12:04 15 March 2013
Savvy shoppers are catching on to the benefits offered by reward credit cards, with new research from MBNA revealing that just under a third (29%) of consumers look for these schemes when choosing a new card.
If you pay off your credit card balance without fail every month and are yet to join them, you could be missing a trick.
The rewards on offer from credit card providers are improving all the time, by way of new cards or enhancements to existing schemes.
Card giant, MBNA is the latest to launch not one but two rewards cards, linked to its new More Rewards Credit Card Account.
The two cards - one Visa, one American Express - both have representative APRs of 12.9% (variable) which is low compared to other credit cards in the reward arena.
When it comes to the rewards offer, spending on the American Express card will earn you two points (or four in the first three months) per £1, while the Visa card offers one point (or two in the first three months) per £1 spent.
The points can then be redeemed on the More Rewards platform, which offers some 35,000 options, including high street vouchers and luxury experiences.
Michael Donald at MBNA said: "Unlike many other loyalty credit card programmes, there is no limit on the amount of points customers can earn, or the type of spending that will earn them points."
The new MBNA cards will not be right for everyone though. So read on to find out more about the top deals of this kind that could best suit you. (Just remember to check that you will qualify by clicking on Will you get this card? before actually applying).
Barclaycard Cashback Card
Rewards: A massive 6% cashback on your top five purchases in the first three months and up to 2% thereafter.
Pros/cons: It has a £24 annual fee
APR: The annual fee pushes the representative APR up to a hefty 24.8% (variable).
Best for: Anyone looking for flexible rewards on their spending, especially those looking to make a few big purchases over the next few months.
Sainsbury's Cashback Credit Card
Rewards: A generous 5% on all Sainsbury's shopping for the first three months and 1% on all retail purchases made thereafter.
Pros/cons: Unlike the Barclaycard described above, there is no annual fee. Also offers 0% on purchases for six months and 0% on balance transfers for 15 months.
APR: The representative APR is 17.9% (variable).
Best for: Anyone regularly shops at Sainsbury's - including buying petrol from its forecourts.
Tesco Clubcard Credit Card for purchases
Rewards: Clubcard points on all your spending - and double points in Tesco stores.
Pros/cons: This card currently offers new customers a market leading 16 months at 0% on purchases and nine monts at 0% on balance transfers.
APR: The representative APR of 16.9% (variable) will kick in after the first 16 months.
Best for: Anyone who regularly shops at Tesco - including buying petrol from its forecourts.
Barclaycard Freedom Rewards Card
Rewards: Points on almost all spending, plus double points on purchases made at UK petrol stations, as well as those in supermarkets.
Anyone who spends £500 in the first three months also gets 10,500 bonus Freedom points worth £30.
Pros/cons: There is also a nine-month, 0% balance transfer offer available on this card.
APR: The representative APR is 18.9% (variable).
Best for: Those with families who spend a lot on groceries or drivers who cover a lot of miles and therefore spend a lot on fuel.
MBNA More Rewards Credit Card Account
Rewards: With the Visa version, you earn one point for every £1 spent, while with the American Express card you get two points for every £1 spent.
Pros/cons: Having both a Visa and an American Express card means that you can still earn rewards, albeit at a lower rate, when retailers or service providers refuse to take American Express.
APR: The representative APR on both of these cards is relatively low at 12.9% (variable).
Best for: Shoppers keen to earn rewards on every single £1 they spend.
Apply for the Visa version
American Express British Airways Premium Plus Card
Rewards: Automatic enrolment into the British Airways Executive Club, plus 18,000 Avios (previously air miles) if you spend £3,000 in the first three months - that's enough for two return flights to Paris.
Pros/cons: There is a hefty £150 annual fee to take into account. However, there is also a no-fee version of the card - the British Airways American Express Card - that offers less generous rewards.
APR: The annual fee pushes the representative APR of 19.9% (variable) up to a jaw-dropping 56.4%.
Best for: Big spenders who love to travel and will reap benefits of more than £150 a year.
Lloyds TSB Premier Duo Avios Credit Card
Rewards: Avios on most UK spending, plus double Avios on overseas purchases.
Pros/cons: You can choose to pay no annual fee.
APR: The representative APR on the no-fee version is17.9% (variable).
Best for: Globetrotters who often use their cards overseas.
Please note: Any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.
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