Category Archives: Rewards

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Maximise Rewards on Your Credit Cards

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Credit card rewards are, at the very least, extremely nice to have. They can also give a genuine boost to your finances or be that factor that makes you choose one provider over another. But you don’t have to just passively accept the rewards as they come. With a little extra effort, you can maximise the rewards in order to draw the very greatest benefits from your card.

Combining With Separate Offers

Get a little extra reward in the first instance by looking at other offers and types of reward that you can combine with your card. For example, it may be possible to make your application through a cashback website. This will give you cash upon your application being accepted, above and separate from whatever rewards may come with the card. It is possible there may also be special offers for taking out a credit card with the bank you already hold a current or savings account with.

Making the Most of Cashback on Spending

Many cards offer rewards in the form of cashback on spending. Often, this reward is only valid for spending up to a certain value or for a certain time after you first take out the card. It is important, therefore, to make the most of this offer by spending the full value if at all possible, and doing so while the cashback offer is still in effect. If you have any big purchases coming up like car insurance renewal and you were planning to pay cash for them, it can instead be worth putting them on your card in order to get cashback. You can then quickly repay the balance with the cash you were going to use for the purchase, and therefore avoid interest.

Gift Vouchers and Material Gifts

If you are given a gift voucher for a shop you do not normally use, then it might be possible to get more benefit out of it than you would from simply going to the shop specifically to use the voucher. It might be possible to turn the voucher into cash that you can spend wherever you like by selling it to somebody who does shop their regularly. Ideally, you will be able to make a deal with a friend or family member to exchange it for its cash value directly. They lose nothing because they shop there anyway, and you gain flexibility in your spending. However, it may even be worth selling it for slightly less than the credit is worth. For example, if a card comes with a £100 M&S gift voucher and you do not normally shop there, it is likely you could do more with £90 or £95 in cash at your normal shopping destinations than you could with the voucher, and you may well find somebody willing to pay this much. There are also companies that buy your vouchers, but they tend to pay disappointing rates.

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Comparing Cashback and Rewards Credit Cards

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The common perception is that most people carry a balance on their card when it comes to credit card usage. However, reality is a bit different. The UK Cards Association reports that 61% of credit card users pay their bill in full each month. Therefore, if you fall in this category, it might be a good idea for you to have a card that will reward you for spending on it.

It is worth exploring the numerous rewards and cashback cards that are available if you really do pay your card off in full each month. In this way, the provider will actually pay you for using your credit card. However, you will need to make a decision whether to go for a card which will help you earn some form of reward points or for a straightforward cashback card.

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We will make a quick comparison between credit cards and cashback cards. We will use the American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday credit card and the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold charge card. For the purposes of this comparison, the following numbers will be used. , £6,000 is spent on each card for the duration of one year, with £2,000 spent in the first three months and £2,000 of the other £4,000 spent in big supermarket chains and petrol stations over the following nine months.

What you earn from the Platinum Cashback Everyday card is around £100 which is about 5% on up to £2 000 spent in the first three months. For the next £4 000 that are spent, the cashback is earned at 1% which adds £40 more to what you have received.

Now we will see what you get for the same amount of money with the Preferred Rewards Gold card.  It should be noted that the first three months give you an introductory bonus of 20 000 American Express Membership reward points. These points can be easily converted into £100-worth of gift vouchers for a lot of shops and big brands. This means that you have 5% return which is the same as the introductory bonus on the Platinum Cashback Everyday card.

So it might be the case that rewards cards prove to be better than cashback cards in terms of value. Nevertheless, it is worth exploring your options carefully before choosing which one you will go for.

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Cash Back on Your Holiday Shopping

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With the festivities oh Bonfire night and Halloweeen having been out behind us, we are yet to celebrate the biggest one of them all, Christmas! The key question for shoppers however remains one of finance and how much you are willing to spend this year on the daddy of the festive holidays. There are a number of credit cards out in the market which, depending on where you chose to do your Christmas shopping, can offer cashback and rewards of up to 15% which is definitely worth considering.

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The Santander 123 is just one of the latest credit cards to offer cash back, which will give back 1% to its customers on all Amazon online purchases which lasts until the 31st January 2014. The offer also includes a 1% cashback reward when spending money in major supermarkets, as well as 2% cashback when using the card in all big name department stores and 3% cashback on purchases at major petrol stations across the UK and purchases on London underground and National Rail. The promotion is available to both existing and new customers and provides shoppers with a great little treat around the holiday season. However, there are some downsides to the 123 credit card the first of which is the cost it comes at. In order to benefit from the cashback offer you will need to pay a £24 annual fee for the 123 credit card which also charges a 22.8% APR. The good news is that this is now waived to the first year meaning that new and existing customers do not have to pay the charge if they are holders of the account until the 31st December 2013.

Another rewards card scheme which seems innovative has been released by Lloyds. The bank says that it is giving 1000 current account holders who have set up internet banking a refund of purchases worth up to £500 every week. The selection is made randomly and is a great way of saving money around the holidays if you are one of the lucky selected account holders. The cashback scheme is valid on purchases made in retailers such as Homebase, Morrisons, Argos and Ocado with more major stores set to sign up to the scheme in the coming weeks before Christmas. Halifax is also currently offering cashback to its Reward current account holders once again the industry average of up to 15% with its partners including major brands such as Argos and Morrisons.

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New Vauxhall Rewards Card Is Launched

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It’s quite common for buyers to use a credit card to pay for some or all of the cost of a vehicle, but it’s now even more beneficial to do so as a new credit card partnership between Capital One and Vauxhall offers the chance to earn money off the cost of a new car or van via a rewards credit card. It’s worth noting that  there isn’t much point in getting this card if you’re not a fan of Vauxhall vehicles, but you will definitely enjoy this offer if you are. The Vauxhall Rewards credit card could provide you with Reward Points that could shave up to £1,500 off the purchase of a new Vauxhall, depending on the model you go for. In order to gain advantage of this offer and obtain the card, you’ll need to be aged 21 or over, have an excellent credit history and earn at least £20,000 a year.

The Rewards system is actually very simple; every Reward Point earned is worth £1 off the cost of a new Vauxhall vehicle, And similar to many reward and cashback credit cards at the moment, the Vauxhall Rewards card offers a higher initial rate of rewards. In this case, you can initially earn Reward Points worth 6% of the value of what you spend, although this is capped at either £3,000-worth of spending or the end of your first three months of having the card, depending on whichever is reached first. It’s made clear that you can earn a maximum of 180 Reward Points after which the rewards value then switches to 3% of the value of your purchases.

In order to earn the maximum £1,500 discount, you would need to then spend £44,000 on your card before the end of your fourth year, because the points expire at the end of four years. Depending on how much you spend monthly on food, entertainment and holidays, that figure is not entirely out of reach. Membership of the Vauxhall MasterFit Service Club is also offered with the card. In addition, no interest will be required to pay on purchases for the first six months that you hold the card. If you don’t pay off your balance in full each month, the card has a representative APR of 17.9%, and obviously paying interest will soon wipe out the value of the rewards points you’ve earned.

The Rewards Points that you are allowed to spend are capped depending on the model from 500 on the ADAM and Agila to the maximum 1,500 on the Ampera and Insignia. Bear in mind, with Vauxhall’s new ADAM model going for around £10,000, £500 is only a small dent in the price.If you love to spend and also love the idea of a new Vauxhall then this card might be appealing due to its fairly generous rewards points.

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Credit card spending can pay for your flights

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Holidays are on the wish list for many, however saving up for one may not be possible for all with mortgages, insurances, bills and other household expenses. Now however, spending money can entitle you to a free holiday. Many reward credit cards now allow customers to earn points totalling up to a free holiday. Although taxes, fees and surcharges are not included in the points, paying a minimum fee would bring a smile to several faces.

Such reward cards are part of the Avios rewards programme, replaced by the former Airmiles and BA Miles. From having just 9,000 Avios, the reward system can pay for a return UK/Western Europe flight. Although a minimum of £30 per person may need to be added on top for other exclusive fees, a holiday may not seem so far off.

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At Lloyds, Duo Avios Reward Credit Cards are available to customers who can earn Avios as they use credit. Customers applying for this will receive two cards, an American Express and a Mastercard. For every £5 spent using the Mastercard, and every £1 spent on the American Express, customers will receive one Avios. Customers spending £500 in the first three months will have a total of 15,000 Avios which is enough to secure a return flight to Western Europe.

The duo reward credit card is available to customers who are aged above 18 and residents of the UK. Customers must be employed and not have any County Court judgements or bankruptcy history within the past 6 years. The cards provided through Lloyds are great for collecting Avios on almost all purchases; spending money abroad allows double Avios!

This brilliant reward system is one not be missed out on. Saving money for a holiday had never been easier. Whether it’s an exotic holiday you are after or something just to get away, the Avios programme caters for all. The amount of Avios will however determine which destination is available.