One of the most recent changes that I have made, to my spending habits, is the introduction of reward/cashback credit cards.
By making this one simple change and using these credit cards to pay for all my normal spending (such as groceries, electricals, clothes, council tax, phone bills, insurance, internet, gas, electric, oil, water, holidays, fuel, presents, meals out etc etc), instead of a debit card, I am able to earn rewards such as shopping points, airmiles or cashback.
When deciding which type of credit card is best for you, you should take into consideration your shopping habits and lifestyle. If you are someone that travels often, and already collects airmiles then a airmiles reward card would be a good way of boosting your points but there would be no point in collecting airmiles if you had no intention of flying.
When comparing cashback credit cards, you will need to pay careful consideration to the different rates of cashback being offered as it often varies depending on where you shop. For example, you might earn one point for every £1 you spend in one store, but only one point for every £2 spent at another retailer. So it’s important to go with a card that’s offering the highest rate of cashback for the places where you actually shop and where you do the majority of your spending with.
My top tip for getting the most out of your reward and/or cashback credit card is to ensure you repay the bill in full every month. If you don’t you could end up paying more in interest that you are gaining in rewards and/or cashback. One way of ensuring that you never miss a payment is to set up a direct debit, to pay off the balance in full every month, as soon as you take out the card.
When considering which card to go with you should also pay careful consideration to the annual cost of the card as you don’t want to be spending more, in annual fees, than you will be getting back in rewards/cashback. To avoid this I have opted for cards with no annual fees.
I have gone with the John Lewis Partnership credit card where you can earn 1 point for every £1.00 you spend at John Lewis or Waitrose and 1 point for every £2.00 you spend anywhere else. Your points will be turned into vouchers that you can spend in John Lewis and Waitrose, and they will be sent out three times a year – February, June and October.
I have also gone with the Asda Cashback credit card where you can earn 1% cashback on all Asda spends including ASDA.com, Asda stores, Asda Living, Asda petrol stations and George.com, 0.5% cashback on all other purchases and 10% cashback on selected Asda insurance products. Your points will be turned into vouchers that can be spent in Asda which are sent out on a monthly basis.
Once you have decided which credit card is best for you it is always worth checking out sites such as Topcashback and Quidco as they often offer cashback on successful credit credit card applications, which would be on top of any rewards/cashback gained from using the card.