MBNA was formed back in 1982. They have been owned by Bank of America since 2006. They had arrived in the UK in 1993 and today have more than 5 million local customers. There are plenty of MBNA credit cards headed at www.mbna.co.uk. Some of these carry their own branding, but in general most of the options are affinity cards that they issue for airlines, charities and football clubs. Of their core products, their highest balance transfer period is for 39 months. Most people would likely head to their All Round option since this offers free interest for the first 20 months on purchases as well as 20 months on balance and money transfers.
Home Retail Group have now sold this flagship brand to J Sainsbury Plc in a £1.4 billion deal. They acquired one of the top high street retailers with 750 stores and their advances on the web have been just as impressive, with www.argos.co.uk attracting 430 million visits each year. This retailer was established in 1973, but they date back further to Green Field Stamps in 1958 (some of their stores were rebranded at launch). The Argos Card enables purchases on credit. It is priced at 29.9% APR although you may not need to pay any interest. This product is not to be confused with their affinity card that is issued by Vanquis Bank (priced at 39.9%).
The Marbles card arrived on the market recently in May 2015. The MarblesTM portfolio was acquired from HSBC back in 2007 and so you may be familiar with the name. The owner (NewDay Ltd) had also acquired the Citi Card from Citibank Financial plc in 2010 and this was rebranded as Opus. Unfortunately, this offering is closed for new applicants. You can access this new product in focus, or you can also check out the Aqua range that comes in 4 forms including Advance, Classic, Reward and Start. With Marbles you can qualify for between £250 and £1200 that takes on quarterly reviews and the APR sits at 33.8%. This is lower than the starting rates with Aqua at 34.9%, but the Advance can potentially reduce to 19.9% within 3 years. The same eligibility requirements are in place for this MasterCard. You won’t qualify with bankruptcy in the past 18 months or a CCJ in the past 12 months.
The Aqua card was launched back in 2002 and they have accepted 750,000 people to date. The owner is NewDay Ltd. This MasterCard is available under the Advance, Classic, Reward or the Start. Aqua Classic has a 35.9% rate with limits of £250 to £1200. The Advance and Reward editions come in a smidge lower at 34.9% APR and these also have key added features. You get 0.5% cashback with Reward (up to £100 per annum) and the notable Advance reduces by 5% each year for a period of 3 years (potential 19.9%). Start (49.9%) is for those that wish to rebuild their rating on smaller limits of £100 to £300. All noted rates are variable. You’ll be declined for bankruptcy within 18 months or a CCJ in the past year.
Vanquis credit cards have been available since 2002. More than 2.5 million customers have being taken on since launch. This brand is part of Provident Financial who is one of the major players involved in subprime lending. In other markets they operate through the likes of GLO, Provident and Satsuma Loans. There is one central card available here that is a Visa offering pitched at 39.9% APR. Its limits run between £150 and £1000 for new customers and £3500 when accounts are managed well. Acceptance is possible with CCJs, defaults and even discharged bankruptcy. There is a cheaper rate product called Aquis that is promoted on a subdomain of the site, but this is unreachable unless you find it via an advert or search engine. They also underwrite the Black Diamond and Granite cards.
Capital One arrived in Britain in 1996 and their local Nottingham HQ was later opened in 1997. This American company (based in Virginia) is rooted to 1988. The subprime market has been their primary focus through their Classic MasterCard. This is pitched at 34.9% APR and it grants £200 to £1500. This is their most popular card that has been served 4 million customers. Acceptance requires some borrowing history even if there has been past CCJs or defaults. It is also important to be listed on the electoral roll. On viewing their current range, they display the Classic and the Balance Plus. This latter offering requires an excellent profile rating, you must be aged at least 21 and have an income above £20,000. The APR is higher than expected at 19.9%, but there are no transfer fees and the transfer rate is low.