The best rewards credit cards to use on holiday

The best rewards credit cards to use on holiday

Before heading away for your summer holiday, it's worth giving some thought to how you are going to spend on holiday and if you can turn your holiday spending into rewards, for when you return home.

There are a number of different ways you can make sure your holiday spending goes that little bit further.

To benefit from reward cards repay your bill in full each month

Reward cards

These often branded credit cards provide you with points for every pound you spend. These points can usually be redeemed in the high street shops or online. Some of the UK’s biggest retailers such as John Lewis and Marks & Spencer offer these cards, and as you can imagine they are very popular, especially with people who shop at these shops regularly. To benefit from reward cards ensure you repay your bill each month in full.

John Lewis Partnership Credit Card

High-street retailer John Lewis has brought its customer service expertise to its Partnership Credit Card, and won the Best Customer Service award in the 2016 uSwitch credit card awards.

You can earn 1 point for every £1 spent in John Lewis & Waitrose, or 0.5 for every £1 spent elsewhere. Every 500 points you earn is worth £5 in vouchers.

If you apply before August 7, 2016 you can get 1000 points worth £10 in vouchers as a welcome bonus.

16.9 per cent APR Representative (variable)

M&S Credit Card

The other high street big hitter, M&S, offers a retail reward card with a similar points scheme, where you can earn M&S point per £1 spent instore or 0.5 M&S point per £1 spent elsewhere. 500 points are also worth the equivalent of £5 of M&S vouchers.

But it also offers 19 months of 0 per cent interest-free spending and a 500 point welcome bonus worth £5 of M&S vouchers.

18.9 per cent APR Representative (variable)

Cashback cards

For some people, cold hard cash is the best way to claw back some of your holiday spending. If that sounds right for you, these two versatile cashback credit cards provide people with a decent return on everyday spending:

American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card

With this credit card you can enjoy three months of 5 per cent cashback on all purchases, but this is capped at £100 of cashback. After this the cashback return is staggered:

  • £0 to £3,500 you earn 0.5 per cent cashback
  • £3,500 to £7,500 you earn 1 per cent cashback
  • over £7,501 you can earn 1.25 per cent cashback

22.9 per cent APR Representative (variable)

Santander 123 Credit Card MasterCard

The Santander 123 card can deliver some very lucrative cashback, depending on how you use it.

You can earn:

  • 3 per cent cashback on the first £100 you spend each month at all major petrol stations, as well as National Rail and TFL purchases
  • 2 per cent cashback on the first £150 of purchases made at all major department stores
  • 1 per cent on the first £300 you spend in supermarkets

However, your cashback is capped at £108 annually.

It’s worth noting there are other reasons to choose this card, namely the 23 months 0 per cent on purchases and balance transfers with no transfer fee. But there is a £36 annual fee unless you currently have or are prepared to open a Santander 123 current account.

18.4 per cent APR Representative (variable)

Airline rewards

If you’re a bit of a jet setter and want a card that can get you free flights and other perks these cards might be the right choice for you. It's worth noting that both of these come with no annual fee, but if you're willing to stump up the big upfront fees, you can get some impressive rewards for flights with a premium airline reward card.

British Airways American Express Credit Card

This card from British Airways and American Express, offers a range of perks and rewards including flights as you spend.

You can earn one Avios point for every pound spent and there is a welcome bonus of 9,000 Avios points if you spend £1000 within the first three months of owning the card – which works out at 9 times the usual rate. You can also get a companion travel voucher but need to spend £20,000 in a year to do so.

You can also benefit from travel insurance and refund protection on most purchases.

22.9 per cent APR Representative (variable)

Virgin Atlantic White Credit Card Account

Virgin Atlantic gives you two physical cards: one provided by Visa and the other by American Express. You only have one credit account to manage though and the credit is ultimately issued by MBNA. This can be useful for when shopping at places which don’t accept America Express.

There are different rates of air miles accumulation however. If you spend on your Visa card you will receive one Virgin Flying Club Mile for every £2 spent, or the better rate of one for every £1 spent on the American Express card. All miles from both cards are collected in one account.

An introductory bonus of 3,000 miles is awarded to you for making a purchase within 90 days of opening the account.

22.9 per cent APR Representative (variable)

Also check out the cheapest credits to use abroad

Thanks to Tashema Jackson, money expert at

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