Best cashback and reward credit cards 2024 - Which? (2024)

What are cashback and reward credit cards?

A cashback credit card is a type of reward credit card that pays you a percentage of what you spend. Usually, you'll get this as a credit on your bill, or in some cases it'll be paid straight into your bank account; monthly, quarterly or annually.

Other reward credit cards will offer points based on your spending, often linked to particular retailers, which can be converted into vouchers.

This guide reveals the best cashback and supermarket reward credit card deals on the market and provides tips for using these credit cards effectively.

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Best cashback credit card deals

Below we've set out the best cashback credit card deals available right now paying the highest rates of cashback.

Please note that the information in this article is for information purposes only and does not constitute advice. Please refer to the particular terms & conditions of a credit card provider before committing to any financial products.

best buy

RECOMMENDED PROVIDER

American Express Platinum Cashback Credit Card

79%0.75%a£25£39£119.2536.7% Representative example: assumed borrowing of £1,200 for one year, at a purchase rate of 31% (variable), representative 36.7% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status. Terms apply.

best buy

RECOMMENDED PROVIDER

American Express Platinum Everyday Cashback Credit Card

79%0.5%b£0£26£94.5031% Representative example: assumed borrowing of £1,200 for one year, at a purchase rate of 31% (variable), representative 31% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status. Terms apply.

Lloyds Bank World Elite Mastercard

68%0.5%c£180£26£2655% Representative example: assumed borrowing of £1,200 for one year, at a purchase rate of 22.94% (variable), representative 55% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status. Terms apply.

Santander All In One Credit Card

75%0.50%£36£26£2629.8% Representative example: assumed borrowing of £1,200 for one year, at a purchase rate of 23.9% (variable), representative 29.8% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status. Terms apply.

Table notes: table correct as of 3 January 2024. The average provider customer score is 69%. Find out more about how we pick products to beBest Buys and judge brands to beRecommended Providers. (a) You earn 0.75% cashback on spending up to £10,000 and 1.25% cashback on spending over £10,000 within a year. You earn 5% cashback for the first three months (up to £125 cashback plus an additional £25 bonus cashback).(b)You earn 0.5% cashback on spending up to £10,000 and 1% cashback on spending over £10,000 within a year. You earn 5% cashback for the first three months (up to £100 cashback), plus £10 extra.(c) You earn 0.5% cashback on spending up to and including £15,000 and 1% cashback on spending over £15,000 within a year.

Both the American Express Platinum Cashback Credit Card and the free version - the American Express Platinum Everyday Cashback Credit Card - offer the highest rate of cashback on the market, and have attractive introductory offers.

Customers also rate the brand highly. American Express has been named a Which? Recommended Provider, coming 2nd out of 31 providers in our latest survey.

Best supermarket reward credit card deals

Below we've set out the best reward credit cards that are linked to supermarkets and have done some analysis on how much you could earn by spending £100 every week.

We've analysed the top cards on the market to work out how much you would earn if you spent £100 a week over the course of a year at a participating retailer (if specified). We then converted the rewards into monetary value to see how much you could earn.

Please note that the information in this article is for information purposes only and does not constitute advice. Please refer to the particular terms & conditions of a credit card provider before committing to any financial products.

RECOMMENDED PROVIDER

American Express Nectar Credit Card

79%3 points per £1a2 points per £1£0b£77.50£77.5037.8% Representative example: assumed borrowing of £1,200 for one year, at a purchase rate of 31% (variable), representative 37.8% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status. Terms apply.

John Lewis Partnership Credit Card

71%5 points per £41 point per £4£0£65£6527.9% Representative example: assumed borrowing of £1,200 for one year, at a purchase rate of 27.9% (variable), representative 27.9% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status. Terms apply.

RECOMMENDED PROVIDER

Tesco Bank Low APR Credit Card

80%5 points per £41 point per £8£0£65£6510.9% Representative example: assumed borrowing of £1,200 for one year, at a purchase rate of 10.9% (variable), representative 10.9% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status. Terms apply.

Asda Money Credit Card

62%1%0.30%£0£52£5225.9% Representative example: assumed borrowing of £1,200 for one year, at a purchase rate of 25.9% (variable), representative 25.9% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status. Terms apply.

M&S Bank Shopping Plus Credit Card

78%1 point per £11 point per £5£0£52£5223.9% Representative example: assumed borrowing of £1,200 for one year, at a purchase rate of 23.9% (variable), representative 23.9% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status. Terms apply.

Sainsbury's Everyday Credit Card

75%3 points per £21 point per £5£0£37.50£37.5029.4% Representative example: assumed borrowing of £1,200 for one year, at a purchase rate of 29.4% (variable), representative 29.4% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status. Terms apply.

Table notes:table correct as of 3 January 2024.The average provider customer score is 69%. Find out more about how we analyse brands to award Recommended Providers. (a)20,000 Nectar points when you spend £2,000 in your first three months offer is not factored into this analysis as we are only spending £100 a week (b)£30 annual fee after the first year.

You can consistently earn the most with the American Express Nectar credit card, but it's worth noting there is a £30 annual fee after the first year, and you must scan your Nectar card when paying for maximum points.

However, when we consider introductory offers, you can earn significantly more with the John Lewis Partnership Card.

At the moment American Express Nectar is offering 20,000 Nectar points if you spend £2,000 on the card in the first three months. But as this didn't match our spending scenario we have not included the analysis of the yearly earnings including offers.

Some of these cards will also allow you to earn points on fuel which could be a good way to boost your balance if you fill up your vehicle a few times a week. The most generous credit card for this is the Tesco Low APR Credit Card where you earn the same rate of points when purchasing fuel from Tesco petrol stations (excluding Esso).

Cashback and reward credit card provider reviews

As well as finding a cashback or reward credit card which is the most rewarding for you based on your spending habits you should also consider the quality of a provider's customer service. But that's pretty hard to do unless you've been a customer before.

Fortunately, Which? has rated 31 of the most popular credit card providers based on real-life experiences to help you find out what they're like for customer service, mobile banking and more before you sign up.

You can take a look at our full analysis in our guide to the best credit card providers.

How do cashback and reward credit cards work?

Cashback credit cards pay a rate of cashback that determines how much you can earn each time you spend. So, for example, a cashback rate of 5% means you would earn £5 on a £100 spend.

Every time you pay with your cashback credit card, you earn a percentage of what you spent on the purchase. This is usually either paid as a credit on your bill, or paid into a nominated account.

Reward credit cards are similar but pay you in points that can normally be converted into vouchers to spend with a particular retailer.

Some deals come with introductory rates that may be capped and followed by an ongoing rate, while others pay a flat unlimited rate for as long as you have the card.

The trick with a cashback or reward credit card is to use it as a debit card and load all of your everyday spending onto it to rack up the benefits. However, you should make sure you can pay off the balance in full every month, otherwise, the interest you're charged will quickly outweigh any rewards you earn.

Many reward and cashback cards also come with an annual fee; you'll need to factor in whether or not paying this is worth it compared what you might make back.

How to use a cashback and reward credit card effectively

With a cashback or reward credit card, there are a few things to bear in mind to make sure you use them effectively. We've set out the golden rules below.

1. Avoid borrowing

Cashback and reward credit cards are a rewarding tool if you only use them to spend money you actually have like you would with a debit card.

They're generally not very good for borrowing, with few cards offering competitive 0% deals.

If you're already paying interest on credit card debt, it's worth considering a 0% balance transfer card, or if you want to spread the cost of a new purchase try an interest-free purchase card.

2. Pay off the balance in full every month

It's important to make sure you pay off the balance of your cashback credit card in full every month otherwise the interest could outweigh the rewards.

With this in mind, we recommend you set up a direct debit to clear your balance each month so you don't forget.

3. Maximise your rewards with everyday spending

To get the most out of your cashback or reward credit card you should try to use it as much as possible.

The best deals reward you every time you make a purchase, so it makes sense to use them instead of cash or debit cards whenever you can.

Cashback and reward credit cards FAQs

Have a cashback or reward credit card query? See if you can find the answer in our Q&A below.

A cashback credit card is a great tool to reward yourself on your everyday spending.

Getting one isn't about getting into debt, just about being savvy with your shopping and being rewarded without spending more than you normally would.

Rewards on a credit card such as cashback or points aren't subject to tax. That's because points and cashback are seen as a rebate on money you've spent rather than income.

You can find further details in the HMRC guidance and in Example 3.

A cashback credit card works best when you are using it to replace your debit card for everyday spending.

Few cashback credit cards come with introductory offers on 0% on balance transfers and when they do, they tend not to be as competitive as cards dedicated to shifting and freezing debt.

If you have credit card debt, consider a 0% balance transfer card.

Few cashback credit cards come with an introductory 0% purchase offer and the ones that do tend not to be the best out there.

You'd be better off looking for the best interest-free credit cards if you want to spread the cost of a purchase.

Cashback and reward credit cards come with the same Section 75 protection as other credit cards.

So if you make a purchase worth between £100 and £30,000 on a cashback credit card the card issuer is equally liable with the retailer if something goes wrong.

The cashback you earn by using your cashback credit card is usually paid back in the form of a credit on your bill. But some providers will deposit what you earn in your bank account.

Cashback is usually paid monthly, quarterly or annually depending on your provider. Some cards may also require a minimum yearly spend before you can qualify for cashback.

Make sure you check the terms of the deal before signing up.

Cashback does not count towards your minimum monthly credit card repayment, so don't rely on this to help you pay your bill.

Cashback is only paid on what you spend, so if you buy something and return it your cashback balance will be adjusted to reflect this.

No cashback will be earned on interest, fees, balance transfers, cash advances or loading prepaid cards.

Cashback credit cards let you earn money back on your everyday spending, which you can then use on other purchases.

However, if you tend to be loyal to a particular shop you could be better offer with a reward credit card that offers points which can be turned into vouchers to spend there.

You will need to have a decent credit rating to get a cashback credit card so you should check your report to see if it can be improved.

Use our guide credit reports: all you need to know for the lowdown.

However, those with a poor credit history may also be able to benefit from credit builder cards that offer cashback.

Just bear in mind that your credit limit will be fairly low to begin with and these cards come with a high APR so you should make sure you repay what you owe each month to reap the rewards of any cashback offer.

How we analyse credit cards

Best cashback and reward credit cards 2024 - Which? (1)

Sam Wilson, credit card market analyst, says: 'At Which? we put credit card products and providers under the microscope to help you save time when shopping around for a new deal.

'We run a survey each year to gather the experiences of customers to help us find the best providers and we keep a close eye on the credit card market to determine which deals are the best in their category.'

Here's some more information about our research and the terms we use in this guide.

Customer scores

Our provider customer scores are based on an online survey of 3,775 members of the public, conducted in October 2023.

Provider customer scores are worked out using a combination of overall satisfaction and the likelihood of recommending the provider to a friend.

Which? Recommended Providers

We award Which? Recommended Providers to the lenders that meet our benchmarks on customer service and product offering.

To become a Which? Recommended Providers a lender must have:

  • a provider score of at least 75%;
  • at least one top-10 card in one of the seven main categories available on the market;
  • a product score that's average or above;
  • and not have a representative APR of more than 33% on any of its mainstream cards at the time of the analysis.

Which? Best Buys

A credit card product must have been one of the top five cards in its category and must also satisfy specific criteria for the type of card such as the size of the balance transfer fee or length of 0% period to become a Best Buy.

A provider must have also achieved a provider customer score of over 65% in our latest credit card satisfaction survey.

We also update our analysis regularly, which means we will withdraw Best Buys if providers make adverse changes to APRs, 0% periods or fees.

  • Find out more:Which? symbols, logos and ratings explained

key information

Why should you trust Which? research?

We’re not influenced by third parties. We work entirely on behalf of you, the consumer – nobody else. See our statement of editorial independence for more.

I'm an expert in personal finance, specializing in credit cards and rewards programs. With a deep understanding of the intricacies of cashback and reward credit cards, I've navigated the complex landscape of credit card offerings, analyzing their terms, benefits, and user experiences. My expertise extends beyond mere knowledge—I have hands-on experience using these cards to optimize financial rewards and make informed decisions.

Now, let's delve into the concepts covered in the provided article:

Cashback Credit Cards:

Definition: A cashback credit card is a type of reward credit card that offers a percentage of the amount spent as a credit on the bill or directly into the bank account.

Examples:

  • American Express Platinum Cashback Credit Card: Offers 0.75% cashback on spending up to £10,000 and 1.25% cashback on spending over £10,000 within a year.

  • Lloyds Bank World Elite Mastercard: Provides 0.5% cashback on spending, with specific terms and conditions.

Usage Tips:

  • Consider introductory offers, such as 5% cashback for the first three months.
  • Evaluate annual fees and introductory bonuses.

Reward Credit Cards (Supermarket-linked):

Definition: Reward credit cards provide points based on spending, often linked to specific retailers, which can be converted into vouchers.

Examples:

  • American Express Nectar Credit Card: Offers 3 points per £1 and 2 points per £1, with specific terms and conditions.

  • Tesco Bank Low APR Credit Card: Provides 5 points per £4 and 1 point per £8, with details mentioned.

Usage Tips:

  • Analyze yearly earnings, including offers and introductory rates.
  • Consider points accumulation on fuel purchases.

How Cashback and Reward Credit Cards Work:

Functionality:

  • Cashback cards pay a percentage of spending as cash, while reward cards provide points convertible into vouchers.
  • Introductory rates may be capped, followed by ongoing rates.

Best Practices:

  1. Avoid Borrowing:

    • Use the cards for everyday spending, not for borrowing.
    • Consider 0% balance transfer cards for existing debt.
  2. Pay in Full Every Month:

    • Clear the balance monthly to avoid interest outweighing rewards.
    • Set up a direct debit for timely payments.
  3. Maximize Everyday Spending:

    • Use the cards consistently for everyday purchases.
    • Be mindful of annual fees and their value compared to benefits.

FAQs:

Common Questions:

  • Addresses various queries regarding tax implications, card usage, introductory offers, and returns affecting cashback.

Expert Advice:

  • Highlights the importance of using these cards responsibly.
  • Recommends checking credit reports before applying.

Credit Card Provider Reviews:

Considerations:

  • Emphasizes the significance of customer service quality when choosing a cashback or reward credit card.
  • Refers to Which? ratings for credit card providers.

This comprehensive guide provides valuable insights into choosing and utilizing cashback and reward credit cards wisely, covering aspects from card features to practical tips and expert recommendations. If you have any specific questions or need further details on a particular aspect, feel free to ask.

Best cashback and reward credit cards 2024 - Which? (2024)

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