Newest Review: ... of a discrepancy on the promised APR. I did so, and returned the T&Cs to RBS Advanta the same day. Since then, despite several phone... more
No reward for loyalty
Member Name: sue.51
Date: 28/09/01, updated on 28/09/01 (771 review reads)
Advantages: Good customer service
Disadvantages: Do not reward customer loyalty
Run jointly by Royal Bank of Scotland & I know not who, I have held this little gem of a card for a a good few years now, dusting it off for the occasional sizeable purchase, it has sat and survived in my wallet whilst all its little friends have arrived, been chewed up, spat out and dispensed to that big credit card heaven in the Sky. Why you might ask.
Well they have always been a quiet unassuming credit card company, they seldom bombard me with letters (although speculative loan application forms have been arriving recently), and NEVER EVER a marketing phone call.
Application until recently was made by the now nearly out of date pen and paper/snail mail combination, although I do believe they are now offering internet application and the company provides a range of three levels, Classic, Gold and Platinum based on your income and other data they hold on you.
Classic and Gold come in Visa form only, whilst for some unknown reason, Platinum is only offered in Mastercard.
All three cards offer a magical introductory rate of 1.9% until June 2002, and from advertising slogans I have seen that this remains competitive and is regularly updated.
After this date, rates change to 16.9% APR for Classic and Gold, 15.9% for Platinum - well at least thats what I thought until I rang them this morning and they told me my rate was 16.9%, confused you will be.
SO WHAT DO THEY OFFER THAT MAKES THEM DIFFERENT?
Well in these competitive times, not a lot really - you can get interest free credit of UP TO 56 days if you pay off your bill every month, althought to actually get this, strategic spending is needed.
To be fair, this is still better than most of the competition who are dramatically reducing interest free periods in order to compensate for the competitive introductory and longer term r
ates they offer.
RBS Advanta Platinum offers an internet gurantee (I think they all do nowadays), free accident travel insurance, emergency overseas legal and medical protection, car rental discounts with AVIS (not the cheapest in the world), free room upgrades at SUMMIT hotels (who?), special free competition entries reserved for Platinum account holders, a travel service and a wine service, none of which I have ever tried to take advantage of.
In fact I have never tried to take advantage (no pun intended) of RBS Advanta until today, when I rang them to ask if they would give me a special rate for a balance transfer like many of the competitors offer.
I was advised that my rate was currently 16.9%APR fixed (should be 15.9% according to the literature), and was told that the only time the competition offers special rates was to new customers - wrong again RBS, MBNA offer special rates for balance transfers regularly to existing customers as do MARBLES.
Their local rate phone number is always manned, and does not encounter encumbant pre-recorded security checks like many of the competition, the longest I have ever had to wait on the line is about 3 minutes before speaking to a human being although to be fair, contact is generally instantaneous.
Not the most generous on the market, although this is not necessarily a bad thing, their maximum possible credit limit for platinum holders is £15,000, (£5,000 for Classic Cards, £10,000 for Gold).
Minimum income requirement for Platinum Reserve is £20,000, although they do upgrade from lower cards without request for good customers.
They do not currently provide an internet account base, and payment can be made by all the traditional methods including post, over the counter cheque/cash payment, direct debit and Delta/switch payments over the phone (credited to your account within 2 working days - cannot
be made after 11pm) - although indications are that this method may be soon to cease in line with new Government legislation. Minimum payment is 3% of the outstanding balance. Their Late payment charges are not publicised and luckily I have never had to encounter them, so know little about them.
All in all, as I said above, a quiet unassuming company that up until now I have been suitably impressed with, they have won awards for being the best credit card provider, but they evidently have no customer loyalty and no overwhelming desire to hang on to long term customers.
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