Vanquis Visa Classic credit card review 2021

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Designed to help build or rebuild your credit history, the Vanquis Visa Classic credit card offers manageable starting credit limits plus SMS account management.

Finder rating: ★★★★★

Representative example: When you spend £1,000 at a purchase rate of 39.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 39.9% APR (variable).


Minimum credit limit

Up to 56 days

Interest-free each billing period


Representative APR


Account fee


IssuerVanquis Bank
Annual/monthly fees£0
Min credit limit£150
Max credit limitSubject to status: £1,500
Credit limit noteIncreased to £4K if account held correctly.
Purchases interest-free period (days)56
Additional cards available1

Review by

Chris Lilly is a publisher at 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.

Expert review

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.


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  • Save from £20 to £200 a month
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Pros and cons


  • Applicants with low credit scores may be eligible
  • No annual fee


  • A steep interest rate on purchases

How does it compare?

Vanquis Bank's card

Name Product Annual/monthly fees Initial credit limits Minimum income Rep. APR Incentive Link
Vanquis Bank Visa
Min. limit £150, max. limit £1,500.
Not specified
Representative example: When you spend £1,000 at a purchase rate of 39.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 39.9% APR (variable).

Compare up to 4 providers

Other popular credit builders

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
Name Product Annual/monthly fees Initial credit limits Minimum income Rep. APR Incentive Link
TSB Classic Credit Card Mastercard
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
Not specified
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 26.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 26.9% APR (variable).
Tesco Bank Foundation Card
Min. limit £100, max. limit not specified.
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.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 27.542% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 27.5% APR (variable).
Vanquis Bank Chrome Credit Card
Min. limit £250, max. limit £1,500.
Not specified
Representative example: When you spend £250 at a purchase rate of 29.5% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 29.5% APR (variable).
Vanquis Bank Aquis Visa
Min. limit £250, max. limit £1,000.
Not specified
You could get a credit limit increase after your 5th statement and further increases every 5 months, up to £4,000.
Representative example: When you spend £1,000 at a purchase rate of 29.84% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 29.8% APR (variable).

Compare up to 4 providers

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.

The verdict

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.

Repayment options

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 Visa?

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 £150, 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 Visa?

Although it's possible, withdrawing cash from a credit card account is generally not a good idea, as "cash-like transactions" (withdrawing cash at an ATM, getting cashback at the till, spending at a casino, buying currency, etc.) often incur steep fees and/or higher rates of interest.

The cash advance fee on the Vanquis Bank Visa 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 39.94%, which is the same as 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 Vanquis Bank Visa abroad?

Non-sterling transactions are subject to a 2.99% charge. For example, if you spend 200 euros (£174.17), it'll cost you around £5.21.

What is the minimum payment on the Vanquis Bank Visa?

Each month you must pay at least 3% of your balance at that point or £10.00 – whichever of the two figures is greater. So if you had, say, £316.67 outstanding, you'd pay £10.00, and if you had £1,333.33 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 Visa 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 39.94%. The fee for a money transfer is 3% (min. £3).

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