RBS is part of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group which also owns NatWest and Ulster Bank – don’t be surprised if, when you’re comparing credit cards, the RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank products seem eerily similar.
RBS credit cards use the Mastercard network, so they can be used at more than 35 million merchants and ATMs worldwide.
Compare RBS credit cards
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.
What's in this review?
- Compare RBS credit cards
- Can I use an RBS credit card abroad?
- What is APR?
- Can I find out if I'll get approved without affecting my credit score?
- What types of cards does RBS offer?
- What benefits can I expect from an RBS credit card?
- Applying for an RBS credit card
- Our verdict
- Frequently asked questions
Can I use an RBS credit card abroad?
Yes. RBS credit cards are all Mastercards so acceptance won’t be an issue. Bear in mind that with some RBS cards (but not all) you’ll be charged a currency conversion fee for non-sterling transactions. You can click on one of the cards in the table above to see its fee structure.
If you already have an RBS card, you can let the bank know you’re heading overseas by logging in, choosing “Manage my card” then “Going abroad” and finally “Add Trip”. You’ll then be prompted to outline where and when you’re travelling.
What is APR?
This annual percentage rate is a standardised figure designed to provide an annual summary of the cost of borrowing. It takes into account both interest and any mandatory charges to be paid, so if a card comes with an annual fee attached, its APR will be higher than its interest rate.
Bear in mind, however, that most card issuers tailor interest rates to the perceived risk profile of the applicant. That’s why you’ll often see a representative APR advertised. This is the APR that a card issuer gives to at least 51% of cardholders. If you have good credit, you’ll stand a better chance of being offered the advertised representative APR.
Can I find out if I’ll get approved without affecting my credit score?
Yes. Like most card issuers, RBS offers a “soft search” facility, which can check your credit file to let you know whether or not it’s worth applying, without any impact on your credit score. If it’s good news, and you decide to actually apply, then there will be a “hard search” of your credit file at that point (which has a slight negative impact on your score).
What types of cards does RBS offer?
RBS offers four different credit cards, designed so that whatever your needs are, you’ll find a competitive option with RBS.
Designed to be straightforward but versatile, “balanced” cards usually offer a single low rate on purchases and balance transfers. So, if you hold a balance on another card with a high rate of interest, you can bring it across to this card and enjoy a low rate on the existing debt, and also on future purchases. Unlike the headline-grabbing cards of its rivals, which offer a rate of 0% for a set number of months after which a much higher rate kicks in, RBS’s card offers a low rate, indefinitely (although it’s not fixed).
Learn more about low rate cards
Built to reward you while you shop at selected locations, the Rewards Credit Card might be particularly interesting to those who don’t plan to bring an existing balance across to a new card. If you have a Reward current account you won’t pay an annual fee on this card.
“Gold”, “black” or “platinum” cards are a bank’s premium option, typically boasting superior service, perks and the opportunity to earn rewards as you spend.
Learn more about gold, platinum and black cards
Designed for those who have a limited credit history and a limited income. Don’t expect a huge credit limit with this option, but on the flip side you won’t be expected to pay an annual fee.
Learn more about student credit cards
What benefits can I expect from an RBS credit card?
- It’s accepted widely. RBS credit cards are issued by Mastercard, one of the biggest credit card providers in the world.
- Customer services phone line staffed seven days a week. You can contact Co-op Bank to carry out a range of transactions or make changes to the details on your credit card account between 8am and 8pm, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
- Additional card holders. You can nominate an additional card holder using your usual online account-handling system, provided they are over 18 years old and a UK resident.
- Fraud text alerts. A text-only phone number will send an SMS to your mobile if the card issuer notices any activity on your card which it thinks might be suspicious.
Applying for an RBS credit card
It’s quick, easy and secure to apply for an RBS credit card online, and the process takes about 15 minutes.
General requirements for an RBS credit card are:
You should ensure that you can meet the monthly repayments, as missed payments incur a charge, adversely affect your credit history and could hinder your ability to obtain credit in the future.
Why might my application not be approved?
If you meet the broad criteria outlined above, but have a history of bad debt or no credit history, you could be rejected. If you have been made the subject of a CCJ you may not be accepted. You’re also unlikely to be offered a card if you have declared bankruptcy.
Depending on your own circumstances, you’ll have four different types of RBS cards to choose from including balanced, rewards, premium and student cards.
Once you’ve compared your options above and want to know if you’re likely to be approved, RBS offers a quick search tool that won’t affect your credit rating.
Bear in mind that if you’ve been declared bankrupt or have a County Court Judgement against your name, it’s unlikely that you’ll be successful.
Do your homework to ensure you find the right credit card for your needs.
Frequently asked questions
Find the right card for you
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