Vanquis Bank Credit Builder Credit Card review 2023
- Representative example:
- When you spend £1,000 at a purchase rate of 34.5% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 34.5% APR (variable).
- Minimum credit limit
- Interest-free each billing period
- Up to 56 days
- Account fee
Credit builder cards like the Vanquis Visa Classic are designed to help borrowers with limited or bad credit to kickstart a positive credit history. To do this you'll need to use your credit builder card sensibly – staying within your credit limit and paying at least the monthly minimum payment on time, while keeping other credit accounts in good order and not taking on too much debt elsewhere.
Used responsibly, any credit card should 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 Vanquis Visa Classic, for example, you can schedule text or email alerts and can set up a direct debit to ensure you never miss a repayment.
Like most credit builders, the Classic card comes with a higher-than-average interest rate, but 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).
Perks tend to be few and far between with credit builders, but if you refer a friend to Vanquis you could pocket a cool £25 reward.
Applicants with low credit scores may be eligible
No annual fee
Interest rate is high so it’s crucial you repay your balance in full each month
No other perks such as cashback or 0% on spending or balance transfers
Maximum initial credit limit is capped at £1,500
|Purchases interest-free period||Up to 56 days|
|Minimum credit limit||£500|
|Maximum credit limit||Subject to status: £1,500|
|Additional cards available||1|
|Doing its job||★★★★★|
|Overall Finder rating||★★★★★|
|Minimum monthly payment||3.5% or £10 (whichever is greater) or the total of any interest, default fees and charges plus 3% of the outstanding balance.|
|Money transfer fee||3% (min. £3)|
|Foreign usage charge (EU)||2.99%|
|Foreign usage charge (rest of world)||2.99%|
|Cash advance fee||3% (min. £3)|
|Late payment fee||£12|
|Duplicate statement fee||£5|
|Exceeding limit fee||£12|
|Additional card fee||£0|
|Availability||Available to new customers|
Find out which cards you are eligible for
- Check a range of cards in minutes
- No impact on your credit score
- One fast and simple form
How does it compare?
Vanquis Bank's card
Other popular credit builders
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.
The Vanquis Visa Classic is designed to do one thing – help you build your credit – and it does it quite well. With easy account management and no annual fee, it’s a suitable choice for those looking to improve their credit score, but as with most credit-builder cards, it doesn’t offer much else.
The ability to increase your credit balance is also a bonus, but beware of the high purchase rate, which makes its doubly important that you repay your balance in full each month.
You can make manual repayments through Vanquis Bank's app by logging in to your online banking or over the phone (0330 099 3000). 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 decided that the Vanquis Visa Classic is the card for you, it’s straightforward to apply online, and you’ll typically get a response within one minute. Before applying, you can check your likelihood of acceptance in around two minutes. Vanquis uses a “soft credit search” to do this – meaning your credit score won’t be affected. If Vanquis needs to talk to you to discuss your application, you’ll normally be called within 15 minutes of your application being submitted.
The entire process takes between 10-14 days – from you submitting your application to the physical card arriving in the post. If Vanquis needs to contact you for more information it could take longer, however. Your PIN (Personal Identification Number) will arrive by post separately to the card.
Frequently asked questions
What credit limit will I get with the Vanquis Bank Credit Builder Credit Card?
If Vanquis Bank is able to offer you this deal, the offer will specify a personalised credit limit based on Vanquis Bank's assessment of your situation. The minimum limit offered on the card is £500, while the maximum is £1,500. Once you've had the card for a while and shown Vanquis Bank that you're reliable, you may wish to apply for a credit limit increase.
Can I withdraw cash using the Vanquis Bank Credit Builder Credit 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 Vanquis Bank Credit Builder Credit Card is 3% (min. £3). For example, if you withdraw £50, you'll incur a fee of £3.00. Withdraw £250 and you'll incur a fee of £7.50.
The interest rate on this part of your balance will be 34.5% (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 Vanquis Bank Credit Builder Credit Card abroad?
Non-sterling transactions are subject to a 2.99% charge (which is very standard). For example, if you spend 200 euros (£171.64), it'll cost you around £5.13 in fees.
What is the minimum payment on the Vanquis Bank Credit Builder Credit Card?
Each month you must pay at least 3.5% of your balance at that point or £10.00 – whichever of the 2 figures is greater. So if you had, say, £271.43 outstanding, you'd pay £10.00, and if you had £1,142.86 outstanding, you'd pay £40.00.
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 Vanquis Bank Credit Builder Credit 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 Vanquis Bank's app. This part of your card balance will incur interest of 34.5%. The fee for a money transfer is 3% (min. £3).