The reward credit card sector has been hit hard in recent years, largely the result of the EU interchange cap ruling in 2015 that limited the amount card providers could charge businesses for accepting card payments, which saw many providers cut their rewards in an attempt to remain profitable. However, our latest analysis of the market shows tentative signs of competition returning to the sector, with several providers improving their reward offerings in recent weeks.
Reward credit cards can be a great way to get something back from your everyday spending, with many allowing you to collect points that can be used for anything from the weekly shop to flights and hotel stays. This means finding the right deal could really pay off, so to help show you the kind of thing available, we've compiled a list of just some of the improvements to hit the market since the start of May:
- HSBC launched a new Rewards Credit Card Mastercard last week that's exclusively available to existing customers. It offers 2,500 bonus reward points (worth £25) after the first transaction as well as one point for every £5 spent thereafter, and as an added bonus, shoppers can earn 2,500 additional reward points on the anniversary of the account being opened if £10,000 has been spent in the previous year. This applies for the first five years, too, giving borrowers the chance to accumulate a serious amount of points, which can be redeemed for perks such as coffees and cinema trips. The card also offers a six-month 0% interest term on both purchases and balance transfers (the latter with a 2% fee).
- ASDA Money has added an extra incentive to its Cashback Credit Card Mastercard – as well as offering the chance to earn 1% back on all Asda spending and 0.2% elsewhere, not to mention 10% on selected insurance products (which can be converted into shopping vouchers when you hit a certain amount), it's now added an incentive of £5 off when £300 is spent on foreign currency from ASDA Travel Money until 31 May, which could be ideal for those about to jet off on an early summer break.
- Another HSBC perk, this time on its Commercial Credit Card Visa – it now offers cashback of 1% on all contactless spending over £1 per month until 31 July (you can find details of this and more business credit cards right here).
- Virgin Money has added an extra incentive to its Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card, with it allowing customers to earn an additional 7,000 bonus miles if £1,000 is spent within 90 days of account opening, though this is only available until 30 June. Its other perks include 5,000 bonus miles on the first purchase and a standard reward of 0.75 Flying Club miles for every £1 spent, while those who spend £20,000 a year on the card can choose an extra benefit including flight upgrades or companion tickets.
- In a similar move to the above, Virgin Money also added a new incentive to its Virgin Atlantic Reward Plus Credit Card, with 15,000 bonus miles now offered to those who spend £3,000 in the first 90 days. The deal also comes with the chance to earn more miles with every spend (15,000 bonus miles with the first purchase and a standard reward of 1.5 miles for every £1 spent thereafter), but it comes with a £160 annual fee for the privilege.
- The John Lewis and Waitrose Partnership Mastercard now has an added incentive, too, with it offering a £25 bonus voucher in the first 90 days of account opening if £200 is spent in store or online. Its standard rewards programme allows shoppers to earn one point for every £1 spent at John Lewis, Waitrose and John Lewis Insurance, as well as one point for every £2 spent elsewhere, with every 500 points worth £5 in shopping vouchers.
As you can see, things are looking up for the reward credit card sector, which means now could be a great time to see what's out there, by checking out the best reward credit cards available. Happy shopping!
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.