aqua Classic Card

By: Kate Anderson | Updated: 8th February, 2019.

Are you looking to build your credit but also keep it simple? It can be confusing when cards have promotional offers or introductory periods. The aqua Classic Card keeps it straightforward. Designed for those with bad credit histories, it offers manageable credit limits and not much else.

Great for: Building credit
3 stars question mark

The aqua Classic credit card is one of the more straightforward credit cards for bad credit, open to those with a bad credit history, money problems in the past or on low incomes, as well as the self-employed. Maximum initial credit limit is £1,200, although if you handle your card sensibly aqua may increase this pretty quickly. Extra features can also help you understand your credit score, and make every monthly payment.

Read full review >

CREDIT RATING req:

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

HIGHLIGHTS

  • No annual fee
  • Text reminders to remind on payments

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Your interest rate for purchases is 35.95% p.a. variable
With a representative 35.9% APR variable
If you borrowed (over 12 months) £1,200

what we like

  • No annual fee
  • Text reminders to remind on payments
  • ANNUAL FEE:

    £0
  • REPRESENTATIVE APR:

    35.9%
  • INTRO OFFER:

    N/A

KEY SCORES:

  • 1/5 Perks
  • 5/5Fees
  • 3/5APR

Bottom line

This is a card without any frills. Designed for those who have a history of bad credit, are self-employed or are on a low income, it keeps it simple by offering manageable credit limits and support to help you stay in control of your balance.

CREDIT RATING REQUIREMENT: Poor/No Credit

What I like about the aqua Classic Card

The aqua Classic Card is straightforward. There is nothing in its package that can trip you up or catch you out. Instead, here are its headline offers.

  • Manageable credit limits – The card has fixed credit limits so that cardholders can keep their spending under control. Designed for those who may be new to credit cards or may have had issues with debt in the past, the card has a starting credit limit from £250 to £1,200, depending on individual circumstances. There is the potential for your limit to be increased, as I cover in my next point.
  • Potential credit limit increase – aqua offers a potential credit increase on your fourth statement if you show good borrowing behaviour, which includes staying within your given credit limit and paying your balance off in full each month. This card is, therefore, one that may help you unlock more credit in the future.
  • Support services – The card comes with a range of support services designed to keep you on top of your borrowing. Services include text message reminders about your payments and credit balance, flexible payment dates, plus online management of your account.
  • Worth knowing – You are not eligible to apply for this card if you have held an aqua, marbles, Fluid or opus card in the past 12 months. There is also a 3% (minimum £3) charge on balance transfers, money transfer and cash transactions. Similarly, there is a 2.95% non-sterling transaction fee, something to be aware of if you are planning to use this card abroad.

Why trust me

I worked on the front line of personal-finance best buys for over eight years at one of the world’s largest research companies, Nielsen. I reported daily on the developments of the 2008 financial crisis and beyond, keeping up with the changing financial landscape and providing insights to all the major banks in the UK. I know the key players in the market and the tactics behind how they behave. All of which I will apply to highlight the best deals and give honest reviews to help you in your search.

What could be improved?

The aqua Classic Card does carry a comparably high APR. It is also worth taking note of the penalty fees.

  • High APR – Unsurprisingly for a card designed for those with bad credit histories, this one has a relatively high representative APR. While it is not the highest APR on the market for cards like this, some other cards offer the same services at a lower rate. Another thing to be aware of is that cash transactions have an even higher APR.
  • Other charges – Something else to take into account is the penalty fees attached to account mismanagement. As is standard, you will be charged a fee of £12 for late payments, returned payments or for going over your credit limit. As your credit limit will be relatively low when you take out the card, it is worth noting the penalties attached to going over your limit.

How does the aqua Classic Card offer stack up?

There are other credit rebuilder cards on the market that have a lower APR and have additional extras such as cashback or interest-free introductory periods. However, there is something to be said for keeping things straightforward. With the aqua Classic Card, what you see is what you get.

The aqua Classic Card credit score

aqua offers a personalised approval service and will consider your application even if you are self-employed, unable to prove a regular income, have had a county court judgement (CCJ) (other than in the past 12 months), work part-time, are a student, are new to credit, have been turned down for credit in the past, or are on a lower income.

Applicants must be aged 18 or over and UK residents, and not have any current bankruptcy proceedings against them.

How to apply

Applications can be made through the card provider’s website. aqua offers a ‘FastCheck’ eligibility service in which you answer a few questions and it conducts a ‘soft search’ to see how likely it is to be able to accept your application.

If you then proceed with your application, you will need to provide details of your income and outgoings, and personal details such as addresses, date of birth and gender. You will also need to provide details of a UK bank or building society account.

Is the aqua Classic Card right for you?

It depends on whether you are looking for any added extras. If you have a poor credit rating and are looking for a card that will help you rebuild your credit score and potentially give you access to increased credit in the future, then the aqua Classic Card is one to consider. However, if you are looking for a card that gives a more enticing package, then there are other cards on the market that may be more suited to your needs. The aqua Classic Card is designed to support you in using your credit card sensibly, and offers fixed credit limits, text reminders and a potential credit limit increase if you display good borrowing behaviour, but it does not offer any added extras such as 0% interest on purchases or cashback rewards.

See the Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit


The Motley Fool receives compensation from some advertisers who provide products and services that may be covered by our editorial team. It’s one way we make money. But know that our editorial integrity and transparency matters most and our ratings aren’t influenced by compensation. The statements above are The Motley Fool’s alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Lloyds, Tesco and Barclays.

Advertiser Disclosure