Consumers are saving an average of £899 by making the most of discounts, rewards and offers, according to new research from American Express, but with a number of options to choose from it can be difficult to know how to get the best value.
Choosing the right card can have huge benefits, in fact many card providers offer their customers the opportunity to earn rewards on their spending, be it Nectar or Avios points, which can be put towards everything from holidays and hotel stays, to dinners out and dishwashers.
When assessing a card’s suitability for you to maximise your spending, these tips could be helpful:
1. Understand your spending
Often payment cards are designed with a particular person in mind, whether that is frequent travellers or supermarket shoppers. By checking your statements over the course of a few months you should be able to identifyyour key areas of spending. Being clear on where you spend the most can help you choose a card that offers high rewards in these areas and relevant benefits, such as airport lounge access. This in turn could help you save significantly over the year.
2. Points or cashback?
Some cards pay you a percentage of the value of your spending on your plastic in cashback, rather than earning reward points. For instance, the American Express Platinum Everyday Credit Card pays 5 per cent cashback on a maximum of £2,000 spending in the first three months. These payment methods are great if you know you can pay off your balance in full each month.
3. Introductory offers
Many credit card providers have introductory offers within the first few months of having the card. To make sure you don’t miss out, look out for these offers and keep them in mind when doing your shopping.
4. Couple up
There are ways of increasing your rewards without spending more. For instance it’s often possible to get a complimentary card, on the same account, for a partner, friend or family member. This means all your spending is taken into account, boosting what you could earn. "Refer a friend" schemes often reward you for recommending your card to others and are a further way of accumulating points.
5. Spend wisely
There is often flexibility to transfer points between different loyalty schemes, giving you plenty of choice for shopping with your points, travelling, or even trading them for gift cards. Finally, it's useful to keep an eye on when they need to be spent, so you can plan your spending accordingly and avoid them going to waste!
- Did you know RBS & NatWest offer debit and savings cards to the blind and partially-sighted. Find out more here.