Update On Abbey's 5% Credit Card
Some of you have tried and failed to find out more about the new 5% cashback offer. We investigate....
It seems many of us love the idea of getting cashback on our spending, so when Abbey recently put out the press release "Abbey Launches Its Own Credit Card With Market-leading Supermarket Offer" we duly reported the attractive deal to Fool readers.
Now I don't know about you, but I think this title is pretty clear. It sounds to me like Abbey is launching a new credit card. But they're not. And this is only the start of the confusion.
Just to recap Abbey's offer: From September 3rd 2007 to January 31st 2008 all new Abbey credit card holders will earn 5% cashback on the first £1,000 of their supermarket shopping, up to a maximum of £50. Existing card holders will benefit from the same deal but not until October 2007.
Now the offer has stirred up interest with many Fool readers who have tried and failed to track down further details on Abbey's website. Having found no trace of the deal online, Fool poster JDW72 added this priceless contribution to our discussion board:
"This is descending into the realms of farce. I decided to call in at my local Abbey to seek advice there. Nobody seemed to know what I was on about although helpfully one of the staff said "What a good idea!" when I outlined the "cashback on your groceries" idea."
And this wasn't the only futile quest for the cashback deal.
So feeling this was worthy of further investigation and starting to worry if, here at The Fool, we had imagined the whole thing, I went into a nearby Abbey branch myself to see if I'd have better luck.
First of all, the hunt for a leaflet, poster or some other promotional literature which might publicise the offer or perhaps even tell me how I might go about applying ... drew a blank! Surely this wasn't too much to ask? Eventually I was sent in the direction of an adviser who told me, after consulting a colleague, that he was aware of the cashback deal but they had "run out" of leaflets and application forms.
After five minutes of further back office discussion, the adviser re-appeared with a printout from what looks like Abbey's internal system which clearly outlines these enhancements to the Abbey Credit Card. What's more, it indicates Abbey should soon be mailing its existing credit card holders with full details of the offer. And it would appear that customers who hold an Abbey branded MBNA credit card (opened before January 1st 2006) also qualify.
I was told to apply for the Abbey Credit Card using the normal application form - online or paper - and I would automatically qualify for cashback on my supermarket purchases from September 3rd.
So to clear things up a bit; yes the deal exists, but it won't start until September 3rd. Abbey chose to publicise the offer to journalists before the September 3rd launch. Branch staff don't appear to have been briefed on this offer before then, so some confused customers have found it hard to find out more details about the offer.
Perhaps Abbey should brief its branch staff before it briefs journalists.
More: A 5% Cashback Card