Cashback Credit Cards For UK Shoppers
Whatever you buy, and wherever you buy it, why not use a cashback credit card to do it? You could effectively save money on every purchase. So pick the one you like best, and think about switching today.
Oh, and if you join one of the best cashback shopping sites too, then you get DOUBLE cashback every time you buy something online. So long as you clear your balance every month to avoid paying any interest, it's like free money.
NOTE: Please remember we are NOT financial advisors - everything here is just our opinion. Nothing here is investment or financial advice - please consult an independent financial advisor before acting on any information contained on this site.
So Why Bother?
If you use a credit card but don't pay the balance every month then a cashback card is probably not for you.
But if you always clear your balance (or can from now on) so you never pay any interest, then any cashback you receive is a totally free bonus. Yes, the card companies want you to spend more on your card, but they aren't going to mind if you clear the balance, pay no interest and still collect cashback.
Why? Because interest isn't the only way they make money - retailers pay fees on card sales too. You don't see those as a customer. So don't worry about the banks not making a profit :-)
TIP: if you don't clear your balance, chances are the interest will be more than the cashback you earned that month - so set up a direct debit to automatically clear the full balance every month. Ask your bank.
Cashback Rates & Gotchas
Rates have varied a lot over the years. Typically they've been around 1% for a number years now, although sometimes the cards with the better rates can require a better credit rating to get them.
Here's some things to watch out for:-
- Don't let big headline rates impress you too much. Those 5% figures are usually only for a limited period. Typically a few months, after which they drop to the normal rate.
- Watch out for annual fees. A great cashback rate may be hiding a big annual fee.
- Tears or tiers..? Those tiered rates can make things complicated to compare - a bigger top rate may not pay you more overall if you don't spend enough to reach it - or if most of your spending only gets a lower rate.
- Other restrictions. Some cards pay on certain products only, or on a certain number of purchases. Or even cap the total you can earn. Watch out for all these gotchas - and think about where you shop. It's no good getting a petrol cashback if it means driving an extra 10 miles for that garage.
- Timing. If you've got a big purchase coming up, try and time it to the best cashback rate.
So always do the maths before picking a card. Factor in how much you spend, or can divert to spending through the card, any annual fee, any tiered rates or other restrictions - and see which one would really benefit you most.
You might need to resort to a spreadsheet to do this reliably...
Cashback Card News
Here's some quick updates on what's been happening. We try to keep this up to date, but always check with the card providers for the latest rates and fees.
American Express (AMEX) Cashback Cards
American Express Platinum Card
This currently pays 5% cashback for the first 3 months (up to a maximum of £2,000 spend - that alone can put £100 back in your pocket). After that you get a fixed 1.25%. But they have introduced a £25 annual fee.
There is also one more feature that's been added. If you can put over £10,000 through the card in a year, then you will be rewarded with an 2.5% cashback during the whole of your first month of the next year. There is no spend limit to this 1 month boost. More info here
American Express Blue Card
[No Longer Available]
Amex Blue card gives 0.5% cashback on the first £3,500 of purchases per year. After £3,500 you start to earn 1% cashback. There is no annual fee. You get online banking facilities, as well as an online fraud guarantee and travel accident insurance.
NOTE: Amex have now withdrawn this one (it was the Blue Sky card for a while which was points instead of cashback)
Visa / Mastercard Cashback Cards
Capital One 'Aspire World' Mastercard
In a competition with Amex, Capital One have returned with a cashback card that pays a familiar 5% for the first 99 days - not 3 months to be different - up to a maximum of £100. Then it's on to a tiered system which gets up to 1.25%.
Most significantly though is that it doesn't have that annual fee, and of course it's a Mastercard rather than Amex which will probably appeal to more people. Do your sums though as that tiered rate probably means the Amex card will pay more cashback in the long run. And there is that slightly pompous name to contend with... More info here
Barclays have come out feeling feisty, with a 6% cashback rate for 3 months in an attempt to out-headline the 5% offered by Capital One and American Express, plus a 2% rate after that.
But dig a bit deeper though and there is also a £24 annual fee, and that great looking 2% only applies to the top 5 purchases every month - and you have to make 15 purchases to qualify. Everything else is 0.5%. Too complicated to bother? More info here
Santander 123 Reward Card
If you spend a lot on travel then you might like this Santander card. It's very restricted in what you earn cashback on, i.e. mainly travel and supermarkets only. But you do get 3% cashback on petrol and train travel, whereas it's only 1% on what you spend at certain supermarkets. Everything else doesn't count, but if you travel an awful lot it could work out? More info here
Lloyds TSB Create Cashback Credit Card
[No Longer Available]
With Lloyds TSB you can customise your credit card to your own personal preference. If you pay your balance off every month - why not go for a UK cashback credit card with no annual fee, maximum interest and the best cashback rate.
[No Longer Available]
Vauxhall Motors have teamed up with HFC Bank to offer a UK cashback credit card that earns you cashback on a new Vauxhall or Saab car. The GM Card actually gives you the best rate of all - at 3% - but is obviously only any use if you plan to buy a Vauxhall! The maximum cashback rate is £2,000 off a new Vauxhall or £2,500 off a new Saab, so worthwhile if that purchase is on the horizon.
Egg Credit Card
[No Longer Available]
The Egg Card dropped to just 0.1% cashback but has now dropped the cashback side of their credit card altogether. They do offer cashback from a small selection of linked retailers - but get a better cashback credit card and join one of the best cashback sites instead (see our Top Cashback review).
Halifax Cashback Credit Card
Halifax provide a wide range of credit cards. Their Halifax One card pays 0.25% cashback on the first £20,000 spent each year. LATEST - Appear to no longer be paying even quarter of a percent - we'll let you know if it returns.