The top six rewards cards
There are a number of new credit card promotions offering you phenomenal returns for your spending. John Fitzsimons takes a closer look at the top six.
There are a number of reasons to use a credit card when making a purchase. Perhaps you have a massive expenditure coming up and need to spread the payments, making a 0% interest card your best bet. Or perhaps you are spending more than £100 on a single item, and want to make the most of the protection afforded by Section 75.
But if you are really clever, and pay off your bill in full each month, you can get proper rewards each month, so long as you have one of these cards!
The Amex Rewards Card
The American Express Rewards card is my new favourite credit card, an absolutely brilliant piece of plastic!
You get three points for every pound you spend on the Rewards card in supermarkets, two points for every pound you spend in department stores, and a point for every pound spent elsewhere.
Whenever you earn 5,000 points, a £25 voucher will be sent to you, which you can spend in stores like Amazon, HMV, Waterstone's and iTunes. What's great is that Amex gives you a real kickstart - so long as you spend £500 on your card in the first three months you'll receive 6,000 bonus points. That means that not only do you have your first voucher on its way, but you are well on the way to your next voucher too!
The Rewards card is very new, and so the number of outlets where you can spend your vouchers is pretty limited at the moment - just 13 stores at the moment - though American Express is promising to add new partners.
For more on this brilliant card, be sure to watch lovemoney.com video: Get £150 just for using your credit card!
I am a massive fan of Airmiles schemes - they did pay for my honeymoon, after all - and one of the best ways to stock up on miles is to have one of the various credit cards that operate Airmiles schemes.
If you are a collector of the official Airmiles, then the card you should be considering is the Lloyds Airmiles Duo.
Ok, so technically these are actually two separate Lloyds Airmiles Duo cards - an American Express card and a Mastercard. You get one Airmile for every £10 you spend on the Amex card, and one for every £50 you spend on the Mastercard. Since it only takes 750 Airmiles for return flights to Paris or Dublin, you only have to spend £7,500 on the Amex to clinch your seats - not too bad at all!
British Airways operates a rival airmiles scheme, though unsurprisingly the only flights you can redeem them against are BA flights.
If you want to take advantage of them, you have the choice of either the British Airways American Express credit card or the British Airways American Express Premium Plus credit card.
With the British Airways American Express credit card, you get one BA mile for each £1 you spend, with the bonus of 1,000 miles if you spend £500 in the first three months. Should you spend £20,000 over the course of a year, and redeem your miles on a BA flight, you'll then get a companion ticket for free.
The Premium Plus version is even better, with 1.5 miles per £1 spend, a bonus of 6,000 miles the first time you use the card, and the need to only spend £10,000 to qualify for the free companion ticket. However it will set you back £150 a year to have the card.
The card for drivers
Meanwhile, if you spend most of your day behind a wheel, the standout card to go for is the AA credit card, which offers you a point for each pound you spend on motoring expenses. If you're a member of the AA, that is then doubled, and you can cash in those points on everything from car insurance and maps to high street vouchers and cash.
It's a cracking reward scheme. To find out more on the AA card, be sure to have a watch of the lovemoney.com video: The best credit card for drivers.
A brilliant new scheme from Barclaycard is the Barclaycard Freedom proposition.
What's clever about this scheme is that it doesn't involve one credit card, but rather most of the lender's range of plastic friends.
Starting in March, every time you use a participating Barclaycard credit card, you will get 1% back in Reward Money. However, what's really clever is that you won't have to wait until the end of the year to be sent that money in cashback or vouchers - when you use your card to pay for items in partnering stores, you'll have the option of using that Reward Money to pay for your goods.
However, not all of the firm's cards are part of the scheme - the Barclaycard Cashback, Choice Visa, Goldfish, i24 and Travel rewards cards will not earn you Reward Money, for the moment at least.
The scheme is so new that just a handful of retailers have partnered with Barclaycard thus far - LA Fitness, YO! Sushi, Firebox.com, Goldsmiths and Nationwide Autocentres - though Barclaycard emphasises that as it has invited more than 30,000 stores to take part, more will be announced soon.
Get help from lovemoney.com
If you need to get out of the red and into the black there's a host of ways lovemoney.com can help.
First up, why not try some of the hints and tips in our goal: Pay off credit card debts
Next, have a watch of this video: A great new balance transfer card
And finally if you have any credit related questions that need answering, why not head over to our Q&A section and see if any of your fellow lovemoney.com users can help?
What do you think of these reward cards?
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