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.
Tesco Foundation Credit Card review 2021
Helping you to improve and rebuild your credit rating while earning you Tesco Clubcard points on day-to-day spending.
You say: ★★★★★We say: ★★★★★
Doing its job: 5/5
In a nutshell:
Minimum credit limit
Up to 56 days
Interest-free each billing period
|Balance transfer fee||3.99%|
|Purchases interest-free period||Up to 56 days|
|Min credit limit||£100|
|Max credit limit||Subject to status|
|Additional cards available||1|
|Incentive||Collect 1 Tesco Clubcard point per £4 spent (£4 minimum) in Tesco and 1 Clubcard point per £8 spent (£8 minimum) outside Tesco in each purchase transaction. Must have available credit to collect Clubcard points. Clubcard points are turned into Clubcard vouchers every 3 months or sooner using Faster Vouchers. Clubcard vouchers can be used in Tesco or with Clubcard Reward Partners to get even more value on dining out, hotel stays and travel.|
Chris Lilly is a publisher at finder.com. He's a specialist in credit-based products including business and personal loans, mortgages and credit cards, and is passionate about helping UK consumers make informed decisions about their borrowing. In his spare time Chris likes forcing his kids to exercise more.
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 point per £4 spent).
The Tesco Bank Foundation Card is issued on the Mastercard network so it's accepted at nearly 53 million merchants across more than 210 countries and territories.
Pros and cons
- Applicants with low credit scores may be eligible
- Earn Clubcard points on day-to-day spending
- No annual fee
- Relatively high balance transfer fee
- Relatively high money transfer fee
- You may be offered an opening credit limit as low as £100
How does it compare with other credit builders?
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
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 is able to offer you this deal, the offer 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 that 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 45% more than the standard purchases 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 (£168.99), it'll cost you around £4.65 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 two 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%.