whether or not you have a bank account. However, this is not the only use for which it is intended. Indeed, there are several types of bank cards and systems used. That's why there are a number of criteria to consider when choosing a card. In this guide, you will find the best bank cards for all customer profiles.

Monabanq - Visa Classic card 1

Best value for money

Monabanq - Visa Classic card

The best bank card in 2021

The Monabanq Visa Classic card is THE bank card for everyone. With no income requirement, it is very accessible. Choose between immediate and deferred debit with this online bank.

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This bank card is available for a fee of 2 euros/month for account maintenance. These fees are really lower than those charged by the competition. Apart from the absence of proof of income, Monabanq will not ask you for a direct debit when you buy the card. And there is no minimum of banking operations required.

As far as the coverage area of this Visa Classic card is concerned, it is valid in the UK, abroad and in the entire euro zone. For the latter, withdrawals and payments are free. However, these operations are charged at 2% of the amount if it is a foreign currency. The beneficiaries of this card benefit from the assistance service and the insurance guarantees that are in force during private and professional trips.

Fortuneo - Fosfo Mastercard 2

Best value for money

Fortuneo - Fosfo Mastercard

The best entry-level bank card

With the Fosfo Mastercard, the subscriber must pay 300 euros. But this amount is not subject to an income requirement. Despite the free account maintenance fees, one transaction per month is required to benefit from it.

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After 6 months of use, Fortuneo allows overdraft on its Fosfo Mastercard. Note that the ceiling of this bank card is 2 000 euros/month for payments and 500 euros/week for withdrawals. Fortuneo offers 80 euros to new subscribers who can be students or employees. Even more interesting, payments and withdrawals are free of charge both nationally and internationally .

Good to know, the Fortuneo Fosfo Mastercard is linked to an insurance and assistance contract like most products on the financial market in the UK. In addition, the opening of the bank account associated with this card is done in no time on the Internet. However, the area covered remains limited.

LCL - Visa Infinite card 3

Best premium value for money

LCL - Visa Infinite card

The best premium bank card

The LCL Visa Infinite card is the one that offers complete services among all our comparison. As it is a prestige card, it is made for consumers with a large budget looking for the best privileges.

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The assistance and insurance services that come with the LCL Visa Infinite remain ultra comprehensive for consumers who use their card abroad. This bank card provides access to a 24/7 concierge service to help organize your travels. However, you need an annual income of 60,000 to 100,000 euros to benefit from this high-end card.

In addition, owners have access to the Visa Infinite club, which offers interesting events and offers in Paris and the provinces. If you're looking for a card with high limits, you can't find better. This one is the most flexible. In addition, you can choose between immediate and deferred debit.

Boursorama - Carte Ultim 4

Best deal

Boursorama - Carte Ultim

The best international bank card

Use this free bank card by making at least one payment per month or pay a monthly account maintenance fee of 9 euros. This Boursorama product is very flexible, both in the UK and abroad.

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Buying guide • November 2023

Best bank card

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The best bank card in 2021

The best entry-level bank card

The best premium bank card

The best international bank card

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Comparison table of the best bank card

Monabanq - Visa Classic card 5
Fortuneo - Fosfo Mastercard 6
LCL - Visa Infinite card 7
Boursorama - Carte Ultim 8
Monabanq - Visa Classic card
Fortuneo - Fosfo Mastercard
LCL - Visa Infinite card
Boursorama - Carte Ultim
The Monabanq Visa Classic card is THE bank card for everyone. With no income requirement, it is very accessible. Choose between immediate and deferred debit with this online bank.
With the Fosfo Mastercard, the subscriber must pay 300 euros. But this amount is not subject to an income requirement. Despite the free account maintenance fees, one transaction per month is required to benefit from it.
The LCL Visa Infinite card is the one that offers complete services among all our comparison. As it is a prestige card, it is made for consumers with a large budget looking for the best privileges.
Use this free bank card by making at least one payment per month or pay a monthly account maintenance fee of 9 euros. This Boursorama product is very flexible, both in the UK and abroad.
Coverage area
24 euros/year
354 euros/year
Income requirements
Debit type
Immediate or deferred
Immediate or deferred
Free 7-day rolling withdrawal limits
300 to 600 euros
500 euros
15,000 euros
300 euros

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Buying guide - bank card

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How to choose your bank card

Type of debit, conditions of use of the card at national and international level, conditions of granting of the card... here are all the parameters to take into account when choosing a bank card

#1 - Which range of cards?

When you compare bank cards, online or physical, you will come across different ranges of cards. The highest range offers the most benefits in terms of guarantees and insurance, but also in terms of limits. Of course, the higher-end cards are expensive, but they allow you to save money on your purchases.

Premium cards even offer additional privileges such as personalized assistance or promotions with partners who accept the adopted system.

As for the classic card, it allows you to carry out the main operations such as withdrawals, payments on the Internet and on Eftpos terminals. Some of them can be used internationally.

#2 - Deferred or immediate debit

This concept influences the management of card expenses. Immediate debit means that the balance is subtracted as soon as there is any cash outflow. This gives the cardholder more control over his or her payments. The risk of being overdrawn is therefore less colossal.

In contrast, all expenses are debited in one go at the end of the month with deferred debiting. This service has advantages, but also disadvantages. The advantage is that you can wait until your salary arrives to deduct everything. The downside is that you need to keep track of every expense to avoid exceeding your own limit. Then, this system is more expensive.

#3 - National or international card

International cards are essential for people who travel often or make payments on foreign sites. Again, they are more expensive than national cards. But you have to admit that the extra services they offer come at a price. For example, you can benefit from travel assistance or more sophisticated insurance clauses.

#4 - What is the maximum limit

Consumers with high incomes need a card with corresponding limits. In general, the average limit of a classic card is about 400 euros per week for withdrawals and about 1,500 euros for payments. This can be more than enough for some people. That is, it depends on the lifestyle of each owner. As mentioned above, the higher-end cards have higher or even very high limits. In any case, you should know that not all banks' offers are the same.

#5 - Conditions of acquisition

You may have to meet certain conditions to obtain a bank card, including income requirements. In addition, there are terms and conditions that waive inactivity fees. There are establishments that offer a free card in exchange for a minimum monthly payment or a direct debit. In fact, these requirements vary from one bank to another. Some require at least 3 transactions per month to qualify for the free card.

Everything you need to know about the Carte Bleue

The Carte Bleue is the first bank card launched in the UK in 1967. It was born following the merger of the pioneer French banks like Société Générale, CIC, BNP, Crédit Lyonnais, Crédit du Nord and CCD. It is a Visa card whose first use was for payments. Soon after, it was used for withdrawals. Today, the blue card has become a classic card offered by most banks in the UK.

It is also possible to have one by ordering online from neobanks. The conditions of use of this type of card are similar to those of the other usual cards. It is also subject to withdrawal and payment limits and the same transaction fees.

The different types of bank card

In addition to the above criteria, there are a number of broad categories of bank cards that can help you find the one that is right for you

Withdrawal card

This is mainly used to withdraw cash from ATMs. The withdrawal limits apply here according to what has been agreed with the bank. It is used for other simple operations besides that: checking the balance, ordering a checkbook...

With this card, it is easier to manage your budget. It is ideal for young people and can be attached to a current account or a deposit account, especially for savings. Thus, the owner has a RIB with the card.

Payment card

The payment card allows the purchase of products and services in physical stores and online in addition to withdrawals made on ATMs. There are a few types of payment cards:

Systematic authorization card:

The principle here is to determine the balance of the account before each transaction to ensure that the amount does not exceed the amount available. The transfer is refused if the account does not have enough money. Then, the systematic authorization card can be incompatible with certain terminals.

Immediate debit card and deferred debit card:

Thus, these two types of cards, whose operation has already been explained above, are payment cards.

Prepaid card

The prepaid card is offered by a bank or another financial institution. It can be reloaded and used to make payments online or at points of sale. It is not linked to a bank account and can be personalized or used anonymously.

Like the withdrawal cards, it has a limit. Nevertheless, it is not subject to an overdraft authorization. To reload this means of payment, you can go to a branch of the institution or to a tobacconist.

Visa or MasterCard?

Visa credit card

Visa is more dominant in Europe. It has a 60.5% market share worldwide. This company was founded long before MasterCard. However, both are accepted by institutions worldwide. But if you really have to make a comparison, Visa is more popular.

MasterCard bank card

While Visa is more present in European countries, MasterCard has a larger market share in the United States. But overall, it accounts for 26.9% of cards used internationally.


Visa and MasterCard cannot be differentiated by the tariff, because this is established by each bank and depends entirely on its commercial policy. It is at the level of the network that they differ. In this respect, Visa is much more popular. So, you have to determine which company is more accepted by the merchants in the country you are going to visit. But in any case, they provide roughly the same services. So the choice depends on how attractive your bank's offerings are.


Choose a bank card that matches your usage

To make sure the card meets your needs, just ask yourself what uses you will make of it and what terms fit your consumption and shopping habits.

A very specific bank card if you travel quite often

An international card is mandatory if you are one of those who travel regularly. This would avoid you to change your card every time. The services offered with this means of payment are more advantageous in relation to these parameters of use.

Don't forget about insurance coverage.

There is a bank card insurance to cover theft, fraud, loss. In addition, you get better assistance with this option. Note that this service is not necessarily included in the banking package.

Don't run headlong into overdraft risks!"

It is always preferable to have a bank card that allows you to control the budget, such as an immediate debit card or a payment card with systematic authorization.

Young people have their own types of bank cards.

Young people who have little or no income are better off going for the card that advances the lowest rates and that does not require complicated or expensive conditions of use.


What is the best bank card?

The best bank card depends on your needs and your budget. Read our buying guide to find out more.

How can I find the cheapest bank card?

After making a bank card comparison, the rates are clearly displayed to make the decision easier. In any case, the free blue card is the most appropriate solution especially if it is not affected by account maintenance fees.

Is it possible to find a card with no income requirements?

Yes. Banks do not always require minimum income to have a bank card. This is very convenient for young people and people with low incomes.

Is it wise to have several bank cards?

Effectively, it is much better if you have other financial activities to manage or if you have a joint account. Just check the fees so you don't pay more than you have to.

Which bank card should I choose if I don't plan to use it often enough?

In this case, it's imperative to deal with a bank that doesn't require any kind of banking floor. Otherwise, you will be charged for not completing any transactions.


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March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
Monabanq - Visa Classic card 9
Monabanq - Visa Classic card
Fortuneo - Fosfo Mastercard 10
Fortuneo - Fosfo Mastercard
LCL - Visa Infinite card 11
LCL - Visa Infinite card
Boursorama - Carte Ultim 12
Boursorama - Carte Ultim


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