First Credit Cards

First credit cards usually have a lower credit limit and a slightly higher APR than more generic credit cards. This is because the credit card provider has no credit history against which to assess the risk. Once a first credit card is used responsibly for a period of time (payments made in a timely manner and spending within the credit limit), cardholders should be able to shop around for more affordable credit.

 APPLY ONLINE

Credit Needed
Bad
  • The new low APR Credit Card - designed to help you improve your credit rating
  • Start with a manageable credit limit of £250 up to £1,000
  • You could build your Credit Limit up to £4,000 over time
  • Online servicing, a mobile app, SMS and email alerts
  • Must be a UK resident, aged 18 or over and not bankrupt
  • Not eligible to apply if you already hold or have applied for in the last 6 months any other credit card provided by Vanquis Bank
  • Purchases
    Intro
    n/a
    Minimum
    Credit Limit
    £250
    Maximum
    Credit Limit
    £1,000
    Cash Advance
    Rate
    34.7%
    APR
    Representative APR (variable)
    24.7%
    APR

Representative Example: Representative 24.7% APR (variable). Based on a credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 24.7% p.a. (variable)

 APPLY ONLINE

Credit Needed
Bad
  • Free Aqua credit checker - £250 - £1,200 Credit limit
  • Aqua accept people who have had CCJs or are on a low income
  • Aqua has said YES to over 750,000 customers in the UK
  • Text reminders, so you need never miss a payment
  • You must be a UK resident, without CCJs in the past 12 months
  • Must not have taken out a Marbles card in the past 12 months
  • Purchases
    Intro
    n/a
    Minimum
    Credit Limit
    £250
    Maximum
    Credit Limit
    £1,200
    Cash Advance
    Rate
    37.4%
    APR
    Representative APR (variable)
    27.4%
    APR

Representative Example: Representative 27.4% APR (variable). Based on a credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 27.45% p.a. (variable)

 APPLY ONLINE

Credit Needed
Bad
  • You'll start with an easy to manage credit limit up to £1,000, but you could get a credit limit increase after your 5th statement up to £4,000
  • Good for applicants who want to build or rebuild their credit rating*
  • Use your Aquis Credit Card to withdraw cash and shop everywhere you see the Visa sign worldwide
  • Friendly UK Customer Service call centre
  • Online & SMS Account Management
  • You must be a UK resident, aged 18 years or over
  • Not available to applicants who already hold a credit card provided by Vanquis Bank (Vanquis, Aquis, NEO, Black Diamond, Chrome)
  • Purchases
    Intro
    n/a
    Minimum
    Credit Limit
    £250
    Maximum
    Credit Limit
    £1,000
    Cash Advance
    Rate
    39.94%
    APR
    Representative APR (variable)
    29.8%
    APR

Representative Example: Representative 29.8% APR (variable). Based on a credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 29.84% p.a. (variable)

 APPLY ONLINE

Credit Needed
Bad
  • 0.5% cashback on all purchases (Up to a maximum of £100 per annum)
  • Free Aqua credit checker
  • No fees on your purchases abroad, making this the card for your holiday
  • Good if you are new to credit or rebuilding your credit score with previous County Court Judgements
  • Start with a credit limit of £250 - £1,200 and you could get an increase on your 4th statement
  • Aqua has said YES to over 750,000 customers in the UK
  • You must be a UK resident, without CCJs in the past 12 months
  • Must not have taken out a Marbles card in the past 12 months
  • Purchases
    Intro
    n/a
    Minimum
    Credit Limit
    £250
    Maximum
    Credit Limit
    £1,200
    Cash Advance
    Rate
    44.95%
    APR
    Representative APR (variable)
    34.9%
    APR

Representative Example: Representative 34.9% APR (variable). Based on a credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 34.95% p.a. (variable)

 APPLY ONLINE

Credit Needed
Bad
  • Free Aqua Credit Checker
  • Opportunity to reduce your APR to 19.9% simply for making payments on time and keeping to your credit limit
  • No fees on your purchases abroad, making this the card for your holiday
  • Aqua accept applications from people who have had CCJs or are on a low income
  • Aqua has said YES to over 750,000 customers in the UK
  • You must be a UK resident, without CCJs in the past 12 months
  • Must not have taken out a Marbles card in the past 12 months
  • Purchases
    Intro
    n/a
    Minimum
    Credit Limit
    £250
    Maximum
    Credit Limit
    £1,200
    Cash Advance
    Rate
    44.95%
    APR
    Representative APR (variable)
    34.9%
    APR

Representative Example: Representative 34.9% APR (variable). Based on a credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 34.95% p.a. (variable)

 APPLY ONLINE

Credit Needed
Bad
  • You'll start with an easy to manage credit limit up to £1,000, but you could get a credit limit increase after your 5th statement up to £4,000
  • Free fraud monitoring
  • Good for applicants who want to build or rebuild their credit rating
  • Must be a UK resident, aged 18 or over
  • Not available to applicants who already hold a Vanquis Bank issued credit card (Vanquis, Aquis, NEO, Black Diamond, Chrome)
  • Purchases
    Intro
    n/a
    Minimum
    Credit Limit
    £150
    Maximum
    Credit Limit
    £1,000
    Cash Advance
    Rate
    49.94%
    APR
    Representative APR (variable)
    39.9%
    APR

Representative Example: Representative 39.9% APR (variable). Based on a credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 39.94% p.a. (variable)

  • Start with an easy to manage credit limit of between £150 and £1,000 and you could get a credit limit increase every 5 months up to £3,500
  • Pay bills straight from your NEO Credit Card
  • Good for applicants who want to build or rebuild their credit rating
  • Never miss another payment with SMS alerts and reminders
  • Take a payment holiday for 1 month per year, after 6 months of responsible account use
  • You must be a UK resident, aged 18 years or over, and must not be bankrupt
  • Not available to applicants who already hold a credit card provided by Vanquis Bank (Vanquis, Aquis, NEO, Black Diamond,Chrome)
  • Purchases
    Intro
    n/a
    Minimum
    Credit Limit
    £150
    Maximum
    Credit Limit
    £1,000
    Cash Advance
    Rate
    49.94%
    APR
    Representative APR (variable)
    39.9%
    APR

Representative Example: Representative 39.9% APR (variable). Based on a credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 39.9% p.a. (variable)

 APPLY ONLINE

Credit Needed
Bad
  • Free Aqua credit checker
  • A credit limit of £100 to £300 that could increase after 4 months if you make your payments on time and keep to your credit limit
  • Applications accepted from people who have had CCJs or are on a low income
  • Aqua has said YES to over 750,000 customers in the UK
  • Personalised and practical tips on how to improve your credit score
  • You must be a UK resident, aged 18 years or over, not registered as bankrupt in the past 18 months, no CCJs in the last 12 months, and have not taken out a Marbles card in the past 12 months
  • Purchases
    Intro
    n/a
    Minimum
    Credit Limit
    £100
    Maximum
    Credit Limit
    £300
    Cash Advance
    Rate
    59.95%
    APR
    Representative APR (variable)
    49.9%
    APR

Representative Example: Representative 49.9% APR (variable). Based on a credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 49.94% p.a. (variable)

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What are Starter & First Time Credit Cards?

If you have never had credit before, there is no record to demonstrate that you can manage it effectively. There is no exam we can take to show that we know how to manage credit, and all too often individuals spend well beyond their means of repayment. This makes it very difficult for credit card issuers to supply credit to individuals without a credit history.

Yes, some people who go to university are able to access a credit card through their student bank account, but for around 50% of the population who do not attend university, getting access to credit (especially in the current economy) can be very difficult. This is where starter or first time credit cards come in. In many respects they are the same as other credit cards, but with one notable difference - higher interest rates.

Credit card issuers tend to price their products in a similar way to the insurance industry. If you are perceived to be at greater risk of default or bad debt, that will be reflected in the amount of interest that is charged on your account. Obviously it could be argued that this is counterproductive because additional interest heaped on those already less likely to pay makes it even harder for them to makes ends meet. However, credit card issuers want to be able to offer the best available products to people with the lowest risk profile and therefore they can't force those with great credit scores to suffer because of bad debt elsewhere on their books.

How do I get the Best Starter Credit Card?

To get the best starter credit card you need to make sure you compare thoroughly. Often first credit cards will come with eye catching gimmicks like a choice of design (a fluffy animal or a national flag). Don't let these gimmicks distract you. If you have to get an account with a higher rate of interest than is ideal, the best thing you can try to do is minimise its use where possible. So look at the numbers more than the plastic itself. All issuers will report back to one of the reference agencies, so there isn't necessarily a benefit in picking one card over another, other than for the fact that it offers you the cheapest credit possible. Obviously it is always advisable to pay off your balance in full if you can, but at least if you can't you'll be minimising what you pay. Undertaking this kind of analysis is often easiest done using a credit card comparison website, which details the small print very clearly, so marketing tricks don't cloud your judgement.

Of course, if you do have a credit history, it's likely that you'll find other more suitable credit cards. If you've struggled with credit in the past you might be looking for a bad credit credit card. Conversely if you have an established credit score and a good salary, you'll find that premier credit cards offer some of the best perks available (like purchase protection insurance & concierge service).

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