The Vanquis visa credit card is designed to help people with bad credit repair their credit rating. The Vanquis bank is part of the Provident Financial group most known for their long history of door step lending. In keeping with the Provident policy of offering transparent loan agreements the group state that the credit card comes with no unpleasant surprises.
The card is not a secured credit card but an unsecured one which carries no annual fee. Its headline advertising states there is a typical APR of 39.9 % but this is very misleading. Generally speaking those who tend to end up with bad credit do not comb through all a cards terms and conditions with a fine tooth comb, so applicants may well not pay full attention to the actual range of APR’s, or even understand them if they do. The terms and conditions of the Vanquis credit card require great patience to peruse and are not easily transparent, particularly for anyone not reasonably well versed in financial products. In fact most bankers would find them confusing.
The late payment charges on the card are typical at £12. A £25 trace fee is applied if the card holder moves without advising Vanquis and needs to be traced to a new address. In addition each request for a statement copy will be charged at £5. The minimum payment which may well vary must be received by the due date shown on the statement which is also subject to variation. Both the APR you will be charged and the credit limit you will be given will be advised to you when the card is issued.
The terms and conditions then proceed in the most complicated way and are quite unlike anything usually seen on credit card agreements and include misleading undefinitive words such as ‘could’. They could well lead to card holders disputing transactions on their statements, but they should be aware that raising transactions as disputes will also carry a fee if ruled against.
On the first statement interest will be charged from the first transaction until the statement balance is paid off. If card holders miss this clause in the myriad of clauses they will indeed find themselves subject to a nasty surprise which isn’t mentioned in the headline blumph. If the statement balance is paid off in full you ‘could’ get ‘up to’ 28 days free credit. This is all rather ambiguous and cleverly side steps any actual commitment to this.
You can get ‘up to’ 56 days interest free credit on purchases providing you pay off two or more consecutive current statement balances in full by the due date: again a commitment free statement with up to 56 days being pretty meaningless. However the terms do clearly state that you will generally pay interest on top of interest.
The interest rate itself will be one of six tiers ranging from A – F. You will be informed of your personal APR once the account is opened. APRS start at 19.9% and then rise to 29.9%, 34.9%, 39.9%, 49.9%, and 59.9%.
I could not recommend the Vanquis visa credit card to anyone no matter how desperate they were to obtain credit as the terms and agreements which are attached to the card are a veritable minefield of exorbitant rates which are unclear, and changes and variations which lead to the complete opposite of the transparency their marketing states. The only people who should touch it are those who can guarantee to clear their balance in full every month.
The marketing is attractive enough to appeal to those needing a credit card that have bad credit but they would be far better served by using a secured credit card issued by a lender with clear conditions and lower interest rates, rather than subject themselves to the confusing and misleading terms of the Vanquis visa credit card.