Written on: 20/12/2010
I go myself into financial troubles and had to go on an IVA. I was using a pre pay card but that means tying up cash which I couldn't really spare. The problem with this kind of card is that I guess most people that are using it have been poor with their finances at the start or have just started on the credit ladder.
I decided to try Vanquis anyway. They're really good, you only get a £250 limit to start with and if you cannot manage that then that's where you stay. They build it up slowly based on how you're coping but beware, they did used to send me credit cheques, I'm sure their policy just changed on that, but for your own sake, do what I did. Rip them up immediately.
Yes it's true if you run up a high bill and don't pay all of it off then you get slammed with interest. This is called life and it's made clear before you start using the card and also while using it. Sometimes it's worth paying the minimum and taking the hit if you're desperate. I don't really know any financial institution that gives you credit like this and doesn't charge you for it.
I've used vanquis customer services a few times, always polite and willing to help. Maybe I have been lucky all of those times. Once you get to gold you get a free number to call and a more personal service.
I would never use my £2500 limit but I often travel for work and hotels insist on blocking a decent wedge of money for your stay and of course some car hire companies do the same. With my pre pay card that was a nightmare because although the company paid the bill the hotel staff still demand a credit card and at one hotel wanted £1200 blocked.
I also feel happier knowing that I've got that amount on hand for any emergency.
Of course once I've hit the date when the IVA falls off my credit report my record will be excellent and I will place the vanquis in a drawer for extreme emergencies only.
My advice, if you need the services of a credit card then Vanquis are excellent. If you don't pay off your bill in full or lose control of your spending then that has very little to do with Vanquis. Maybe a pre paid card is the card for you if you fear you might overspend. Always read the small print and beware of cash advances, I believe sometimes itunes or paypal can come up as cash advances and that means higher charges.
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