NatWest is to cut the cashback paid to its 1.7 million Reward current account holders, as well as introducing restrictions for new customers.
From 26 June 2017, its Reward account will offer 2% cashback on qualifying household bill direct debits. This includes broadband, council tax, electricity, gas, phone bills, TV and water bills. At present account holders earn 3% cashback on these household bills.
At the same time the monthly account fee will fall from £3 to £2 for both new and existing customers.
In addition, customers who open the account after 26 June will also need to pay in at least £1,500 a month and log into online or mobile banking at least once a month. Existing customers will not be required to meet these criteria.
The same changes also apply to the Royal Bank of Scotland Reward current account, which is only available in Scotland.
A NatWest spokesperson says: “In a lower for longer interest rate environment we are having to make changes to our Reward current account. While others have cut the benefits for their accounts we have held our Rewards as long as we can.
“Now that we are reducing the benefit we have also reduced the cost to minimise the impact on customers. Reward is our fastest growing account, with over 1.7 million customers benefitting from over £100 million in Rewards since it launched just over a year ago.”
What other accounts are changing?
While the Reward current account is the bank’s flagship account, other NatWest and RBS premium accounts are also changing on the same date.
Reward Silver, Reward Platinum and Reward Black customers will have their cashback cut to 2% from 3% and some other account details will change. Reward Silver and Reward Black account holders will see their monthly fees stay the same (£12 and £28 respectively) while those who have a Reward Platinum will see the fee rise from £18 to £19.
These three accounts come with mobile phone insurance and the excess (the amount you pay before receiving any money from the insurer) payable will rise from £75 to £100 on 26 June. Those with Reward Silver, Reward Platinum and Reward Black accounts who are aged over 70 will also have to pay a £75 ‘extension fee’ to receive the travel insurance benefit. At present, Silver and Platinum members pay £50 while Black members have no charge at all to access the travel insurance.