Tesco Bank Foundation Credit Card

By: Kate Anderson | Updated: 22nd October, 2019

Great for: Building and rebuilding credit
3.5 stars question mark

If you are looking for a credit rebuilder card that offers you more than just access to credit, the Tesco Bank Foundation Card does just that. It offers free access to Noddle Premium services and Tesco Clubcard benefits, as well as a comparatively low APR and manageable credit limits.

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CREDIT RATING req:

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

HIGHLIGHTS

  • No annual fee
  • Free service to help manage credit rating
  • Collect Tesco Clubcard points

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative rate 27.5% APR (variable)
Interest rate on purchases 27.5% p.a. (variable)
Assumed credit limit £1,200

what we like

  • No annual fee
  • Free service to help manage credit rating
  • Collect Tesco Clubcard points
  • ANNUAL FEE:

    £0
  • REPRESENTATIVE APR:

    27.5%
  • INTRO OFFER:

    N/A

KEY SCORES:

  • 2/5 Perks
  • 3/5Fees
  • 1/5APR

HIGHLIGHTS

  • No annual fee
  • Free service to help manage credit rating
  • Collect Tesco Clubcard points

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative rate 27.5% APR (variable)
Interest rate on purchases 27.5% p.a. (variable)
Assumed credit limit £1,200

Our bottom line

Are you looking for a credit rebuilder card that offers you more than just access to credit? The Tesco Bank Foundation Card does just that, with free access to Noddle Premium and Clubcard benefits as well as a comparatively low APR and manageable credit limits.

This card is the full package, with a reasonable credit rebuilder APR, access to support services from Noddle and the ability to earn Clubcard points.

Credit Rating Requirement: Poor/No Credit

What I like about the Tesco Bank Foundation Credit Card

The Tesco Bank Foundation Card is very much built to help those who have a history of bad credit really get their finances under control and understand how best to manage their borrowing. With additional support services from an outside company and a comparatively low APR, it lays a clear path towards improved credit scores.

  • Noddle Premium services – What makes this card stand out from other credit rebuilder cards is its partnership with Noddle. Card holders will gain free access to Noddle Premium services for three years. This allows you to view your credit report, credit score and financial history. Additionally, you will benefit from the Noddle Improve service, which provides information and tips on how to improve your credit score, and Noddle Alerts, which will send notifications when there are significant changes to your credit report. All of this helps to show the full picture of your credit rating and to help you understand how best to manage your account, giving you the best chance to improve your credit score.
  • Low APR versus competitors – In a market where APRs for those with bad credit ratings can range from 35% to 60%, the lower APR on this card makes it a competitive option.
  • Regular optional credit limit increases – With the provider obviously keen to teach borrowers good account management, card holders are rewarded with the regular opportunity to increase their credit limit if they display good borrowing practices such as staying within their credit limit and making their minimum payments. This all means that while the starting credit limit is £250 to £1,500, you could unlock more credit in the future.
  • Clubcard points – As it is under the Tesco Bank umbrella, the Foundation card offers Clubcard points on spending. You can earn 1 Clubcard point for every £4 spent at Tesco, and 1 Clubcard point for every £8 spent outside Tesco. Although there is an opportunity to earn rewards, in reality with the lower credit limits this is unlikely to make a significant difference to your finances. It is more of a ‘nice to have’ benefit.
  • Other benefits – Cardholders do get the standard 56-day interest-free period on purchases if they pay their balance in full and on time.
  • Worth knowing – In order for your application to be considered, you need to earn over £5,000 per year. Additionally, you are not eligible to apply if you already hold a Tesco Bank credit card or if you have applied for the Foundation card in the last month.

Why trust me


Kate Anderson
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

There are strings attached to any offer, and the Tesco Bank Foundation Card is no different. Here are a few aspects to be aware of.

  • Comparatively high minimum payments – The card has a monthly minimum payment of £25, which, compared to that for other cards on the market that come in at £10, is on the high side. Also, there is a £12 penalty fee for missed or late payments, so you should be confident you can make the minimum payments before you apply for this card.
  • Tougher qualifying criteria – While designed for those with bad credit histories, it does have certain qualifying criteria which, if you can’t reach them, will mean that your application is unsuccessful. As mentioned above, the bank requires you to earn over £5,000 per year to be considered for the card. Additionally, the bank states that you are more likely to be accepted if you haven’t received any county court judgements (CCJs) in the past 18 months and haven’t had an account closed in the past year due to missed payments. None of these criteria are prohibitive, but they are just something to be aware of.

How does the Tesco Bank Foundation Card offer stack up?

The Tesco Bank Foundation Card seems to offer above and beyond for a credit rebuilder card. It is right alongside its rivals in terms of APR and credit limits, but has the added benefits of Clubcard reward points and credit advice services from Noddle. It may ask a bit more of card holders in terms of monthly payments, but if you can be sure you can achieve those you will have a much greater chance of benefiting in the long run.

The Tesco Bank Foundation Card credit score

The card requires that you are 18 years old or over and a UK resident with an annual income of at least £5,000. While designed for those with a history of bad credit, the bank does say you will be more likely to be accepted if you haven’t received any CCJs in the past 18 months or had an account closed in the past year due to missed repayments.

How to apply

You can apply online and will receive a decision in under 10 minutes. The bank does require you to provide your address history for the past three years, details of your annual income and monthly take-home pay, and a bank account number and sort code.

Is the Tesco Bank Foundation Credit Card right for you?

If you are looking for a credit rebuilder card and are in the market for a little something extra, then the Tesco Bank Foundation Card is definitely one to consider. Whether it is right for you depends on whether you are confident that you can successfully make a minimum payment of £25 a month. If so, then you could potentially unlock free credit improvement services from Noddle, Clubcard reward points and access to a higher credit limit in the near future.

See the Best Credit Cards for BAD CREDIT


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