Focus on: NEW market-leading cashback card

Published:
16 March 2011
Topic:
News,Money,Credit Cards,Product review

Competition in the credit card market continues to hot up, with the launch of two cash back credit cards enabling customers to earn an unlimited amount of cashback for their card purchases.

Cashback credit cards enable users to earn money whenever they spend, making them an excellent choice for those who always clear their debts every month.

For a long time, few cashback credit cards have offered rewards in the same league as the American Express Platinum Cashback Credit Card, but now two new cards from MBNA have rocketed to the top of the best buy table.

The new market-leading long-term cashback card is the MBNA American Express Card with Cashback, paying up to 1.5% cashback on all spending.

But what are the catches and is it really the best card on the market? We take a look...

What's the deal?

This card pays 1.50% cashback on most supermarket and fuel purchases, plus 0.75% on all spending elsewhere.

Unlike some cashback offers, there's no cap on the amount you can earn, and you don't have to pay an annual fee, making it simple to see how much you've made each month.

If you leave a balance on the card, you'll pay a representative annual percentage rate (APR) of 18.9% variable, so it's important to clear your balance every month. If you don't, your cashback earnings will very soon be wiped out by the interest you're paying.

There's no point using this card for balance transfers or cash advances, as the representative APR climbs even higher, to 27.9% variable.

You can also set up additional cards at no extra cost, as long as they are for a close family member such as your spouse, helping you put all your household's spending through the card in order to earn extra cashback.

Any catches?

There are a couple of things to watch out for with the MBNA American Express Card with Cashback.

One is that only spending at specific petrol stations and supermarkets qualifies for the higher rate of cashback. These include Sainsbury's, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose, Ocado, and the physical stores of Iceland and Somerfield. Then for fuel, it's BP, Shell, Esso, Texaco, Q8, Jet and supermarket petrol stations.

That means Marks & Spencer, Spar, Tesco Direct and all other retailers aren't included. Of course, spending there will still qualify for the 0.75% cashback rate, so you won't miss out completely.

Another concern for many shoppers is that American Express is not accepted in as many places as Mastercard and Visa.

If that's a concern, MBNA has also launched its new MBNA Visa Card with Cashback, which sits at number two in the best buy tables.

This pays slightly less cashback, at just 1.25% for most petrol and supermarket shopping, plus 0.5% on all other spending. Like the Amex card, it charges a representative APR of 18.9%.

Although the cashback is less generous, you can be confident that the card will be accepted in more places, so it may be a better option for you.

Verdict

Both the MBNA American Express Card with Cashback and the MBNA Visa Card with Cashback are highly competitive long-term cashback deals. If you tend to spend a lot on fuel or shopping then these can really help you make a little something back.

However, the American Express Platinum Cashback card is still better in the short term. For the first three months, you earn 5% cashback on all spending up to £2,000, meaning total potential cashback of £100.

On top of that, new customers receive an extra £10 cashback when they sign up, so you can earn a fair amount within a short period of time.

After that, the amount you earn is staggered, depending on how much you spend. So, you earn 0.5% on spending up to £3,500, but you can earn as much as 1.25% for all spending over £7,501.

In the first year, most people will find the Platinum card more profitable, however, the MBNA American Express Card with Cashback is the best long-term cashback offer.

Top tip

Cashback credit cards are only suitable for people who are comfortable never leaving a balance on their card, but they're also quite hard to qualify for.

Only those with exemplary credit histories tend to be accepted for these competitive cards, so check your credit file before applying.

Another option is to use the moneysupermarket.com credit profiling tool, which matches you to the cards you're most likely to qualify for.

It doesn't leave a mark on your credit file, so it can be a good way to see what's available to a customer with your borrowing history.

Please note: Any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.

We're free, independent and compare all UK credit cards, as well as offering exclusive deals you can't get anywhere else.

Contact moneysupermarket.com at Moneysupermarket House, St David's Park, Ewloe, Flintshire, CH5 3UZ. © Moneysupermarket.com Ltd 2011

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