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Big cashback cuts: Where now for shopping rewards?

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

As lockdown eases and Brits start spending their money, many will be disappointed as cashback rewards are dwindling.

Cashback rewards have been slashed in recent months – from cuts in current account offerings to rewards from shopping on plastic.

Just last week, Santander announced changes to its cashback categories and doubled the account fee on its 123 Lite current account from October.

And NatWest also recently scrapped its cashback offer on bills on its Reward Current Account.

A number of banks have also axed their current account switch incentives, which previously offered up to £175 for a new customer.

And according to data site Moneyfacts, there are now just eight cashback credit cards on the market – the lowest number seen in a decade.

Rachel Springall, finance expert at Moneyfacts, said a cashback credit card may be a good option for shoppers who have held off making larger or more regular non-essential purchases until after the lockdown.

“Shoppers could earn up to 5% cashback with American Express Platinum Cashback Card for the first six months and 1% thereafter. Santander offers an All in One Credit Card Mastercard that pays 0.50% cashback on any spending and includes a 0% introductory purchase offer of 26 months, while the Barclaycard Rewards Visa would pay 0.25% in cashback.

“Those consumers who plan to sort out not just their finances after the lockdown, but also perhaps their physical fitness, may like to consider the Vitality American Express Credit Card. Its unique loyalty scheme enables customers to get more cashback the more they work out and activity points they build, up to 1% in cashback and even more on top if they have an eligible Vitality Health or Life plan.”

Springall added that consumers will need to be savvy and shop around for a lucrative cashback credit card if they hope to get something back when they spend.

“But they may wish to act quickly as there is no telling how long these offers will last and they could get cut in a similar way to how current account perks have been culled. As with any card spend, it’s a good idea to clear the monthly balance before interest applies as this could wipe out any cashback gained.”