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Five million get free holiday perks with card rewards, but for how much longer?

Our research has discovered that millions of people have used their credit cards to get free perks, but where can you still get card rewards?


Our research has found that almost half of people (43%) who got a credit card did so to earn rewards.

An estimated five million used their points to get free flights and other holiday perks, 1.6 million enjoyed an entirely free holiday. But many used points to get free supermarket groceries, Christmas gifts and many other retail perks.

But this comes as credit card providers reduce their reward schemes – apparently due to new rules pushing up their costs.

Capital One was the first casualty, pulling its rewards scheme today, and RBS plans to cut their rewards scheme later in the year.

Something for nothing?

David Mann, Head of Money at uSwitch, says:

“Getting something for nothing seems like a dream, but enjoying free flights or holidays just for putting the weekly shop on your credit card is a reality for many savvy spenders.

“Reward cards are hugely popular, and it’s clear to see why. As long as you pay off your balance in full every month, using your credit card for everyday expenses – as well as big one-off purchases – can give you a real boost.

“But with so many different schemes to choose from – from supermarket loyalty points, to airmiles or cold hard cash – it’s important to think about how much you’ll spend, and where.

“However, with Capital One pulling their scheme in June, and RBS planning a similar move, these deals may not be around for ever.”

There are still many credit cards offering reward perks left, we explain some of your options below, but it’s well worth comparing the entire reward card market.

Supermarket cards

Our research found 58% of people thought supermarket loyalty rewards offer the best value for money.

This matches the results of our credit card customer service awards that firmly placed retailers ahead of the banks.

Supermarket reward points can give substantial discounts on your spending or can be redeemed for day trips, holidays perks, free meals and other perks.

There are many supermarket cards to choose from and you should consider where you shop regularly, but we take a look at two of the best below.

Tesco Bank Purchase card with 1000 points

Tesco Clubcard points  through a creditcard

Tesco clubcard points can be redeemed instore for groceries, or be used for travel, dining out, and many other perks and freebies.

  • 1000 Clubcard points if you make a purchase or transfer a balance within 2 months of account opening
  • 1 Clubcard point for every £4 spent in each purchase transaction
  • 17 months 0% on purchases and 3 months 0% on balance transfers (2.9% fee)

Fees and charges: No annual fee, rep. APR 18.9%

Barclaycard Freedom Rewards Credit Card

Double Freedom points from Barclaycard for spending on transport and petrol

Freedom Points from Barclarycard can be used to get freebies and discounts at hundreds of highstreet and online stores, attractions and restaurants – you get double points for spending on petrol and rail transport.

  • Double Freedom points on UK supermarket, petrol station and all Transport for London
  • 0% interest on balance transfers for the first 18 months (2% fee applies)
  • 0% interest on purchases for 6 months from account opening

Fees and charges: No annual fee, rep. APR 21.9%

Cashback cards

56% feel cashback cards give the best value for money – a sign that boosting bank balances is still a priority for many. So what are the best cards to get cash back for your spend?

American Express Platinum Cashback everyday Card


The famous American Express cards are less exclusive than many would believe and offer some of the most competitive consistent cashback of any card on the market.

  • 5% cashback in your first 3 months (up to £100)
  • Up to 1.25% cashback thereafter

Fees and charges: No annual fee, rep. APR 19.9%

Santander 123 Credit Card MasterCard

Cashback up to 3% from Santander

The Santander 123 card offers an impressive 3% cashback on your transport purchases – whether you spend on national rail, petrol or TFL

  • First year fee-free if you have or open a 123 Current Account. Otherwise £24 annual fee 23 months
  • 1% cashback on supermarket purchases; 2% from department stores; 3% on petrol, national rail and TFL purchases*
  • 0% on purchases and balance transfers; 23 months 0% transfer fee (3% thereafter)

Fees and charges: £24 annual fee, rep. APR 21.9%

Airline cards

38% of those we spoke to feel airline reward cards offer value for money. Avios points and Virgin Miles can put you on the other side of the world with free flights and upgrades.

But airline reward deals still need to have their taxes paid, so these cards aren’t for everyone. But if you do travel regularly what’s a good airline reward card to get?

British Airways American Express® Credit Card

ba amex

This fee-free card from British Airways and Amex lets you Avios points on your everyday spending.

  • 9000 Avios when spending £1000 within the first 3 months
  • Companion Voucher when you spend £10000 in one year
  • 1 Avios for every £1 spent

Fees and charges: No annual fee, rep. APR 15.9%