After New Labor and Blair allowed the banks to give pretty much everyone a credit or mortgage that wanted one so to drive the economy the banks had to go out and raise that money to cover it. Plenty of people took up the offer as greedy bank workers took commissions for every card and loan given and mortgages agreed. Never mind if the punter could pay back. The personal credit cost was huge to the banks so they simply invented super complex derivatives to hide the risk and then bundle that bad risk in with good risk and sell it to countries they shouldn’t have. South America carries 25% of American banks so-called sub prime debt. They were told by America if they didn’t buy that debt then their trade tariffs with the US would suffer. I personally applied for at last 8 cards at the height of it in the 1990s and got every one, even though I was on minim wage jobs or not working at all sometimes.
Recently it has been hard to get new credit cards with good interest rates after the credit crunch. But personal lending levels are right back up there pre crash and you can try one of thirty applications for cards online. Some give you an answer there and then. We don’t get the postal applications through the postbox much now but when I do I fill them in and send them off. As long as your credit rating is good and you are prepared to lie on the form and then lie to the call center that all the info you gave is true then you will get a card. The banks cheated us so we cheat them, right?
Post crash we have seen more of the Visa Electron cards. That Electron bit is important. It means these cards can be offered to riskier customers who may not have a great credit rating and in exchange double the interest rate of normal Visa cards. There are other restrictions to and they can ask for the balance if you are late with payments. It’s best to apply for normal VISA credit and debt cards if you can. I’m guessing the act of applying for an electron card affects your credit rating. I did not know the deal when I recently applied for a Vanquis card and shocked to see the 39% annual interest rate. I won’t be using that card anyday soon. One advantage the electron card has is you seem to pay less of those credit card booking fees that con billions out of us. Only five banks issue them and mostly as debit cards, the restriction there being you can only spend what you have in your account and no overdrafts.
I am reviewing the standard Visa Nat West credit card and one of those customers that pay the minimum monthly every time and no problems so far. I have about £200 in there and used it to buy something for about £250 in January. Interest is around a five a month and then your 3% minimum balance payment on top so around a tenner owed. I did just use cards for when I travelled the world or for emergencies but now they offer good protection and with increased online fraud around it saves risking the more vulnerable debit card. Of course by agreeing to a credit card agreement you get more junk mail and nuisance phone calls trying to sell you stuff. The positives outweigh that as you have a card that can get you out of short term pickles, pay for what you need online and great for emergency cash to stay afloat if you are robbed or fired or whatever. I recall being stuck in Toronto on my last dollar from my current account and then getting $300 juicy dollars from my goldfish card to keep me going and get back to New York and home to the UK in good shape.
The interest rates for cards vary across the spectrum. This card is around 17% per year (a minimum £170 interest, plus nominal interest on interest…) and credit limits £500 and upwards. I have a grand right now and can ask for more. As my credit score is good then I should get it. You get good customer service and lightly pressured to sign up for the website to pay your balance ect… That increases your chances of online fraud, of course. I don’t trust the internet to be safe so limit my activity involving cards. By the way, if you never use your card, regardless of the end date on your credit card, the account may be closed before that date. If you are inactivate for a year or more on receiving your card, or you don’t activate it for security reasons, they may shut it down without you knowing. Activate it and make sure its active when you go abroad. If you use it for the first time abroad or, indeed, activate it abroad, they may question your transaction on security grounds. That is fair enough but can be tricky your end.
They hit you with loan offers in your email and you get the odd call selling by products. I phoned the call center once and it wasn’t Indians so another plus there. You can pay your balance monthly by cheque or online and they provide you with an addressed envelope with your monthly bill. Best to take the paper bill as good evidence in disputes although it may get nicked in the post.
I think there are better deals out there but if you pay the minimum and little bit more on top you end up paying the same monthly amount whatever the interest rate. It’s what you can afford. I pay £20 a month when I can. So on the whole a good card accepted around the world and if you can keep your spending in thee figures then a manageable one. If you miss your monthly or it’s late you will pay £12 fine and £25 for going over your limit. They won’t raise your limit to avoid that fine. I tried it once.
Apologies if this review seems a bit hashed together, I had just finished writing the review and my internet cut out and I am hoping have empathises that there are few things worse than rewriting a review.
I took out this credit card as I started University at the age of 18, as it was offered to me in a package with Natwest including student account, overdraft and credit card. I thought I might as well accept the credit card as at the age of 18 I needed to build up a credit history / credit score. This differs from most other cards that I have taken out, which are usually because of a specific selling point of the card.
As I bank with Natwest, I can get access to my credit card and current account with the same log in details, which is great with so many passwords floating around my head. This also makes it really easy to pay off the credit card each month, as I remember it needs paying when I check my online banking.
You can choose whether to pay the balance off in full each month or just the minimum repayments, I have mine set to minimum replayments but still pay the minimum off in full each month unless ...
... which brings me onto the third advantage, after having the card for 2/3 years I was offered 0% on purchases for 6 months. Most credit card companies only offer perks like this to new card holders, so it did make me feel valid as a current customer.
As with all credit cards, make sure you pay the balance off in full every month or at least make the minimum payments or you will get some nasty charges.
This card is ideal for every day money needs, if you need a little extra to tide you over for the last week of the month before payday etc. It is not a "frilly" credit that offers a particular deal eg cashback, 0% currency exchange etc to entice customers in, but it is an easy to use credit card for those everyday things or for those people wanting to build up a better credit score.
You can get this either as part of a Black Card account (which is top-end Private Banking) or as a stand-alone in addition to your Nat West (or, I presume, RBS) account. For either, you need either a high income or investments with the bank to the value of c.£70,000. I pay an annual fee for the card and wouldn't be without it. The main draw is the travel insurance, which is not age or condition related and covers you and up to five people travelling with you. It gives worldwide, year round cover, includes winter sports and covers trips up to 90 days at a time. Once you're on it, you're not barred by age, so it's one of the very few on the market that's good for the 'silver traveller'. The Black Card account travel insurance is not quite as good as the stand-alone Black credit card because there are some exclusions (e.g. you have to declare existing conditions and meds before you travel) so I chose the credit card, which doesn't ask for any of this. I've claimed three times on this insurance and got my money within days - paid directly into my account. I REALLY CAN'T RECOMMEND THIS ENOUGH. The other main benefit is the household emergency insurance, which covers your heating, electricity, water etc. I've used this and they did pay up. The airport pass is OK but only gives access to the basic lounge, not the posh executive ones with spas etc. Still better than nothing but I wouldn't get the Black Card just for this. You've also got roadside assistance, which will save you a bit. The Black Card admin dept is excellent - you get straight through and it's not Delhi on the other end. I've not really used the 'Personal Assistant' service so can't comment.
JUST FOUND OUT, WHILST TRYING TO ACTIVATE MY NEW CARD, THAT EVERYONE THAT ANSWERS THE PHONE TO YOU, CAN SEE YOUR SORT CODE AND BANK ACCOUNT NUMBER - NO MATTER WHAT THE QUERY IS - EVEN IF YOU DON'T BANK WITH NAT WEST - NOT SURE I WANT THEIR FEW THOUSAND CALL CENTER OPERATORS HAVING THAT VISIBILITY....
The Natwest student credit card is definitely one of best credit deals that students can get. It has a 56 day interest free period meaning that you can wait two months before paying it back. This is great for if you have a delay on student finance.
This is also a good credit card because you can set it up to direct debit from your natwest student account. This is the best student account around. The other advantage is that if you have enough money in your student account then you can use this card like a debit card and build up a credit rating. This is an important thing to have when you graduate as it makes getting loans easier and quicker.
I would not advise getting a credit card if you are not wise with your money and how you spend it because the penalty for missing the interest free 'deadline' is that you pay a large amount of interest thereafter.
I like NatWest, and I'm not afraid to admit it.
I've had accounts with them all my life, and after getting a stable full job, I decided to open up a Visa credit card with NatWest. A year on, I'm in a little bit of debt, and have had a couple of hundred on it for a few months, but I've been paid so little interest I've hardly noticed! I'm very surprised by that, but I think I luckily managed to get a lower interest rate before it all shot up.
I use online banking which makes it so incredibly easy just to transfer money from my current account to my credit card to pay it off. It's simply a click of a button! Online banking is very useful to keep control of my finances, too.
I'm going to be going travelling next year, and think I will find my Visa will be very useful as apparently its accepted worldwide.
There probably are cards out there which have greater rewards, but I find that as a previous NatWest customer, I want to be loyal to them, and they are good to me, and its a reliable account. I'm happy with the interest rate, and I hope that when I clear off my debt it'll help my credit rating go up.
I have a Natwest Visa card which i have had for years. It is a purple colour with the Visa symbol in the right hand side and Natwest along the top.
I rarely use it although i have had to use it abroad before and find it really handy to have as Visa is acccepted in most places.
I bank with Natwest and so i can check my credit card account online which i find the simplest and easiest way to manage my finances.
I'm not sure what the rate of it is at currently but i rarely use it and when i do i pay it off straight away so it makes no odds to me but i certainly think that there are many cards out there with greater rewards than what this card gives you so if i was to choose to spend at the moment i would choose a card where i am getting cashback or Nectar points rather than nothing.
I'm quite surprised Natwest haven't signed up to give any added incentive for spending on their cards but perhaps that's due to the current financial climate and they don't want to be seen as irresponsible lenders. That said with almost every statement my limit has been increased even though i have rarely spent over a few hundred pounds on it at any one time.
Good card if you are a Natwest customer and want to keep all your finances in one place.
I have been a loyal NatWest Credit Card customer for a while now, and generally never had a problem. However, I have had a bit of a problem in the past few weeks. I set up a direct deposit system which would automatically make a payment for me each month. And until recently I hadn't had an issue with this serive. A few months ago, using this service, I paid off my credit card balance completely. Yet, due to some error a direct deposit was still made. This left a credit on my account which NatWest had to pay me!
After contacting customer support and waiting on hold several times, I was told a cheque in the amount of the balance had been sent to me. From this point it took an addtional two weeks to recieve the cheque. I felt this was way too long to wait to have an error corrected. Something should be done to make this a speedier process.
Overall, I've been very happy with my NatWest credit card since getting it to tide me over between graduating and getting a proper job (I was kind of amazed that they gave me a card when I was just temping, but I've found out a lot more since then about how easy it is to get credit). From £1100 credit limit I am now at just over three times that.
I haven't really used it to borrow money except for a brief period to make sure I had enough to pay for my deposit when buying a flat. The interest rate isn't cheap, but at about 1% a month it means you can have a spare £2000 for a while for only £20 a month (minimum repayments of about £70 if I remember rightly).
The card also been useful for enabling me to make direct debit payments without keeping too much money in my current account, and for online shopping. If you make your purchase at the right time it also provides you with almost two months of interest free credit before you have to cough up. The card balance can also be managed through NatWest online banking, which is a bonus.
One word of caution though - when I moved house I went into my local NatWest and told them my new address, and everything seemed to be fine. Then the new washing machine and sofa I'd bought online with my card didn't arrive. I re-orded them, same problem.
I phoned the retailers and they had no record of me even having ordered them. Eventually it turned out my card had been queried and the orders cancelled without anyone telling me, because I didn't live at the address stated on the card. Why? Because NatWest cards are completely separate from NatWest (apparently) and aren't allowed to share address details, so my branch never told the card people I'd moved.
Seems a bit odd to me. I'm kind of glad to be secure, but I don't think many fraudsters order washing machines for home delivery! But I'm still happy with them by and large, even if always tempted to build up a huge balance then move to a 0% offer, but then I decide I don't want the complications.
I have had a Natwest credit card since March 2001. I was 19, and wanted a credit card for buying things on the internet, as I was uneasy using a debit card in case I was a victim of fraud. You have much more protection with a credit card, as the money isnt instantly gone from your account, so if a fraudster gets your card details and uses them, you dont lose out, unless of course it was your fault that they got the details.
Anyway I went into my local branch of Natwest to enquire about getting a card. I chose them because I already had a bank account with them, and was happy with the service they provided. They asked various questions, and I had to fill in a form, and that was it! I then waited for about a week, got a letter saying I had been approved, and was sent my shiny new credit card.
At the time I was at college, but had a part time job with a regular income, so they decided to give me a credit limit of £1000.
I wasnt bothered with the interest rates, as I intended to pay off the full balance every month, so would never get charged interest. I dont like spending money that I havent got. I still pay off the full balance each month, so cant really comment on how competitive or not their interest rates are.
I was very happy with the service. Monthly statements that are well presented and easy to figure out. Always at least 2 pages of A4. The first page a summary sheet showing the amount spent in the month, payments made to the card, the new balance, the minimum payment, and when it should reach your account by and your credit limit. Also on this page are any important messages, and a payment slip. The next page(s) show the purchases you have made.
They regularly put up my credit limit, even though I rarely get anywhere near it. It now stands at £3500.
I had no problems with the service, and also noting particularly amazing about it either. It did exactly what it said on the tin. However, recently there have been 2 occasions when the service has really stood out and been excellent.
The first regards interest. I missed a payment by a few days. It was quite a large amount, about £2000, and so of course I was charged interest. The amount of interest seemed quite high though considering I had only missed the payment by a few days, so I decided to ring up and check it was correct. I spoke to a nice person who explained how it was calculated, and that the amount was correct. She then had a look at my account, and said that because I always pay on time, they would not actually charge me the interest as I was a good customer!! That was nice, and saved me a few quid!
The next incident involves fraud. I received a phone call from someone at the Natwest Card Fraud Department. The man I spoke to said they had a few transactions they wanted to check with me. He then read out a list of places where considerable amounts of money had been spent over the last few days. It had flagged up on their system because it didnt fit in with my normal spending pattern. I had never heard of any of these places, and it was obvious that someone somewhere had got hold of my card details. So they cancelled the card and issued me with a new one.
What impressed me about that is that they called me about these transactions before they were even showing on my statement (which I check online) It is much nicer to be called and have them query the transactions rather than noticing that hundreds of pounds have been spent on your card and only noticing when the statement comes through.
I increasingly find that customer service these days does not seem important to many companies, but it is nice that Natwests customer service is excellent, and they are all friendly. It is because of this that I will probably remain a Natwest customer for years more.
I've had a natwest black card for almost 2 years now and highly recommend it. Even though you have to pay a fee (it's around £250 per year from memory), this is more than offset by the savings. You get, for free, with the card (and also for any additional cardholder - such as my husband): - travel insurance which includes all those more dangerous activites that many policies exclude, like winter sports, etc - GreenFlag breakdown insurance that gives you the top rate of cover anywhere in Europe. Just by cancelling our existing travel and breakdown insurance policies we covered the cost of the black card. The other thing that impresses me about the card is that they keep adding new benefits. In the past few months they've added free home breakdown insurance - ie: if you need an emergency plumber, electrician etc they'll find one for you and pay up to £500 to cover the cost. Considering I pay nearly £20 per month for this cover separately (currently with house.co.uk) , this will add to the savings when I finally get round to cancelling my existing policy! You also get free priority pass membership, so that if you travel regularly you can use a business class flight lounge at pretty much any airport, even if you're travelling on an economy ticket with a no-frills airline. You get one of these also for additional cardholders - so, since I got him a card on my account, both my husband and I get free entry into lounges. If you want to bring anyone else in you can too, it costs something like £10 per entry. Considering you often get free drinks and food in the lounges, it pays for itself anyway with what you save on spending in the terminal. :-) The concierge service is not as good as what you can get from specialist companies, but it's OK for travel. From the Natwest brochure you get the impression that they only focus on posh holidays, but in reality that's not the case. Several times n
ow I've booked my el cheapo Easyjet flight, and left it to Blackcard to find me a small low cost but full of character place to stay. It sometimes takes them a bit of hunting but they've always come up with something. They've also helped me out with other odd requests - such as: - arranging a car to pick up stranded and panicking elderly relatives stuck in Paris in an emergency, with a friendly driver who helped buy their tickets and put them on the Eurostar home. This saved me having to fly over there to rescue them, and it only cost £60. - check out how much it would cost to purchase a US power adaptor that was big enough to convert a huge KitchenAid foodmixer to work in the UK. I called them in the evening from a motel room in Louisiana, and they had an answer back to me early the next morning before we left town so I had time to go back to the kitchen store and buy it. They even timed calling me back with the answer so as for it to be a wakeup call! I know these are not common problems, but that's precisely the point - the people at the concierge call centre seem willing to have a go at helping with anything, even if it is unusual. That's why, even though I don't use it very often, I value it a lot. Bizarrely, the things that Natwest promote the most in terms of selling the card - like access to special offers (e.g., wimbledon tickets), airmiles, and the "posh" connotations of it being exclusive - I don't find very useful. In fact, to me the latter is downright offputting. But if you ignore that aspect of it, the rest is really good value. In fact, one of the biggest things I like about the card - and it's so simple I wonder why other banks never did it - is that every year they send you an itemised statement, which lists *every* expenditure over £100 (with all the rest grouped into one line) split by category. So at a glance you can see how much you spent on food, theatre, clothes,
home/garden, etc. It can be scary to see it all in one place(!) but it's really helpful in terms of budgeting. This, far more than the opportunity to earn Airmiles, is the reason that I now use my Blackcard instead of cash whenever possible. I have just one issue with the Blackcard service that anyone thinking of getting a card should know. At least as of a year ago when I last tried, it's not possible to get online access to view your Blackcard account unless you have a Natwest current account also. Aside from this being a stupid restriction (e.g., Barclaycard don't require it), it's not easy to get a Natwest current account unless you physically go into a branch. Given there isn't a branch near my work, and I seldom have time to go out during business hours anyway, this is a problem. I've tried applying online, and even asked the Blackcard people to get them to mail me an application, but there was no response. Fortunately the Blackcard telephone line is pretty good so it's not a big problem, but its annoying if like me you're accustomed to doing all your banking/finance by Internet.
--First of all-- I would just like to say that i work in the natwest credit card centre and i would like to advise that we do the best in which we can to cut down queuing. We also do not take kindly people phoning up just for someone to shout at all for a tiny interest charge and claim that it the principle! --Second...--- We offer a number of very good deals for new customers e.g: >0% interest for first 6 months >5.9% interest on balence transfer for the life of the balence --Service-- I believe that the customer service in the natwest credit card centre is impecable and we treat all card holders with respect no matter what the query. I would like to believe that card holders with urgent problems dont go off on one and just explain the situation and it will be dealt with a lot sooner. Thank you for hearing my views on the matter and i hope that my view has changed your mind about the way you believe you are being treated by all natwest staff. --Help-- If you have a general inquiry please dont hesitate ti e-mail. JDeadman03@aol.com Thank you.
My experience of the natwest black (read: exclusive) card is as follows. PACKAGE ----------- The card is 240quid a year to have. This gives you - special rate of interest (12% i think) and a high credit limit (£20,000) You get -Green Flag breakdown cover -Priority pass airline lounge passes -access to "black club" offers -Airmiles at a greater rate than exisitng natwest cards (1.5 per £) -Access to "Personal Assistant" I havent yet had the chance to use the airport lounges yet. However it only get YOU (cardholder) acces NOT your party (they have to pay extra) But i should get the opportunity pretty soon. Green flag cover - I havent used yet (touch wood) BUT it is locked to one car (you give registration) and not like The AA's "YOure the member not the car" offering which i would infintely prefer. Black club is pretty limited at the moment - some cases of "exclusive wine" and an evenign with Murray Walker only offering so far Airmiles - pah - theyre pretty meaningless untill you have 3million to get you from heathrow to paris Personal Assistant - Ive found the help line fast and efficient so far - they are pleasent and cheery and sort out issues pretty quickly (they answer the phone quick too and have only been on hold for short time so far) but i havent yet used their "find me a classic car" type service. PROBLEMS IVE HAD ---------------------- For some reason they didnt send me my two first monthly bills. I then got quite a snotty phone call aasking why i hadnt paid the bills. As a side effect of this my card became un-authorised (as i hadnt paid my bill) which took a few days to sort out. OVERALL ---------- pretty good, but maybe not yet worth the 240 fee.
If you can get this card - then it offers great benefits and polite staff! This is Nat West's new credit card - it is not available to everyone (minimum income limit of 70k) - and it carries a £250 annual fee. So stop here if that's not for you - please don't rate me badly just because Nat West are miserable! Also - if you don't own a car or travel abroad - stop here But, that annual fee of £250 is offset by a the range of benefits a that come with it. If you are still here then how does this sound:- - good quality annual travel insurance for you, your partner and all your kids - 2 Priority Passes gaining you access to thousands of airport lounges world wide - European breakdown cover for your car - free Card Protection plan - 24 hr personal assistance (i.e. concierge service) for anything from theatre ticket to? - improved Airmiles earning compared to rate of regular credit card I worked these out and figured that they are worth lot's more than the membership fee. I hate banks like most people -but when they get something right - they deserve some credit. The current APR at time of writing was 13.9%. To find out more about Black or get an Information pack you should call 0800 444 258 or visit http://www.natwestblack.com
At the end of the day, any old credit card is good enough for me. I'm not attracted by any of these fancy offers and incentives. I just want a credit card that I can use, with good customer service to back it up. I'm quite disciplined with my money, and I only put on my credit card what I can definitely pay off completely at the end of the month, so paying interest is never an issue. I have had my Natwest Credit Card dual account for over 6 years. I signed up because at the time I had a NatWest bank account. After problems with my current account, I moved on and changed banks, but I've never had any reason to change Credit Card company. With the dual account, I get a Mastercard and a Visa card on the same account, using a combined credit limit. As I've said, the back-up of good customer service is the only thing that really matters for me. My dealings with them have all been more than satisfactory. - When I needed to add another card holder on to my account urgently, they told me to fax the details and they would sort it out. I did so, and received the secondary card holder's credit cards within 3 days. - When I didn't receive a shipment from Tanzania that I'd ordered, Natwest Credit Cards automatically refunded the whole amount within a couple of days, and then went on to make enquires afterwards. I had expected them not to make the refund for weeks, until they'd argued it out with the retailer. - When I needed to change my address, I went through the security checks over the telephone and then gave my new details. I've found that some other banks aren't satisfied that you've passed the security checks, and they make you inform them in writing. - New cards always arrive a month before the old ones expire. - They continually review and increase my credit limit without me having to ask them. So that's it - if you want a credit card to just
use, pay off in full every month, with good customer service, then I can certainly recommend NatWest. Now for the other bits, which is probably what determines which credit card most people select: The interest rate is 1.385% per month on purchases and cash advances. Cash advances also incur a 1.5% handling fee, subject to a minimum charge of £1.50. (Drawing cash out with your credit card is always a bad idea, I think.) Overseas transactions incur an administration levy equivalent to 2.75% of the value of the transaction based on the Sterling equivalent. Accounts which go over their credit limit are charged £18. If you don't make your minimum payment by the date shown on your statement, you are also charged £18. The incentive scheme offered by NatWest is Airmiles, you get 1 airmile for every £20 you spend on purchases (cash advances are not included). So, if you use your NatWest Credit Card along with your Tesco Clubcard, you will be earning Airmiles in two different ways simultaneously, and they'll soon add up. Your monthly statement comes on A4 paper. It shows transaction date, transaction reference and details of the place and amount of each purchase, together with whether you paid using Visa or Mastercard. You can pay your bill by bank giro credit at your own bank, by posting a cheque, or by direct debit. Personally, I pay one month at a time using my HSBC Internet Banking. This gives me the opportunity to check my statement when it arrives, and then pay the bill from the comfort of my computer. You're bound to find better offers and interest rates on the market, but for ease of use and reliability, I can't fault NatWest.