Getting More out of your Credit Cards with Reward Points

12th June 2012  

If you’re looking for a way to get better value out of your credit cards then cards that offer reward points whenever they’re used may be exactly what you’re looking for.

Barclaycard have recently scrapped their Barclaycard Freedom reward scheme (leaving you with just under two months to redeem any ‘reward money’ you may have already earned), but there are still plenty of attractive cards on the market which offer the opportunity to scoop up some rewards as you spend.

For some people, reward points give them the chance to treat themselves to a little something special every so often, while others use them to pay for overseas holidays they might otherwise be unable to afford. But which card will help you get the most out of your credit card spending?

Here’s three of the best:

Avios-based Reward Credit Cards

Formerly known as Airmiles, Avios is one of the most popular and widespread points-based rewards systems. It’s possible to earn and spend points on flights and a variety of other purchases. Perhaps the most rewarding way to access the scheme is via the Lloyds TSB Duo credit card account. With this you get two credit cards for the same account – an American Express card (which will net you one Avio for every £1 spent), and a Master Card (one Avio for every £5 spent). Double Avios are awarded when the cards are used abroad. Avios are a good way of saving for a holiday and related items, but it should be noted that for flights outside of Europe additional charges often have to be paid, and availability can be limited.

Tesco Clubcard Credit Card

Anyone who shops at Tesco’s regularly is undoubtedly familiar with Tesco Clubcard Points, where you get a point for each pound you spend. Tesco also offer their own Tesco Clubcard credit card, which can be highly rewarding if you do your weekly shopping there. For each £4 you spend at Tesco or at the Tesco petrol pumps you get five points, while spending outside the store will also get you one point per £4. Tesco Clubcard points can then be spent at the supermarket, or on a variety of special rewards and treats.

Virgin Atlantic Black Credit Card

Another dual card account, providing an American Express and a Visa credit card, Virgin Atlantic Black is tailored towards frequent travellers. Like its White counterpart it enables you to collect points for Virgin Atlantic’s own ‘Flying Club’ (FC), which can be spent on flights and a variety of other rewards, but enables you to earn points twice as fast. With the American Express Card you get two FC miles per £1 spent, and four FC miles for each pound spent with Virgin Atlantic or Virgin Holidays. Using the Visa card you get one FC mile per £1 spent, and two FC miles when spending with Virgin. It should be noted that the annual fee for this reward scheme is £140.

Of course, credit cards that offer reward points are only really beneficial if you pay off the balance each and every month. If you don’t, any rewards and bonuses you reap may be overshadowed by the significant interest payments that you have to make on your expenditure.

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