Time is ticking on current account rewards

Consumers looking to earn a little back when they switch and spend may have noticed that some current accounts providers are shrinking the rewards they have on offer. The reason behind this appears to be down to low-interest rates, but other factors could also be dampening activity in this area of the market.

The banks are expected to retain more capital, which could result in them spending less on perks for customers – meaning decreasing and disappearing rewards, as we’ve seen since the start of 2017.

With this in mind, moneyfacts.co.uk reveals the best deals around right now, which could help shoppers choose the most rewarding current account for their monthly spending.

Credit card/ current account Cashback, switch and spend Based on a £500 eligible spend/loyalty Total money earned minus any fees in the first month
Barclays – Bank Account with Blue Rewards Up to 7% cashback (selected partners), £7 pm credit. Extra £5 for mortgage holders, £1* for insurance and £1 for loan 7% at selected retailers = £35. Credit = £7 £7 earned minus £3 fee = £4. £39 for current account holders only – cashback and reward. Holders of a Barclays mortgage, insurance, and loan can earn £46
Halifax – Reward Account Switch = £125. Spend = up to 15%. Credit = £3 Cashback: 15% = £75 No fee = £203
NatWest – Reward Current Account 2% back on utility direct debits 2% = £10 (1% can be earned from purchases with selected retailers) £10 earned minus £2 fee =£8 (or £3 from selected purchases)
Santander – 123 Lite 1%, 2% or 3% cashback depending on the category of the bill Assumed council tax £200, water £35, gas and electricity £100, Aviva home insurance £15, phone, mobile, broadband and TV £150 £9.15 earned minus £1 fee = £8.15
The Co-operative Bank -Current Account Credit = £4. Spend = up to £1.50 pm £1.50 pm max (5p every time debit card used) + £4 credit No fee = £5.50
TSB – Classic Plus Credit = £5 pm when holding two direct debits, £5 more with 20 debit card transactions Spend = £5 pm (if 20 debit card transactions made) No fee = £10
Additional rewards are available to customers who take out buildings and contents insurance, Finer home insurance, Non-Advised Life Insurance and Mortgage protection.

 

Rachel Springall, Finance Expert at moneyfacts.co.uk, said: “As banks are urged by the Bank of England to raise capital over the next few years for protection, it is entirely possible they will choose to construct rewards for current account customers in order to retain more cash.

“Free banking is already a myth as most customers will pay for certain services through fees, and for those accounts that do offer a reward, it seems that time is running out to take advantage.

“NatWest cut the cashback on its Reward account last month from 3% to 2%, while Halifax cut the £5 monthly credit to £3 on its Reward Account in February and Nationwide is expected to raise the monthly fee on its FlexPlus by £3. These changes might not have a huge impact from day one, but consumers will no doubt feel the pinch over the longer term.

“The banks who do still offer cash rewards might not be the best choice for customers who dip into their overdraft occasionally or fail to meet certain eligibility criteria. Whilst the Halifax Reward Account appears to be the best deal for switchers and spenders, their overdraft could wipe out any gains if customers don’t stay in credit, due to its daily usage fees.

“As with any current account, it is vital for consumers to compare the entire deal and switch if they find that their loyalty is wasted. Now is as good a time as any to review finances and get something more rewarding.”


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