The best credit cards for rewards and cashback

Published by Adam Williams on 18 June 2014.
Last updated on 16 October 2017

Choosing the right card can be a difficult task so Moneywise has sifted through the plastic to find the very best credit cards that reward you for your spending.

If you are going to spend large amounts and don't plan to clear the balance each month, any rewards will quickly be undone by interest payments. Instead, a credit card offering 0% interest on purchases is likely to be cheaper in the long run.

If you already have credit card debt, you might want to find the best credit card for balance transfer deals - preferably one charging 0% on balance transfers. But don't forget to look out for the fees too.

In this article we highlight our Moneywise Best Buys - the top credit cards for rewards and cashback.

Best credit cards for rewards

Unlike most financial products, these cards reward you for spending with one specific retailer. They also pay out points and vouchers rather than cold, hard cash. The card that's best for you will depend on where you usually shop.

M&S Bank Reward Plus Credit Card
Earn vouchers as you spend, representative 18.9% APR variable

Regular shoppers in M&S can earn vouchers as they spend using the Marks & Spencer Reward Plus Credit Card. Users earn two points for every £1 spent in store during the first year then one point for every £1 thereafter. Cardholders also earn one point per £5 spent elsewhere.

You'll also receive a £20 M&S voucher (equivalent to 2,000 M&S points) when you first spend on your card.

Collect 500 points and you will earn a £5 M&S gift voucher. So if you spend £6,000 a year in M&S on your card you'll earn vouchers worth £120 in the first year.

Tesco Bank Clubcard Credit Card
Earn points as you spend, representative 18.9% APR variable

This offers five points for every £4 you spend in Tesco (a point is worth a penny), and one point for every £8 you spend elsewhere. If you spend £6,000 a year in Tesco you’ll earn rewards worth £75, equivalent to 1.25% of your total spend. Representative APR is 18.9% (variable) if you don’t pay the card off in full.

Asda Money Cashback Credit Card
Earn vouchers as you spend, representative 19.9% APR variable

Despite the name, you’ll earn vouchers when you spend using this card – rather than cash. You earn 1% on shopping at Asda plus 0.5% when you shop elsewhere. Once you have accrued £2.50 you can convert this to a voucher to spend in Asda.

If you spend £6,000 a year in Asda using this card then you'll earn the equivalent of £60 in vouchers.

John Lewis Partnership Card
Earn points as you spend, representative 18.9% APR variable

John Lewis and Waitrose shoppers can take advantage of the Partnership Card which offers one point per £1 spent in both shops, plus a point for every £2 spent elsewhere. This would earn £60 in vouchers based on a £6,000 yearly spend in either John Lewis or Waitrose, an effective 1% return.

Sainsbury's Bank Nectar Purchase Credit Card
Earn points as you spend, representative 18.9% APR variable

If you shop in Sainsbury’s then this card will give you two Nectar points for every £1 spent in Sainsbury’s and one point for every £5 spent elsewhere. If you spend £6,000 a year on your card in Sainsbury's then you'll earn the equivalent of £60 (500 points = £2.50).

Amazon Platinum Credit Card
Earn vouchers as you spend, representative 21.9% APR variable

Offers 1.5 Amazon reward points for each £2 you spend at Amazon, and one point for every £2 spent elsewhere. Once you’ve earned 1,000 reward points, a £15 gift voucher will be credited to your Amazon account. There is no annual fee and new customers will also receive a £10 Amazon gift voucher when they first sign up.

This card has an effective cashback rate of 0.75% for Amazon purchases and 0.5% on other spending. Spend £6,000 a year on your card at Amazon then you'll earn the equivalent of £45.

Best credit cards for cashback

If you're not a member of any retailer's loyalty scheme then a cashback deal could work out better for you. These cards pay out cash on all spending.

American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Card
Get cashback as you spend, representative 22.9% APR variable

This card hash no annual fee and has an introductory offer of 5% cashback on spending for the first three months, up to a £100 limit. After that cardholders will earn 1% cashback on spending over £5,001 per year and 0.5% if you spend below this amount.

Bear in mind that American Express is less widely accepted than other types of credit card.

Aqua Reward Credit Card
Get cashback as you spend, representative 34.9% APR variable

Customers will receive 0.5% cashback on all spending up to a limit of £100 per year. This card is designed for those with a poor credit history (although anyone can apply) so beware of the high interest rate. Pay this card off in full every month to avoid paying a high rate of interest on your balance.

TSB Platinum Purchase Card
Get cashback as you spend, representative 18.9% APR variable

For existing customers only, TSB Classic Plus current account customers can earn 1% cashback on all spending when they take out a TSB Platinum Purchase card. Users can earn up to £5 a month in cashback, equivalent to £60 over a year. This cashback offer runs until 30 June 2018.

American Express Platinum Cashback Credit Card
Get cashback as you spend, representative 22.9% APR variable

Bigger spenders should consider this £25-a-year Amex card. It pays 5% cashback, up to a £125 limit, in your first three months. After the first three months, you’ll get 1.25% cashback if you spend over £10,001 a year and 1% if you spend below that amount. There is no cap on cashback earnings.

How are Moneywise Best Buys selected?

We look across as much of the market as possible to find the best deals using industry data from Defaqto.

All our picks are nationally available - online, by post or by phone. We try and pick products that are available to both new and existing customers, but we’ll highlight some offers for existing customers if they’re much better than what else is on offer.

Our top picks are based on you spending £6,000 a year on the card, equivalent to £500 per month. Only cards from mainstream providers will be considered. We prioritise cards that do not charge a monthly fee.

We reserve the right to use our discretion at all times.