In this guide

  • Our verdict
  • Details
    • Product overview
    • Fees and charges
    • Application requirements

Aqua Advance credit card review

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Aqua Advance credit card
4.5
★★★★★
Finder score
Representative example:
When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 34.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 34.9% APR (variable).
Minimum credit limit
£250
Interest-free each billing period
Up to 48 days
Foreign transaction charge
0%

Our verdict

This card is no longer available, but you can use our review to find alternatives.

The Aqua Advance Mastercard is a “credit-builder” card with slightly more favourable terms than others in Aqua's range. It may well be designed as a next step from Aqua's other cards, or for applicants with slightly better credit histories (although all Aqua's cards are designed with poor or limited credit histories in mind).

Credit builders tend to have a more lenient application process than other cards, but higher interest rates. As a result they’re often treated as a "stepping stone" product to cards or loans with better rates. If you clear your balance in full each month, however, the rate doesn't matter – you’ll be able to take advantage of the card's "grace period" of up to 48 days of 0% interest on your purchases each billing cycle.

With the Advance card, you can work towards bringing your interest rate down over time by showing you can make your payments on time and stay within your limits. Using any credit card in this way can also help you to build or rebuild a positive credit history. Other tools to help you improve your credit include text alerts and a decent mobile app, plus free access to CreditView services.

Pros

  • Responsible card-use gets rewarded with lower rates.
  • Low credit score? You may be eligible.
  • No currency conversion charges when you use the card overseas.
  • No annual fee to worry about.
  • Free access to your credit score and report with CreditView.
  • Set up text alerts so payments don't take you by surprise.

Cons

  • Held an aqua, Marbles, Fluid or Opus card over the past year? Sorry – you'll need to wait before you can apply for this card.
  • At 34.9%, carrying a balance from month to month would be costly.
  • After a sustained period of sing the card responsibly, you may be eligible for lower rates elsewhere.

In this guide

  • Our verdict
  • Details
    • Product overview
    • Fees and charges
    • Application requirements

The Aqua Advance credit card has been discontinued and is no longer available. However, this information has been kept for historical purposes. You can use this page to compare similar cards from other issuers.

Details

Product overview

Issuer NewDay Ltd
Network Mastercard
Annual/monthly fees £0
Minimum credit limit £250
Maximum credit limit Subject to status: £1,200
Credit limit note Subject to status
Purchases 34.95%
Purchases interest-free period (days) 48
Balance transfers 34.95%
Incentive Reduce your rate over three years if you stay within your credit limit and pay on time. No extra fees on what you spend abroad.
Additional cards available 3
Potential costs 4.0 ★★★★★
Doing its job 4.5 ★★★★★
Extras 3.5 ★★★★★
Overall Finder score 4.5 ★★★★★

Fees and charges

Minimum monthly payment 1% or £5 (whichever is greater) or the total of any interest, default fees and charges plus 1% of the outstanding balance.
Annual/monthly fees £0
Balance transfer fee 3% (min. £3)
Money transfer fee 3% (min. £3)
Foreign usage charge (EU) 0%
Foreign usage charge (rest of world) 0%
Cash advance fee 5% (min. £4)
Late payment fee £12
Exceeding limit fee £12
Additional card fee £0
Dormancy fee £0

Application requirements

Minimum Age 18
Minimum income £5,000
Availability Available to new customers
Additional Criteria You must not have taken out an Aqua, marbles, opus or Fluid card in the past 12 months. You must not have received a County Court Judgement (CCJ) in the past 12 months.

The Aqua Advance credit card is issued on the Mastercard network so it's accepted at more than 50 million merchant locations across more than 210 countries and territories.

Other credit builders

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
Name Product Finder score Annual/monthly fees Initial credit limits Minimum income Representative APR Incentive Link
Additional account needed
HSBC Student Credit Card Visa
3.5
★★★★★
£0
Min. limit £250, max. limit £500.
Not specified
18.9%
Available alongside an HSBC Student Account (receive £100 and a 1-year subscription to Headspace when you open a new student account).
Representative example: When you spend £500 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).
Go to site
Barclaycard Forward Credit Card
4.0
★★★★★
£0
Min. limit £50, max. limit £1,200.
£3000
33.9%
Rate discounts: 3% interest rate reduction if you make all your repayments on time for the first year, and a further drop of up to 2% more if you continue to do so in the second year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 33.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 33.9% APR (variable).
Go to site
118 118 Money Guaranteed Rate Card
3.5
★★★★★
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
£8400
34%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 34% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 34% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
Zable credit card
3.5
★★★★★
£0
Min. limit £200, max. limit £1,500.
£9,600
48.9%
Representative example: Representative 48.9% APR (variable). Based on assumed borrowing of £1200. Rate of interest 48.9% (variable) annual.
Check eligibility
Additional account needed
AIB Student Credit Card
4.0
★★★★★
£0
Min. limit £300, max. limit not specified.
Not specified
12.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 12.2% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 12.9% APR (variable).
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Approval for any credit card depends 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. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables is provided by Moneyfacts.

Repayment options

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 damaging your credit score – making it harder and more expensive to borrow money in the future – and getting hit with a penalty fee (£12) as a result.

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

If you can make your monthly repayments on time and stay within your credit limit, your interest rate will drop after a year.

The bottom line

Offering reducing rates for each year of responsible card use, the Aqua Advance is an admirably innovative credit card. However, you shouldn’t trust that you’ll always be receiving the best rates you’re eligible for – in other words it’s still likely to be beneficial to shop around as your credit score improves.

Don’t forget that as with most credit cards, the interest rate is variable – so if interest rates generally start to rise, the Advance’s rate might follow. In addition, your borrowing activity elsewhere can have a bearing on whether or not you’re able to enjoy those lowering interest rates. For example, if you use the Advance card responsibly but miss a repayment on another card or loan, it’ll damage your credit score and your chances of being awarded a lower rate.

How to apply

Sorry – aqua is no longer accepting applications for this card. However you may wish to consider one of the alternatives listed above.

Frequently asked questions

What credit limit will I get with the Aqua Advance credit card?

If aqua offers you this deal, it 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 you're reliable, you may wish to apply for a credit limit increase.

Can I withdraw cash using the Aqua Advance credit card?

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 Advance credit 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).

What is the minimum payment on the Aqua Advance credit card?

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.

Can I transfer money from the Aqua Advance credit card to a bank account?

Yes. That's what's known as a "money transfer" (rather than a "balance transfer") in credit card jargon. You can arrange this from your online banking or using aqua's app. This part of your card balance will incur interest of 34.95%. The fee for a money transfer is 3% (min. £3).

Do I need to be an existing aqua customer to apply for the Aqua Advance credit card?

No – the Aqua Advance credit card is available to new customers who don't currently use aqua.

What does "Up to 48 days interest-free" on purchases mean?

Almost all credit cards offer you a "grace period" in which to settle your purchases. But to enjoy this feature, you have to clear your full balance each month (cash withdrawals and non-sterling transactions sadly tend not to benefit from this feature).

Let's say you make a purchase using the Aqua Advance credit card on the 1st day the month. Shortly after the end of the month you receive your statement and bill from aqua which needs to paid by, say, the 17th of the month. If you then pay off your balance in full on the 17th, you won't be charged interest on that purchase, and you'll have enjoyed 48 days interest-free.

Finder credit card scores

★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor

Our experts score credit builder credit cards to determine their value against similar products on the market. We look at a number of important factors, like interest rates, credit limits, features to help you track your credit, plus the potential costs involved with running the card both in the short and longer term.

You can read more about our scoring criteria on our credit card methodology page.

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. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.
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