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Frequently Asked Questions

Borrowing with a Credit Card

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 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 £150 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?

Cost of Borrowing Interest Explained - based on 39.9% APR for a purchase of £500.
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? £154 £104
How much interest will you be charged in the second year? £116 £1
How long would it take to clear the balance? 8 years, 5 months 1 year, 2 months
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.

Using your card

Where can I use my Argos credit 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 Vanquis QuickCall on 01623 23 23 23 to check your account 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please click here for opening hours and call charge information.

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 Argos credit 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.

Please click here for charges for using your Argos credit card abroad.

Can I use my Argos credit card abroad?

Yes - You can use your Argos credit 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. Please click here to find out more.

What are the charges for using my Argos credit card abroad?

Making purchases abroad

When you use your Argos credit 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 Argos credit 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 http://www.visaeurope.com/ and click on the Cardholder section.

Paying your bills

How does the Argos credit card help me build my credit rating?

To build your credit rating and be considered for credit limit increases, use your Argos credit card sensibly, stay within your credit limit and pay your monthly minimum payment on time. Not doing so could harm your credit rating and ability to obtain credit. 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. By using your credit limits and keeping your accounts in order, you demonstrate that you can manage your accounts well and can handle the monthly repayments. There are no guarantees, but if you follow these steps consistently every month, you should be on track to improving your credit history and building a strong credit rating.

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 Argos 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 Continous 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 contact 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 Argos credit card account number. Write your name and Argos credit 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 Argos credit 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 Argos credit 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 Argos credit card Account in each month). You can also set up a CPA at any time after your Argos credit 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 can be found below.

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 39.9% APR for a purchase of £500.
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? £154 £104
How much interest will you be charged in the second year? £116 £1
How long would it take to clear the balance? 8 years, 5 months 1 year, 2 months
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.

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 total cost of your debt growing, fees being charges 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.

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

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

Can I add an additional cardholder to my account?

Yes, you can apply to add an additional card holder if 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 also 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 Services on 0330 099 3001 a 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 Argos credit 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 rates 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 rates 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 rate?

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 us by Vanquis Customer Service on 0330 099 3001 who will be able to help you. Please click here for opening hours and call charge information.

What do I need to do following the death of an account holder?

We understand that the loss of someone close to you is an emotional time and can be overwhelming. Not only do you have to deal with your loss, but it’s difficult to know where to start when dealing with practical matters. Our Team at Vanquis Bank understands this and will guide & advise you on the next steps you will need to take. You can speak to one of our Account Managers by calling 0330 099 3001.

 

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 Vanquis 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 Vanquis 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.

Money worries and financial difficulties

What should I do if my personal situation has changed and I’m having difficulties making payments?

We're always here to help you, and that includes any concerns you have about paying your bill. Call us on 0330 099 3002 - you’ll speak to a specialist member of our team who will be sensitive to your individual circumstances and may be able to help you.

 

Please click here for Vanquis opening hours and call charge information.

 

You can always speak to these other independent organisations for free, confidential, and impartial advice:

 

StepChange Debt Charity - www.stepchange.org or phone 0800 138 1111
The National Debtline - www.nationaldebtline.org or phone 0808 808 4000
Money Advice Service - www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk or phone 0800 138 7777

 

If you’re facing problems that are making life difficult, such as a bereavement or divorce then you can also contact the Samaritans for support http://www.samaritans.org/

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

We are committed to providing an excellent service to our customers. If you are experiencing difficulties in managing your account due to a disability or medical condition we will be happy to advise you on the options available to meet your individual needs. Please call us on 0330 099 3101 for more information or simply write to our Customer Service address below and we will be happy to arrange this for you:

 

Customer Services
PO Box 399
Chatham
ME4 4WQ

 

Please click here for Vanquis opening hours and call charge information.

Support/feedback

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, whilst building our website we’ve endeavoured to ensure it works with the latest versions of the most common browsers e.g. Chrome, Internet Explorer, Edge, Firefox, and Safari. If you do not have one of these internet browsers then you will not be able to access this service although the latest versions can easily be downloaded online.

What should I do if I have a complaint?

You can call Customer Services 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, Vanquis Bank Limited, Customer Action Team, PO Box 399, Chatham, ME4 4WQ.

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

Ring-fencing

What is “ring-fencing”?

Following the financial crisis which began in 2007, UK legislation was passed to better protect customers and the day-to-day banking services they rely on. The legislation requires each large bank to separate services like current accounts, savings accounts, and payments from risks in other parts of the business, for example in investment banking.

 

This separation is called ‘ring-fencing’. It means that large banks may need to change the way they are structured. Banks will be making changes during 2017 and 2018 to complete the process by 1 January 2019.

What impact does “ring-fencing” have on me?

You do not need to take any action unless you are contacted by your bank. If you are affected by the changes, your bank will tell you how, when the changes take place and whether you need to do anything.

 

Customers of different banks may be affected in different ways. Even similar customers of the same bank may be affected in different ways.

 

Some bank customers will experience changes to their account details. For example, some customers may receive a new sort code or a new account number. If you are affected in this way, your bank will ensure that any outgoing payments, for example standing orders and Direct Debits, are made as normal. Your bank will also redirect to your new account details any incoming payments made to your old account details.

 

All bank customers should remain alert to the possibility of fraud.

 

It is recommended that customers:

  • Treat all letters, phone calls, emails and text messages with caution. Don’t assume they are genuine, even if the person seems to know some basic information about you.
  • Do not give out your account or card details or make changes to payments unless you are certain who you are dealing with.
  • A genuine bank or organisation will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, full password or to move money to another account. Only give out your personal or financial details to use a service that you have given your consent to, that you trust and that you are expecting to be contacted by.
  • Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision or acting quickly. A genuine bank or other organisation won’t mind waiting if you want time to think.

If you have any doubts at all about what you are being asked to do, check with your bank. Always use contact details you can trust, for example the phone number on your bank statement, rather than any details provided in the communication in question.