CASHBACK credit cards reward you for your everyday spending by giving you money back on your shop.
We explain the best offers currently available – and how to use these cards sensibly.
Card companies offer these types of deals because they want you to spend, so make sure you're able to meet your monthly repayments.
If you don't repay your balance in full each month, you'll start paying interest and that will wipe out most – if not all – of the cashback you've earned.
You can clear your balance in full by setting up a direct debit to clear the bill.
Remember that these cards are also best when you use them like a debit card.
How to cut the cost of your debt
BEING in large amounts of debts can be really worrying. Here are some tips from Citizens Advice on how you can take action.
Check your bank balance on a regular basis – knowing your spending patterns is the first step to managing your money.
Work out your budget – by writing down your income and taking away your essential bills such as food and transport.
If you have money left over, plan in advance what else you’ll spend or save. If you don’t, look at ways to cut your costs.
Pay off more than the minimum – If you’ve got credit card debts aim to pay off more than the minimum amount on your credit card each month to bring down your bill quicker
Pay your most expensive credit card sooner – If you have more than one credit card and can’t to pay them off in full each month, prioritise the most expensive card (the one with the highest interest rate).
Prioritise your debts – If you’ve got several debts and you can’t afford to pay them all it’s important to prioritise them.
Your rent, mortgage, council tax and energy bills should be paid first because the consequences can be more serious if you don't pay.
Get a payment holiday – The majority of major credit card companies are offering three-month payment holidays if you're struggling to meet your repayments. You should always keep paying until you've come to an agreement with your provider. Most lenders will also still charge interest during this time, so be aware that these costs will keep building up.
Get advice – If you’re struggling to pay your debts month after month it’s important you get advice as soon as possible, before they build up even further.
Groups like Citizens Advice and National Debtline can help you prioritise and negotiate with your creditors to offer you more affordable repayment plans.
Brits who make the most of them put all their spending on them and then clear the balance when they're paid to maximise what they earn.
If you need to borrow, you should forget about a cashback card and think about a 0% purchase card instead.
And like all credit cards – applying for one will leave a mark on your credit file and this could make it harder for you to be accepted for credit in the future.
Use the MoneySavingExpert "soft search" eligibility calculator to give you an idea of what deals you will likely qualify for without impacting your credit score.
We spoke to comparison site Moneyfacts to pick out the leading cashback credit cards currently on the market.
The most generous cashback cards on the market
We've worked out how much you could potentially save based on a family with a weekly spend of £200 a week (£10,400 a year).
- American Express Platinum Cashback Credit Card, APR 27.3% – Apply here
The American Express (Amex) Platinum Cashback Card gives you the chance to earn 5%, up to a maximum of £125, on your first £2,500 of spending within the first three months.
After this introductory period is over, you'll get 1% cashback on spending up to £10,000 and then 1.25% on spending above that.
Remember that Amex isn't as widely accepted by retailers as Visa and Mastercard based credit cards either, so you might not be able to use it in some shops.
The card's APR is 27.3% on purchases and there is a late payment fee of £12 – so make sure you clear your balance fully each month.
There's also a £25 annual fee with this Amex card.
Potential cashback after a year (not including the annual fee): £205
- American Express Platinum Everyday Cashback Credit Card, APR 22.2% – Apply here
This Amex card gives you 5% cashback on purchases, up to a maximum of £100, on your first £2,000 of spending in the first three months.
Once the three months are up, you'll get 0.5% cashback on purchases up to £5,000 and then 1% cashback on spending over this amount.
Keep in mind you'll need to spend at least £3,000 on your card each year to qualify for any cashback.
The card comes with an APR of 22.2% and there's no annual fee – but you will be charged £12 for late payments.
Potential cashback after a year: £142
- Santander All in One Credit Card Mastercard APR 21.7% (0% for first 26 months) – Apply here
Santander offers 0.5% cashback on purchases over £1 a month.
It also comes with 0% interest on balance transfers and purchases for the first 26 months – after this it charges 21.7% APR.
However, you should note that this card comes with a monthly fee of £3, so check how much you plan on spending and if the cashback is still worthwhile.
Santander currently doesn't charge late fees for payments, but it'll start charging again from 1 November, 2020. This charge is £12.
Potential cashback after a year (not including monthly fees): £52
The best 'shopping' cashback cards
These types of cards reward your loyalty for spending in certain shops, for example, in supermarket vouchers or air miles.
Here are just some examples of what you can earn.
- John Lewis and Waitrose Partnership Mastercard, APR 18.7% – Apply here
You'll earn John Lewis and Waitrose points every time you spend with their Partnership card.
Shoppers earn one point for every £1 spent in John Lewis and Waitrose, or one point for every £2 spent everywhere else.
For every 500 points you earn, you’ll be spent £5 in vouchers.
This card comes with 0% interest on the first nine months – after this, it charges 18.7% APR.
- Virgin Money Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card, APR 22.9% – Apply here
This card gives you Flying Club miles to spend on Virgin holidays when you make a purchase with this card.
Earn 0.75 Flying Club miles for every £1 you spend, or 1.5 miles for every £1 you spend with Virgin Atlantic or Virgin Holidays.
To give you an example of how many miles you need for a flight, a return trip from London to New York will cost you 30,000 miles.
The miles you can collect each month are capped based on your credit limit.
For example, if your credit limit is £5,000, you’ll earn miles on the first £5,000 of card purchases in a month.
If you spend more than that, then you won’t earn any miles on additional spending.
- Amazon Platinum Mastercard, APR 21.9% – Apply here
If you regularly shop at Amazon, their credit card is one to consider as you can earn vouchers to spend online.
Non-Prime members can get 1.5 Amazon Reward Points per £2 spent at Amazon, or 0.5 points when you spend elsewhere.
But if you're an Amazon Prime member, you'll earn three Amazon Reward Points per £2 spent at Amazon, or 0.5 points per £2 spent everywhere else
When you earn 1,000 points, you'll get £10 Amazon gift card.
This card charges 0% interest for the first three months – after this, it's 21.9%.
The Sun has also rounded up the best credit cards to use abroad to avoid hefty foreign currency fees.
These are the best personal loans currently available, from Tesco Bank to TSB and Santander.
And here are our top picks for best interest-free credit cards for big purchases.
Source: Read Full Article