Bip cardless credit review 2021

Bip calls itself a "new kind of credit" – offering accessible credit without the need for the physical card.

In a nutshell:

  • No annual fee or non-sterling transaction fee.
  • If you don’t clear your balance in full each month, the APR of 29.9% makes this an expensive way to borrow.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 29.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 29.9% APR (variable).

£250

Minimum credit limit

Up to 48 days

Interest-free each billing period

29.9%

Representative APR

0%

Foreign transaction charge

Details

IssuerNewDay Ltd
NetworkMastercard
Annual/monthly fees£0
Balance transfers29.95%
Purchases29.95%
Purchases interest-free periodUp to 48 days
Min credit limit£250
Max credit limitNot specified

Screenshot from Bip app showing application process

What is Bip cardless credit?

As the name suggests, cardless credit is a line of credit that you can access without having to use a physical card. Bip Credit claims to be the first to offer cardless credit in the UK.

It’s different in another way too: it doesn’t charge fees and there’s just one interest rate (credit cards typically charge different rates for different parts of your balance). In that respect, it’s quite similar to the 118 118 Money credit card

How does Bip credit work?

Bip Credit operates much like a regular credit card provider, but instead of accessing your credit through an actual credit card, you use and manage your credit account entirely from your phone.

When you apply, you’ll be given a credit account with a variable interest rate that you can use in stores via Google Pay and Apple Pay or online using your 16-digit Bip number, expiry date and CVV.

Bip promises to charge no hidden fees, such as annual account or foreign exchange fees, and you’ll have the ability to set spending caps and get instant balance updates via the Bip app.

Wait, how do I buy things with Bip?

LocationMethod
In storesUse Apple Pay or Google Pay on your phone
OnlineUse your 16-digit Bip number, expiry and CVV

Pros and cons of Bip credit

Pros

  • Quicker to get going. Forget waiting for you card to land on the doormat (and your PIN a week later) – this is 2021 after all.
  • One simple rate and no additional fees. Credit card rates and fees are usually complex, but Bip has radically simplified this.
  • Pay your balance off in full every month and avoid interest altogether. It’s well worth setting up a direct debit to pay off the full amount each month, if you can. Thanks to those interest-free days, you’ll avoid paying any interest at all this way.
  • Compatible with Google Pay and Apple Pay. Plus with your virtual card numbers you can shop online the same way you do with your debit card.
  • Hate plastic? You’re doing your bit! OK, so one less piece of plastic isn’t going to save the world, but not having to carry around and keep track of a physical card is refreshing.
  • No currency conversion fees. Most credit cards charge about 3% on non-sterling transactions. Not so Bip, which converts currencies at regular old Mastercard rates.
  • Use Bip responsibly to build your credit score. Stick to your limit, make repayments on time and Bip stands to benefit your credit record.

Cons

  • Variable interest rate. Unlike most credit cards, Bip comes with just one rate, but like any standard card rate, it’s variable – meaning it can change over time (generally variable rates move in line with the Bank of England base rate). The rate is also not the most competitive around, but then it’s targeted at those with limited credit histories. If you only make the minimum repayment each time, it could get expensive.
  • Forgot to charge your phone? Oh dear. You’re depending fully on the app with Bip, so if you lose your phone or if it runs out of battery, then unless you’ve memorised the 16-digit number, expiry and CVV, you could be a bit stuck.
  • Miss a payment or go over your limit and you’ll hurt your credit score. Like other lenders, Bip reports customer payments back to credit reference agencies and they form part of your credit record.

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.

Repayment options

You can make manual repayments through Bip's app, by logging in to your online banking or over the phone (0330 838 0115). 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.

Choose from the following direct debit options for your monthly repayments:

Minimum amount Fixed amount Fixed percentage Full amount

Screenshot from Bip app showing application requirements

Who can apply for Bip Credit?

Like all credit providers, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old to apply for Bip Credit, and will also need to be a UK citizen or resident (with a UK bank account).

If you’ve received a County Court Judgement (CCJ) in the last year, you’ll need to wait before you can apply. Likewise if you’ve been bankrupt in the past 18 months.

If you’ve had a Bip, Aqua, marbles, opus or Fluid account in the last year, then, once again, you’ll have to wait before you can apply.

How to apply

First, you can use Finder's eligibility checker to find out if you'd be likely to get approved for the Bip Credit. This won't impact your credit score. If it's good news, you can then proceed to Bip's online application, which takes 10-15 minutes to complete.

Is Bip credit safe?

Bip Credit is part of NewDay Ltd, which is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, and offers credit cards through a number of brands, including Aqua and Amazon.

Our verdict

Essentially this is a marketing exercise from a long-standing player in the credit card space – NewDay. These companies have seen young, would-be card users turning to buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) services like Klarna instead of cards, and so they’re cleverly fighting back with their own online-only and weirdly-named solution. It’s got an edge over most BNPL services too: use it responsibly and you’ll benefit your credit record (but use it irresponsibly – say by missing a repayment – and you’ll hurt your credit score).

While it’s boldly promising to offer a “new kind of credit”, other credit providers do already offer credit purely in your smartphone.

Bip does an excellent job of simplifying costs however – with no fees and a single interest rate. This is commendable and it’s likely to help Bip recruit customers who are new to the world of credit cards. Just bear in mind it’s a relatively high rate, and you should use an eligibility checker on a comparison site (like Finder’s!) to see if you’d be eligible for a cheaper deal.

All in all it remains to be seen how much of a game-changer Bip will prove to be, but innovation that’s in the consumer’s interests is by and large a good thing.

Frequently asked questions

What credit limit will I get with Bip Credit?

If Bip is able to offer you this deal, the offer will specify a personalised credit limit based on Bip's assessment of your situation. The minimum limit offered on this card is £250 and Bip does not specify a maximum. Once you've had the card for a while and shown Bip that you're reliable, you may wish to apply for a credit limit increase.

Can I withdraw cash using Bip Credit?

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.

There's no cash advance fee on Bip Credit.

The interest rate on this part of your balance will be (chargeable from the day of the transaction – the card's usual "up to 48 days interest-free" grace period won't apply).

What is the minimum payment on Bip Credit?

Each month you must pay at least 3.5% of your balance at that point or £5.00 – whichever of the two figures is greater. So if you had, say, £128.57 outstanding, you'd pay £5.00, and if you had £571.43 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.

What interest rates does Bip offer?

Bip offers a variable “representative” rate (i.e. the rate given to most people) of 29.9% or 49.9% APR. The exact rate you receive will depend on factors like your credit history, personal and financial circumstances, and the amount of credit you apply for.

Does Bip charge any fees?

No, Bip claims to charge no additional fees, such as account fees, foreign transaction fees or late payment fees. Like a regular credit card, you’ll only be charged interest on the amount of credit you use each month.

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.
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