Aqua Classic Credit Card Review: The Most Popular Aqua Card

Aqua Classic Credit Card Review: The Most Popular Aqua Card

With free text reminders to keep you on top of your finances and the chance to increase your credit limit in 4 months, the Aqua Classic is a solid card for rebuilding credit
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Editor's Rating


Good for

  • May accept those with limited or no credit history
  • Free aqua Credit Checker
  • Free text reminders and credit report
  • Increasing credit limit in future

Bad for

  • As a credit builder card, interest rates are higher than average

The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

The Aqua Classic Credit Card is Aqua's most popular credit card, and it could accept people with limited or no credit history. Aqua has recently added a Free aqua Credit Checker to their arsenal of features, so applicants can see the odds of being accepted before applying (without leaving a mark on their credit history). We like that the Classic's 29.7% variable APR is lower than the average credit builder interest rate, however you should always try to pay off your full balance every month if possible, to avoid paying what can amount to large interest charges over time.

Aqua Classic Credit Card Review: What You Need to Know

The Aqua Classic Credit card is a solid option to consider for those with weak credit scores, as it may accept you even with limited or no credit history. As a credit builder card, it can be suitable for the self-employed, those with problems paying bills in the past or those without much current income.

Aqua offers a number of nice features for those trying to get a handle on their finances, including the ability to change the monthly payment date. By scheduling the statement due date to coincide with your pay day, for example, you may have more funds available to pay down as much of the credit card balance as possible. Another beneficial feature is free text reminders from Aqua that you can enable online to help you remember to pay (if you just tend to forget like a lot of people) and to alert you that you're nearing your credit limit. Customer service has suggested these notices are sent out when you've reached around 80% of your maximum limit. Staying within your limit and paying on time are very, very important to your credit score.

What is the interest rate on the Aqua Classic? It varies from person to person but at least 51% of applicants will get this Representative Example: 29.71% standard purchase rate p.a (variable) and 29.7% representative APR (variable), based on a credit limit of £1,200. The other 49% of applicants may get a higher interest rate.

Those who need a card for making purchases abroad may also want to consider the Aqua Rewards card.

Bottom Line: The Aqua Classic can be a good card for those with a shaky credit history, but try to pay down your balance every month due to high interest rates and always pay on time. We like the payment text reminders and the ability to change your statement due date to fall just after your pay day.

Aqua Classic Benefits & Features

Aqua Classic Card Features
Credit Limit IncreasesBy staying within your credit limit and making your minimum payment on time, you may be eligible for a credit limit increase every fourth month.
Transaction FeesNon-sterling transaction fees of 2.95%
Cash Withdrawal Fee3% fee at home and abroad (£3 minimum)
Initial Credit Limit as low as£250 to £1,200
Text Reminders to help you
  • Pay on time
  • Stay under credit limit
Annual Fee£0
  • 29.7% variable APR on purchases
  • 39.9% variable APR on cash withdrawals

Interest Charges: As a credit-builder card, the interest rates on the Aqua Classic are higher than average. The representative APR is 29.7% on the card, which means that 51% of the applicants will receive a 29.7% interest rate on their purchases. The other 49% of applicants will receive higher interest rates.

To give you an idea of the cost of carrying a balance on a credit-builder card, the chart below shows how much interest you'd pay in total when paying off £1,000 at 29.7%, depending on how much you can pay per month. You can see that carrying a balance can be very expensive; paying a bit more each month can really lower your total interest payments. In particular, by paying only the minimum due each month you'll end up paying twice as much in interest charges as the original balance.

Chart showing how much interest would be due while paying back a £1,000 credit card balance at 27.9%, by monthly payment amount

Grace Period on Over Limits: According to customer service, the Aqua card may offer you a grace period for overreaching your credit limit, at the discretion of the collections team. Cardholders who exceed the credit limit could receive a text message notification and the opportunity to fix the situation. This grace period is not guaranteed, especially for those with a history of exceeding the credit limit, not paying on time, etc.

If you're given a grace period, you'll have up to 48 hours to deposit money into your account to bring the balance under the maximum limit. By doing so you can avoid the £12 over-limit fee and a mark on your credit history. The grace period probably works better on a Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday than a Thursday/Friday/Saturday since transfers may not arrive until the next working day. For instance, if you go over the limit on a Friday, a payment made on Friday evening may not arrive by Sunday (your 48-hour grace period). In any case, make a transfer the same day during business hours for the best shot of bringing your account back under the limit within the grace period, as you can see in the following table. Be sure to sign up for text alerts and keep Aqua in the loop if your contact details change, so you can be contacted if you exceed your limit.

Day you Exceed Credit LimitPotential Grace Period ends on...Effectively need Account in order by...

Credit Limit Increases: Initial Aqua Classic credit limits fall between £250 and £1,200. A lower credit limit can be a bit safer for those looking to keep up with monthly payments, especially those trying to pay the full balance every month.

After three to four months with the card, Aqua may reevaluate your situation. By properly managing your account (i.e., paying on time and staying within your credit limit), your credit limit may be raised in your fourth month, an event which should also improve your credit score (especially once it hits £1,000). Every subsequent four months, your limit may be evaluated and raised again.

How does the Aqua Classic Card Compare to Other Credit Cards?

To better understand the value of the Aqua Classic Card you need to look at it in the context of other available options. We compared this card to other similar cards so you can see which may be more suitable for you.

Aqua Classic Card vs Marbles Credit Card

The Marbles Credit Card is another good credit card for those with an imperfect credit history; even those with CCJs or bankruptcy in their past will be considered. Marbles also offers a soft credit check eligibility checker before you apply—the FastCheck eligibility checker lets you see your likelihood of being accepted without leaving a mark for other lenders to see. Cardholders can benefit from text reminders and credit limit increases for proper account management.

Quick Takeaway: Both the Marbles card and the Aqua Classic are issued by New Day, have quite similar features and are solid credit-builder cards.

Aqua Classic Card vs Aqua Reward Credit Card

The Aqua Reward Credit Card is a great card for travelling abroad and earning rewards, all while improving your credit. Cashback is earned at a rate of 0.5% on spending, and the card won't charge any foreign transaction fees when you make purchases abroad.

Quick Takeaway: If your credit history allows, the Aqua Reward card comes with two great perks for credit builders: no FX fees and 0.5% cashback rewards; otherwise, the Aqua Classic is a solid card for working to establish a better credit record.

Aqua Classic Card vs Capital One Classic Card

The Capital One Classic card is a great card for those with a poor credit history in the UK. Capital One's QuickCheck tool uses a soft search of your credit history, which won’t leave a footprint for other potential lenders to see. Capital One virtually guarantees that your application will be accepted if you pass the pre-application QuickCheck (unless they find certain information of fraud prevention databases or can't verify your id).

Quick Takeaway: Those with a poor credit history may want to try the Capital One Classic because they can first check eligibility using the QuickCheck tool.

Aqua Classic Card vs Vanquis Card

The Vanquis Credit Card is another popular UK credit builder card. Unfortunately you need to pay for text reminders on the Vanquis card. If you don't think you need text reminders, this may not be an issue for you. Some cardholders may like the Repayment Option Plan —for a monthly fee, you can access features designed to protect your credit score, like the ability to miss a payment without repercussion or freeze your account without incurring any interest or making any payments. Given the not insignificant cost (around 1.2% per month), cardholders should think carefully before buying this feature, however.

Quick Takeaway: Since you need to pay for text reminders on Vanquis, we think the New Day cards (e.g., Aqua or Marble) may be slightly better for some people. However, those in need of extra payment help may be attracted to Vanquis's Repayment Option Plan—but there is a cost involved.

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