The right card for you is the one that gives you the most back on your spending. It will also need to offer a reward you want. You can get:

  • Cashback: A percentage of what you spend is credited back onto your statement

  • Other rewards: These include points you can exchange for shopping vouchers and air miles

For example, if you earned back 1% of what you spend on the card, you would get back 1 in cash or vouchers for every 100 you spend.

Choose the card that will give you the most

The comparison table above shows the incentives that come with every credit card that offers rewards or cashback.

You can then compare and filter the results to show:

  • All cards that offer cashback

  • All cards that offer the air miles scheme you want

  • All cards that offer the rewards scheme you want

Check that the amount you are likely to spend on each card in a year will earn you enough cash or rewards for it to be worth taking out the card. Make sure the amount you would earn comes to more than the annual fee, if the card charges one.

Look for introductory bonuses that give you more points per pound spent in the first few months. These deals are especially useful if you expect to make one or more large purchases on the card like a new car, a holiday or paying for a wedding.

Are they right for you?

Getting rewards or cashback can be a great incentive for using your credit card as long as you always repay your balance in full every month.

What if you want to use the card to borrow?

Cards that offer rewards or cashback rarely offer the lowest interest rates or the longest interest free periods, so they can be an expensive way to borrow money.

If you are unable to repay the full statement amount every month you will be charged interest. This will usually cost much more than the value of the cashback or rewards you earn.

You could save more money using an interest free credit card instead.

Cashback and rewards FAQs

Q

Can I get a cashback or rewards credit card with no fees?

A

Yes, although some of these cards charge annual fees, many come without them. However, they will come with other credit card charges.

Q

How many credit cards should I have?

A

Too many credit cards can hurt your credit record, but having cards for different uses can suit some people. Work out how many is too many here.

Q

Do my reward points expire?

A

Yes, some types of reward points need to be used within a certain period. Check how long your points last and use them before they expire.

Q

Can I view my balance and points online?

A

Most providers let you login to an online banking service that lets you check how many reward points you have earned, your balance and your statement.

Q

Where can I use my card?

A

You can use a credit card in person (in shops, restaurants or other businesses), online, by phone, by mail order, in other countries or in ATMs.

Q

What charges come with my credit card?

A

Credit cards come with a range of charges, but you can usually avoid them if you understand how they work.

Q

What is the difference between Visa, MasterCard and Amex?

A

They each provide a payment service to your credit card provider when you use your card - here is what they do, how they differ and what they offer.