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Rewards Credit Cards FAQ
Using a credit card to make regular purchases doesn't have to lead to a life of debt. In fact, for those who pay their credit card bill in full each month, it's possible to be rewarded for spending - either via redeemable points or cashback. These points can add up to be used towards flights, holidays, and other prizes depending on the card you choose.
A points or rewards card is specifically designed to help cardholders who regularly use their cards for purchases, make the most of their spending habits. What's more, these cards offer the added bonus of additional consumer protection, thanks to Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act established in 1974.
How do rewards points credit cards work?
When used in place of your debit card, or cash, a points card can be a great way to earn rewards for your everyday spending habits. The card that you choose should depend on your specific needs and circumstances. For instance, if you travel frequently, you may be best served choosing a points card that offers rewards in the form of points that can be redeemed for airline miles. Alternatively, points from other cards may be put towards anything from cinema tickets to restaurant bills.
Are rewards credit cards competitive?
Points cards can also be competitive in other areas, which makes them attractive for use in various circumstances. In other words, even if you're not a frequent flyer or savvy shopper, your rewards cards might offer long low-interest periods on purchases and balance transfers. However, it's worth noting that most interest rates on rewards cards are average at best, which means that they're best suited to people who can reliably clear their full balance each month.
What are premium points rewards credit cards?
Premium points cards are exclusive rewards cards for elite groups of people that offer very specific rewards, such as access to VIP lounges. Often, these reward cards can be purchased through a monthly, or annual fee.
How can I cash my points?
The way you access your points will depend on the type of card you apply for. While some cards offer rewards that change according to where you spend, others provide a consistent amount of points based on expenditure levels. There are often restrictions on how you cash your rewards - as some cards might allow you only to redeem points against purchases in particular stores. It's best to read the terms and conditions of any rewards card before you apply to ensure you get the best deal.
Should I transfer my balance to a rewards credit card?
You will not receive any additional benefits by transferring an existing balance on an old credit card to a new points card. Points cards only offer rewards on purchases that are made using that card, and transferring a balance could mean that you end up paying higher interest rates.
What kind of credit limit can I get?
The credit limits for points or rewards credit cards are calculated according to the same factors as any other credit card. Often, your chosen lender will offer you a limit based on the details of your application, your income, and your credit history.
Is my credit record important?
The better your credit history is, the more likely you will be to earn a larger credit limit, as well as various other benefits from your points card. For instance, a better credit record could allow you to apply for a card that has a longer-lasting period of low interest.
Do I need to make minimum payments?
Points cards are really only suitable for people who are sure they can clear their balance in full every month. If you're unsure of your ability to make regular repayments, you may be better suited to a low-interest rate card instead.
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Helpful links for credit card issues
Money Advice Service - The government's Money Advice Service website provides concise, unbiased information on choosing and using credit cards as well as handy tools such as credit card calculators.
The UK Cards Association - The British trade association for card payment companies has an extensive range of guides on their website covering all the types of payment cards available to UK consumers including debt, credit and prepaid cards.
Financial Fraud Action (FFA) UK - The Financial Fraud Action website features important advice on using payment cards safely and securely as well as information on the latest scams.
Financial Ombudsman Service - If you've already made a complaint to your card provider and have not had your issue resolved satisfactorily then the next step is to take up your complaint with the Financial Ombudsman.
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