Vanquis Bank Chrome Credit Card review April 2020

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If you’re looking to build or rebuild your credit, then the Chrome Credit Card is designed with you in mind.

Finder rating: ★★★★★

Representative example: When you spend £1,000 at a purchase rate of 24.7% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 24.7% APR (variable).

24.7%

Representative APR

£0

Account fee

Up to 56 days

Interest-free each billing period

Details

IssuerVanquis Bank
NetworkVisa
Annual/monthly fees£0
Min credit limit£250
Max credit limitSubject to status: £1,000
Credit limit noteIncreased to £4K if account held correctly.
Purchases24.7%
Purchases interest-free period (days)56
IncentiveStay in control of your account with online servicing, a mobile app, SMS and email alerts.
Additional cards available1

Expert review

Along with companies like aqua and Capital One, Vanquis Bank (which issues this card) is one of the biggest names in credit-building credit cards – which are designed to help borrowers with limited or bad credit to build a positive credit history.

As the name suggests, “credit builders” like the Chrome card are designed to help build a positive credit history. Any credit card, used responsibly (staying within your credit limit and paying at the very least the monthly minimum payment on time) will have a positive effect on your credit score, but these specialised cards are generally easier to get approved for, and often come with features designed to help protect and build credit. With the Chrome card, for example, you can schedule text or email alerts and can set up a direct debit to ensure you never miss a repayment.

The downsides of credit builders include higher interest rates, but this card boasts Vanquis Bank’s best rate, and if you pay off your balance in full each month you’ll be able to take advantage of the card’s grace period of up to 56 days of 0% interest on purchases each billing cycle (this doesn’t apply to cash advances).

Expect a low opening credit limit (this is always tailored to the individual), which could be increased after your fifth statement, with further potential increases every five months.

To maximise your chances of improving your credit score, you should use your credit builder card sensibly – staying within your credit limit and paying at the very least the monthly minimum payment on time (don’t forget, Vanquis lets you set up a direct debit for this). You’ll also need to keep other credit accounts in good shape and not take on too much debt elsewhere.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • You could get approved even with bad credit.
  • You could get a credit limit increase in as little as five months (and then further increases every five months after that).
  • For a credit builder, the Chrome Card has a very competitive representative APR.
  • Used responsibly, it can help improve your credit score.
  • Like almost all UK credit cards, if you clear your full balance each month and don’t withdraw cash or transfer money using the card, you can avoid interest altogether.
  • As with most credit builders, there’s no annual fee to worry about.
  • You can manage your account in the Vanquis Bank App, which lets you request credit limit increases, check your balance, review transactions and manage direct debits. You can also set up text and email alerts to stay on top of things.

Cons

  • Up to 49% of applicants are likely to be offered a higher rate than the advertised representative APR (card issuers are only obliged to offer this rate to 51% of customers).
  • This is a fairly basic card, so don’t expect rewards or perks – it’s all about getting your credit record back on track.
  • Although Vanquis shows a commitment to reviewing your credit limit regularly, there’s no evidence of a similar commitment to reviewing your interest rate.
  • Because the card is aimed at people who don’t have excellent credit, the interest rates aren’t market-leading. So if you end up carrying a balance from month to month (particularly if you regularly make just the minimum required repayment), the costs of running the card can mount up.

Repayment options

When it comes to repayments, you can make manual repayments online or over the phone, or alternatively set up a direct debit. A direct debit is a great idea because it protects you from forgetting to make a repayment and either damaging your credit score, getting hit with a penalty fee or losing any promotional rates 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

Alternatively, you may be asked to authorise a continuous payment authority (CPA). This allows Vanquis to request payments from your current account. A CPA can be cancelled at any time (although if you do cancel a CPA, you should always make alternative arrangements to make repayments, otherwise you risk damaging your credit score).

How to apply for the Chrome Credit Card

If you’ve compared cards and decided that the Chrome is the card for you, it’s straightforward to apply online, and you’ll typically get a response within 60 seconds.

Each application is considered on its own merit, and Vanquis will still consider you if you’ve been turned down for credit elsewhere. Before applying, you can check your likelihood of acceptance in around two minutes – Vanquis uses a “soft credit search” to do this, meaning that your credit score won’t be affected.

The entire application process takes around 10-14 days – from you submitting it through to the physical card arriving in the post. If Vanquis needs to contact you for more information then it could take a little longer. After you’ve received your card and welcome pack in the post, you’ll need to give Vanquis a call to activate the card. Alternatively you can activate the card in the app.

Your PIN (Personal Identification Number) will arrive by post separately, and you’ll need to key in this PIN the first time you use the card at a merchant. From then on it’s contactless all the way and you can just tap and go provided you’re spending less than £30.

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.

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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2 Comments

  1. Default Gravatar
    Lost50p
    December 29, 2019

    With Chrome Credit Cards, do you pay interest on every purchase as soon as it is made? So if one spent £20 and the rate was say 30%, by the end of the month would I have to pay £26 rather than £20? The terms and conditions appear to say so but rather obliquely!

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Tom
      January 2, 2020

      Hi Sophia,

      Thanks for your question. As with most credit cards, the Chrome Credit Card has a monthly billing cycle, and any purchases made within a billing cycle only need to be repaid by the due date listed on your credit card statement.

      In the case of the Chrome Credit Card, this means you can get up to 56 days interest-free on any purchases you make using the card, as long as you pay off your balance in full each month. For example, say your credit card has a billing cycle that begins on the 1st of each month and ends on the 30th. The payment due date for any purchases made in this period will be the 26th of the following month.

      This means for any purchases you make at the start of your billing cycle (the 1st of the month), you’ll have up to 56 days to pay them off without being charged interest. Even if you make a purchase at the end of your billing cycle (the 30th of the month), you’ll still have up to 26 days to pay them off without interest. Please keep in mind that you can only take advantage of the interest-free period if you always completely pay off your credit card statement each month.

      If you’re responsible with your credit card spending and managing your payments, you can continue to use your credit card without ever paying interest.

      You can also find out more about interest-free periods work in our guide.

      I hope this helps, but please let me know if you have any other questions.

      Regards,

      Tom

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