In this guide

  • Our verdict
  • Details
    • Product Overview
    • Fees and charges
    • Application Requirements
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Tesco Foundation Credit Card review 2024

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Tesco Bank Foundation Card
4.0
★★★★★
Finder score
Representative example:
When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 29.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 29.9% APR (variable).
Minimum credit limit
£100
Interest-free each billing period
Up to 56 days
Account fee
£0

Our verdict

Helping you to improve and rebuild your credit rating while earning you Tesco Clubcard points on day-to-day spending.
Gold Finder Awards Badge
Finder Awards 2024 highly commended
Customer Satisfaction Award

If you've got poor credit and are hoping to improve it, the Tesco Foundation Card is one of just a handful of "credit building" cards on the market that lets you collect rewards while helping you to improve your credit score.

Technically any credit card, used correctly, can help improve your credit score, but this card offers a number of tools to help you protect and improve your it – like text/email alerts and visibility of your credit report and score – along with advice on some of the key factors affecting it.

Expect to start small with a low, manageable credit limit, but with the promise of regular optional credit limit increases if you manage your account well.

While perks are usually few and far between with this type of card, you'll be able to collect Tesco Clubcard points on all your day-to-day spending – 1 point per £8 spent (and you'll collect these at a higher rate when you shop at Tesco – 1.25 points per £1 spent).

Pros

  • Offers a rewards scheme
  • Access to your credit report and score
  • Handy text and email alerts

Cons

  • Could tempt users into spending just to chase points
  • CCJs are a no-no for Tesco Bank

In this guide

  • Our verdict
  • Details
    • Product Overview
    • Fees and charges
    • Application Requirements

Details

Product Overview

Issuer Tesco Bank
Network Mastercard
Representative APR 29.9%
Annual/monthly fees £0
Balance transfers 29.947%
Balance transfer fee 3.99%
Purchases 29.9%
Purchases interest-free period Up to 56 days
Money transfers 39.941%
Cash advances 39.941%
Minimum credit limit £100
Maximum credit limit Subject to status
Additional cards available 1
Incentive
5 points per £4 spent (£4 minimum) in Tesco and 1 point per £8 spent (£8 minimum) outside Tesco. Must have available credit to earn points. Points are converted to Tesco vouchers or can be exchanged for Partner rewards to receive money off a variety of restaurants, entertainment or Avios points.
Additional Rewards Info Free Tesco Bank CreditView giving 3 years' unlimited access to credit score and report via TransUnion, credit alerts and CreditView report updated every 28 days to monitor changes.
Potential costs 3.5 ★★★★★
Doing its job 4.5 ★★★★★
Extras 5.0 ★★★★★
Overall Finder score 4.0 ★★★★★

Fees and charges

Minimum monthly payment 1% or £25 (whichever is greater) or the total of any interest, default fees and charges plus 1% of the outstanding balance plus any arrears.
Annual/monthly fees £0
Balance transfer fee 3.99%
Money transfer fee 3.99%
Foreign usage charge (EU) 2.75%
Foreign usage charge (rest of world) 2.75%
Cash advance fee 3.99% (min. £3)
Late payment fee £12
Replacement card fee £0
Duplicate statement fee £0
Exceeding limit fee £0
Additional card fee £0
Dormancy fee £0

Application Requirements

Minimum Age 18
Minimum income £5,000
Residency UK residents
Availability Available to new customers

The Tesco Bank Foundation 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.

How does it compare?

Tesco Bank's card

1 - 1 of 1
Name Product Finder score Annual/monthly fees Initial credit limits Minimum income Representative APR Incentive Link
Tesco Bank Foundation Card
4.0
★★★★★
£0
Min. limit £100, max. limit not specified.
£5000
29.9%
5 points per £4 spent (£4 minimum) in Tesco and 1 point per £8 spent (£8 minimum) outside Tesco. Must have available credit to earn points. Points are converted to Tesco vouchers or can be exchanged for Partner rewards to receive money off a variety of restaurants, entertainment or Avios points.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 29.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 29.9% APR (variable).
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Representative example: When you spend £500 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).
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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).
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Representative example: Representative 48.9% APR (variable). Based on assumed borrowing of £1200. Rate of interest 48.9% (variable) annual.
Check eligibility
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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.

Repayment options

You can make manual repayments through Tesco Bank's app by logging in to your online banking or over the phone (0345 300 4278). 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

How to apply

If you've compared cards and settled on the Tesco Bank Foundation 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.

Frequently asked questions

What credit limit will I get with the Tesco Bank Foundation Card?

If Tesco Bank offers you this deal, it will specify a personalised credit limit based on Tesco Bank's assessment of your situation. The minimum limit offered on this card is £100, and Tesco Bank does not specify a maximum. Once you've had the card for a while and shown Tesco Bank you're reliable, you may wish to apply for a credit limit increase.

Can I withdraw cash using the Tesco Bank Foundation 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 Tesco Bank Foundation Card is 3.99% (min. £3). For example, if you withdraw £50, you'll incur a fee of £3.00. Withdraw £250 and you'll incur a rather painful fee of £9.98.

The interest rate on this part of your balance will be 39.94%, which is 34% more than the standard purchase rate (chargeable from the day of the transaction – the card's usual "up to 56 days interest-free" grace period won't apply).

How much does it cost to use the Tesco Bank Foundation Card abroad?

Non-sterling transactions are subject to a 2.75% charge. For example, if you spend 200 euros (£171.03), it'll cost you around £4.70 in fees.

What is the minimum payment on the Tesco Bank Foundation Card?

Each month, you must pay at least 1% of your balance at that point or £25.00 – whichever of the 2 figures is greater. So if you had, say, £2,450.00 outstanding, you'd pay £25.00, and if you had £10,000.00 outstanding, you'd pay £100.00.

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 Tesco Bank Foundation 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 Tesco Bank's app. This part of your card balance will incur interest of 39.941%. The fee for a money transfer is 3.99%.

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.
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