The best reward credit cards

Looking to be rewarded for your spending? These are the best credit cards to consider.

Spending on a credit card doesn’t have to involve getting into lots of debt. In fact, if you pay off your credit card bill in full each month, you can be rewarded for the purchases.

There are a range of credit cards that offer points, cashback or rewards such as hotel stays, flights and days out.

Here are the best reward credit cards to have in your wallet right now.

Airline and hotel reward cards

If you travel on a regular basis, there are plenty of reward credit cards that will help you to earn free flights (just paying fees and charges on top) cabin upgrades or hotel stays.

American Express Preferred Reward Gold Credit Card

Formerly the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Charge Card, this new offering gives you 20,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend £2,000 in your first three months of card membership.  

Earn points on every pound you spend plus extra points on select purchases that you can redeem with a host of shopping, travel and lifestyle partners. For instance, you can choose a return flight from London to one of over 100 destinations using your aforementioned bonus Membership Rewards. You'll also get two complimentary lounge visits per year.

The annual fee is an eye-watering £140, but this is waived for the first year so make sure you cancel before the year is up. 

IHG Rewards Club Credit Card

The fee-free IHG Rewards Club Credit Card offers 10,000 IHG Rewards Club bonus points when you spend £200 within your first three months with the card.

At the same time, you can earn one point for every £1 you spend in the UK, two points at any of the IHG hotels (which includes Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn hotels) in the UK and two points for every pound you spend abroad. 

The account gives you Gold Elite Status which means you benefit from 10% bonus points when you stay.

The card also offers 12 months 0% on balance transfers for a 3% fee. The representative APR is 18.9%.

IHG Rewards Club Premium Credit Card

If you’re willing to pay an annual fee £99 year there’s the IHG Rewards Club Premium Credit Card which offers double the rewards.

There are 20,000 bonus points when you spend £200 within the first three months and it allows you to earn four points for every £1 spent in an IHG location or abroad or two points for every £1 spent everywhere else.

On top of this, you get Platinum Elite Status which entitles you to 50% extra bonus points, complimentary room upgrades, guaranteed room availability, priority check-in, extended check-out, no blackout dates on Reward Nights and a dedicated customer service line.

There’s also 12 months 0% on balance transfers (3% fee) that you can take advantage of. The representative APR on this deal is 41.5%.

British Airways American Express

The fee-free British Airways American Express Credit Card offers 5,000 bonus Avios points when you spend £1,000 within your first three months with the card.

It allows you to earn one Avios for every £1 you spend and when you spend £20,000 or more within an anniversary year you will get a complimentary companion voucher.

The representative APR is 22.9%.

For more of the top cards, check out the best air mile credit cards.

Supermarket and shop points

Some supermarkets and shops offer credit cards that allow you to build up points that can be exchanged for rewards. Here are some of our top picks.

M&S Rewards Plus Credit Card

The M&S Bank Reward Plus Credit Card gives customers points to spend on M&S shopping.

You'll earn 2,000 M&S points worth £20 if you use your card within the first 90 days as well as double points on all your M&S shopping for the first 12 months.

What's more, the card gives you 0% on purchases for six months as well as 0% on balance transfers for six months. The latter is available for 90 days from account opening, but a 2.9% fee applies (or a minimum of £5). 

In your first year, you'll earn two points for every £1 spent in M&S (one point in subsequent years) and every £5 spent elsewhere.

The representative APR is 18.9%.

M&S Shopping Plus Credit Card

With the M&S Shopping Plus Offer Credit Card, you earn one M&S point for every £1 you spend in-store or for every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points is worth £1 in M&S vouchers.

You get a bonus 500 points worth £5 to spend on food, clothing or home at M&S to get you started with your credit card.

The card offers 25 months of 0% interest on purchases and there’s also 0% on balance transfers for 25 months (2.9% fee).

The representative APR is 18.9%.

Sainsbury’s Bank Nectar Purchase Credit Card

If you shop at Sainsbury’s, you might like the Sainsbury’s Bank Purchase Credit Card.

Not only do you get to avoid interest on your spending for 28 months, but you also earn Nectar points when you shop.

You earn two Nectar points for every £1 you spend on Sainsbury's shopping and fuel, and one point for every £5 spent elsewhere.

There’s also the chance to get 1,000 points each time you spend £40 or more on Sainsbury’s shopping, up to 10 times in the first two months (that's up to 10,000 points). 

The representative APR is 18.9%.

Debenhams MasterCard

The Debenhams MasterCard allows you to earn three points for every £1 spent in Debenhams in store or online and one point for every £2 spent elsewhere.

You can get 10% off online for a week from account opening, free standard delivery and 10% off in Debenhams café and restaurants when you pay with the card.

The card also offers 12 months 0% on balance transfers (2.99% fee). The representative APR on this card is 24.9%.

Tesco Clubcard Credit Card for Purchases

This is a good one for the regular Tesco shoppers among you. It gives you 0% interest on purchases for 20 months and interest-free balance transfers for three months (a 2.9% balance transfer fee applies).

A big pull on the Tesco Clubcard Credit Card for Purchases is the points. Collect one point for every £4 spent in Tesco and one point for every £8 spent elsewhere.

John Lewis and Waitrose Partnership Card

With the John Lewis and Waitrose Partnership Card, you'll earn points to go towards John Lewis Partnership vouchers every time you spend. Every 500 points you earn is worth £5 in vouchers. You'll earn one point for every £1 spent in-store or online at John Lewis and Waitrose and one point for every £2 spent at MasterCard outlets elsewhere. 

All new customers will receive 1,000 points worth £10 if they spend or transfer £500 in their first 90 days from account opening.

What's more, you get 0% on balance transfers for 18 months (a 2.9% balance transfer fee applies) and 0% on purchases for nine months.

Other points schemes

There is a range of reward credit cards that offer the chance to collect other types of points not specific to one shop or supermarket to convert into your choice of days out, air miles, cashback and more. Here are some of the best.

American Express Nectar Credit Card

The American Express Nectar Credit Card can help you build up Nectar points.

You earn two Nectar points for virtually every £1 you spend, which doubles to four points when you shop at Nectar partners. What’s more, spend £2,000 in your first three months with the card and you’ll pocket a bonus 20,000 Nectar points.

The card does cost £25 a year, though American Express is currently waiving the fee for the first year.

The representative APR on the card is 28.2%.

Barclaycard Freedom Rewards

The fee-free Barclaycard Freedom Rewards Visa offers points for your spending, which you can redeem with dozens of partners.

You earn two points for every £1 spent at supermarkets and petrol stations, and then one point for every £1 spent elsewhere at home and abroad. 

The representative APR on the card is 21.9%.

A final word of warning

Finally, remember, if you’re using a rewards credit card, always ensure you pay off your bill in full each month to avoid being hit with a hefty interest charge which will wipe out the rewards you’ve managed to build up.

An easy way to do this is to set up a direct debit that pays off the balance in full every month, providing you can afford this. 

Prefer cashback? Take a look at The best cashback credit cards

This is a classic loveMONEY article that is regularly updated

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