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Reward card ownership rises

Savvy shoppers are increasingly turning to credit cards that offer rewards such as cashback, retail vouchers and airmiles, new research shows. We pick out some of the best on the market.

The number of Brits owning rewards cards has gone up by a third in the last year, according to American Express.

A reward credit card is simply a credit card that offers you something in return for using it, such as shopping vouchers, cashback or airmiles.

Savvy shoppers estimate their rewards are worth £123 a year on average.

Embracing rewards

Julie Hay, head of credit cards at American Express, believes more and more people are embracing ways of earning rewards to make savings from their everyday spending.

Hay says: "We’re seeing that consumers are voting with their wallets even more so than this time last year.

"Rewards cards are not only growing in popularity, they are also influencing where consumers are choosing to shop.

"Almost half of rewards credit card holders say they are more likely to deliberately shop at particular stores and buy specific products to earn rewards."

If you’re in the market for a reward credit card, here’s our pick of five top choices. 

Earn £100 cashback

Cashback has long been a favourite type of reward.

If this appeals to you then the American Express Platinum Cashback card could be a good choice.

A three-month introductory offer allows you to earn 5 per cent cashback on purchases up to a total of £2,000, meaning you can earn £100.

After three-months you can then earn 1.25 per cent back on most things you buy.

Cardholders pay a £25 annual fee and are typically charged an annual interest rate (APR) of 18.5 per cent.

M&S loyalty points up for grabs

The regular Marks & Spencer (M&S) customer may want to consider the M&S credit card as a way to earn extra loyalty points.

When using this credit card at M&S, one point is earned for every £1 spent with 100 points equalling £1 in cash.

The M&S credit card, which has a representative APR of 15.9 per cent, also offers 15 months' shopping interest-free.

Improve your credit rating

If your credit history is not quite up to scratch, but you don’t want to miss out on earning rewards, then the aqua Reward card could be a solid choice.

It is fairly unique as it is one of the only credit-building cards on the market to offer cashback.

You can earn 3 per cent cashback on everything you buy, so it can be a great way to improve your credit rating while getting up to £100 a year in cash terms.

Collect 3,000 airmiles

Frequent flyers may want to consider the Virgin Atlantic White credit card, which has a representative APR of 17.9 per cent.

For one account, you get two cards. Both offer Virgin Atlantic airmiles, which can save you money on flights.

The first card is the American Express credit card from MBNA - you can earn one mile for every £1 spent on this one. The second is a Visa credit card - you can earn one mile for every £2 spent on this.

Plus cardholders can earn 3,000 airmiles with their first card purchase.

Make savings on your motoring

The AA credit card could be a good choice for regular drivers.

It offers double AA reward points on motoring, fuel and other AA products such as car parts, repairs, servicing and MOT testing from AA garages.

If you’re an AA member, you can earn 4 per cent back when you redeem points earned on motoring or fuel, which can then be used to save on other AA products.

See how likely you are to be accepted

If this has got you thinking about applying for a rewards credit card, you can use our free Card Matcher tool to see how likely you are to be accepted before you apply.

Remember to always use a credit card responsibly and consider paying it off each month if there isn’t a 0 per cent intro offer to avoid paying extra interest.

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Adam Jolley

Adam Jolley

Adam Jolley is a content producer at He joined us in May 2012 from the world of financial services PR.

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