The Black Diamond credit card was originally launched by Vanquis Bank. Unlike other trading names such as Aquis, NEO and Original there is however no current ability to apply for it through the lender. It does look to have changed hands since the only way you can apply for it today is to head through www.blackdiamondcreditcards.co.uk. The owner of this site is Credit Benefit Services Llc. This is not the first time that this American broker has dabbled with UK cards. They had been running the Rise and Shout cards that have each now been discontinued (accepting no new applications). The issuer for those was R Raphael & Sons.
This is one of the UK’s leading retailers both on the high street and on the web. They have around 750 stores that serve around 130 million customers each year. Their website receives more than 430 million visits per year with 26% of their sales flowing through the internet. This is the core brand of the Home Retail Group that also includes Habitat and Homebase. This company was formed in 1973 by Richard Tompkins. Their roots could however be traced back to 1958 through Green Shield Stamps, since their stores, warehouses etc were rebranded at launch. The Argos Card for credit purchases has proved very popular over the years. This is currently priced at 29.9% APR.
Ocean Finance was established in 1991 and is part of Intelligent Lending Ltd who operate from Manchester. This broker has primarily focussed on seeking homeowner leads through www.oceanfinance.co.uk over the years. There is also an unsecured solution and they have collectively served more than 250,000 people. This loan broker is recognisable across the industry, but more people are searching for the Ocean credit card in comparison to their company name that is rare to see. This would likely be due to the product’s inclusion on leading comparison sites. We have also noticed that it has its own TV ad running at the moment that will be boosting its profile.
The Granite card was the first affinity partnership released by Vanquis who have since also joined up with Argos. The product pitched at www.granitecard.co.uk was launched in early 2011. This is a trading brand of MI Money Ltd that is a division of the Media Ingenuity Group. All of the corporate info has however now been shifted on to TotallyMoney.com. TotallyMoney is their main project that has become a very popular comparison site over its active years. Whilst this was the first line of cards released, they would later return with Luma in 2012. Another release has been Fluid, although this is targeted at in the prime space in partnership with MBNA.
The Luma credit card has been the UK’s most popular subprime affinity card to date. This product served at www.luma.co.uk arrived in 2012. Rapid sector growth has much been owed to extensive TV ad campaigning that has helped this brand to surpass Granite that had arrived in early 2011. The Granite/Luma brands were released by MI Money Ltd that is a subsidiary of the Media Ingenuity Group. The Media Ingenuity’s main focus is geared at TotallyMoney.com that provides comparisons for cards, loans and mortgages. The affinity partnerships include Capital One here, Vanquis is used for Granite and in the prime sector they have teamed up with MBNA to bring Fluid.
Littlewoods was formed as a betting company back in 1923 by Sir John Moores. They expanded into mail-order retailing in 1932 that is considered as their founding year. This business was however eventually made defunct, but the brand name has been taken forward by the Shop Direct Group over at www.littlewoods.com. Despite K&Co being fused into this operation, it is still not the Group’s core brand with Very taking on this position. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t still a big focus on this project that has been receiving plenty of TV ad campaigning over the past year. This has helped to keep their web service in popular demand.
Shop Direct’s Very has emerged as one of the top UK web retailers. They launched at www.very.co.uk back in summer 2009, although this was considered as a rebrand of Littlewoods Direct. Their massive growth has been supported by aggressive TV ad campaigning where they use various celebrity endorsements. Despite starting out in women’s fashion they have adapted to sell a wide range of products. There has also been room for financial products pitched through the Money Zone. Here they offer personal loans (via Moneyway) and their spread the cost account that they issue directly through the Shop Direct Finance Company. Then we have the Very credit card that has been in significant demand since its launch.