September 2022’s credit card & BNPL news & round-up

The latest news to help you get the most from your credit card.

Here’s my monthly update sharing changes for leading UK credit cards, as well as some of the relevant articles you might have missed on the blog.

September’s credit card & BNPL update video

I go into more detail on some of this month’s updates in this video.

September’s credit card & BNPL news

Nectar credit card to cut points

The Nectar credit card from Sainsbury’s Bank (not the one from Amex) is making some big changes. At the moment, you’ll earn 2 Nectar points for every £1 spent at Sainsbury’s and Argos. Since one point is worth 0.5p, you’re earning you the equivalent of 1% back.

Buy from 1 November 2022, you’ll get 1 point for every £2 spent. That’s a huge 75% decrease, giving you just 0.25% back. The rate at other retailers remains the same at one point for every £5 spent, working out as 0.125%.

This means it’s time to ditch this card if you use it. You can get 2 points per £1 from the American Express Nectar card, and that same rate is given at every retailer, as long as they take Amex. There is a £25 annual fee for this, but that can be avoided in year one by using a refer-a-friend link or going via a cashback site.

Or you could look at the Chase Bank debit card, offering 1% for the first 12 months. It’s a Mastercard so it’ll be accepted everywhere, though you won’t get Section 75 protection.

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Amazon credit cards to close early

If you have the Amazon Platinum or Classic credit card then it’ll stop working on 11 November 2022 – rather than the original date of early January next year.

At first the communication said existing customers will be able to swap to the Pulse card from NewDay with no credit check or change in conditions. However it now looks like some customers aren’t being offered this option – myself included!

You should have received a letter or in-app message explaining what is happening. If you are offered the new card there will be a link and a code to set it all up. Personally I’m not impressed by the Pulse card which offers just 0.25% cashback on your purchases. More details are in this full analysis.

The good news is you should have any outstanding Amazon points earned from the Platinum card credited to your Amazon account regardless of whether you’ve hit the usual £10 threshold required.

Amazon will launch a replacement card later this year. I’ll update you when this happens with details.

John Lewis rejects some applications

As I shared last month, John Lewis is also changing it’s credit card provider, and unlike with Amazon you need to reapply to get the replacement card. Though for some this has been easy, there have been reports of people being rejected even though their financial situation hasn’t changed, or being offered a lower credit limit.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold offers upgrade points

If you’ve got the Amex Preferred Rewards Gold charge or credit card (always such a mouthfull!) then you’ll have missed out on the recent Platinum card welcome bonus as that’s only for customers who aren’t already earning Amex Reward points.

And that offer, as I detailed last month, is a cracker: 60,000 Amex points and £200 travel credit. On top of that there’s £150 UK dining credit and £100 Harvey Nicks credit each year.

Well, some good news is you can upgrade from the Gold to the Platinum and get a bonus too. It’s a smaller bonus, but could be worth it.

If you have the Gold credit card, there’s 40,000 points on offer. The deal for existing Gold charge card customers (this is an older card) is less at 20,000 points. You do need to spend £4,000 in three months, which could be tight.

If you swap the points you earn (including the 4,000 points you’ll get for the £4,000 spend) into Avios and then into Nectar points, the bonuses are worth £352 and £192 respectively. Factor in £200 from the dining and Harvey Nicks deals either side of the new year, and that’s pretty decent.

But as I detailed in my Platinum review, there’s a huge £575 annual fee to take into account, though there are ways to reduce that.

Laybuy to report data to Experian

If you use Buy Now Pay Later firm Laybuy then payments will now be shared with credit reference agency Experian. This is only for payments after 1 September 2022, whether that’s for an existing or new purchase.

That’s bad news is if you miss a repayment or have a lot on BNPL, other lenders will be able to see. So it could impact your ability to get the best deal elsewhere on anything from a mortgage through to a mobile phone deal. Conversely, paying it back in full and on time could help boost your file, in the same way a credit card can.

Money Saving Expert reported that this won’t be factored into credit scores yet, but that’s just while Experian work out how best to do this.

Klarna already reports to Experian and Transunion, and you can expect all to follow suit at some point.

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This month’s best credit cards

As always when talking about credit cards the best credit card for you will depend on your credit report and why you need one. Make sure you read my rules for having and applying for a credit card.

But assuming you’ve got a great credit report, don’t need one to clear existing debts and will clear the balance completely each month, these are my top picks:

Andy’s Top Three Credit Cards (September 2022)

  • Amex Platinum for the boosted welcome bonus (read more)
  • Amex Nectar for ongoing 1% cashback in Nectar points (read more)
  • Barclaycard Rewards for 0.25% cashback and fee-free spending overseas if you don’t want a Chase current account

Andy’s podcast

Listen to Cash Chats, Andy’s twice-weekly podcast. Episodes every Tuesday and Friday.

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