In this brief blog, we are going to discuss the chrome credit card from Vanquis, how to get the best credit card rates for yourself and how to manage your credit card.

The Chrome credit card

The chrome credit card is a credit builder credit card which offers a high APR, low credit limit but more importantly the ability for you to build up your credit score and history.

The chrome credit card is provided by Vanquis bank and when undertaking our review of the chrome credit card we couldn’t find any specific reviews but we are able to look at the Vanquis bank reviews which you can see here. These reviews display a five-star rating for the Vanquis bank which you might say is unheard of for banks.

This means you can rest assured that the chrome credit card is provided by a reputable entity.

You can check if your eligible for the chrome credit card through its credit card eligibility checker here.

You can start your journey on the chrome credit card with a Starting credit limit of up to £1,000 and you could get your first increase after your 5th statement and further increases every 5 months, up to £4,000.

The chrome credit card comes with an online servicing portal, a mobile app, sms and email alerts.

How long does it take for Chrome credit card to arrive?

It can take between 10 days and 14 days for your chrome credit card to arrive. 

In some cases, Vanquis bank, who operate the chrome credit card may need to contact you or further information before releasing your credit card. If this is the case then it could take longer for your chrome credit card to arrive. 

Your PIN (Personal Identification Number) will arrive separately in the post.

Features of the Chrome credit card

Representative APR
Representative 29.5% APR (variable)
Rates from 29.5% APR (variable) to 59.9% APR (variable) depending on individual circumstances.
Purchases 29.50% or39.94% or49.94% or59.94%
Cash (includes money transfers and gambling transactions)29.50% or39.94% or49.94% or59.94%
Balance transfer29.50% or39.94% or49.94% or59.94%
Minimum payment1. the total of any interest we have charged since the date of your last statement; and any default fees we have charged; and depending on your APR, 2.5% of the remainder of the balance you owe on your account as at the statement date; or
2. £10
Account fee£0
Purchases interest-free period (days)56 days

Issuer
Chrome 
NetworkVISA
Annual/monthly fees£0
MIN credit limit £250
Max credit limit £1000

Fees and charges of the Chrome credit card

Annual/monthly fees £0
£0
Copies of statements£5 each
Foreign purchase transaction fee 2.99% of the sterling value of the transaction
Foreign cash transaction fee2.99% of the sterling value of the transaction
Cash transaction fee3% of the sterling value of a cash transaction or £3, whichever is the higher
Cash advance fee
3% or £3, whichever is the higher
Late payment fee£12
Exceeding limit fee£12
Failed payment fee if a direct debit or cheque is not honoured.£12
Tracing charge if we have to trace you.£25

How to apply

You can apply for the Chrome credit card by phone, online or in branch.

You can also manage your card using online banking or through the chrome credit card app.

To be able to apply for the Chrome Credit Card you will need to be a UK resident over the age of 18.

Is the Chrome credit card right for you?

If you are an international student with little or no credit history as you have just moved to the Uk then the Chrome credit card may be exactly what you need to build some credit history and get access to affordable credit. If you have bad credit through any of the below then a chrome credit card could also be good for you.

Bankruptcy

Defaults

Missed credit repayments

Late credit repayments

A county court judgement etc

What to consider when getting your credit card?

Whilst the Chrome credit card may be right for you, there could also be other potential credit cards which suit you better. It is always advisable to use a credit card eligibility checker 

Which provides you with all the credit cards you may be eligible for outside of the Chrome credit card.

When comparing multiple credit cards; below are the things you should look out for before applying.

Eligibility

Each card issuer will have its own lending criteria that  you will need to meet before they will provide you with an offer of credit. 

There are now credit card eligibility checker platforms which let you know which credit cards you are eligible for and which you have a high probability of getting on application. 

Most credit card providers now have their own credit card eligibility systems in place which will let you know if you will be approved for a credit card with them  or not. 

These tools use a soft credit check t pull your credit file data and hence does not leave any footprints which are visible to the public or harm your credit score.

You should avoid applying for a credit card if you are not confident you will be accepted as rejections for credit could damage your credit score and history. This may then affect your ability to get further credit in the future.

Interest rates

When getting a credit card, the interest rates on the credit card are a very important factor and you should always lookout for the APR figure. 

The interest rates on the credit card are the rates that will be charged on any outstanding credit card balance which you carry over from one month to another.If you pay your credit card balance in full each month then you will not have any interest to pay.

Credit cards typically come with up to 55 interest-free days on purchases if you don’t carry a balance month-to-month.

Credit limits

You should look at the credit Credit limits when choosing a credit card provider as the credit card limits will determine how much you can spend on your credit card. Most credit card providers may offer you a credit limit increase if you can show good credit behavior over a few months.

Rewards and perks

Credit card providers offer various rewards and perks but usually these are reserved for applicants with high credit scores.

Fees

Some credit card providers will have annual fees on their credit cards but these are usually for credit cards with high credit card limits and lots of rewards or perks.

You should always check what fees are attached to your credit card.These can include annual or monthly account fees, cash advance (withdrawing cash using the card) fees, overseas transaction fees and others.

As the chrome credit card is a credit builder card, we are going to talk about some of the advantages and disadvantages of a credit builder card.

Advantages of a Credit builder card

Some of the advantages of a Credit builder card are listed below.

Credit cards have payment protection cover:

Due to the consumer credit act all goods purchased using a credit card which are over £100 are covered by the payment protection scheme. This means if goods are faulty or were not delivered, then your credit card provider must refund you. This cover does not apply to two seperate transactions not amounting to £100 separately, even if they were bought in the same store.

Credit builder cards help build your credit score:

Credit builder cards help build your credit score as they reflect how often you repay your monthly credit card debt on your credit file. They also reflect your credit utilization( this is how much credit you use in relation to your credit limit) and a low credit utilization will aid your credit score whilst utilizing your credit to its limit will reflect negatively on your credit file.

Access to emergency fund

Credit builder cards help by providing you access to emergency funds in case you have any financial emergency which requires immediate help. This may be a cheaper method of borrowing than payday loans or other alternative short term finance.

Interest-free period

Some Credit builder cards will have interest free periods which are long enough for you to put your finances in order before you start repaying any credit card balance you owe.

Pay for expensive items

Credit builder cards allow you to buy more expensive things which you may need and spread the payments over a long period. This could be things such as paying a down payment on your rental accommodation.

No annual fees

Most Credit builder cards do not have an annual fee.

Easy to qualify for

Most Credit builder cards are very easy to qualify for as they are targeted towards people with little or no credit history.

Disadvantages of a Credit builder card

Some of the disadvantages of a Credit builder card are listed below.

Credit builder cards are a bit restrictive:

They tend to offer lower credit limits(usually around £500) and higher APRs are standard. Some may see these are prejudice terms and there might be some truth to that. Credit builder cards also have higher minimum payments: these are the minimum you must pay back every month to ensure your credit card provider does not charge you any fees.

Note: Although paying the minimum payment will prevent you from incurring any further charges you will still get charged interest on the difference between your minimum payment and what you owe per month. This could easily turn out to be very expensive for you and should be avoided at all cost.

Avoid the ATM:

Using your credit card at the ATM will incur you huge fees up to 3% of your withdrawal and there are no interest free periods for using your credit card at the ATM. This is even made worse if you use your credit card at a foreign ATM as not only will you incur this charge you will also incur an exchange rate charge.

High APRs

The APRs on Credit builder cards are much higher as the credit card providers see this area as a very risky area as most people wont have a full time job and they may not be able to pay back what they have borrowed. To compensate or to balance the books the high APRS are charged so those who pay back could essentially cover the costs of those who borrow on their credit cards but don’t pay back.

Rejections can damage your credit score.

Because getting rejected for any credit application can damage your credit score you should only apply to credit cards which you are sure you will be approved for.

Alternatives to a credit builder card

Some alternatives to a credit builder card could be:

 A credit builder loan

A credit builder loan is a loan which you take out that allows you to build up your credit history by making regular monthly loan repayments. When you take out a credit builder loan you aren’t actually given a loan advance but instead, you make monthly contributions which are repaid to you at the end of your “loan term”. By making these loan repayment on time your credit score should rise. Loqbox is a credit builder loan provider in the UK.

A secured credit card

A secured credit card has the same features as a credit builder card but instead a secured card requires you to put a deposit which is equal to the credit limit or a percentile of the credit limit as security before the credit card provider will give you the credit card. This secured deposit helps reduce the credit card providers risk if you default on your monthly credit card repayments.

How to get your Chrome credit card

To get your Chrome credit card, check to see if you have a credit score and history first.

If you are unsure of what your credit score is then you should check your credit score from the four credit bureaus in the UK: Experian, Crediva, Equifax and Transunion.

Some of these credit bureaus may charge you a fee to view your credit report so what you can alternatively do is request a statutory credit report which is a free credit report which each credit bureau must provide to you upon you requesting it.

Alternatively, you can also use credit score services such as Checkmyfile and clearscore to check your credit report.

Once you have done this you should then check on a credit card eligibility platform to see what credit cards you are eligible for and then apply for the best credit card. This may be the Chrome credit card or it could be another credit card from a different provider which suits you better.

In this brief guide, we discussed the chrome credit card. If you have any questions or comments please let us know.

John Bate

John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.