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In a nutshell:
0% interest on balance transfers
Up to 48 days
Interest-free each billing period
|Minimum credit limit||£250|
|Maximum credit limit||Subject to status: £1,200|
|Credit limit note||Subject to status|
|Purchases interest-free period (days)||48|
|Balance transfers||0% for 6 months reverting to 34.95%|
Chris Lilly is a publisher at finder.com. He's a specialist in personal finance, from day-to-day banking to investing to borrowing, and is passionate about helping UK consumers make informed decisions about their money. In his spare time Chris likes forcing his kids to exercise more.
Getting your hands on a 0% balance transfer deal when you have a lower credit score is tricky. In fact there are just a handful of cards on the market designed with these users in mind – this deal from Aqua is one.
The card buys you 6 months respite from interest, although it’ll involve a fee of 3% (min. £3) of the balance to transfer. The idea is that you should use the 6 months to clear as much of the debt as possible. Ideally, you’d want to pay off all of it in this timeframe. That means dividing the debt (plus the transfer fee) by 6 and paying that much each month (assuming you don’t put additional spending on the card).
Once the 6 months are up, the card’s infinitely-less-exciting standard rate of kicks in and will be applied to any outstanding balance. So for those with low credit scores who might struggle to get approved for longer 0% deals, this card is a solid bet for 6 months. After that point, unless you clear your balance in full each month (in which case you can avoid paying interest altogether), the card would be relatively expensive to use.
Make at least the minimum required repayments on time and the card could also help improve your credit score, meaning you could access even better deals next time around.
Aqua’s app lets you keep tabs on your spending and repayments. You can set up or change direct debits for repayments, and you can make manual overpayments too.
Approval for any credit card will depend on your status. The representative APRs shown represent 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.
You can make manual repayments through aqua's app, by logging in to your online banking or over the phone (0333 220 2691). Alternatively, you may wish to set up a direct debit.
A direct debit protects you from forgetting to make a repayment and losing your promotional interest rate as a result (as well as damaging your credit score and incurring the late payment fee of £12). You could use a fixed-amount direct debit to ensure you've cleared your debt before the 0% period expires – simply divide your outstanding balance by 6 to see what you'll need to pay each month (this assumes you don't use the card for additional spending).
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|
If you've compared cards and settled on the Aqua Classic Balance Transfer Card, completing the secure online application form takes about 15 minutes. Before you apply, check that you meet the eligibility requirements and have the information and documents you'll need to make the process as straightforward as possible. You can request a balance transfer as part of your application.
If aqua is able to offer you this deal, the offer will specify a personalised credit limit based on aqua's assessment of your situation. The minimum limit offered on the card is £250, while the maximum is £1,200. Once you've had the card for a while and shown aqua that you're reliable, you may wish to apply for a credit limit increase.
Although it's possible, withdrawing cash from a credit card account is generally not a good idea, as "cash-like transactions" (such as withdrawing cash at an ATM, getting cashback at the till, spending at a casino or buying currency) often incur steep fees and/or higher rates of interest.
The cash advance fee on the Aqua Classic Balance Transfer Card is 5% (min. £4). For example, if you withdraw £50, you'll incur a fee of £4.00. Withdraw £250, and you'll incur a rather painful fee of £12.50.
The interest rate on this part of your balance will be 44.95%, which is 29% more than the standard purchase rate (chargeable from the day of the transaction – the card's usual "up to 48 days interest-free" grace period won't apply).
Non-sterling transactions are subject to a 2.95% charge. For example, if you spend 200 euros (£174.66), it'll cost you around £5.15 in fees.
Each month you must pay at least 1% of your balance at that point or £5.00 – whichever of the 2 figures is greater. So if you had, say, £450.00 outstanding, you'd pay £5.00, and if you had £2,000.00 outstanding, you'd pay £20.00.
Paying only the minimum required amount each month is generally not advisable as it tends to be a very expensive way to borrow money which can lead to persistent debt.
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