Aquis Credit Card by Vanquis: A Good Fit for Your Needs?

Aquis Credit Card by Vanquis: A Good Fit for Your Needs?

A tool to build a strong credit rating when you stay within your credit limit and pay your monthly minimum payment on time.

Good for

  • Can be a great tool to improve your credit rating
  • You'll start with an easy to manage credit limit up to £1,000
  • Credit Limit increases every 5 months, up to £4,000 subject to good account management
  • SMS and Online Account Management

Bad for

  • Carrying a balance month-to-month

Editor's Rating

4.0/5.0

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.

As a credit builder card, the Aquis Credit Card by Vanquis can be used to rebuild a poor credit rating if you've had difficulty in the past or are new to credit. By using the card sensibly, staying under your credit limit and paying the monthly minimum payment on time each month, you may see your credit score improve.

Aquis Credit Card Review

The Aquis Credit Card by Vanquis can be a great tool for those who are new to credit or have had some problems in the past and now want to build or rebuild their credit rating. By showing you can manage a credit card sensibly (e.g., paying on time and staying under the credit limit), a cardholder's credit score should improve over time.

The minimum credit limit on an Aquis card is £250, which is higher than the £150 minimum limit on Vanquis's Classic card. The Aquis may be a better option for you if you want a higher starting limit. By showing good account management you could get a credit limit increase after your 5th statement and every 5 months after that, up to a maximum limit of £4,000.

The Aquis variable APR of 29.8% on purchases is around 10 percentage points lower than the Vanquis Classic Visa and just a touch higher than the Chrome Credit Card, which is Vanquis's lowest APR offering.

If you get an Aquis card, it's advisable to pay down as much of your balance each month as possible to avoid significant interest charges. While the Aquis's interest rate of 29.8% is on par with other credit builder cards, it is still higher than average and interest charges can build up if you carry over a balance each month.

The Aquis card offers features such as Contactless (for transactions up to £30) and 24/7 full service online banking, plus the eVanquis apps for iPhone and Android let you access your account at all times from your phone or tablet.

Applying is pretty quick and easy; you can apply via mobile, tablet or PC. Unfortunately there is no eligibility check to see your likelihood of being accepted before submitting an application. A pre-application check is particularly useful for those worried about their credit rating to help avoid an unnecessary hard credit check and a rejected application (which could make it even harder to get credit in the future).

Aquis Credit Card Benefits & Features

Aquis Credit Card Features
Initial Credit LimitBetween £250 and £1,000
Credit Limit IncreasesBy staying within your credit limit and making your minimum payment on time, you may be eligible for credit limit increases every fifth month up to £4,000 subject to good account management
Transaction FeesNon-sterling transaction fees of 2.99%
Cash Withdrawal Fee3% or £3, whichever is greater
Annual Fee£0
APR
  • 29.8% variable APR on purchases
  • 29.8% variable APR on cash withdrawals

Aquis Interest Rate (APR): To determine your interest rate, Vanquis uses risk based pricing that takes into account information on your application form and from credit reference agencies. At least 51% of applicants will receive the representative Aquis purchase APR of 29.8%. The other 49% of applicants may receive a higher interest rate, anywhere from 29.8% up to 59.9%. Cash representative rates also start from 29.8% variable APR.

Aquis Credit Limits and Credit Increases: The initial credit limit on an Aquis credit card is between £250 and £1,000, depending on your individual financial situation, details from your application and your credit history. After your 5th statement and every 5 months thereafter you may receive a credit limit increase, up to a maximum of £4,000 subject to good account management.

While some cardholders find a higher credit limit can be useful for purchasing power and possibly improving their credit score, a higher credit limit is not always desirable. For example, if you're on a strict budget and would rather not have the temptation of a higher limit you can reject the increase or even request that Vanquis lower your limit. Remember, however, that exceeding the credit limit would result in default fees and may harm your credit score, potentially making it more difficult to get credit in the future.

Withdrawing Cash with an Aquis Credit Card: You can withdraw cash with the Aquis card, but each cash withdrawal incurs a fee of 3% of the transaction or 3%, whichever is greater. Getting foreign cash from an ATM abroad incurs a further 2.99% non-sterling fee (more on that below). Withdrawing cash using a credit card is expensive and we don't generally recommend it for three reasons:

  • Cash interest rates are higher than purchase rates
  • Interest on cash withdrawals is charged immediately (there is no grace period)
  • Each cash withdrawal incurs a fee of 3% of the transaction (minimum £3)

Using Aquis Abroad: The Aquis card can be used abroad, with transactions incurring a 2.99% non-sterling fee when you withdraw foreign cash from an ATM, paying for a restaurant or hotel in a local currency, etc. This fee is typical on all but special travel cards.

In addition to the non-sterling FX fee, any foreign cash withdrawals from an ATM abroad would incur an additional 3% (£3 minimum) cash withdrawal fee—this cash fee is charged in addition to the 2.99% non-sterling fee. Not only do you incur these fees but interest is charged immediately on cash withdrawals—generally speaking, using a credit card is an expensive way to get travel cash.

Type of Non-Sterling Transaction AbroadFees
Foreign Cash Withdrawals3% (£3 min) + 2.99%
Foreign Credit Card Transactions (i.e., purchases)2.99%

Minimum Monthly Payments: To give you a general idea of what to expect to pay each month, the Minimum Repayment is calculated as the highest of:

  • 1. Depending on your APR, one of 3.5%, 4.5% or 5% of the balance owing on your Account as at the statement date and any amount by which your Account is in arrears; or
  • 2. Any interest/minimum finance charge, default charges and any account maintenance fees added to your Account since your last statement plus any arrears due on your Account plus 2.3% of the remaining balance; or
  • 3. £5.

If you don't make additional purchases on your card, the minimum monthly payment will drop over time (as the balance falls) until it hits the £5 minimum payment floor. As we discussed in our article Here's How the Minimum Payment Floor on Your Credit Card Could Cost You Hundreds of Pounds, paying only the £5 minimum payment floor can prove quite costly over the long term in terms of interest charges. In fact, in the example below, a cardholder paying only the minimum each month would delay paying off a £500 debt by 7 years, and incur around £300 more in total interest charges over time versus a cardholder who consistently pays £50 per month.

Cost of Borrowing with Aquis

Illustrative example: For a purchase of £500 on your credit card
Monthly PaymentMinimum Payment each month£50 each month
Without taking into account any introductory rates, how much interest will you be charged in the first year?£119£77
How much interest will you be charged in the second year?£90£0
How long would it take to clear the balance?8 years, 1 month1 year, 1 month
chart showing total interest charges paid while paying down a £500 credit card debt on the Aquis credit card with minimum monthly payments and higher monthly payments
Higher Monthly Payments = Lower Total Interest Charges

The above example assumes the following: The transaction takes place on 1st January and you make no further transactions. Your statement is produced on the 1st of each month and you always make the payment each month on the 15th. Your statement is produced 31 days after you make the purchase.

Bottom Line: If you are new to credit or had some problems in the past, you may still be eligible for Vanquis's Aquis credit card. Get the most out of the card by always paying on time and staying within the credit limit to try to improve your credit history. And pay as much as you possibly can each month to limit interest charges.

How does the Aquis Credit Card Compare to Other Credit Cards?

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

Aquis vs Marbles Credit Card

The Marbles card is a credit builder card for those with a very limited credit history, or poor credit. Even individuals with CCJs or bankruptcy in their past will be considered. The Marbles card representative APR is 34.9%.

Quick Takeaway: The Marbles card has a higher representative APR, but on either card we'd recommend paying off the full balance each month if you can.

Aquis vs Aqua Classic Credit Card

Aqua's most popular card, the Classic, will consider those with poor credit, including the self-employed, people who've paid late in the past and those with low income. Initial credit limits run between £250 and £1,200, with a representative APR of 29.7%. Responsible management of your account (i.e., making payments on time and staying within the credit limit) can lead to credit limit increases, which can in turn improve your credit rating.

Quick Takeaway: The Aqua Classic charges a nearly identical APR, but has the advantage of a pre-application eligibility check.

Aquis vs Vanquis Classic Credit Card

Vanquis's Classic credit card, the Classic, will consider applicants with no credit history, poor credit history or are unemployed. Initial credit limits are lower, between £150 and £1,000, with a representative APR of 39.9%. Potential applicants can use the pre-application eligibility checker to see their likelihood of being accepted before they apply (useful to help avoid an unnecessary hard credit check and a rejected application).

Quick Takeaway: You're likely to pay a higher interest rate with the Vanquis Classic, but you may be more likely to be accepted by the Classic if you have a worse credit rating; also, you may be attracted by the Classic's eligibility checker too see the likelihood of being accepted before you apply.

Aquis vs Chrome Credit Card

The Chrome credit card, also by Vanquis, is also designed for those with bad credit who want to rebuild their credit rating. Initial credit limits are between £250 and £1,000, with a representative APR of 29.3%. There is no eligibility checker with the Chrome card.

Quick Takeaway: You're likely to get very similar interest rates with these two cards. Unfortunately, neither one offers a pre-application eligibility check.

Comments and Questions

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.