The Aqua Advance Credit Card bottom line
This card gives you everything you would expect from a credit rebuilder card, plus the potential to significantly reduce the interest you are charged. If you stay within your credit limit and make your minimum repayments on time, your APR will be reduced by 5% each year until your rate is as low as 19.9%, an APR typically unheard of among cards designed for those with a poor credit history.
Credit Rating Requirement: Poor/No Credit
What I like about the Aqua Advance Credit Card
There is a lot to like about this card: not only the ability to reduce your APR, but other little perks such as access to the free Aqua Credit Checker and no fees for using your card abroad.
- Staggered APR reduction – Cards designed for those with a history of poor credit typically have relatively high APRs. The Aqua Advance Credit Card starts at a level that’s in line with the APR of a lot of its competitors, but its unique advantage is that it gives cardholders the chance to gradually reduce their APR. If you stay within your credit limit and make your minimum payments on time each month, then your rate could be reduced by 5% after 12 months. If you keep up the good work, you could be looking at a 5% reduction every year for three years, until your rate is down to a level more on par with cards for consumers with solid credit.
- Overseas usage – The card charges no extra fees on purchases abroad, making it a good option to take on holiday. Typical fees for overseas usage on credit cards are usually around 3%.
- Aqua Credit Checker – Cardholders can also benefit from access to the Aqua Credit Checker. This is a free premium service powered by Noddle which offers free unlimited access to your credit report, personalised tips on how to improve your credit score, weekly alerts and access to money-saving vouchers and offers. The service helps give you a full picture of your credit rating and helps you to understand how best to manage your account, giving you the best chance of improving your credit score.
- Other benefits – The Aqua Advance Credit Card also starts with manageable credit limits of £250 to £1,200, although this could be increased in the future. Aqua is keen for cardholders to show good borrowing behaviour, so keeps its initial credit limit relatively low and offers the ability for you to change your payment date – though there’s not much specific detail on what this means or how often you can change it. Alongside the Aqua Credit Checker, you will also receive text reminders for payments and have the ability to manage your account online.
- 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.
What could be improved
While the Aqua Advance Credit Card does give cardholders the chance to reduce their interest rate, it starts with a high APR.
- High initial APR – There is no escaping the fact that while the card does offer a potential reduction in APR, the initial rate is relatively high – something to be aware of if you are not able to pay off your balance in full each month. Also, the reduction in APR is gradual and over several years, so you may not feel the benefits immediately. Another thing to note is that cash transactions carry an even higher APR.
How does the Aqua Advance Credit Card offer stack up?
There are other cards on the market that offer a lower starting APR or other offers such as cashback and reward points, but none will bring your APR down as low as 19.9%. The Aqua Advance Credit Card is unique in the APR that borrowers can reach in the long term, plus it has support services in the form of the Aqua Credit Checker and the added bonus of no fees when using the card abroad.
The Aqua Advance Credit 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.
The card does require applicants to be aged 18 or over and a UK resident. Applicants must also not have been registered bankrupt in the past 18 months or have any current bankruptcy proceedings against them.
How to apply
Applications can be made through Aqua’s website. You will be required to provide personal details, contact details, your residential status, employment status and information regarding your income. Applicants are also required to provide details of a current UK bank or building society account.
Is the Aqua Advance Credit Card right for you?
It depends whether you are happy to wait for the reward, because you will not feel the real benefit of this card for three years. You would also have to be relatively confident that you could stick within your credit limit and make your minimum payments each month for a long period of time in order to get that 5% annual reduction. If you are looking for a credit rebuilder card that is a long-term option then the Aqua Advance Credit Card is one to consider, because you could achieve one of the lowest APRs on the market. Added to that, you would benefit from support services, no fees for using the card abroad, and potential credit limit increases in the future.
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