The Luma credit card was launched in the year 2012. It was then part of MI Money that lies within the TotallyMoney Group (previously named Media Ingenuity). Luma’s release had followed Granite that was partnered with Vanquis. This time around they used Capital One who have now become the brand owners. This was identified from the name being scrubbed from MI Money’s FCA licence and added to that of Capital One (Europe) Plc besides the main one. It’s not a big shock that this has happened, as MI’s Granite site is now closed for new applicants that suggests that full focus has passed on to TotallyMoney (comparison & credit reporting).
This had been one of the most popular subprime cards during the time that they ran a TV ad campaign. Things have however changed and even since ownership has passed on they haven’t been able to replicate their once competitive Alexa rankings. Their site is now even being edged out by Chrome and Marbles that are each secondary brands of Vanquis and NewDay. Luma’s purchase rate is set at 35.94% that is 1% higher than Capital’s Classic. APR is listed as variable, but it’s currently fixed. The same £200 to £1500 limit will be set for new customers and over time this may be extended subject to status.
Ocean Finance was established by Paul Newey and a business partner back in 1991 shortly after his employer went bust. With just a small £2500 investment, the then Tamworth-based operation would emerge as one of the leading players in matching homeowner loans. They benefited greatly from aggressive advertising campaigns that they became famed for throughout the 90s. The business was later sold to AIG in 2006 for £200 million that proved to be a savvy move as the financial crisis loomed ahead, as did mounting PPI issues. The Think Money Group became the new owners in 2012. Ocean’s now Manchester-based operation is a trading name of Intelligent Lending Ltd.
Now with 250,000 people served, brokering for secured and unsecured loans remains core, but the Ocean credit card has proved a popular release since its inception in 2014 in partnership with Capital One. This is a no-frills card with no such promotional offers attached. It’s purchase rate of 39.94% (fixed although stated as variable) is high. This same rate is shared by their now partner brand ThinkMoney. The interest rate a few years back was 34.94% matching the issuer and so there has been an unfortunate 5% price hike. When borrowing for the first time you can access between £200 and £1500 with no set cap on future limits.
Argos is one of the leading high street brands with around 840 stores (after recent closures). They were formed in 1972 although are rooted to 1958 through Green Shield Stamps. Credit facilities have always made good sense here. They have a store card that they issue themselves whilst their credit card has been issued by partners (Vanquis: 2012 to 2018 and NewDay: 2019+). Provident had a few issues with the FCA that is likely why their contract wasn’t extended. It’s clear that NewDay is an excellent choice moving forward. They already issue for over a dozen brands including Amazon. The Argos Classic Mastercard is equipped with some impressive features.
Once approved you’ll benefit from an Instant Spend feature on Argos.co.uk. The first 3 months then includes 0% interest on purchases. There isn’t a sizeable shift in the variable rates that vary between 34.9% and 39.9%. The spend on these cards will range from £250 to £1200 at first, with no determined future limit. The Argos credit card login is in place at https://portal.newdaycards.com/argos. Customers that joined during the Vanquis era continue to use the EVanquis portal and would need to reapply here. Just to add that the application and login pages show varied contact numbers and times. We have added both lines below and the most recently updated hours.
Aqua credit cards have been available since early 2002. This is the core brand of what was SAV Credit (now NewDay). They now serve more than 5 million customers across their 4 in-house brands and affinity partnerships. The key development for partnerships came from Santander in 2013 when they acquired a cluster of Arcadia Group assets including Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge, Topshop etc. Debenhams, House of Fraser and Laura Ashley were also part of the deal. NewDay’s Amazon partnership is certainly notable and they’ve recently secured Argos who had previously used Vanquis Bank. Aqua’s profile has continually grown. They’ve said yes to more than 1 million to date.
Aqua’s range has recently been streamlined. They had offered 4 varied products, but have now removed Reward (cashback) and Start (basic). Advance is the star of the show carrying a variable range of 34.9% to 59.9%. Assuming that your account is managed well, you could however enjoy a 5% reduction each year across 3. This could potentially lead to a competitive 19.9% APR. Classic is the most commonly used, but lacks any feature and is slightly more expensive. Both Mastercards come loaded with £250 to £1200 with no set future limit. Qualification is open to most so long as there hasn’t been a CCJ within the past 12 months.
America’s Capital One was originally formed in 1994 when Signet Financial spun off their credit card division. For a short time they used the OakStone Financial name, but this changed at the end of the year. Canada and the UK have been served since 1996. In their home country they are a top 5 issuer of cards and command a sizeable branch network. They have some 65 million customer accounts. The recent 100 million+ data breach includes tallies of those who also made applications. Locally they’ve made their name in subprime lending through their Classic card. They’ve also excelled through affinity partnerships with 6 current partners. Only Thimbl has ceased.
All partners use the same login (myaccount.capitalone.co.uk) and so this will inflate their Alexa performance to some extent. This lender references variable APR, yet only ever shows a fixed rate. Variable may be shown as they have historically offered promotional exclusives on comparison sites. Capital’s Classic notes 4 million accepted. This has a £200 to £1500 starting range with no upper future limit. Increases are possible every 6 months. Their Balance Transfer card has a purchase rate of 24.93% (0% for 3 months) and 24 months for transfers (2.9% fee). You’ll need an excellent score. For Classic, some borrowing history is essential as well as being electoral roll listed.
Aquis Bank was formed in 2002, but after just 2 months the Vanquis Bank identity was taken on and they would later issue their first card in May 2003. Step forward to today and they have now accepted 4 million applications maintaining an active user base of around 1.7 million. The core brand is in focus, but there are others noting Aquis, Chrome and Origin. Both Neo and Original have closed. Past affinity partnerships have also ceased noting Argos (now with NewDay) and Granite. This Visa card (Classic) is pitched at 39.9% (variable to 69.9%) and carries a starting limit ranging between £150 and £1000, potentially leading to £4000.
Limits are reviewed every 5 months. Various info and verification is required to access the EVanquis login at www.evanquis.com and so their app is more ideal to use. This lender is perhaps the best chance of approval with very poor credit. If your score is decent enough then it would be worth applying at Chrome where they pitch a competitive 29.5%. One key reason to trust this provider is that they are controlled by the most experienced player in subprime lending – Provident’s roots head back to 1880. They have clearly lost market share in recent years. This is more so to do with the rise of NewDay (known for Aqua).