NatWest Reward Credit Card review: excellent choice for supermarket switchers

If you shop at various supermarkets to get the best deal but still want to earn rewards on your spending, then the NatWest Reward card may be for you.

Rewards credit cards are an attractive option for shoppers, as you get something back when you spend.

These cards come in a host of different forms, with some rewarding users by delivering loyalty points, while others reward them with airmiles which can be used to reduce the cost of future flights.

There are even cards that essentially pay you to use them, in the form of cashback.

But what if you want a combination of all of the above? That’s where the NatWest Reward Credit Card comes in.

What does the NatWest Reward Credit Card offer?

The NatWest Reward Credit Card is a bit of a cashback and rewards card rolled into one.

As with a cashback card, you earn a percentage of your spend back, but rather than getting it in cash, you get it in NatWest’s Rewards points.

With the card you earn 1% in Rewards when you spend at supermarkets, dropping to 0.5% when you spend at their petrol stations.

The fact you can earn a decent reward at all supermarkets is a big plus, as most supermarket's dedicated reward/cashback cards offer next to nothing on any spend that isn't with them (more on this later).

And a significant number of us don’t have any great loyalty to a single supermarket. In fact, a poll by loveMONEY a few months back found that as many as 13% of us regularly shop around when it comes to sorting out our groceries.

It also means you can earn rewards at Aldi & Lidl, which don't offer their own reward credit cards.

Supermarkets aren’t the only place you can build up these Rewards though. If you spend with partner retailers  the likes of Ernest Jones, Caffe Nero and Jamie’s Italian then you are rewarded with 1% rewards on your spending.

And then you get 0.5% for every penny you spend elsewhere.

These Rewards can be converted into cash and transferred into your bank account (so long as it’s with NatWest), or go towards paying off the credit card balance.

Alternatively, you can exchange those points for an e-code which you can spend with a host of ‘trade up’ retailers.

The value of those points is boosted when you do this. For example, if you want to use your points with Currys PC World, then you can convert £7.50 in Rewards into a £10 Currys PC World voucher.

The card ordinarily comes with a £24 annual fee. However, this is waived if you happen to have a NatWest Reward or Reward Black current account.

If you aren't already a Reward accountholder, it's worth noting NatWest will pay you £150 if you join before February 15.

The purchase rate is 18.9%, while the representative APR is 23.7%.

How does it compare?

If you are the sort of person that does almost all of their supermarket shopping at a single supermarket, then you may be better off going with one of that store’s dedicated cards.

With Tesco’s Purchases Credit Card, for example, you earn one Clubcard point for every £4 you spend in-store and then for every £8 spent elsewhere.

On top of that, you enjoy a 26-month 0% period on your spending, making it a particularly attractive option if you’ve got some big purchases coming up and you will need to pay it off in chunks.

The Tesco Purchases card comes with a representative APR of 19.9%.

Similarly, if you are committed to getting your groceries at Sainsbury’s, then you may prefer the Nectar Credit Card.

This card rewards shoppers with up to four points for every £1 they spend with Nectar partners, and two points for every £1 you spend everywhere else.

What’s more, you can pocket a bonus 20,000 points if you spend £2,000 in the first three months. Unlike the Tesco card though, there is an annual fee to take into account of £25.

There’s also a representative APR of 28.2% to consider.

Alternatively, if you want to get rewarded for your spending but want complete freedom over how you spend those rewards, then a straightforward cashback card might be preferable.

A good example is the American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday card.

There’s 5% cashback on the money you spend in the first three months (which is capped at £100), and that’s followed by up to 1% cashback should you spend more than £5,000 over the year.

It is fee-free and comes with a representative APR of 22.9%.

Our verdict

For those who shop at multiple stores to get the best price, a supermarket’s own credit card isn’t really going to do the trick, but the NatWest Rewards Credit Card is an excellent option, offering a consistent and sizeable reward, no matter where you choose to pick up your chicken nuggets that week.

It’s also a very flexible card, offering you a variety of different ways to cash in those rewards, particularly if you happen to be a NatWest Reward current account holder (and if you're not, remember you can get paid £150 for joining before February 15).

While you can turn them into more valuable vouchers with selected trade-in retailers, there is also the option of using those Rewards to boost your bank balance or pay off your credit card.

So even if you can’t find a trade-in retailer that you want to spend with, you still have options on how to use the points you’ve built up.

This card is certainly significantly more attractive if you already hold a NatWest Reward or Reward Black current account, as it will allow you to dodge the annual fee. If you bank elsewhere, that fee will cut into the overall value of any rewards you do build up.

As always with rewards credit cards, it’s vital that you only go for one of these cards if you are the sort of borrower who pays their balance off in full each month.

Otherwise, between the annual fee and the interest charged on outstanding balances, you won’t get any actual benefit from your spending habits.


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