New cashback scheme launched for credit card shoppers
The Smart Rewards scheme, which has been launched in association with financial tech firm Cardlytics, allows shoppers to get up to 15% cashback when they spend with partner retailers.
Cardholders can browse through the Smart Rewards hub either online or through the MBNA app, where they will be presented with a range of offers tailored to them. MBNA says that it regularly digs into cardholders’ shopping habits, so that it can ensure that the deals you are presented with are the most likely to be relevant, for example if they are with a retailer which you regularly shop with.
Cashback from qualifying purchases is then paid back into your MBNA account at the end of the month, while you can keep track of how much cashback you’ve earned so far or if any cashback is still pending through the app.
The cashback you earn will reduce your outstanding card balance, but it won’t count towards your minimum payment each month.
Retailers that have partnered with MBNA for the scheme include the likes of Harvey Nichols, American Golf, Cult Beauty, Hilton, Co-op and Costa Coffee.
Elyn Corfield, managing director at MBNA, said: “During what has been a challenging time, we’re excited to have launched our new Smart Rewards, offering our customers a little extra for spending with us. Through personalised and relevant offers, our customers will be able to earn more on their purchases at selected retailers, with cashback added to their accounts at the end of every month.”
Getting something back when you spend
There are all sorts of rewards credit cards that offer you something back when you spend with your card. While MBNA offers larger rewards when you shop with specific retailers, others offer smaller rewards which you pick up each and every time you spend, no matter where you spend that money.
This reward may be in the form of loyalty points, like Clubcard or Nectar points, which you can then use to reduce the cost of your shopping. Alternatively you can convert them into vouchers ‒ often at up to three times their initial value ‒ to spend with partner retailers.
And then there are cashback credit cards, which as the name suggests, reward shoppers with cold, hard cash each and every time they use their card. This is generally calculated as a percentage of the money you spend, with the first few months of card ownership often providing a boosted rate of cashback. You can then use that money however you please.
Getting the most from a rewards card
Whichever form of rewards card you go for, there are a couple of key things to bear in mind. The first is that in order to maximise rewards, it’s a really good idea to put as much of your usual spending on the card as possible.
However, it’s crucial that you don’t use this as an excuse to spend more than you normally would. There’s no point getting into debt simply so that you can pick up a few extra Clubcard points or pennies in cashback.
Finally, these cards are really only an option for those who clear their balances in full every month. Otherwise the interest charged on your outstanding balance will swiftly wipe out the value of any rewards ‒ whether that’s points or cashback ‒ that you earn through your spending.