Could you save money by supporting a team?
With the Premiership kicking off this weekend, loyal fans of Tottenham Hotspur can now earn cashback when they shop on the high street to help cut the cost of supporting their team.
The ClubCash card is a new addition to Tottenham’s loyalty programme and gives members of the club cashback whenever they shop at participating retailers including superdrug, amazon.co.uk, Halfords, JJB Sports and Dixons. They can then use the money they have earned within Tottenham Hotspur retail outlets.
“Over 60% of fans who signed up for our emails have registered with the programme and are spending with participating retailers,” says Emma Taylor, head of marketing at Tottenham Hotspur. “As a result, we wanted to develop the initiative further to help members get more from the programme. By introducing ClubCash, members are able to use their cashback earned to purchase merchandise.”
Passionate fans of teams other than Spurs can also show their support every time they spend with an affinity credit card. From Arsenal to Wycome Wanderers, Chelsea to Leyton Orient, the cards allow fans to earn a reward point for every £1 they spend, and once enough points are accumulated they can be redeemed for a wide range of goods and services.
Many football credit cards also offer exclusive football prizes in exchange for points, such as limited edition shirts and the chance to watch a training session.
The overwhelming majority of the credit cards are provided by MBNA and charge a typical APR of 15.9%, and charge 0% on purchases for three months. In addition the cards offer a 0% balance transfer for 12 months, charging a 3% fee to transfer the balance.
“You can get slightly longer 0% deals, but football fanatics sometimes just want a card with their team colours on it and if they pay the balance off in full each month then the rate isn't an issue,” says Andrew Hagger, a spokesperson for comparison website Moneynet.co.uk.
Barclaycard also offers a football credit card that gives fans over the age of 21 0% on season ticket purchases over £250. Fans can collect reward points for every £1 spent at JJB Sports, HMV and Currys the chance to get their hands on free Barclays Premier League match tickets, kit and merchandise.
The typical APR is 14.9% and fans can also transfer their balance at 0% for 12 months a 2.5% fee.
Save and support
But fans don’t need to spend to support their team. Clubs in the lower leagues can benefit from affinity savings accounts, which can be a vital source of income.
“While some of the big boys can afford to splash out in excess of £20 million for a new striker and pay wages of £120,000 per week, step outside the champagne lifestyle of the Premier League and it’s a totally different story,” says Hagger.
“Many clubs in the Football League from the Championship through to League Two are living a hand-to-mouth existence with new cases of clubs facing administration every season.”
Although football club affinity savings accounts are unlikely to provide savers with the best interest rate, Hagger believes many supporters are happy to sacrifice a higher rate of interest in return for being able to do their bit for their team.
Britannia Building Society, Norwich & Peterborough Building Society and West Bromwich Building Society are just some of the main providers of football savings accounts in the UK and between them have provided a valuable lifeline to clubs and, in particular, their youth academies.
Each year these societies present the football club with a cheque for 1% of the value of the combined daily average savings balance for all accounts held by its supporters.
Savers with Norwich & Peterborough for example have contributed over £2.65 million to Norwich City Football Club over the last 11 years. The Canary Club Savers Account currently pays 2.30% on all balances over £1. The West Bromwich Albion Building Society’s Premier Saver has raised £2.2 million for the club since it was launched in 1996 - It currently pays 2.45% gross on all balances over £1.
To compare these saving deals with the best on the market, read our daily round-up of saving accounts
This is more usually a feature of car insurance but it can also crop up in contents, mobile phone and pet insurance policies. An excess is the amount of money you have to pay before the insurance company starts paying out. The excess makes up the first part of a claim, so if your excess is £100 and your claim is for £500, you would pay the first £100 and the insurer the remaining £400. Many online insures let you set your own excess, but the lower the excess, the more expensive the premium will be.
Used by the holder to buy goods and services, credit cards also have a monthly or annual spending limit, which may be raised or lowered depending on the creditworthiness of the cardholder. But unlike charge cards, borrowers aren’t forced to pay the balance off in full every month and, as long as they make a stated minimum payment, can carry a balance from one month to the next, generating compound interest. As the issuing company is effectively giving you a short-term loan, most credit cards have variable and relatively high interest rates. Allowing the interest to compound for too long may result in dire financial straits.
Moving money from one account to another, whether switching bank accounts or more likely transferring the outstanding balance on your credit card to another card that charges a lower – or 0% – rate of interest. Some card providers may charge a transfer fee that can be a percentage of the balance transferred.
This is used to compare interest rates for borrowing. It is the total (or “gross”) interest you’ll pay over the life of a loan, including charges and fees. For credit cards where interest is charged at more frequent intervals, the APR includes a “compounding” effect (paying interest on interest). So for a credit card charging 2% interest a month (equating to 24% a year), the APR would actually be 26.82%.
This is a mutual organisation owned by its members and not by shareholders. These societies offer a range of financial services but have historically concentrated on taking deposits from savers and lending the money to borrowers as mortgages, hence the name. In the mid-1990s many societies “demutualised” and became banks. One academic study (Heffernan, 2003) found demutualised societies’ pricing on deposits and mortgages was more favourable to shareholders than to customers, with the remaining mutual building societies offering consistently better rates. In 1900, there were 2,286 building societies in the UK; in 2011, there are just 51.