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Best known for the moustachioed chaps in short shorts at the centre of relentless TV advertising campaigns, 118 118 Money is now a fully-fledged financial services provider. It's started to make a name for itself serving the non-standard (bad credit) market with personal loans and now this fee-free credit card.
Finder rating: ★★★★★
In a nutshell:
Minimum credit limit
Up to 51 days
Interest-free each billing period
Balance transfer fee
|Issuer||118 118 Money|
|Balance transfer fee||0%|
|Purchases interest-free period||Up to 51 days|
|Min credit limit||£500|
|Max credit limit||Not specified|
|Additional cards available||3|
Chris Lilly is a publisher at finder.com. He's a specialist in credit-based products including business and personal loans, mortgages and credit cards, and is passionate about helping UK consumers make informed decisions about their borrowing. In his spare time Chris likes forcing his kids to exercise more.
For most people, credit card rates and fees are an absolute minefield. Your average card issuer charges different interest rates for different types of transaction and dozens of different fees. 118 118 Money’s answer is a card with one simple rate and no fees.
This means that as well as using your card to pay for purchases, you can use it to withdraw cash at cash machines or to transfer money to another account – basically a loan. Yes, some other cards let you do that, but they’ll almost always charge a fee and also apply a different (higher) interest rate to those transactions. Not so 118 118 Money. Plus, provided you clear your balance in full at the end of the month, your purchases, withdrawals and transfers will be interest-free. If you tend to find yourself in overdraft towards the end of the month, or even if you use payday loans, then used correctly, this card could help you make big savings.
You can also use the card abroad without getting hit with non-sterling transactions, and once again, you’ll pay your normal rate of interest. Being a Mastercard, the card will be accepted pretty much anywhere that takes card payments. Bear in mind that if you’re on holiday abroad and a restaurant offers to bill you in sterling rather than in the local currency, for example, you should say no – otherwise it’ll be the merchant’s bank’s currency conversion fee structure that’ll apply, and not 118 118 Money’s.
Despite an APR that’s a little on the high side, if you can manage to pay off your balance each month, you could end up never paying any interest or fees.
So what’s the catch? Well there isn’t really a catch as such. Just that, like any credit card, you can fall into a trap of long-term debt if you only make the minimum required payment each month. You’ve also got to get approved for the card in the first place, obviously, but the good news is the card is designed with people who don’t have excellent credit ratings in mind. Finally, keep in mind that you may still be charged fees by third parties – like ATM fees from a cash machine provider (thankfully these are getting rarer).
The 118 118 Money Guaranteed Rate Card is issued on the Mastercard network so it's accepted at nearly 53 million merchants across more than 210 countries and territories.
Approval for any credit card will depend on your status. The APR shown represents the interest rate offered to most successful applicants. Depending on your personal circumstances the APR you're offered may be higher, or you may not be offered credit at all. Fees and rates are subject to change without notice. It's always wise to check the terms of any deal before you borrow.
“Credit builder” cards are designed as a stepping stone to cards with better rates. With no fees, the 118 118 Money card could suit those with a less-than-perfect credit history looking to rebuild their credit score.
You can make manual repayments through 118 118 Money's app, by logging in to your online banking or over the phone . Alternatively you may wish to set up a direct debit.
A direct debit protects you from forgetting to make a repayment and damaging your credit score – making it harder and more expensive to borrow money in the future – as a result (although there's no penalty fee for late payments to worry about, there are still plenty of other good reasons not to miss a payment).
You can arrange a direct debit for repayments when you apply for the credit card. The table below shows the options available.
|Minimum amount||Fixed amount||Fixed percentage||Full amount|
118 118 Money scrapped this card’s predecessor back in 2019, presumably because (and there’s no nice way of putting this) it was awful. Thankfully, the card issuer’s latest effort is much, much better. In fact it’s a great card… just with a high interest rate. Pay off your balance in full each month and you’ll enjoy all its good bits without it costing you a penny.
It's quick and easy to apply at 118 118 Money site. Firstly you'll be prompted to check your eligibility – this is a smart way to find out if it's worth applying without affecting your credit score. If you get the green light and decide to apply, 118 118 Money will then run a credit check which has a small (and usually short-lived) negative effect on your credit score – this is standard stuff.
At this point the vast majority of credit cards will offer you a personalised interest rate and a personalised credit limit. But the 118 card is all about simplicity and transparency: you either don't get approved, or you get approved and offered a rate of 34% and a limit of £500.
Once your application has been approved, your PIN and card arrive separately in the post within 9-10 days. The first time you use your card at a merchant you'll need to enter your PIN, and from then on you can go contactless for transactions of up to £45.
The guaranteed minimum credit limit on the 118 118 Money card is £500. Provided you use the card responsibly (stay within your limit and make all payments on time) this could increase over time. 118 118 Money doesn't specify a maximum credit limit.
A credit builder credit card is aimed at customers with limited or poor credit histories, but who are looking to improve their credit score in order to be eligible for other financial products. By showing the provider that you can responsibly handle a credit card account, you'll make yourself more likely to be approved for other credit products in future.
Your interest-free period is the amount of time you have to pay off your purchases and cash advances before you are charged interest. With the 118 118 Money card, you'll have up to 51 days interest-free on pretty much any transaction. This means that if you make a purchase on the first day of the billing period, it'll be included in your bill at the end of the billing period, which you'll have around three weeks to pay – giving you a maximum of 51 days of 0% interest credit. It doesn't mean that every transaction will get 51 days interest-free – transactions towards the end of the billing period will get fewer interest-free days.
118 118 Money promises to not charge any fees based on how you use your card. This includes cash withdrawals, foreign transactions, balance transfers, late payments and overlimits (going over your agreed credit limit). However, you may still be charged third party fees, such as ATM usage fees, and will naturally need to pay interest on any purchases or transactions you make that you don't pay off before your payment due date.
No. A small fee is just one of the consequences of being late with a credit card repayment. Firstly, a late repayment basically means you're borrowing for longer, so 118 118 Money will charge you additional interest. Secondly, any late repayments will be reported back to credit reference agencies, so the next time you apply to borrow money (perhaps car finance, a personal loan, a mortgage etc.) you'll be very likely to be offered a higher rate because of your tarnished track record.
No. 118 118 Money relaunched its credit card in 2019, ditching the monthly account fee for new customers.
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