Best Aqua Credit Cards

Aqua specializes in credit cards for people with bad credit. We've analyzed Aqua's four cards and discuss the pros and cons of each, including fees and interest rates, to help you figure out which card may be best for you. Choosing the right card will depend on your individual situation.

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.

  • Learning
    What's the Aqua Credit Card Minimum Credit Limit? And other questions...
  • Summary
    Recap of Aqua Credit Cards
  • Choosing
    Comparison of Aqua Credit Card vs. Other Credit Card Alternatives

Aqua Credit Cards Review

In analyzing Aqua's credit cards, we considered features such as interest rates, rewards, foreign transaction fees and credit limits. The best card for you will depend on your own needs and circumstances. Note: recently Aqua has introduced a pre-eligibility check, so you can see your odds of being accepted before you apply—without hurting your credit record.

Best Aqua Card for Rewards and Travel: Aqua Reward

Consider this if you want a credit-builder card to use overseas and to earn rewards.

Purchase Rate (variable) 34.95%
0% on Purchases for up to n/a
0% on Balance Transfers for up to n/a
Initial Balance Transfer Fee 3%
FX Fee none
Cash Fee 3% (min £3)

The Aqua Reward Credit Card is Aqua's card with the most benefits. Besides rewarding cardholders with 0.5% cashback on purchases, the card doesn't charge [url="/foreign-transaction-fees-explained"]foreign transaction fees on non-sterling spending making it a great travel card. While this card is fee-free when used for purchases abroad, there is a cash fee so we wouldn't recommend taking out money from an ATM, whether at home or abroad, plus interest starts accruing immediately on cash withdrawals. There aren't very many rewards credit cards available to those with weaker credit scores, making this a unique card.

Cashback rewards are paid out once a year, so long as you have not been late paying at least the minimum payment each month and you've stayed within the credit limit. Demonstrating responsible management of your financial obligations in this way will also serve to improve your credit score over time. Rewards are capped at £100 each year, but we don't expect this limit will affect most cardholders, as it would take £20,000 of spending a year to accumulate £100 in cashback. As you'd expect, since Aqua will consider applications from those with a limited credit history or income, the credit cards carry a high interest rate on purchases. If you can pay off the full balance every month, you won't be affected by the high interest rates.

Pros
  • Earn 0.5% cashback on your purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee
  • Eligibility Checker
  • Free text alerts
Cons
  • Higher-than-average interest rates from 34.95% variable purchase APR
  • 44.95% variable cash APR

Best Aqua Card for Travel: Aqua Advance

Consider this if you want a credit-builder card to use overseas.

Purchase Rate (variable) 34.9%
0% on Purchases for up to n/a
0% on Balance Transfers for up to n/a
Initial Balance Transfer Fee 3%
FX Fee none
Cash Fee 3% (min £3)

The Aqua Advance is a good card for credit builders who will be going abroad, because it doesn't charge non-sterling transaction fees. That means you can use the card for purchases abroad without finding unwelcome FX transaction charges on your statement when you return home. (Most credit cards charge a fee around 3% of any transaction in another currency.) We don't recommend using the card for cash withdrawals, however, as you'll incur a 3% (£3 minimum) cash fee.

While the Aqua Advance interest rate on purchases is higher than average (34.9% variable), by staying within the credit limit and paying the minimum payment (or more) on time each month, your interest rate should drop by 5% a year for three years. After three years of this "good behaviour" your interest rate may be as low as 19.9%. Not only will you benefit from a lower interest rate, but a drop in interest rate is communicated to the credit agencies and should help your credit rating. If possible, pay more than the minimum each month, to limit interest charges and avoid debt from building up.

Pros
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Interest rate reduces by 5% a year for "good behavior"
  • No annual fee
  • Eligibility Checker
  • Free text alerts
Cons
  • Higher-than-average interest rates from 34.9% up to 59.9% (representative APR typical for a credit-builder card)
  • Cash APR 44.95% variable (or 54.95%, 59.95%, 64.95% or 69.95%)

Best Basic Aqua Card for Bad Credit or Low Income: Aqua Classic

Consider this if you have poor credit and want a credit card with free text alerts to help you stay on top of your finances.

Purchase Rate (variable) 35.95%
0% on Purchases for up to n/a
0% on Balance Transfers for up to n/a
Initial Balance Transfer Fee 3%
FX Fee 2.95%
Cash Fee 3% (min £3)

The Classic Credit Card is apparently Aqua's most popular card and will consider those with poor credit, including the self-employed, individuals who've had trouble with late payments in the past and those with a low income. Initial credit limits run between £250 and £1,200. 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—especially once the credit limit reaches £1,000.

Pros
  • Credit limit may increase with "good behavior"
  • No annual fee
  • Eligibility Checker
  • Free text alerts
Cons
  • Higher-than-average interest rates from 35.9% up to 59.9% (representative APR typical for a credit-builder card)
  • Cash APR 45.95% variable (or 54.95%, 59.95%, 64.95% or 69.95%)
  • 2.95% foreign transaction fees

Best First Aqua Credit Card for New to Credit: Aqua Start

Consider this if you don't have credit history and want your first card.

Purchase Rate (variable) 49.9%
0% on Purchases for up to n/a
0% on Balance Transfers for up to n/a
Initial Balance Transfer Fee 3%
FX Fee 2.95%
Cash Fee 3% (min £3)

The Aqua Start Credit Card is Aqua's entry-level card, with the least stringent income and credit history requirements. Initial credit limits are lower than average, between £100 and £300, giving you the chance to demonstrate good management of your financial obligations in a lower-risk situation. Aqua Start accounts are reviewed every four to six months; if you have stayed within your credit limit and made at least the monthly minimum payments on time, your credit limit is likely to increase at some point.

It is important to note that the interest rate is much higher than average on the Start card. Really, you shouldn't get this card if you'll ever need to carry a balance from month to month.

Pros
  • Can be a first credit card (applications with no credit history are considered)
  • Initial credit limits between £100 and £300
  • Potential to increase credit limit with good management of account
  • No annual fee
  • Eligibility Checker
  • Free text alerts
Cons
  • Cash APR 59.95% variable (or 69.95% or 79.95%)
  • Purchase APR 49.94% variable (59.95% or 69.95%)
  • 2.95% foreign transaction fees

Aqua Credit Card Minimum Credit Limit

Credit limits vary by type of Aqua Credit card. The Start, which is marketed as a first credit card for those without any UK credit history, offers the lowest initial credit limit range, from £100 to £300. The other three cars—Classic, Advance and Rewards—sport higher credit limits, as you can see in the following table. In general, by demonstrating responsible financial management of their account (e.g., paying on time and staying under the credit limit), a cardholder's credit limit may increase.

Initial Credit Limit Range
Aqua Initial£100to£300
Aqua Classic£250to£1,200
Aqua Advance£250to£1,200
Aqua Rewards£250to£1,200

Voluntarily Decreasing an Aqua Credit Card Limit

Sometimes, cardholders prefer to decrease their credit limit—perhaps to avoid accumulating an unmanageable amount of personal debt. In this case, you may request a lower credit limit by calling 0333 220 2691. You may be charged for this call, as it is an 03 number that is charged at a standard national rate. Please check what it will cost from your mobile or land-line provider before calling. Aqua lines are open from 8am-9pm Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm Saturday and 10am-6pm Sunday.

Aqua Credit Card Payments

You can make payments to Aqua via:

  • Direct Debit
  • Online
  • Post
  • GIRO
  • Standing Order
  • Telephone Banking Service

You can find more information on a particular Aqua payment method here.

Aqua Credit Card Payment—How Much Should You Pay?

While you are probably aware that making at least the minimum monthly payment is important for a good credit rating and to avoid fees and charges, it's also important to understand why you may want to pay more than the minimum amount due each month.

Basically, by paying only the minimum amount you will extend the time to become debt free and also pay more in interest charges. By paying a larger amount each month, you can become debt free sooner and also reduce to total interest paid over the life of the debt. Paying as much of your outstanding balance as you can afford each month is generally a good strategy.

The chart below shows how making larger monthly payments equates to lower total interest charges over the life of a £1,000 debt, assuming a 34.9% APR. Notice how only paying the minimum amount due each month (initially around £50 but declining each month, based on a percentage of the remaining balance) results in interest charges about 6X times larger than maintaining a constant £50 payment.

chart showing how larger monthly payments means less overall interest credit card charges
Paying More Each Month = Lower Overall Interest Charges

In the following chart, you can see paying more per month also means you'll be debt free (a lot!) sooner.

chart showing how larger monthly payments means paying down credit card balance sooner
Paying More Each Month = Pay Down Credit Card Balance Sooner

Be aware that, as a credit-builder company, Aqua's interest rates are higher than average, as you can see in the following chart. Try to pay down your full balance each month to avoid interest charges.

A graph comparing interest rates across the Aqua Start, Aqua Classic, Aqua Advance and Aqua Rewards Cards
Interest Rates on Aqua Credit Cards

Summary of Best Aqua Cards

Best For...CardPurchase APR (variable)Quick Overview
Rewards and TravelAqua Rewards34.9%
  • 0.5% cashback
  • No non-sterling transaction fees
TravelAqua Advance34.9%
  • No non-sterling transaction fees
Bad CreditAqua Classic35.9%
  • Interest rate may reduce by 5% a year
  • Credit limit may increase for "good behavior"
New to CreditAqua Start49.9%
  • Potential first credit card
  • Credit limit may increase for "good behavior"

Comparing Aqua Credit Cards to Other Similar Cards

If you want to know if any of the cards mentioned above are right for you, it can help to know what other similar cards are available. Below, we highlight a few cards that offer similar functionality, in order to help you make an informed decision.

For Bad or New Credit: Marbles Credit Card

Consider this if you have weak or poor credit.

Purchase Rate (variable) 34.9%
0% on Purchases for up to n/a
0% on Balance Transfers for up to n/a
Initial Balance Transfer Fee 0.03
FX Fee 2.95%
Cash Fee 3% (min £3)

The Marbles Credit Card is another good option for those with poor credit looking for a credit card. Free alerts can help users stay on top of their finances as they work to improve their credit rating. Before applying, you can use the FastCheck tool, an eligibility checker that tells you your likelihood of being accepted without harming your credit score. Eligibility checkers are useful to help you avoid hard searches (that occur when you apply) that result in a denied application.

If you have no credit history in the UK, this card can be useful for demonstrating that you can handle credit responsibly. This card does charge a high 34.9% variable interest rate, unsurprisingly, so try to pay down the full balance every month to avoid all interest charges. Like all credit-builder cards, be sure to pay the monthly minimum payment on time and stay within your credit limit. The minimum credit limit on the Marbles card is £250, but is reviewed after 3 months (i.e., you could get a credit limit increase on your 4th statement).

For Purchases Abroad: Creation Everyday Credit Card

Consider this if you want a card to use overseas.

Purchase Rate (variable) 12.9%
0% on Purchases for up to n/a
0% on Balance Transfers for up to n/a
Initial Balance Transfer Fee none
FX Fee none
Cash Fee none

The Creation Everyday Credit Card is a top-notch travel credit card for use overseas, particularly if you want to withdraw cash from ATMs—but only for those with a strong credit rating. The Everyday card doesn’t charge a fee on non-sterling purchases or cash withdrawals while you're overseas. The defining feature is the low 12.9% variable interest rate on non-sterling cash withdrawals. This feature is valuable because, like most credit cards, interest on cash withdrawals starts accruing immediately and can lead to significant charges when you get back from holiday if you're not careful. This card will save you in fees and interest charges on foreign use over the Aqua Rewards or Aqua Advance cards, but it does require a stronger credit history. Luckily, you can go through the Quick Eligibility Check to get an indication of whether or not you'll be accepted, without harming your credit score.

To Pay a Low Rate: AA Low Rate Credit Card

Consider this if you want a card with a low interest rate.

Purchase Rate (variable) 6.5%
Initial Balance Transfer Fee 3%

The AA Low Rate Credit Card is a good option if you might periodically need to carry a balance from month to month. The representative APR is only 6.5%, and should hold quite steady for the long term (vs. a 0% card whose interest rate will pop up to 18.9% or more when the promotional period ends). While you might need a stronger credit score to be eligible for the AA Low Rate card, AA does offer an eligibility checker so you can see your odds of being accepted before you apply, without harming your credit record.

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.