The Best Royal Bank of Scotland Credit Cards

Updated: 20th November, 2019.

Royal Bank of Scotland has a varied, but streamlined, portfolio which includes reward cards, balance transfer cards, travel cards and student cards. However, with this bank, it pays to be an existing customer. Its most attractive deals are only available to those who already bank with Royal Bank of Scotland

Credit card offers from our affiliate partners appear first and are ordered from highest rating to lowest, followed by other top-rated offers. You can read more about our ratings and page sort here. Offers from affiliate partners are marked with *

We’ve taken a look at the cards in the Royal Bank of Scotland portfolio, weighing up the introductory offers, fees and extra perks to select our favourites. Below are MyWalletHero’s top picks for the top Royal Bank of Scotland credit cards.

Great for: Low APR and no foreign transaction fees
4 stars question mark
Apply Now!

On Royal Bank of Scotland's Secure Website

* Affiliate partner

The Royal Bank Credit Card loses some ratings points because of what’s not there — rewards, 0% offers, etc. But thanks to the low standard APR and no foreign transaction fees, this is still a very solid card, especially for travelers.

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CREDIT RATING req:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Low APR of 9.9% for qualified applicants
  • No fees on foreign transactions
  • No balance transfer fees
  • Even lower balance transfer rate of 6.9% for qualified applicants
  • No annual fee
  • To apply, you must be 18+, earning at least £10,000 per year and a UK resident

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Purchase rate 9.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative APR 9.9% (variable)
Assumed credit limit £1,200
Annual fee £0

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. Click here to learn more about why and how we work with partners.

what we like

  • Low standard APR
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No balance transfer fees
  • ANNUAL FEE:

    £0
  • REPRESENTATIVE APR:

    9.9%
  • INTRO OFFER:

    N/A

KEY SCORES:

  • 1/5 Perks
  • 5/5Fees
  • 5/5APR

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Low APR of 9.9% for qualified applicants
  • No fees on foreign transactions
  • No balance transfer fees
  • Even lower balance transfer rate of 6.9% for qualified applicants
  • No annual fee
  • To apply, you must be 18+, earning at least £10,000 per year and a UK resident

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Purchase rate 9.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative APR 9.9% (variable)
Assumed credit limit £1,200
Annual fee £0

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. Click here to learn more about why and how we work with partners.

Great for: Racking up points
3 stars question mark
Apply Now!

On Royal Bank of Scotland's Secure Website

* Affiliate partner

Don’t skip over the Royal Bank Reward Credit Card! Like the NatWest Reward card, our rating is somewhat low on this card for good reasons. But also simliar to the NatWest card, the rewards yield for the Royal Bank Reward card is better than most rewards cards, and you’re not as limited as store-brand cards. And again, that annual fee is reimbursed if you have a Reward current account.

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CREDIT RATING req:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 1% rewards for spending at supermarkets, 0.5% for spending everywhere else
  • Special offers of 1%-15% rewards for some MyRewards retailers
  • The annual fee is refunded if you have a Reward current account

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Purchase Rate 18.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative APR 23.7% (variable)
Assumed credit limit £1,200
Annual fee £24

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. Click here to learn more about why and how we work with partners.

what we like

  • 1% rewards for spending at supermarkets, 0.5% for spending everywhere else
  • Special offers of 1%-15% rewards for some MyRewards retailers
  • The annual fee is refunded if you have a Reward current account
  • ANNUAL FEE:

    £24
  • REPRESENTATIVE APR:

    23.7%
  • INTRO OFFER:

    N/A

KEY SCORES:

  • 2/5 Perks
  • 1/5Fees
  • 5/5APR

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 1% rewards for spending at supermarkets, 0.5% for spending everywhere else
  • Special offers of 1%-15% rewards for some MyRewards retailers
  • The annual fee is refunded if you have a Reward current account

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Purchase Rate 18.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative APR 23.7% (variable)
Assumed credit limit £1,200
Annual fee £24

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. Click here to learn more about why and how we work with partners.

Great for: Building credit
3 stars question mark

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) offers eligible students a way to start and build a credit profile for future borrowing needs. This could be beneficial when you finish your studies and head into working life. With a competitive APR and manageable credit limit, the card also has no annual fee. To be eligible, you must have an RBS student current account, be 18+, a UK resident, and be enrolled in a university or college course.

Read full review >

CREDIT RATING req:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

HIGHLIGHTS

  • No annual fee
  • Manageable credit limit
  • Chance to establish good credit practices

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative rate 18.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 18.9% p.a. (variable)
Assumed credit limit £500

what we like

  • No annual fee
  • Manageable credit limit
  • Chance to establish good credit practices
  • ANNUAL FEE:

    £0
  • REPRESENTATIVE APR:

    18.9%
  • INTRO OFFER:

KEY SCORES:

  • 1/5 Perks
  • 5/5Fees
  • 3/5APR

HIGHLIGHTS

  • No annual fee
  • Manageable credit limit
  • Chance to establish good credit practices

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative rate 18.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 18.9% p.a. (variable)
Assumed credit limit £500

Royal Bank of Scotland Credit Cards

Royal Bank of Scotland’s credit card portfolio is a mirror of NatWest’s. As part of the same banking group, Royal Bank of Scotland has a focus north of the border, but it looks to serve customers from all around the UK. It has a rather colourful past, which includes being one of the main banking groups that had to be bailed out by the UK government following the 2008 financial crisis. However, since then it has focused on clearing up the legacy issues it faced and has been solidly profitable since 2017.

Its position as one of the largest banking groups in the UK means that its credit card offers are tailored towards rewarding existing customers, rather than trying to attract new ones with deals and benefits. You won’t find it chasing the top spot on the best buy tables, but that’s not to say there aren’t good deals to be found at Royal Bank of Scotland. It’s just the case that you can only unlock its most attractive deals if you are already part of the bank.

What does Royal Bank of Scotland do well?

Royal Bank of Scotland has a varied portfolio. Here you will find a balance transfer card, travel card, reward cards and even a student credit card. While other providers may muddy the water by giving you several options in one category, Royal Bank of Scotland keeps it simple with only one card focused on each credit card feature.

The lack of fees is a standout feature of a lot of Royal Bank of Scotland cards. Its balance transfer card doesn’t have a fee, which, considering the average balance transfer fee is around 3%, could be a significant saving if you are looking for a balance transfer offer. Similarly, other cards in the portfolio have no foreign transaction fees, which means that you can use the card abroad without incurring any additional costs. And you can even avoid annual fees on its reward cards if you have a corresponding current account with the bank.

That latter point — offering compelling deals to its existing customer base — is really where Royal Bank of Scotland’s strength lies. It looks after its existing customers and seeks to reward them through its credit card portfolio. For example, you can only apply for its balance transfer card if you hold a current account, savings account, credit card or mortgage with the bank. Its reward cards are available to all, but customers who have the corresponding current account have their annual fee rewarded. Meanwhile, its student card is only available to those who hold a Royal Bank of Scotland student account.

Where does Royal Bank of Scotland fall down?

Excluding its student credit card, Royal Bank of Scotland has a demanding eligibility criteria for its credit card portfolio, which may put some of its cards out of reach for the average borrower. Most of its cards have a minimum income requirement, while others require that you are already a customer at the bank.

It also has cards that carry annual fees. These are typically attached to reward credit cards. Sometimes the amount of rewards you earn during a 12-month period can offset the cost of an annual fee, but this will depend on your spending habits and is something you need to consider if you are thinking of applying for one of these cards. This won’t be an issue you if you are a Reward or Reward Black current account customer as your fee can be refunded if you take out the corresponding credit card.

The bank does offer introductory interest free periods, but these are by no means that top of the market. While they are a decent length of time, they aren’t competing for the top of the best buy tables. If you are after a long introductory period for a balance transfer you had best look elsewhere, and if you are after an introductory deal for purchases you will find yourself out of luck.

What will you find in Royal Bank of Scotland’s card portfolio?

Royal Bank of Scotland has competitive offerings if you are a customer. A lot of products are tailored to if you already bank with Royal Bank of Scotland. Meanwhile, if you are looking to avoid fees, then this may be the place for you. The bank’s balance transfer offering if strengthened by the lack of fees, and its standard card has the benefit of no foreign transaction fees. Likewise, there are no fees on its reward cards if you have a corresponding current account and you are looking at a series of attractive offerings.

What you won’t find with Royal Bank of Scotland cards is accessibility. Even if you are a customer at the bank, it also has minimum income requirements and expects applicants to have a good or excellent credit score.

How to apply

Applications can be made online and will take around 10 minutes. You will know if you have been accepted or not within five minutes. You will need to provide your addresses for the past three years, as well as information about your bank account, income and outgoings. Plus information regarding any existing products you hold with Royal Bank of Scotland.

For most of the cards (excluding its Student credit card), in order to successfully apply you need to have a good credit score and an annual income of at least £10,000. For its Reward Black card this increases to £15,000 per year.

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