Bad Credit Cards Online | Direct Lenders & Affinity Partners

Bad Credit Cards Online
About…

Credit cards for bad credit are great options for people new to borrowing and to those looking to rebuild a damaged score through past debts. Making regular monthly repayments on time shows on your record that you can be trusted and unlike loans you aren’t forced into making lump repayments that can be problematic when money is tight. If you can however afford to clear your balance before the due date then you won’t have to pay any interest (when making purchases only). It is the case that starting limits are often small, but these are usually reviewed every 4 to 6 months with select providers and can soon grow into the thousands (especially with NewDay).

For many years, Capital One and Vanquis Bank were the major subprime players in town. However, Vanquis has recently lost ground and been replaced by NewDay who are mostly known for their Aqua range. Poor credit card rates are often packaged at around 35% APR (often variable to 60/70%). When you see rates closer to 28%, you’ll need to have a fairer score. It is uncommon to find 0% balance transfer and purchase deals. You have to bite the bullet and rebuild slowly to one day lead you to those tempting prime offers. Whatever you do, make sure that a direct debit clears your minimum payment and make extra payments to avoid the card debt trap.

Affinity Partnerships…

For this comparison we have explored the direct lenders and also any affinity partners of those lenders. Affinity means that a card would be branded and styled to the partner’s taste, but it is the lender (the issuer) that is funding and running all aspects of the product such as customer support and the management through logins. An affinity partner would usually offer a discount or some kind of loyalty points scheme. Capital One is the most commonly used subprime partnership. Vanquis have recently closed their own releases that included Argos and Granite. It is worth noting that you can only be using the same issuer once throughout a contract.

Brand New Credit Card Lenders & Partnerships 2019

We are still fresh into 2019 and so there have been no newcomers thus far. We’d expect this to change soon, since there was plenty of activity across 2018. Here we saw 118 118 Money and Tandem (Journey) each launch new subprime cards. Fluid (although dating back to 2011) relaunched in 2018 after NewDay replaced MBNA. Thimbl was an affinity partnership that saw Digitonomy team up with Capital One. Heading back further to 2017, NewDay launched Opus and teamed up with Amazon for Classic. And then we had Asda who followed in the footsteps of Tesco (Foundation) with their Start product. Barclaycard’s Forward appears new, but this is merely a renaming of Initial.

Compare Bad Credit Cards: Direct Lenders 2019 (12 Brands)

APR & Variable Range

34.90%

27.54% (27.5%-39.9%)

34.94%

34.95% (34.9%-59.9%)

35.95% (35.9%-59.9%)

34.95% (34.9%-59.9%)

49.94% (49.9%-69.9%)

39.94% (39.9%-69.9%)

£14 (14%-1680%)

£3 (14.4%-360%)

£8 (42.7%-960%)

24.90% (24.9%-39.9%)

34.95% (34.9%-69.9%)

39.95% (39.9%-69.9%)

29.50% (29.5%-59.9%)

29.94% (29.9%-59.9%)

29.84% (29.8%-59.9%)

Key Feature

0% purchases (3m)

Clubcard points

5% drop /yr (15% max)

0.5% cashback (£100 /yr)

0% transfers (9m) (4% fee)


Sums (+Return)

£150 to £1200 (S)

£250 to £1500 (S)

£200 to £1500 (S)

£250 to £1200 (S)

£250 to £1200 (S)

£250 to £1200 (S)

£100 to £300 (S)

£150 to £1000 (£4000)

£1200 (S)

£250 (S)

£225 (S)

£150 to £1200 (S)

£250 to £1200 (S)

£250 to £1200 (S)

£250 to £1000 (£4000)

£300 to £2000 (S)

£250 to £1000 (£4000)

Traffic Rank (Alexa)

#216

#417

#1121

#2527

#2527

#2527

#2527

#8127

#16,649

#16,649

#16,649

#19,679

#27,984

#35,471

#48,161

#50,474

3.8m

Compare Bad Credit Cards: Affinity Partners 2019 (8 Brands)
Brand/Product (Issuer)

1) Amazon Classic (ND)

2) Asda Money Start (CFS)

3) Very (C1)

4) Littlewoods (C1)

5) ThinkMoney (C1)

6) Ocean Finance (C1)

7) Luma (C1)

8) Thimbl (C1)

APR & Variable Range

29.95% (29.9%-34.9%)

34.90%

34.94%

34.94%

39.94%

39.94%

35.94%

39.94%

Key Feature

0% purchases (3m) & £20

1% cashback (0.2% other)

£10 discount

£10 discount


Sums (+Return)

£500 to S

£100 to S

£200 to £1500

£200 to £1500

£200 to £1500

£200 to £1500

£200 to £1500

£200 to £1500

Traffic Rank (Alexa)

#5

#159

#372

#1395

#8690

#11,794

#54,213

#78,588

*Notes:
~ Alexa.com: Rankings are sorted by Alexa UK ranks. Sites with much less traffic can only manage a global rank that is used next. Traffic rankings are however skewed here since a wide range of financial products may be available (as seen with Tesco). Many visitors are also seeking prime options (Barclaycard, Tesco etc). The rankings are even less accurate for affinity since people don’t generally head on to retailer sites like Amazon or Very to look for a credit card. So whilst the traffic ranks don’t always give a good estimate of market share, the ranks at least show you which companies have the biggest audience to pitch their products to.
~ Characters used: ❌ = Not available. S = Subject to status. This means that there is no determined maximum with future limits being determined by a customer’s management and overall profile score. In the affinity section the initials are used: C1 = Capital One, CFS = Creation (Financial Services) and ND = NewDay.
~ Comparison sections: The extra section used above was “Key Feature”. This could be a 0% rate, cashback etc.
~ Eligibility: Every featured company targets credit building. It is Aqua, Capital One and Vanquis that are however more likely to accept poor credit credit card applicants. This would be less so the case with Barclaycard and Tesco through their subprime products. Their prime cards were of course skipped altogether. The usual variation between subprime and near-prime appears to relate to CCJs and recently missed payments. Most lenders provide eligibility checkers pre-application and so you usually know if you’re going to qualify before being fully searched.
~ Pricing: The specific standard purchase rates are noted alongside the rounded variable range in brackets (if applicable) such as 39.94% (39.9%-49.9%). Capital One (and partners) display variable besides their rates, but they are currently fixed. Variable with them may relate to potential future changes.
~ Recent closures: All of the sector closures have involved Vanquis noting NEO and Original. Then there is Black Diamond and XYLO that they issued. The most recent closures were Argos and Granite.
~ Specific lender notes: 118 118 Money’s card doesn’t charge interest, but instead has a monthly fee. This is across 3 such tiers and so these were split above. This fee is payable regardless of the balance being clear.

Feedback: Best Reviews
Feefo
Past 12 Month Data

1) 118 118 Money
96% Rated | 590+ Reviews (12m)
118 118 Money

2) Ocean Finance
94% Rated | 900+ Reviews (12m)
Ocean Finance

3) ThinkMoney
94% Rated | 630+ Reviews (12m)
ThinkMoney

Reviews
All-Time Data
1) Amazon
96% Rated | 11,650+ Reviews
Amazon

2) Tesco Bank
72% Rated | 290+ Reviews
Tesco Bank

3) Asda Money
51% Rated | 1120+ Reviews
Asda Money

Trustpilot
All-Time Data (Cards-only)
1) Vanquis Bank
87% Rated | 4260+ Reviews
Vanquis Bank

2) Marbles
83% Rated | 1880+ Reviews
Marbles

3) Aqua
75% Rated | 2810+ Reviews
Aqua

Trustpilot
All-Time Data (Mixed)
1) 118 118 Money
90% Rated | 2550+ Reviews
118 118 Money

2) Vanquis Bank
87% Rated | 4260+ Reviews
Vanquis Bank

3) ThinkMoney
85% Rated | 1290+ Reviews
ThinkMoney

*Note:
Most companies are listed on Trustpilot and so we displayed a cards-only rank as well as a mixed rank (general financial, retail etc). This couldn’t be done with the other portals due to lack of coverage.

Pricing: Cheapest Credit Cards with Bad Credit (Direct)
1) Tandem Journey
= 24.90% (24.9% to 39.9%)
Tandem

2) Tesco Foundation
= 27.54% (27.5% to 39.9%)
Tesco Bank

3) Chrome
= 29.50% (29.5% to 59.9%)
Chrome

Top Rewards (Direct)
1) Aqua Advance
= 15% discount after 3 years (to 19.95%)
Aqua

2) Fluid
= 0% balance transfer for 9 months (4% fee)
Fluid

3) Barclaycard Forward
= 0% purchases for 3 months
Barclaycard

Pricing: Cheapest Credit Cards with Bad Credit (Affinity)
1) Amazon Classic
= 29.95% (29.9% to 34.9%)
Amazon

2) Asda Start
= 34.90%
Asda Money

3) Littlewoods & Very
= 34.94%
LittlewoodsVery

Top Rewards (Affinity)
1) Amazon Classic
= 0% purchases for 3 months & £20 gift card
Amazon

2) Asda Start
= 1% Asda cashback & 0.2% elsewhere
Asda Money

3) Littlewoods & Very
= £10 brand discounts
LittlewoodsVery

Weekend Credit Card Customer Support

24/7…

~ Barclaycard: 24/7 | Quotes: Mon/Sun (8am-11pm)
~ CapitalOne, Littlewoods, Luma, Thimbl, Very: 24/7 | Quotes: Mon/Fri (9am-5pm)
~ OceanFinance: 24/7 | Quotes: Mon/Thu (9am-8pm), Fri (9am-4pm)
~ TescoBank: 24/7

7/7…

~ 118118Money: Mon/Sun (8am-8pm)
~ Amazon: Mon/Sun (8am-9pm)
~ Aqua, Fluid, Marbles, Opus: Mon/Fri (8am-9pm), Sat (9am-5pm), Sun (10am-6pm)
~ AsdaMoney: Mon/Fri (8.30am-8pm), Sat (9am-6pm), Sun (10am-4pm)
~ Tandem: Mon/Fri (8am-10pm), Sat/Sun (8am-8pm)

6/7…

~ Aquis, Chrome, VanquisBank: Mon/Fri (8am-8pm), Sat (9am-5.30pm)

Notes:
In select cases, there are differing shorter times for new quotes as shown above. This isn’t a big issue since it usually takes 7 to 10 days before you receive your card after approval anyway. There are a few slight partnership variations. Amazon’s NewDay support hours are extended and Ocean’s application times differ to their issuer since they have their own team for this, but their issuer then deals with ongoing customer support.

Last Update: March 17th, 2019