Get rewarded for your debit card spending
Nationwide has launched a new reward scheme for its debit and credit card customers offering a range of retail discounts of up to 50%. But is it any good?
Reward schemes tend to be the preserve of credit cards. But this month, a new scheme has been launched which claims to give Visa debit card-holders, as well as credit card holders, savings on big brands.
Nationwide, which came up with the scheme, says the savings can be “up to 50%” at selected retailers/ I’ve taken a closer look at exactly what’s on offer.
Debit and credit card customers
The building society says the scheme, called ‘Simply Rewards’, is designed to reward “loyal customers” - although it could be a ploy to get more people to sign up for its FlexAccount.
After all, banks are pulling out the stops to get consumers to switch to their current accounts at the moment. Rivals Santander and First Direct are all offering cold hard cash to anyone that switches their current account to them at the moment.
But Nationwide’s approach is new. Anybody with a Nationwide Visa debit or credit card can take advantage of Simply Rewards by logging onto the Simply Rewards website using the first six digits of their card number. They can then view the offers and must pay using their Nationwide credit or debit card. There are no points to collect, no fees to pay and no statements to wait for.
Rewards on offer
Nationwide says the discounts are “up to 50%” but only a few discounts are this high – most are more around the 20% mark.
One place where you can get 50% off by using your Nationwide credit or debit card is Kwik Fit, but only on “wheel alignment when you buy tyres online”. So, not your average day-to-day purchase and not particularly useful if you don’t own a car.
However, you can get 20% off MOT and servicing at Kwik Fit, a more standard purchase for car owners.
There’s also 50% off tickets to a handful of West End theatre shows including Stomp and the 39 Steps. Alternatively you can get 40% off Legally Blonde and 30% discount on Billy Elliot tickets. These are pretty good discounts on theatre tickets which can be expensive. However, there is small print about dates and days of the week the deal applies to.
Other discounts include 15% off at Clinton Cards, 20% off Hertz car rental, 5% off hotels on lastminute.com or 5% off Virgin Holidays, £45 off an xBox 360 Kinect and £5 off at Tesco Entertainment when you spend £25. Nationwide says the rewards and offers will be reviewed and updated over time.
Is Simply Rewards any good?
It’s not a bad scheme but there’s nothing earth-shattering here. If you intend to use these retailers anyway then it makes sense to take advantage of any discounts on offer. But as always it makes sense to shop around.
Say you’re hiring a car for example. Simply Reward will give you 20% off at Hertz. But then again, car hire costs and hidden charges can vary considerably so you’d still be better off comparing different firms rather than going straight to Hertz to use your Nationwide discount.
With the other deals you might be able to get better discounts by using cashback sites or price comparison sites.
Current account customers could do worse than the FlexAccount though. It’s fee-free and includes free European travel insurance. However, you’ll need to pay in £750 a month for Nationwide to consider it your “main” current account which makes you eligible for the free insurance.
Also, be aware that Nationwide scrapped its policy of free cash withdrawals from foreign ATMs last year. Its approach to overseas charges used to be one of the building society’s big selling points, so this is a real shame.
What do you think?
What do you think of this new scheme? Are you tempted to switch accounts because of it? Let us know using the comments box below!