Credit cards

Your guide to
credit cards

Helping you to understand credit cards

Using a credit card

Using a credit card in a shop works in the same way as a debit card, but there’s an important difference to remember. With debit cards, you’re spending the money that’s in your bank account. But with credit cards, you’re borrowing money from your credit card provider.

The total amount you owe on a credit card is made up of your spending, combined with any interest and fees – this amount is referred to as the card’s balance.

It’s important to remember to spend sensibly when using a credit card, as you’re spending borrowed money which has to be paid back. Also be sure to avoid late payment fees by making sure you have enough income to make your payments on time.

Cancelling a credit card

Credit cards are a great way to build and protect your credit score if they’re used responsibly. Cancelling a card can impact your score, so you should take this into account before making a final decision.

Our Credit Card Services team can help you cancel your credit card if you decide that cancelling is the best option for you. They’ll also be able to discuss your options further and help you make an informed decision that is right for your finances.

Before cancelling a credit card, remember you’ll need to:

  • Pay off the card in full
  • Consider your credit score and make sure you’re not in the process of applying for any new forms of credit

Applying for a credit card

Applying for a credit card online is easy, safe and best of all, quick. In most cases, your application will be complete in under 30 minutes.


Find out more about applying online with us by watching our short video guide.

What you'll need

For your credit card application, it's likely that you'll need to have to hand:

  • Your address details for the last 3 years
  • Your income, outgoings and employment details
  • A note of any cards you wish to transfer a balance from
  • Your bank account details

There's no need to chance it

Our eligibility checker allows you to find out whether you'll be accepted before you apply with us. It takes around 2 minutes and it won't harm your credit rating.

Looking for more help?

See our credit card range

We have a range of credit cards that could meet your needs. See our range and compare the benefits today. Eligibility criteria applies. Over 18s only.

Find the borrowing option for you

If you need to borrow money and you are not sure which product might be right for you, use our helpful tool to compare the features of different types of lending.

Coronavirus support

If you are concerned about being unable to make your repayments on your Royal Bank of Scotland credit card, we have lots of guidance and support to help you.

Can we help with anything else?