Tag Archives: spending

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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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What do with do with our PPI refund money?

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Post the fall out of the Payment Protection Insurance scandal, banks have been forced to put aside millions of pounds to compensate the customers who they had wrongly taken money from.  The victims of the bankers were everyday people who had taken out mortgages, loans or credit cards, and had been opted into this additional insurance product without their knowledge, consent or had been told it was a compulsory purchase they had to take with their borrowing. Many were signed up for PPI who were not ever even eligible for the product as they were retired or self-employed and could never have made a claim on the payment protection insurance policy – thereby meaning they were paying premiums for an insurance that was completely useless to them.

The good news however is that for the thousands of people who the banks wrongfully took money from, there is the likely possibility to getting their money back.  They can go to a PPI claim company to get a refund for them or lodge a PPI claim directly with their bank, either way, more than £13 billion has been paid out in refunds from the banks and there are still actual billions waiting to be claimed (many people still aren’t aware if they ever had PPI or may be eligible so its worth checking!).

The average payout in a single PPI claim is £2,750.  And what do us Brits do with the money we receive in compensation? A survey conducted into this very question by online site VoucherCodesPro.co.uk reveals that the most popular thing to do is spend it on a holiday. Just under a quarter of all respondents chose to do so, with buying a new car coming second place at 22%.

The payout money was on average used for spending in some form within three weeks.  Household appliances (19%) and furnishings (13%) were high up in the list, and other items such as clothes, gadgets and shoes were also in the top 10: numbers 7 to 9 respectively.  17% used the money to pay off bills, whilst only 12% decided to save any of the money.

The additional consumer spending that the PPI claims payouts have fostered are therefore responsible for a huge boost to the UK economy, much needed in these austere times. The bankers have, however inadvertently (with all their blunders and misappropriations), actually helped the economy after all.

If you feel that you may have been mis-sold PPI, why not try an online PPI rebate calculator to figure out how much you may be owed. Most PPI claims companies offer a free PPI check or can look into you case on a no win no fee basis, so it won’t cost you a thing if you’re not eligible.

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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.