Our bottom line
“The credit card that rewards you for shopping” – that’s the tagline on NatWest’s promotional page, and it sums up this attractive offering nicely. You spend money, they give you a bit back. You get a competitive 1% on your supermarket spend, 0.5% elsewhere, and up to 15% off at selected retailers. There is an annual fee, though.
There are plenty of cashback and reward schemes out there, but the NatWest Reward credit card makes collecting points worth your while. It gives you a competitive rate of 1% on your supermarket shopping, which is one of the biggest household expenses, plus 0.5% elsewhere. Another key attraction is that you can collect rewards on all your spending, with no upper limit.
Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent
What I like about the NatWest Reward Credit Card
- 1% on your supermarket spend – With most supermarket credit cards you only get maximum rewards when you buy at the provider’s stores. NatWest gives you 1% at every supermarket. This could also reduce the amount of plastic you have to carry around. Shame the rate falls to 0.5% on supermarket fuel, but you can’t have it all.
- 0.5% everywhere else – You get rewards on all of your shopping, albeit at the lower rate of 0.5%. That rises to 1% at selected retailers, including Forever 21, Caffè Nero, H Samuel, Ernest Jones, French Connection, National Express and Europcar.
- Up to 15% off – The rewards don’t stop there; NatWest will also give you personalised offer discounts of up to 15%.
- No rewards cap – While some credit cards set a limit on rewards or cashback, this card doesn’t.
- Other benefits – NatWest’s website has a handy online calculator showing how many rewards you are likely to pick up based on your personal weekly or monthly spend. I gave it a go and found that if I spent £100 a week at the supermarket, £25 at MyRewards retailers and £125 on other bits and pieces, I would get rewards totalling £97.50 a year. Not bad. The average customer will generate £62.04 a year, it calculates.
- Worth knowing – The reward scheme is pretty simple: 5 points equal £5 when redeemed. Once your balance hits £5, you can trade the points, donate them or convert them into money that goes into your bank account. You get a 56-day interest-free period on purchases, as with most cards. There is a 3% fee on cash transactions and 2.75% fee for overseas usage. The card has a £24 annual fee, but you escape this if you open a NatWest Reward current account (although this carries a £24 fee).
What could be improved
Reward schemes aren’t what they used to be, and even this one could be improved here and there.
- More selected retailers please – While it is good that NatWest has rounded up a number of retailers that will give you the full 1% off, it could do with a wider selection. I’m sure NatWest is working on it, though.
- More clarity please – Personalised discount offers of up to 15% are certainly attractive, but more detail would be nice. You only get them “from time to time”, and there is little indication of what the personalised discounts will be when you sign up.
- No 0% introductory rates – That’s fine, this is not aimed at people wanting 0% balance transfers and purchases, but it would have been nice.
- Annual fee – This card charges £24 a year, so you have to offset this against the value of rewards you are likely to generate. If you spend £20 at the supermarket, £10 at MyRewards retailers and £30 on other bits and pieces in the average week, you will generate just £23.40 a year – less than the fee. Not for low spenders, then. Yes, NatWest waives that fee if you switch your daily banking to the NatWest Reward current account, but that has a £24 fee and you also have to pay in a minimum £1,500 a month.
How does this NatWest offer stack up?
That headline 1% rate on your supermarket shop is a winner, especially as it frees you to shop in different stores. Most cashback cards stick at 0.5%, which is the rate you get on the rest of your shopping. I particularly like the fact that there is no upper limit on how many rewards you can collect. I don’t like that £24 fee, though.
The NatWest Reward credit card credit score
Like every provider, NatWest will check your credit rating with one of the big reference agencies, such as Experian or Equifax. This will highlight any financial problems such as missed payments, bankruptcy or county court judgements (CCJs) in the last six years. Card issuers are only obliged to give their headline offers to 51% of all applicants; those applicants with credit issues may get a poorer deal. NatWest offers a two-minute eligibility checker so you can check your chances of acceptance without leaving a “footprint” on your credit record.
How to apply
You must be 18 and earn at least £10,000 a year. The application takes 10 minutes online, but you need to gather some basic personal information including address details for the last three years, income, outgoings, employment details and bank account details. You will also need details of any cards you wish to transfer a balance from. The application process is a bit faster if you already have NatWest online banking, so grab your log-in details. You still need details of income, outgoings and employment, though.
Is the NatWest Reward credit card right for you?
If you clear your balance every month and are looking for rewards, you should check out this deal. It will be particularly attractive for those who spend a fair bit of money in several different supermarkets each week. If you resent paying an annual £24 fee for a credit card when so many providers charge nothing at all, you might want to look elsewhere.
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