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Cashback Credit Cards FAQ
If you frequently make purchases using your credit card, you may benefit from using a card that rewards your activity by giving back a percentage of your expenditure. For those who feel confident clearing their balance in full each month, cashback cards can be a simple way to get something, for nothing.
With a cashback card, you might receive cash back for using your card in certain stores and restaurants. For instance, if you spend £1,000 in an approved store and your card offers 3% cashback, £30 will be paid back into your account after you've made your payment. Of course, the rate of cashback and how you receive it will depend on the card you choose.
What level of cashback can I get?
The more you spend on a cashback card, the more you earn. However, some cards will offer different rates for different types of spending. For instance, one card may give you 1.5% cashback for spending in a supermarket, but 3.2% for spending in a petrol station. It's also possible for different rates to be given according to the amount you spend. For instance, you might get 2% cashback on expenditure up to £2,500, but 3% on anything spent above this mark. Similarly, some cards only offer cash back for certain stores, and others pay high rates for limited introductory periods.
Do cashback cards offer low interest rates?
Generally, the top cashback cards don't offer low-interest rates, which means they're better suited to people who can reliably pay back the full balance amount on the card each month. If you struggle to make full payments, you may find that the interest you owe equates to more than you've earned through cashback.
Which factors should I consider beyond cashback rates?
As with any credit card, it's worth comparing Annual Percentage Rates (APR), and interest rates when determining how much it could cost you to use a cashback card regularly. What's more, many cashback cards also charge an annual fee. This can be as low as £25 but there are other providers who will charge substantially more so it's an important point to keep in mind. However, despite the annual fee, some cash back cards can be a good deal depending on the benefits the card offers, and your spending habits.
Are cashback cards suitable for transferring a credit balance?
Cashback cards are not a good idea for those looking to transfer their credit balance. Better options can be found in low-interest rate cards and cards with a 0% introductory offer.
Who will benefit most from a cashback card?
Frequent spenders can earn large portions of cashback when they take advantage of big ticket offers and spending incentives. However, the cashback rate on your card may not always make up for a high-interest rate. Borrowers who lack discipline should avoid cashback cards as they can create the temptation to run up big debts in an effort to earn greater amounts of cashback each month.
How can I avoid extra fees on my cashback card?
To avoid expensive interest fees on your cashback card and therefore make the card worthwhile, it's important to pay off your balance each month. Using a direct debit, you can effectively ensure that you have an interest-free way to earn rewards on regular spending.
Does my credit score matter?
While your credit score might not make a difference to the cashback rate you can apply for, it will have an impact on your credit limit, the rate of interest you are offered, and your average APR. The better your credit rating is, the more appealing your cashback card deal could be.
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Helpful links for credit card issues
Money Advice Service - The government's Money Advice Service website provides concise, unbiased information on choosing and using credit cards as well as handy tools such as credit card calculators.
The UK Cards Association - The British trade association for card payment companies has an extensive range of guides on their website covering all the types of payment cards available to UK consumers including debt, credit and prepaid cards
Financial Fraud Action (FFA) UK - The Financial Fraud Action website features important advice on using payment cards safely and securely as well as information on the latest scams.
Financial Ombudsman Service - If you've already made a complaint to your card provider and have not had your issue resolved satisfactorily then the next step is to take up your complaint with the Financial Ombudsman.