Vanquis Visa Classic Credit Card

By: Kate Anderson | Updated: 12th February, 2019.

The Vanquis Visa Classic Credit Card may not have the most competitive APR on the market or any added benefits, but for those who get approved, it could be a great way to build their credit rating up.

Great for: Rebuilding credit
2 stars question mark

The Vanquis Classic Credit Card is a higher APR card without some of the features of other cards here. However, for those who qualify, this card can still be a great way to rebuild your credit score and use as a stepping stone to better cards in the future.

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


  • No annual fee
  • Manageable starting credit limit between £150 and £1,000
  • You could get a credit limit increase after your fifth statement, up to £4,000 if you manage your account well
  • Online and SMS account management


Representative 39.9% APR (variable)
Based on borrowing £1,000
Annual rate of interest 39.9% APR (variable)

Rates from 39.9% APR (variable) to 69.9% APR (variable) depending on individual circumstances.

what we like

  • No annual fee
  • You could get a credit limit increase after your fifth statement





  • 1/5 Perks
  • 5/5Fees
  • 1/5APR


The APR is one of the highest on the market, but the card could help rebuild a card holder’s credit score and provide access to a credit limit of up to £4,000 in the future.

Credit Rating Requirement: Poor/No Credit

What I like about the Vanquis Classic Credit Card

There are not many benefits to this card beyond potentially allowing those with a poor credit rating access to borrowing. Having said that, it offers manageable credit limits and the ability to increase the amount you can access… if you demonstrate good borrowing behaviour.

  • Manageable credit limits – The introductory credit limits on offer are £150 up to £1,000, depending on individual circumstances. This helps to enforce good borrowing behaviour by not giving card holders the temptation of a higher limit in the first instance.
  • Ability to increase your credit limit – If you stay within your agreed limit and make your monthly minimum payments you have the opportunity to increase your credit limit after your fifth statement. You can then qualify for further increases every five months thereafter, up to £4,000.
  • Other benefits – While the card does not offer an introductory 0% interest period on purchases, card holders can receive up to 28 days interest free on purchases if they pay their first balance in full, and up to a 56 days interest-free credit on purchases, provided they pay off two or more consecutive current statement balances in full.
  • Worth knowing – You are not eligible to apply for this card if you already hold a credit card issued by Vanquis Bank. Additionally, the card carries a cash-advances charge of 3% or £3, whichever is higher. As the main reason to choose this card is to demonstrate good borrowing practices, it would be wise to steer clear of cash advances if possible.

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

As already mentioned, there are significant drawbacks to this card. The combination of a high APR and the lack of introductory incentives means it lags behind some comparable cards on the market. And while it does offer access to credit, there are strict penalties in place if you exceed your limit or miss a payment.

  • High APR – The card has one of the higher APRs on the market among cards designed for those with a poor credit history or no credit history. If you are confident you can stick to the minimum payments and stay within your limit, the high APR shouldn’t be a problem. However, if you do fall behind on payments, it is worth noting the high amount of interest charged on any outstanding balances.
  • No introductory offers – This card has no additional benefits. There are no reward points or introductory interest-free periods. This makes sense in the context that the card is designed to help users build up a period of good borrowing behaviour, but it makes for a less enticing offer.
  • Penalty fees – Understandably, the bank has an array of fees in place if you do not make your minimum payments or if you exceed your credit limit. If you owe more than your credit limit at any time in the statement period, you will be charged £12. Likewise, if you miss your minimum payment, you will be charged £12. And if you move and do not inform the bank, then you will be charged a £25 tracing fee. These fees are worth highlighting, as, with the addition of a high APR, you could find yourself in difficulty if, for example, you do not stick to the agreed payments and limits.

The lack of introductory incentives and the high APR do not make for a stand-out package, but the card is not positioning itself as such. Spending incentives could lead to poor borrowing behaviour, and the card is designed to help improve credit ratings and give cardholders a stepping stone to more exciting offers in the future.

How does Vanquis Classic Credit Card offer stack up?

This card is not going to top the best-buy tables any time soon. With one of the higher APRs and no additional rewards, it compares poorly with other cards available from the likes of Barclaycard, Tesco and Aqua. However, it is there as a launch pad for access to future card offers and does provide a method for obtaining an increased credit limit.

The Vanquis Classic Card credit score

The bank says that applications are assessed on merit and that you can be considered even if you have been turned down in the past.

How to apply

You can apply online through the bank’s site with no risk to your credit rating. The bank promises a response within 60 seconds or, if they have any questions regarding your application, you will receive a call within 15 minutes.

You will need to be a UK resident over the age of 18 and provide your address and residential status, alongside your employment status. The application does require a level of personal financial detail, including household income, monthly outgoings, number of dependants and any known changes to your income in the coming six months.

Is the Vanquis Classic Credit Card right for you?

If you are solely looking for a card that will help you improve your credit score and give you access to future credit then, in my opinion, this card could help you achieve that. It depends on whether you think you can make the minimum payments and stick within your credit limit, because the penalties for not doing so are high, and there are other credit rebuilder cards on the market that have a less punishing APR.

See the Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit

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