Focus On: Choose your own credit card rewards

A new-launch credit card from Lloyds Bank now allows you to choose how you want to be rewarded for your spending. And it’s only available through MoneySuperMarket, or direct from the card provider itself.

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The new Lloyds Bank Choice Rewards Credit Card, allows you to earn rewards on all spending – and it’s up to you how. You can opt to earn Avios points, cashback, vouchers which you can then redeem at a wide range of high street and online stores - and smaller rewards such as magazine subscriptions. Here, we explain exactly how the card works, so you can decide if it suits your pocket.

What’s the deal?

The Lloyds Bank Choice Rewards card, which launched on November 5, is really two credit cards in one; the Choice Rewards American Express card and the Choice Rewards MasterCard, although you will have a single account, statement and credit limit.

You can collect 10 Choice points for every £1 of eligible spending on the Choice Rewards American Express card, and 10 Choice points for every £5 you spend on the MasterCard, plus 10 points for every £5 you transfer onto the card. Choice points can then be exchanged for cashback, shopping vouchers, Avios or smaller rewards such as 12-month magazine subscription. The point is, you choose.

You can earn double points for the first six months of spending on the American Express card, up to a maximum £2,500 spend per month. So, if your weekly supermarket and petrol spend is £140, over six months you'd collect 72,800 points instead of 36,400. That would be enough for £100 worth of shopping vouchers.

The card also offers an introductory 0% annual percentage rate (APR) for the first 13 months on both purchases and balance transfers which are moved from another card provider. There is a 3% balance transfer fee.

After these interest-free introductory periods end, the Choice Rewards card comes with a representative APR of 22.7% (variable), so you’ll need to be certain you can clear your balance in full by then. The reason the APR seems high is because it takes into account the card's annual fee of £24.

Who’s it good for?

The Lloyds Bank Choice Rewards card is, first of all, best suited to people who clear their balance every month without fail. This is because the fee and interest you pay will far outweigh any rewards you earn.
In fact, with this in mind, the card also suits bigger spenders, as you need to build up a significant amount of points to earn any major rewards.

If you don’t tend to use a credit card for the majority of your spending, you may have to wait a long time before you can redeem your points for anything significant.

For example, after the first six months of earning accelerated points has passed, you’ll need 6,650 Choice points just to get a £10 shopping voucher, 10,000 to earn £10 cashback, or 45,000 points to get 4,500 Avios points – which will fly you one way to Amsterdam or Berlin.

The card is great for ‘reward credit card fans’ however, who want the option of collecting different rewards at different times to suit them – as the card allows you to do. For example, once you have enough Avios for your flight, you may want some shopping vouchers to put towards your holiday clothes.

Any catches?

As well as having to spend quite hard on the card to reap rewards, it comes with a £24 annual fee whether you pay off your balance monthly or you don’t. The American Express element of the cards may also not be accepted everywhere you want to shop.

What’s the verdict?

This card is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to be able to choose the sorts of rewards they want to earn, when they want.

However, if it’s 0% introductory rate on purchases or balance transfers you are after, there are better deals out there.
 
For example, the Tesco Clubcard Credit Card offers an introductory rate of 0% on purchases for 16 months and for nine months on balance transfers, subject to a balance transfer fee of 2.9%. The Halifax Purchase Credit Card offers 17 months interest-free on purchases for but only six months on balance transfers – and the fee is 3%.

If you are looking primarily for a balance transfer deal, the Barclaycard Platinum Card with Extended Balance Transfer comes with a table-topping 30 months at 0% for a 2.9% fee (reduced from 4.9%).

 

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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

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