What is a rewards credit card?
A rewards credit card helps you earn points which can be exchanged for travel, merchandise or discounts.
Every time you purchase something with a rewards card the credit card company will give you points that can be used to buy a whole host of things depending on that card’s individual rewards scheme.
Credit card companies aren’t just being generous. They’re hoping that you use their card because of the rewards and not clear your balance in full. They can earn far more in interest than you will receive in rewards.
Should I get a rewards credit card?
Yes, if you can repay your credit card balance in full each month.
If you’re planning some larger purchases and won’t be able to clear your balance in full, opt for 0% purchase card instead.
Similarly, if you’re paying interest on an existing credit card, try a 0% balance transfer card – this will save you far more money than a rewards credit card.
How to get the most from your rewards card
Used sensibly, a rewards credit card can earn you money, but a few mistakes could wipe out your winnings in seconds. Follow these tips to make your rewards credit card work for you:
Spend sensibly: To unlock the best results from your credit card, think of of it like a monthly debit card. Spend no more than you usually would and remain in control to benefit in full from the rewards on offer.
Set up a direct debit: Ensure you never miss a payment and end up paying interest by setting up a monthly direct debit to repay your balance in full.
Which rewards card is right for me?
The best rewards card for you depends on your lifestyle and spending habits.
Some of these credit cards have tight acceptance criteria – use our free and impartial credit comparison tool to see your chances of acceptance.
Cash is king: For most people, cashback cards make the best choice. Simply use your card and your credit card provider will give you a small percentage of your spending back in cash – find a cashback credit card.
Loyalty pays: If you’re loyal to certain stores, in particular supermarkets, then rewards tied to these shops might be the best option for you. Generally, these cards return more reward value per pound on spending.
The price of freedom: The most common rewards cards let you exchange your points for treats, such as restaurant bills or cinema tickets, in a wide array of places. To find the best card, make sure you look at not only what you’ll be able to buy, but how long it will be before you can buy it. In the world of rewards, multiple spending options doesn't equal the biggest return.
Fly high with airmiles: Frequent fliers can earn more with an airmiles credit card than cashback or other rewards. Just be aware that most flight reward schemes only allow you to book certain flights (usually those that they struggle to sell). Airmiles only beat other cards if you're prepared to spend some time researching how best to spend them.
Will I be accepted for a rewards card?
Used correctly, a rewards card can offer a lot of value, but the acceptance criteria for the best rewards cards can be pretty tight.
Each lender has their own acceptance criteria, so it’s hard to know where to apply. Enter a few details and our personalised credit comparison tool will show you the rewards cards you're most likely to be accepted for – all without harming your credit rating.