Credit Card Provider of the Year 2009 Credit Card Provider of the Year 2010 Credit Card Provider of the Year 2011

FAQ

Borrowing with a Credit Card

Is a credit card suitable for me?

A credit card gives you the flexibility to make repayments to suit your monthly expenditure. In a month when money may be short and you need to meet other expenses, for example, an unexpected bill, you could pay the minimum payment on your card for the following month.

Before you make purchases on a credit card, always think about whether you can afford at least the minimum payment. We would recommend that you can afford more than the minimum payment. If you can only make the minimum payment each month, you should think about whether a credit card is really suitable for you.

A credit card is not suitable for long term borrowing or financing existing debt. If you are looking to purchase a large item and repay over a longer period of time a personal loan may be more suitable.

A credit card has facilities that make it more flexible than cash and cheques when making purchases. It is a safer way to purchase goods than carrying cash. In today’s world it is almost a necessity to be able to purchase goods online to get the best deals and more conveniently shop around. When travelling, hotels and car hire companies require you have a card to secure a deposit. If you require cash, it is more expensive to take cash out on your credit card and in particular if you use your card abroad, rather than using travellers cheques.

What does a credit card do?

You can use your card anywhere to purchase goods or services whether on the high street or online in the UK or anywhere in the World, wherever the Visa symbol is displayed. You can also use your card in an ATM to take out cash either in the UK or abroad. A credit card allows you to purchase goods or services immediately provided that you have enough available credit on your card for the purchase. You will receive statements showing your transactions, fees, charges and any payments. You will have to pay at least the minimum payment by the date which will be shown on your statement.

How long do I have access to the credit?

Provided you meet at least the minimum payment on time each month, and stay within your credit limit, you will have continued access to the credit we provide to you.

We will always reserve the right to decrease your credit limit dependent upon on how you use your card and your financial circumstances, including any other credit facilities you may have with other lenders.

We also reserve the right to close your account and if we do this we will always give you at least two months' written notice. Please refer to the terms and conditions of your account for further information on when or why this might happen.

How much will you lend to me?

When opening your account, credit limits start at £250 and will be no more than £1,000, depending on your credit history, financial circumstances and how you are managing your current credit facilities with other lenders.

Shortly after opening your account, we will write to tell you what your credit limit is. Depending on how you manage your account and credit with other lenders, this amount may change, and we will tell you if it does.

Why do you have more than one interest rate on my account?

We have two rates which apply to your account; one for purchases and one for cash advances and credit card cheques. We appreciate that you will normally only want to use your credit card for purchases and therefore, this is the lower (purchase) rate. Whilst, the card is not predominantly designed as a cash facility, we understand that from time to time you may need extra cash and this is charged at a cash rate which is higher than the rate for purchases.

How much will it cost me?

Illustrative example For a purchase of £500 on your credit card based on 29.8% APR
Monthly Payment

Minimum Payment each month

£50 each month

Without taking into account any introductory rates, how much interest will you be charged in the first year?

£124

£77

How much interest will you be charged in the second year?  

£103

£0

How long would it take to clear the balance?

10 years, 10 months

1 year, 1 month

The above example assumes the following: The transaction takes place on 1st January and you make no further transactions. Your statement is produced on the 1st of each month and you always make the payment each month on the 15th. Your statement is produced 31 days after you make the purchase.

If you can only make the minimum payment each month, it will take you longer and cost you more to clear your balance.

To reduce the amount of interest charged, we recommend you pay as much as you can, when you can and not just the minimum payment.

What is Repayment Option Plan?

Repayment Option Plan provides some of the tools you might need to protect your credit score in certain difficult financial circumstances, allowing you to freeze your account for up to 24 months, take a Payment Holiday and use a Lifeline every 12 months and to receive Text Alerts to help you manage your account. Click here to find out more.

Your application

I've been turned down for credit before, will that affect your decision?

Not necessarily. Your credit history needn’t mean you get turned down. Applications are considered on merit and we’ll still consider you if you’ve been turned down in the past.

How can I apply?

Apply online by filling in our application form.

Will I be charged for applying for an Aquis Visa Card?

No, it costs nothing to apply, and if accepted there is no annual fee.

How long will it take to get a response?

If you apply online you should get a response within one minute.  If we need to talk to you about your application, we’ll normally call you within 15 minutes of your application being submitted. If we can’t speak to you then, we’ll continue to call you over the next weeks. 

If you reply by post to a direct mail application and we need to speak to you about your application, we will call you. 

For most accepted customers, we’re able to tell you over the phone that you’ve been accepted. Normally all applicants will receive a decision within 28 days of submitting their application.

How do you work out my interest rate?

We use risk based pricing and when you apply to us we assess the information on your application form and any information we have on your credit history from credit reference agencies.

What happens if I'm accepted?

We’ll send you your card and Welcome pack to your home address. You’ll need to call us to activate your card.

What if I change my mind? Can I cancel my credit card and how long do I have to do that?

After applying and receiving your credit limit, if you change your mind, you have 15 days to withdraw from your credit card agreement with us and cancel the card. You can do this by phone or in writing.You will have to repay us any credit and interest outstanding on your balance within 30 days. Interest will be charged for each day between the credit being drawn down and repaid. At any time, you can ask to close your account. To do so you must repay us any credit, interest and unpaid fees and charges outstanding on your account.

Please refer to your terms and conditions for more information on how you do this.

How long will it take between applying for an Aquis Visa Card and receiving one?

It usually takes between 10-14 days from you submitting your application, but if we need to contact you for more information it could take longer. Your PIN (Personal Identification Number) will arrive separately in the post.

How do I find out why you turned me down for a card?

As a responsible lender, we take into account your financial circumstances to establish the appropriate level of credit to grant you. To help us do this, applications may be assessed using a process called credit scoring which assesses credit stability and ability to pay. Credit scoring produces consistent decisions and is designed to ensure all applicants are treated fairly.

If we have declined you, this is based on the information we have obtained and the way this information is used in our credit scoring system.

If you would like us to reconsider our decision, you can write to us at New Accounts Department, P.O. Box 399, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4WQ and provide us with any additional information that you consider relevant. You have the right under the Data Protection Act 1998 and Consumer Credit Act 1974 to see information held about you.

Using your card

Where can I use my Aquis Visa Card?

Anywhere you see the Visa sign both in the UK and abroad and online.

How will I keep track of my spending?

We’ll send you a monthly statement listing the date and place of each purchase you’ve made, cash you’ve withdrawn, plus the payments we’ve received from you. And you can always phone QuickCall on 01623 23 23 23 to check your account 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please click here for call charge information.

What will my credit limit be?

When we review your application we’ll take into consideration your circumstances and provide you with a credit limit we think you can manage. If we set your limit higher than you would like we’ll lower it for you. Over time we will review your account, and may offer you a credit limit increase if your account is well managed.

Can I increase my credit limit?

As a responsible lender, Vanquis Bank will seek to provide you with a credit limit that reflects your needs and your ability to manage your account. To be considered for a credit limit increase, you should make use of your credit limit without going overlimit and make your payments on time. By using your credit limit and keeping your account in order, you demonstrate to us that you can manage your account well and can handle the monthly repayments.

Please also keep your other accounts such as credit cards, loans, catalogues, mobile phone and mortgages in order and don’t take on too much debt elsewhere. Please remember meeting these criteria does not guarantee you a credit limit increase.

Can I withdraw cash on my Aquis Visa Card?

If you withdraw cash from a cash machine or financial institution displaying the Visa sign, or purchase currency and make cash related transactions (such as purchases of travellers cheques, money orders and money transfers, or gambling transactions), we will charge a Cash Transaction fee of 3% of the cash transaction amount or £3, whichever is the greater.

You may also be charged a Non-Sterling/Foreign Transaction fee for each cash transaction.

Can I use my Aquis Visa Card abroad?

Yes - You can use your Aquis Visa Card to make purchases in shops and restaurants and withdraw cash from cash machines and bank counters everywhere you see the Visa sign.  Charges apply when you use your Visa Credit Card abroad. For more details see our response to 'What are the charges for using my Aquis Visa Card abroad?'

What are the charges for using my Aquis Visa Card abroad?

Making purchases abroad

When you use your Aquis Visa Card to make a non-sterling transaction we will charge a Non-Sterling/Foreign Transaction Fee of 2.99% of the transaction.

Withdrawing cash abroad

If you withdraw cash from a cash machine or financial institution displaying the Visa sign, or make purchases of currency and cash related transactions (such as purchases of travellers cheques, money orders and money transfers, or gambling transactions), we will charge a Cash Transaction, fee of 3% of the cash transaction amount or £3, whichever is the greater.  You will also be charged a Non-Sterling/Foreign Transaction Fee for each cash transaction.

Please be aware that interest on a Cash Transaction is charged from the date transactions are applied to your account until payment is received.  There is no interest-free period on Cash Transactions. You’ll need to take into account any other restrictions when withdrawing cash, such as daily cash withdrawal limit. Please see your Credit Card Agreement for more information.

All transactions made in a foreign currency (including cash withdrawals) are converted to Sterling using the Visa Payment Scheme Exchange Rate.  Payment Scheme Exchange Rates are set by Visa and MasterCard.  Exchange rates fluctuate every day.  To see the up to date rates and to find out what the rate is on a certain day, visit www.visaeurope.com and click on the Cardholder section.

What are the Exchange Rates for using my Aquis Visa Card abroad?

All transactions made in a foreign currency (including cash withdrawals) are converted to Sterling using the Visa Payment Scheme Exchange Rate.  Payment Scheme Exchange Rates are set by Visa and MasterCard.  Exchange rates fluctuate every day.  To see the up to date rates and to find out what the rate is on a certain day, visit www.visaeurope.com and click on the Cardholder section

Paying your bills

How does the Aquis Visa Card help me build my credit rating?

Making repayments on time builds a strong credit rating, and the longer you do this the better your rating will be.

How can I make a payment to my account?

Over the Phone or Online:
Via your bank’s telephone or internet banking service, you can make a one off payment or set up a standing order. Simply quote the following details: (1) Our sort code: 60-95-94, (2) Our bank account number: 0000 0001 and (3) Your Aquis 16 digit card account number. Please allow 3-5 working days for your payment to reach your account via this method.
or
Phone Vanquis on 0330 099 3001, you can make a one off payment with a Debit Card or set up a Direct Debit for regular payments.or set up a Continuous Payment Authority (for more details see our response to ‘What is a Continuous Payment Authority and how do I set one up?’. Please click here for opening hours and call charge information. Please allow at least 2-3 working days for your payment to reach your account via this method.
Via vanquis.co.uk:
You can pay by Debit Card, simply click on the pay my card button on the Vanquis website, which will take you to our ‘payvanquis’ website, then click on "Register Debit Card" and follow the online instructions. If you have any problems registering, then please call 0330 099 3001 to speak to an agent to register your Debit Card. Please allow 3-5 working days for your payment to reach your account. Please click here for opening hours and call charge information.
Via eVanquis:
Once you are registered for eVanquis our online account servicing, you can pay via our secure online service. Not only will this allow you to pay your credit card bill but will also allow you to manage your account online – viewing your account balance and accessing your statements.
Over the Counter:
Over the counter at your Bank or Post Office, using your pre-printed giro (found at the bottom of your monthly statement). Please note that the Post Office will charge a fee. If the bank you pay through is not your own bank you may also be charged a fee. Please allow 5 working days for your payment to reach your account via this method. Please note that payments made over the post office counter can, in some instances, take up to 20 working days to clear.
Please remember to always make your payments in good time to make sure they reach your account by the Due Date. We recommend you pay early to avoid possible late charges and maintain your credit record.
By Post:
By posting a cheque, together with your pre-printed giro (found at the bottom of your monthly statement) in one of our pre-paid envelopes. Please make cheques payable to ‘Vanquis Bank’ followed by your Aquis Visa Card account number. Write your name and Aquis Visa Card account number on the back of the cheque. Please note, we normally recommend allowing 10 working days for your payment to reach your account via this method.

What is a Continuous Payment Authority and how do I set one up?

A continuous payment authority, a ‘CPA’, is a form of regular payment, where you provide us with your current account details and authorise us to request payments from that account.

As part of the application process for the Aquis Visa Card, we may ask you to set up CPA on a payment account of yours (such as your current account).  Should your application be successful, we will use the CPA to request payments from that account in respect of the repayments due each month on your Aquis Visa Card Account.  You will be able to specify the amounts to be collected from your payment account along with the date those payments are to be collected (which should be the date by which your repayments should reach your Aquis Visa Card Account in each month).  You can also set up a CPA at any time after your Aquis Visa Card Account is opened.

We will collect repayments of the specified amount using your CPA until you tell us to stop which you can do by calling or writing to us.  You can also cancel your CPA by telling your payment account provider.  If you cancel your CPA, you will still have to pay at least your minimum payment due by the payment due date.  For details of other ways you can make payments on your Account please see our response to ‘How can I make a payment to my account?’.

If you have insufficient funds in your payment account and we are unable to collect the repayment under the CPA we will try to take it once more, on the next working day.  If we are unable to collect a repayment under the CPA we will advise you of this

When I make a payment what gets paid off first?

Where your repayment is not sufficient to pay off the whole of the balance outstanding on your Account, your repayment will be allocated first to reduce that part of your balance bearing the highest interest rate and then on in descending interest rate order.

What happens if I keep making the minimum payment and how long will it take me to pay off my debt?

Cost of Borrowing Interest Explained - based on 29.8% APR for a £500 credit limit.                 
To reduce the interest charged, we recommend you pay as much as you can, when you can and not just the minimum repayment. See the example below.
Illustrative example For a purchase of £500 on your credit card
Monthly Payment

Minimum Payment each month

£50 each month

Without taking into account any introductory rates, how much interest will you be charged in the first year?

£124

£77

How much interest will you be charged in the second year?  

£103

£0

How long would it take to clear the balance?

10 years, 10 months

1 year, 1 month

The above example assumes the following: The transaction takes place on 1st January and you make no further transactions. Your statement is produced on the 1st of each month and you always make the payment each month on the 15th. Your statement is produced 31 days after you make the purchase.

If you can only make the minimum payment each month, it will take you longer and cost you more to clear your balance.

To reduce the amount of interest charged, we recommend you pay as much as you can, when you can and not just the minimum repayment.

How often do I have to make a payment and how will I know how much to pay?

We will send you a statement or notify you that your statement is available to view each month.

We will tell you on your statement the minimum amount you have to pay. You must pay at least the minimum amount each month by the due date on your statement.

If you can only make the minimum payment each month, it will take you longer and cost you more to clear your balance.

To reduce the amount of interest charged, we recommend you pay as much as you can, when you can and not just the minimum payment.

For ways to make additional payments through the month see our response to ‘How can I make a payment to my account?’.

What happens if I don't pay?

If you are late with your minimum payment or fail to make your minimum payment, we will charge you a late payment charge of £12.

We will contact you to talk to you about your account and any impact this may have on future minimum payments.

Missing payments could have severe consequences, such as the total cost of your debt growing, fees being charged and your credit rating being adversely affected, making it more difficult to get credit in the future.

What should I do if I'm having trouble paying my bill?

We're always here to help you, and that includes any concerns you have about paying your bill. Call us on 0330 099 3101  and we'll see what we can do to help. Please click here for opening hours and call charge information.

Managing your account

Can I manage my account online?

Yes, you can now manage your account online via our secure online service called eVanquis. Once you have registered for this service, you will be able to view your account balance, access your statements and pay your credit card bill.  Terms and conditions apply.

What should I do if I have any questions about my account?

As an Aquis Visa Card customer you have access 24 hours a day to  QuickCall for balance and credit limit information using QuickCall on 01623 23 23 23, or if you prefer to speak to someone you can call Customer Service on 0330 099 3001. Please click here for opening hours and call charge information.

What's my right to withdraw?

Once you have applied and before acceptance of your application, you can withdraw it either by sending WRITTEN notice to: Aquis Visa Card, Customer Service, P.O. Box 399, Chatham ME4 4WQ or by telephoning 0330 099 3001. Please click here for opening hours and call charge information. Once your application is accepted you will have a further short time to withdraw from your credit card agreement. For more details see our response to ‘What if I change my mind? Can I cancel my card and how long do I have to do that?’.

Can I add an additional cardholder to my account?

Yes, you can apply to add an additional cardholder if they are at least 18 years old, your account has been open for at least 6 months, you have a credit limit of at least £500 and your account has been well maintained. You will need to have their consent to you giving us their details. You will be responsible for the card and how it’s used, including all transactions. Please refer to your terms and conditions for more information.

If you would like to apply, please call Customer Service on 0330 099 3001 and request an additional cardholder form. Once you have completed and returned the form, we will be able to confirm if your application has been successful. Please click here for opening hours and call charge information.

What if my balance gets too high?

It is important that you keep track of your spending on your Aquis Visa Card and allow for interest and any charges to be added to avoid going over your credit limit and incurring a £12 fee.

It is important that you contact us as soon as you find you may have difficulty meeting your minimum payment.

It is important to check your statement each month and ensure you can meet at least the minimum payment on your outstanding balance. Wherever possible you should try to pay more than the minimum payment.

Why might my interest rate change?

When you borrow money on a credit card, the credit is ‘unsecured’ because it’s not linked to your property; and ‘open ended’ because the account is not set to last for a specific length of time. This means that we face more risk than other types of credit product, such as personal loans and mortgages. Also, your financial circumstances can change over time, which means there may be a higher risk that you will not be able to pay back the money you have borrowed.

Changing the interest rate allows us to respond to expected changes: in the economy; the cost of providing credit; and your financial circumstances.

If we didn’t adjust interest rates in this way, we might have to take your card away, or you may have to pay new charges.

How often do you change my interest rates?

We will not increase your interest rates within the first year as a result of risk based re-pricing. This means your interest rates would only increase within the first year because of, for example, changes in the economy which lead to a change in the base lending rate.

If we do increase your interest rate we will not do so more than once every six months.

When we tell you about an increase in your interest rates, we will explain in clear language how it is changing, what it will cost and the options available to you.

If you ask, we will give you information on how and why we have changed your interest rate.

Can I keep my interest rates on their current rates and pay off my debt to you?

If we do increase your interest rates we will write to you to tell you about an increase in your interest rates. If you are unhappy with the new interest rates, you must contact us within 60 days of the letter and inform us you do not accept your rate increase and wish to close your account. You will then be able to clear your outstanding balance at your current interest rates, after which your account will be closed. You will not be able to make further use of your account once you have told us you do not accept your rate increase and wish to close your account.

Can my statement be sent to me in Large Print, Audio or Braille?

To have your statement sent in Large Print, Audio or Braille please contact Customer Service on 0330 099 3001 who will be able to help you. Please click here for opening hours and call charge information.

If I have a disability or medical condition that affects my ability to run the account, what can Vanquis Bank do to help me?

Vanquis Bank can offer a number of reasonable adjustments.  Please contact Customer Service on 0330 099 3001 who will be happy to discuss what options are available to meet your individual needs. Please click here for opening hours and call charge information.

How can I get a PIN reminder or a new PIN?

You can order a PIN reminder for your own card or an additional card holder by using QuickCall on 01623 23 23 23. Please click here for opening hours and call charge information.

How do I report a lost, stolen or damaged card?

You can report a lost, stolen or damaged card by contacting Aquis Customer Service on 0800 783 9003 or +44 161 444 4495 from abroad. Please click here for opening hours and call charge information.

Credit card cheques

We may offer you the opportunity to ask for Cheques for use on your account.  Interest on Cheque Transactions is charged at the Cheque interest rate, which is higher than the interest rate chargeable for Purchase Transactions.  Please refer to your terms and conditions for more information.

How do I query a transaction on my account?

Please contact Customer Service on 0330 099 3001 who will be happy to discuss your query. Please click here for opening hours and call charge information.

Support/feedback

I would like to talk to someone about the credit card before I apply - what number do I call on?

You can call Customer Service on 0330 099 3001 and they will do their best to answer any questions you may have. Please click here for opening hours and call charge information.

Who can I contact if I am having problems completing my online application?

You can call Customer Service on 0330 099 3001 and they will do their best to answer any questions you may have. Please click here for opening hours and call charge information.

Do I need any special software to use the site?

No, you should be able to view everything on our site without any problems.

My Internet Browser is not showing the site clearly, why is this?

This might be due to the browser that you are currently using, Aquis online supports Internet Explorer 6 and 7, Firefox 2 and 3, Safari and Google Chrome. If you do not have one of these internet browsers then you will not be able to access this service.

Is the information I give you on this site secure?

Yes, we collect and store your data securely. On the application page you should see that the webpage address changes from http:// to https:// which indicates that the page is secure. In some browsers you will also see a padlock on the browser to indicate that the page is secure.

What should I do if I have a complaint?

You can call Customer Service on 0330 099 3001 and they will do their best to resolve your complaint. Please click here for opening hours and call charge information.

If you prefer to write to us please send your letter to Freepost RSBJ-HULA-XLGG, Aquis Visa Card, Customer Action Team, P.O. Box 399, Chatham, ME4 4WQ.

If we can’t resolve your complaint to your satisfaction, you can refer to the Financial Ombudsman at www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.