Credit cards like Vanquis

Vanquis Bank offers "credit builder" credit cards that specifically cater to people with limited or damaged credit histories. It's not alone in doing this however.

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A less than perfect credit history can make it harder to secure loans and credit cards. However, specialist card issuers like Vanquis aim to provide a way around this with tailored financial products that can help build or rebuild a positive credit history.

Comparison of alternatives to a Vanquis card

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
Name Product Finder score Annual/monthly fees Initial credit limits Minimum income Representative APR Incentive Link
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).
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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).
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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.
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Sainsbury's Bank Everyday Credit Card Mastercard
4.0
★★★★★
£0
Min. limit not specified, max. limit not specified.
Not specified
29.4%
3 Nectar points per £2 spent in Sainsbury's, Argos, Habitat and Tu clothing, and 1 Nectar point for every £5 spent elsewhere. 1 point = 0.5p (min 500pts)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 29.4% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 29.4% APR (variable).
Tymit Credit Card
4.0
★★★★★
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit £15,000.
Not specified
29.9%
Representative Example: 29.9% (variable) based on a borrowing of £1200 over 12 months with no annual fee.
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).
Bip Credit Card Mastercard
4.0
★★★★★
£0
Min. limit £250, max. limit not specified.
£5000
29.9%
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).
HSBC Classic Credit Card
4.0
★★★★★
£0
Min. limit £250, max. limit not specified.
£6800
29.9%
Discounts and exclusive offers for dining experiences, leisure activities and shopping available through HSBC Home and Away.
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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As you might expect, these cards tend to come with lower credit limits and higher APRs, but there’s good news too.

Like most cards on the UK market, provided you pay your balance in full each month, you usually won’t incur any interest at all – so a high APR might not mean anything to you in practice. Watch out for exceptions to this rule, such as non-sterling transactions or cash advances (withdrawing cash on the card).

The acceptance criteria for these cards tend to be more lenient, and it’s normally possible to find out before you apply (and without hurting your credit score) whether you’re likely to be approved, thanks to commonly used “soft search” facilities.

Annual/monthly account fees are rare in this space and your credit limit is typically reviewed sooner and more frequently.

Important considerations for credit cards like Vanquis

Credit builders can be a useful tool if you use them correctly. Aim to not carry a balance from month-to-month – if you do, you’ll stand to pay a hefty amount in interest. It can be tempting to make only the minimum required payment each month (and your card issuer might love this), but that will cost you much, much more in the long run.

Due to the higher rates that apply to cards such as these, it’s often smart to think of them as a “stepping stone” product to finance agreements with better terms. In other words, if you take out a credit builder, use it sensibly and then, when you’re able, switch to a card (or other financial product) with lower rates.

If you miss a repayment, you’ll most likely incur a flat fee, pay more in interest and damage your credit record further. Pretty much every card issuer now lets you set up a direct debit for repayments, and lets you choose to set this up for either the minimum required sum, a fixed amount or the full balance. It’s a smart idea to do this as you’ll safeguard your credit record.

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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