Marbles Credit Card: Credit Builder

Like many other credit-building cards available, the Marbles card will consider users who have a poor or limited credit history in the UK. Interest rates are higher-than-average, so try to pay the whole balance every month in order to avoid large interest charges and prevent debt from building up. Use Marbles' FastCheck eligibility checker, which tells you the likelihood you'll be accepted before you apply, and won't leave a hard credit search on your credit record.

Marbles Card Features

  • No annual fee
  • Purchase APR 33.8% (variable)
  • Initial credit limit as low as £100 to £250
  • Cardholders may request credit limit increases every 4th month
  • Text reminders help you make payments on time
  • Text reminders if you go over the credit limit. (You may be given two days to bring the account back under the limit before fees incurred but watch out for weekends)

Pros...

  • Considers applications from those new to credit or with poor credit
  • Free text reminders
  • Credit limit may increase in future
  • Grace period on spend over credit limit
  • FastCheck eligibility checker

Cons...

  • Higher-than-average interest rates of 33.8% APR
  • No rewards or bonuses

Marbles Credit Card Review

The Marbles card is one of many "credit-builder" cards in the market, targeted at those with poor credit or no credit history in the UK. Like other credit-builder cards, it can be used to build up a poor or limited credit history. To make that happen, be sure to pay at least the minimum monthly payment on time and stay under the credit limit to demonstrate that you can handle credit responsibly.

The Marbles card's FastCheck eligibility checker is a tool you can use before you apply, to see your likelihood of being accepted. FastCheck performs a soft credit check, which has no impact on your credit rating and can't be seen by other potential lenders (you, however, can see soft checks when you review your own credit report). Eligibility checkers can help you avoid an unsuccessful application—that is, if you're going to be rejected, you'd rather know that beforehand so you don't apply. This is because every application leaves a hard check on your credit file and might make it more difficult to get another credit card in the future.

Grace Period on Over Limits

The Marbles card apparently offers a grace period for overreaching your credit limit, at the discretion of the collections team. We've spoken to customer service and they said that cardholders who exceed the credit limit could receive a text message notification and the opportunity to fix the situation—but this is not guaranteed. For instance, those with a history of exceeding the credit limit, not paying on time, etc., will probably not be offered a grace period.

Those given a grace period have the chance to bring their account back under the credit limit within 48 hours, thereby avoiding the £12 over-limit fee or a mark on their credit record. It seems this system works better on a Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday than a Thursday/Friday/Saturday since money won't transfer over the weekend. In any case, make a transfer the same day for the best shot of bringing your account back under the limit within the grace period, as you can see in the following table. Update Marbles if your phone number changes, so you can be contacted if you exceed your limit.

Day you Exceed Credit LimitPotential Grace Period ends on...Effectively need Account in order by...
MondayWednesdayWednesday
TuesdayThursdayThursday
WednesdayFridayFriday
ThursdaySaturdayFriday
FridaySundayFriday
SaturdayMondayMonday
SundayTuesdayTuesday

Credit Limit Increases

Your Marbles credit limit may start off as low as £100 to £250. It is very important to work to increase a low credit limit; once your credit limit exceeds £1,000 you should see a positive effect on your credit score. With the Marbles card, your credit limit will be reviewed after 3 months (i.e., your credit limit may increase on your 4th statement). Cardholders can also manually request a credit limit increase every 4th month. There is no harm in making this request - being turned down for a credit limit increase will not affect your credit score. Only if your limit is raised will Marbles communicate this improvement to the credit agencies.

While a credit limit increase can be beneficial in terms of establishing a positive credit history, they're not good for everyone. According to FCA research, some people who are offered unsolicited credit limit increases end up taking on more debt than they can comfortably pay back. Before accepting a higher credit limit, be sure that it suits your individual financial situation.

Interest Charges

As you would expect, like other credit-builder cards, the Marbles card has a higher-than-average interest rate of 33.8% APR. This won't be a problem if you pay down the full balance every month since there are no interest charges on a cleared balance. You can choose a monthly repayment date that suits you, perhaps just after pay day or to coincide with other bill due dates. The table below shows how much interest you would incur while paying off a £1,000 balance (assuming a 33.8% APR), depending on the size of your monthly payments.

Monthly PaymentMonths to pay of £1,000Total Interest Charges
£37 (approximate initial Minimum Monthly Payment)49£797
£5029£429
£10012£153
£1508£89
£1,000 (pay off full balance by next payment date)0£0

The following charts show how long it will take to pay back a £1,000 balance on a credit card charging 33.8% APR and how much interest you'd pay along the way. You can see how costly making minimum monthly payments can be.

chart showing how long it takes to pay back a debt, depending on the size of your monthly payments
Time to Become Debt Free Depends on Monthly Payments
chart showing how much interest is paid while paying back a debt, depending on the size of your monthly payments
Total Interest Paid Decreases as Monthly Payments Increase

Bottom Line: Customers can use the Marbles card, like other credit-builder cards, to improve their credit history over time. Stay within the credit limit, always pay on time, and work to increase the credit limit over £1,000. Due to higher-than-average interest rates of 33.8% APR, we recommend trying to pay down your full balance every month to avoid large interest charges and developing a persistent debt problem.