By: Peter Stephens | Updated: 6th May, 2019.
On Royal Bank of Scotland's Secure Website
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.Read full review >
|Purchase rate||9.9% p.a. (variable)|
|Representative APR||9.9% (variable)|
|Assumed credit limit||£1,200|
The Royal Bank Credit Card offers consumers the chance to use their card abroad without incurring transaction fees. For spending abroad, it applies the Mastercard exchange rate and does not charge a non-sterling transaction fee. No annual fee means that the card could save a significant amount of money for consumers who travel internationally for business or pleasure.
However, a lack of rewards/cashback and the fact that there are no incentives such as a 0% interest period mean that the appeal of the card is reduced. There may be better options for consumers seeking to transfer a balance from other cards, although the lack of a balance transfer fee may mean it has a degree of appeal in this regard. As a result, it may be a good idea to use the Royal Bank Credit Card as a second card mainly for international rather than day-to-day usage.
I have been writing for The Motley Fool since 2013, and have experienced the booms and busts of the UK economy for a number of decades both as an investor and a consumer. I have held various senior management positions during my career, while also setting up my own manufacturing company in 1996. It was subsequently sold in 2007. I have a keen interest in consumer finance, as well as in the stock market.
It is rare to find a credit card that offers no fees on non-sterling transactions. This is the major selling point of the Royal Bank Credit Card. It could save consumers significant sums of money over the long run. With no annual fee, it may prove to be a perfect second credit card that is mostly used abroad and occasionally used when required in the UK. Since it has no cashback or rewards available, it may be worthwhile to use a different card on a day-to-day basis.
Similarly, for consumers who are looking to reduce the amount of interest they pay on existing balances held elsewhere, there could be better options available. While having no balance transfer fee may make the card relatively appealing, depending on the interest rate being incurred elsewhere, it is possible to obtain a 0% interest period on balance transfers with other cards while also benefitting from no balance transfer fee.
The card is available to all UK residents over the age of 18 who have a bank account. The minimum annual income requirement is £10,000. It takes five minutes to obtain a decision about whether you have been accepted for the card when applying online. If you are successful, the card should arrive within five to seven working days.
As with all cards, the interest rate quoted is representative. This means that it is offered to 51% of successful applicants, with the remainder being offered a different rate. Should the rate offered be lower than the rate being paid on an existing balance held elsewhere, it may be worth transferring the balance to the Royal Bank Credit Card, due to its lack of a balance transfer fee. However, better options specifically for balance transfers are available elsewhere.
Applications can be made online, by phone or in an RBS branch. Entering information for the application should take about 10 minutes online. Consumers will require information such as address details for the last three years, bank account details, as well as details of income, outgoings and employment. Information regarding any other credit cards from which a balance is set to be transferred will also be needed.
The card’s lack of a non-sterling transaction fee is its main selling point. With many people travelling abroad multiple times per year and credit cards being a common way to buy a variety of items while away on business or on holiday, the savings could soon add up. Since there is no annual fee, the card could also be a perfect back-up for consumers who regularly use cards that are not as widely accepted as Mastercard, such as American Express.
However, for consumers seeking to slash their interest payments on other cards or benefit from cashback/rewards, there are better options available elsewhere. Likewise, a lack of sign-up incentives from the Royal Bank Credit Card may reduce its appeal versus that of rivals.
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