Three best cards to earn you cashback and points

Get money back in points and cash when you shop with these three clever cards.

When I’m shopping I’ll always try to get the max value from my spend, and that means I’ve a selection of cards in my wallet that can bring me a little bonus cash.

I estimate these cards net me at least £500 a year – probably more. That’s money I wouldn’t have had before.

Here are the three cards you should aim to get in your wallet – and they’re not all from banks…

1. Santander 123 Credit Card

With commissions on cards transaction fees now limited by the EU, banks such as RBS and Captial One have scrapped the cashback they offer. But many are still providing it – for now at least – and Santander is one of the best.<

The 123 credit card will save you on everyday purchases. You’ll get 1% back at supermarkets, 2% at department stores and 3% on train travel and petrol (capped at £9 cashback a month).

Most people buy these things so if you always spend at those places on the card you’ll easily make up the £24 annual fee.

You can also add on more cashback offers that pop up from time to time, including extra money off at places like Morrisons.

It’s also a 0% purchases card for the first 23 months, so as long as you make the minimum payments each month you can earn interest on your cash in a high interest current account. Though you need to make sure you don’t spend it on other things and still have enough to pay off the balance of the card before the 23 months ends.

The bank account is good too, and offers cashback on direct debits for most household bills.

2. American Express Gold charge card

I love Amex. It’s one of my “amazing savings“.

The American Express Preferred Rewards Gold card was my first big ‘cashback’ earner. It’s a charge card rather than credit card, which means you aren’t borrowing money – but you absolutely must pay back the full amount each month.

You earn points which you can cash in for giftcards at shops like Boots or transfer to airline schemes. An introductory offer nets you 20,000 bonus points (worth £100) in your first three months if you spend £2,000.

After that you’ll get one point per pound (worth 0.5%) and two per pound on travel spend.

You also get some great “credits” when you add  special deals to your account. They range from £5 back when you spend £10 at Tesco to £20 off £300 at some posh shop. Many deals won’t be relevant to you, but there are enough that will, and they’ll  add a very heathy wedge to your annual cashback.

Just watch out for the £140 at the end of year one! Cancel your card a month before to avoid paying it.

After cancelling I applied for the Amex Platinum cashback credit card. This earns me 1.25% on every £1 I spend. It also has a bonus 5% in the first three months (the max you can get is £125 on £2500). There is a £25 fee. It’s also a great option to consider.

3. Tesco Clubcard

There are other loyalty cards around but I think this is the best.

You earn one point for every pound you spend in Tesco (and a few other shops). That’s worth 1p in Tesco, but I never use them like that.

Instead I use Clubcard Boost. You can get four times their value on vouchers to use at places such as Pizza Express, and there are triple boost deals too.

But if you don’t normally shop at those places, you aren’t really making money. I generally trade my points in for double value at Red Spotted Hanky (so half price train tickets), Ticketmaster or wait for Double Points deals that let you spend them in Tesco stores. Here’s my previous round up of the 6 best uses of Tesco Clubcard points.

You’re essentially getting between 2% and 4% cashback on your initial shop!

What are the cards in your wallet that earn you a little extra?


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