Specialist lender NewDay has launched the first UK consumer credit card that doesn’t come with a physical plastic card, called ‘Bip’. Is it any good?
NewDay is one of the UK’s biggest credit lenders, providing credit cards for businesses such as Amazon UK, and is the issuer of the Aqua credit cards.
Its Bip card is fee-free, and everything is accessed through the Bip app – including a chat function to help customers service their account.
Here, Which? looks a what the card offers in more detail, and whether you should consider it.
What does the NewDay Bip card offer?
The Bip credit card is an everyday Mastercard that can be downloaded via the App Store and Google Play. You also apply for the card via the app, and if accepted you can start making contactless and online payments straight away.
It has an advertised representative 29.9% APR (variable), but you could be offered a rate of 49.94% APR (variable) instead.
You won’t pay interest if you pay off your balance in full and on time each month.
The Bip card’s features include:
- Starting credit limit of £250-£1,200
- No annual, foreign exchange or late payment fees
- Paperless (and plastic-free) apart from regulatory required communications – for example letters regarding changes to your credit limit;
- Secure access to CVV (the three numbers which can usually be found at the back of a card) via the app;
- You can set spending alerts and an automatic freeze if you spend over a certain amount
- You can see how much you could save on interest with the payment calculator, aimed at helping you to understand the impact on the interest you would pay by increasing your repayments;
- Everything is accessed through the Bip app – including a chat function to help you service your account.
Find out more: credit cards explained
How does Bip compare?
NewDay says Bip is suited to those who want to build up their credit score. This means you’re more likely to be eligible for the card if your credit history is poor.
The annual representative percentage rate (APR) of interest is quite high (especially if you are approved at the higher 49.94% APR), but this isn’t uncommon among credit builder cards.
We’ve put together a comparison table of different credit-builder cards on the market, using Which? Money Compare, sorted by the representative APR.
|Credit card provider||Representative APR (variable)||Representative example||Maximum APR you could be offered (variable)|
|Tesco Bank Foundation Credit Card||27.5%||Assumed borrowing of £1,200 for 1 year, at a Purchase Rate of 27.5% (variable), representative 27.5% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status.||39.9%|
|Vanquis Chrome 29.3% Credit Card||29.5%||Assumed borrowing of £1,200 for 1 year, at a Purchase Rate of 29.3% (variable), representative 29.3% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status.||59.9%|
|HSBC Classic Credit Card||29.9%||Assumed borrowing of £1,200 for 1 year, at a Purchase Rate of 29.9% (variable), representative 29.9% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status.||29.9%|
|Bip Credit Card||29.9%||Assumed borrowing of £1,200 for 1 year, at a Purchase Rate of 29.9% (variable), representative 29.9% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status.||49.94%|
Source: Which? Money Compare
As you can see, the representative APR on other cards can be slightly lower. However, with any credit-builder card you should only really be using it if you can pay back what you owe each month.
- Find out more: how to improve your credit score
Should I consider the Bip credit card?
Other credit-builder cards offer more perks. The Tesco Bank Foundation Card for example, allows you to collect Clubcard points wherever you spend, while boosting your credit score at the same time.
The Bip card may appeal to those who travel abroad frequently as there are no foreign fees – though other travel credit cards charge lower interest rates. As a Mastercard, Bip will be widely accepted around the world, more so than rival American Express.
- Find out more: who are the best and worst credit card providers?
How else can I avoid carrying cards?
The Bip card may appeal to consumers who are more digitally savvy and living a predominately cashless life through their phones/digital wallets.
It may suit those who want to go ‘green’ with their finances. One of the major drawbacks to credit cards from an environmental perspective is that they’re usually made of PVC plastic. This is difficult to recycle, which is why many expired credit cards end up in landfills.
How to choose a credit card
Credit cards can help you manage your finances in a number of ways, depending on what type of card you choose.
You can also use our credit card finder quiz below to help you make a decision.
If you’re unsure about which provider you want to go with, check out our credit card provider reviews, recently updated for 2021.
Which? Limited is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Which? Financial Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 527029). Which? Money Compare is a trading name of Which? Financial Services Limited.