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Credit card rewards / bonuses / perks

Last Edit: 23/08/18

Credit cards have a vast variety of reward structures -- which are unique to each card -- while there is vast array of rewards available, the most popular rewards can usually be placed into one of the following reward categories:

  1. Cashback. Example: Spend £10,000 and get 1% cashback.
  2. Air Miles. Example: Spend £10,000 and get £100 airmiles.
  3. Hotels: Example: Spend £10,000 and get £200 at a Hotel chain.
  4. Travel: Example: Spend £10,000 and get £100 at Travel Agents.
  5. Supermarkets. Example: Spend £10,000 and get £100 at Tesco etc.

From the five examples listed above, Airmiles are probably the oldest reward provided by credit card providers. Historically, Airmiles and travel bonuses have been most closely linked with the American Express credit card, and American Express currently provide a British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card, which gives card owners 1.5 Avios points for every £1 spent, and 3 Avios for every £1 spent with British Airways or for a BA Holidays. Virgin Atlantic have also released their own Mastercard: Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card and Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Credit Card. These cards generate 0.75-1.5 Flying Club miles for every £1 spent on card purchases.

Supermarket and department store credit cards have been around for decades, and are currently provided by Tesco, Debenhams, Sainsbury's, Asda, Costco, M&S and John Lewis. These credit cards are linked with the stores reward point system. Tesco, for example, have over five credit cards linked to their Clubcard points system. These cards -- such as the Tesco Purchases Card, 0% Balance Transfer Fee Card, Balance Transfer Card, All Round Card, Money Transfer Card, Low APR Card, and Foundation Card -- all provide at least one point for every £4 spent in Tesco.

Cashback rewards -- whilst being simple and boring -- do provide flexibility in comparison to store-linked cards: the cashback should be provided on purchases made for any service/goods. Cashback cards typically provide between 0.5%-1%, and some cards provide na introductory period where card owners get upto 5% cashback for the first 1-3 months. Some popular providers of cashback cards are: American Express, Natwest, Tandem, Aqua, Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland, Co-op and Barclaycard.