Our time has been called the golden age of credit card rewards. But all credit card rewards are not equal, and Mohamed Dabo has tried to sift out the best from the rest in each category.
Credit cards are a useful tool for money management. When used wisely, credit cards can have some advantages over debit cards or even cash payments.
Credit cards allow for purchases when we don’t have the money at hand, they let us spread out of the costs of large purchases, they can even give us interest-free loans. By transferring existing debt on to a credit card account, we can cut down on our debt.
Ultimately, however, a credit card is worth keeping only if the value of the rewards you receive is at least equal to the annual fee. Throughout our comparative exercise, we kept asking one question: Is this rewards credit card worth the cost?
Is the card worth the cost?
There are many credit cards that offer a variety of different rewards programmes that cater to different audiences. Our selections of the best cards for rewards, cashback, and travel are the result of a comparative analysis designed to uncover the cards that offer the greatest benefits in any give category at the lowest cost.
Based on this yardstick, the selection that follows presents the best card we could find in every category.
The top rewards credit card
Rewards credit cards give cardholders extra benefits based on the amount of money they spend with the card.
If you spend with a reward card you’ll earn points you can exchange for store discounts, flights, holidays or even cash.
M&S Credit Card Reward Plus
(Issuer: M&S Bank)
£20 M&S reward voucher on your first spend
Double points on all your M&S shopping for the first 12 months
0% on shopping for 6 months
0% on balance transfers for 6 months, available for 90 days from account opening (2.9% fee applies, minimum £5)
Top cashback credit card
Cashback credit cards give you the opportunity to earn cash from the money you spend; they pay you a percentage back or give you reward points.
While each cashback credit card has its own earning scheme, they all offer the same straightforward, easy-to-use benefit: cash back for each pound you spend.
Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card
(Issuer: American Express)
5% cashback on the purchases you make for the first three months, up to £100 cashback. The only hard part is choosing what you’re going to turn all that cashback into.
No limit on cashback: no cap on how much cashback you can earn in a year.
Cashback on purchases: after the first three months of membership you’ll earn up to 1% cashback, depending on how much you spend on the Card:
Spend £0 to £5,000 and receive 0.5% cashback on purchases
Spend over £5,000 and receive 1% cashback on purchases
Top travel credit card
Travel credit cards offer benefit for overseas spending, cash withdrawal, or shopping in a foreign currency. Other value-adding features include complimentary flight offers, airline lounge passes, and even free wine when you dine.
The cards also offer excellent perks such as travel insurance, purchase protection and extended warranty insurance that can save you money and give you peace of mind.
Curve credit cards are issued by Wisecard Card Solutions pursuant to license by Mastercard International. The Curve Metal card provides the following benefits:
All Your Cards in One
Premium 18g metal card: 3 colours
Secure iPhone / Android app
Supports Mastercard & Visa
Curve Cash: 1% Cashback at 6 selected retailers
Unlimited access to interbank FX rates (additional fees may apply)
Fee-free foreign ATM withdrawals (weekend charges apply): £600/month
Go Back in Time, up to 14 days, up to £1,000Curve Customer Protection, up to £100,000
Worldwide Travel Insurance
Electronic Gadget Insurance
Worldwide Airport Lounge Key Access
Rental Car Collision Waiver Insurance