Back in March I applied for my first credit card, since then I’ve accumulated £80.50 in cashback on my card without spending any more than I usually would have!
I’m so impressed with the rapid results I’ve received so far that I thought I’d dig a little deeper into todays credit card landscape to see what else is available.
The Search Continues…
Being a big fan of the Uswitch utility service I decided to check out their comparisons of the best credit cards that are currently available. USwitch actually ran a survey of 7000 credit card holders to decide on the best providers – needless to say American Express came out on top.
It seems that the majority vote has rained down on the big banks as supermarket credit cards are seen to provide greater value than the credit cards from banks. Consumers also noted that the good rates on bank credit cards were hard to get as these required high credit ratings in order to be accepted.
There were a number of ranking factors in the Uswitch survey but I was most interested in the ‘Best Rewards‘ and the ‘Best Online Service‘.
It seems AMEX and Nationwide were the most valued in these areas with AMEX coming up top for best rewards. I’ve been very impressed with the AMEX mobile app so far so the Nationwide app/online system must be mighty impressive for them to rank first in online service!
My Top Three Credit Cards
So here they are, in order of personal preference, my top three credit cards for summer 2014:
1. AMEX – Platinum Cashback Everyday Card
In March I conducted my first credit card search on Money Saving Expert where American Express was highly recommended; the AMEX Everyday card (no annual fee) offers a massive 5% cashback on all purchases in the first three months and up to 1.25% cashback thereafter.
It’s important to consider that once your three months of 5% is up you won’t receive the full 1.25% straight away. The rate is based on your annual spend; here’s the full breakdown.
- Spend £0 to £3,500 and receive 0.5% cashback on that spend
- Spend between £3,500 and £7,500, receive 1% cashback on that spend
- Spend over £7,501 and receive 1.25% cashback on that spend
If you spend over £10,000 on the card, I’d suggest paying the annual fee for their other platinum card as you’ll get a better return. For more details you can see their site here:
2. Santander 123 Credit Card Mastercard
Being a regular commuter (50miles a day), another card that appeals to me at the moment is the Santander 123 card. The cashback on travel is very impressive however, the card does require a £24 annual fee (unless you bank with Santander). This will give you different cashback rates depending on where you use your card.
- 3% Cashback on petrol & National Rail
- 2% Cashback on Major department stores
- 1% Cashback on Major Supermarkets
The rates are great but I have two deterrants; I spend almost nothing in department stores & the annual fee means the card can’t compete with the AMEX Everyday.
3. Tesco Bank Clubcard Credit Card
I’ve never been a huge fan of rewards credit cards, however, I am a frequent shopper at Tesco and often fuel my car at a Tesco station. My primary reason for this is Tesco Boost; 500 clubcard points get’s you a £5 Tesco voucher – this can then be exchanged for a £20 off voucher at a wide selection of restaurants. The perfect frugal treat for Miss Breakaway and me!
The Tesco Credit Card gives you additional clubcard points when you shop in store and elsewhere; here’s the breakdown:
- 5 clubcard points for every £4 in Tesco stores
- 5 clubcard points for every £4 on Tesco fuel
- 1 clubcard point for every £4 spent elsewhere
The financial reward/reduced grocery spend wouldn’t rival a cashback card but the value greatly improves when you consider your points multiply by four when you use Tesco Boost!
Not much has changed in the past 3 months and if I had to choose again I’d still pick up the AMEX Everyday card. Which credit cards are you using right now?
Please note: Any bias or analysis given above is subject to my personal situation.