The best cashback and reward cards in the UK

These cards are great for you if you are happy to use a credit card like a debit card (fully repaying the card each month to avoid interest), this allows you to reap the cashback/rewards without the punishingly high interest rates. To make the most of the cashback you should try to use the credit card for all of your normal purchases, but don't justify spending more for the cashback - even with 3% cashback on a £40 sweater you're still spending almost £39 more than you might have otherwise.

Keep in mind there are fees if you use the card for cash withdrawals, and there are often better cards out there for balance transfers - I'll cover that in another post.

Amex Platinum Everyday - 5% cashback on up to £2000 (£100 max) in first 3 months

0.5% on £0-5000, spending above £5001 gets 1% cashback, paid out a year after you got your card, 22.9% representative APR but you shouldn't be incurring any interest. If you spend £500 on Amazon and £1500 elsewhere in the first 3 months, you'll earn £115 and the £2000 counts towards the 5k requirement for 1% cashback, so if you spend more than 3k over the rest of the year you will earn 1% cashback on that (think of it as a 1% discount on your purchases, not that high!) for approx £145 for your £5001 or so.

  • If you apply before 31st January 2017, you'll also get 3% cashback on Amazon spending for the first three months up to a maximum of £15 (£500 maximum spending), 
  • No annual fee
  • More interest than the Amex Platinum until £9500 (the Platinum has a £25 fee)

  • You need to spend at least £3000 a year to get any cash back.
  • American Express isn't accepted everywhere so you may miss out on some cashback if you have to use other cards. 
  • After your first year, you will only get £25 cashback if you spent £5000 or £75 on 10k, £175 on 20k so it is lower value. 

Asda Cashback Plus Credit Card - up to £100 cashback from £5000 spent at Asda stores, petrol

The Asda Cashback cards are great, especially if you do your weekly shopping at Asda. If you spend £5000 in the year with the split £50/week 2% on Asda Shopping, £20/week 2% Fuel from Asda and £26/week 1% all other spending (realistically probably a bit higher), you will earn around £86 cashback, you can also get 10% Cashback on some Asda Money insurance products.

  • 2% cashback on all Asda spendings (Asda stores, Living, Grocery Home Shopping, petrol,, not just an introductory rate. 1% on all other purchases
  • £50-100 cashback from £5000 spent (£50 if you only get the 1% from other spending, £100 from only 2% cashback)
  • £10 Cashback in ASDA vouchers on your first $40 Asda spend if you activate your card before the end of February 2017
  • £3 monthly fee (£36/year), the regular cashback credit card earns £25-50 from £5000 spent, so unless you are at the higher end of the cashback the fee will negate your cashback e.g. £80 cashback would become £44 whereas the regular card would have paid out £40. 
  • Cashback is given in vouchers that can be spent in the Asda store

Aqua Reward - up to £100 from 20k spend/year, good for those with poor credit history

0.5% cashback on all purchases up to a maximum of £100/year (£20000 spent)

  • Comparatively low cashback
  • High interest rate if you do miss payments (35%)

Amex Rewards Credit Card - £50 in vouchers with £1000 spent in first 3 months

If you spend £1000 in the first 3 months you get a bonus 10,000 points (£50 in vouchers)

  • You also earn 1 point per £1 spent, points can also be used to pay off purchases (but 1000 poins is £4.50 in "cashback" vs £5 in vouchers)
  • High earnings taking advantage of the introductory offer (5%)
  • Aside from the initial bonus, the money earned is not very impressive - £1000 pounds earns £5 vouchers (0.5%), no real point continuing to use this card.