Banks Withdraw Cashback Incentives | moneyfacts.co.uk

Derin Clark

Derin Clark

Online Reporter
Published: 27/07/2020

Consumers looking to get cashback incentives on their bank accounts and credit cards will be disappointed to find that many incentives are being withdrawn and the number of cashback credit cards available on the market has fallen to just eight.

Since the beginning of this year, a number of banks have withdrawn or reduced their cashback incentives, with more changes planned over the coming months. For example, last week Santander announced it was changing the cashback offered on its current account range from October and would be increasing the account fee on its 123 Lite Current Account, which comes just months after it had capped the cashback offer on the account. Meanwhile, earlier this year NatWest scrapped its cashback offer on bills on its Reward Current Account.

Fall in cashback credit card deals

Research carried out by Moneyfacts.co.uk has found that this year, the number of cashback credit cards available to consumers has fallen to its lowest level in 10 years.

Cashback credit card deals have been falling since January 2016, when there were as many as 20 cashback credit card deals available on the market. The reason for the fall in cashback deals on credit cards has been in part as a response to European Union cap on interchange fees. These fees were paid by retailers to card issuers when a debit or credit card was used as payment and could cost retailers up to 8p per debit card transaction and 0.8% per credit card transaction. These hidden fees were usually passed onto the customer.

Soon after the cap on interchange fees took place, banks began withdrawing their cashback credit card deals. Now, consumers will struggle to get a credit card that offers a cashback incentive, especially on a credit card that does not charge a card fee. For example the top cashback credit card deal comes from American Express, which charges an annual fee of £25 and offers 5% cashback for the first six months, capped at £125 and then 1% cashback on spend between £1 to £10,000 per year and 1.25% on spend over £10,000 per year.

While the number of cashback credit cards available are falling, there are still some good deals available to consumers who regularly use their credit card when shopping and who are looking to earn cashback on their purchases. “A cashback credit card may be a good option for shoppers who have held off making larger or more regular non-essential purchases until after the lockdown” explained Rachel Springall, finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk. “Shoppers could earn up to 5% cashback with American Express Platinum Cashback Card for the first six months and 1% thereafter. Santander offers an All in One Credit Card Mastercard that pays 0.50% cashback on any spending and includes a 0% introductory purchase offer of 26 months, while the Barclaycard Rewards Visa would pay 0.25% in cashback.

“Those consumers who plan to sort out not just their finances after the lockdown, but also perhaps their physical fitness, may like to consider the Vitality American Express Credit Card. Its unique loyalty scheme enables customers to get more cashback the more they work out and activity points they build, up to 1% in cashback and even more on top if they have an eligible Vitality Health or Life plan.

“Clearly consumers will need to be savvy and shop around for a lucrative cashback credit card if they hope to get something back when they spend, but they may wish to act quickly as there is no telling how long these offers will last and they could get cut in a similar way to how current account perks have been culled. As with any card spend, it’s a good idea to clear the monthly balance before interest applies as this could wipe out any cashback gained.”

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Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.

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