Amplify your festive shopping with rewards cards

Oxford Street Christmas Lights
Christmas is a time for giving...and also getting stuff back
"It’s important to pay off your outstanding balance in full every month to make these cards worth your while" Matt Sanders,
  • | by Kristian Dando

It might only be October, but as soon as the clocks go back the countdown to ‘the C word’ truly begins…

Cashback and rewards cards can be a great way of making the most of your Christmas shopping.

By making your festive purchases with rewards or cashback cards, you’ll be able to net bonuses which can really take the edge off the inevitable January slump.

They won’t change your life, but a bit of extra cash or the prospect of extra cash or shopping vouchers in exchange for spending you are going to do anyway might be a pretty tantalising prospect.

If you successfully apply for a rewards credit card now, it’ll be here in time for you to make the most of your seasonal splurge.

However, there are some very important points to take into consideration.

“It’s important to remember that rewards and cashback credit cards usually have relatively high APRs, so it’s important to pay off your outstanding balance in full every month to make them worth your while,” says Matt Sanders, credit card expert at “There’s a balance that needs to be struck – you need to use your card  as much as possible to maximise your rewards – but you also need to be able to pay it off in full every month to get the most of it.”

You will also usually need a good credit record to be accepted for the tastier offers, so it may be worth checking your credit score if you are in any way uncertain, and avoid making multiple applications.

Here are five cards currently making waves on the rewards and cashback scene…

Tesco Clubcard Credit Card for Balance Transfers

Tesco card

  • Clubcard points on all your spending. One point awarded for every £4 spent in each purchase transaction (£4 minimum transaction)
  • Representative 16.9% APR (variable)

A potentially great card for Tesco Clubcard heads. It also has three-month 0% terms for new purchases – relatively low in the grand scheme of things, but good for spreading the cost of Christmas.

Santander 123 Credit Card

Santander card

  • 1% cashback in supermarkets, 2%  at department stores and 3% at petrol stations, National Rail and TFL travel
  • Representative APR: 22.8% (Variable)

Great for everyday purchases, but cashback is limited.

Sainsbury’s Cashback Credit Card Low Rate CC

Sainbury's card

  • 5% cashback on Sainsbury's shopping for the first three months from account opening (capped at £50 per month)
  • £5 cashback each month when you spend at least £250 per month on Sainsbury's shopping and at least £250 per month elsewhere
  • Representative 7.8% APR

If you’re planning on getting your festive feast from Sainburys, this may be the card for you.

Nationwide Select BS Card

 Nationwide card

  • 0% for 26 months with 2.4% fee
  • 0% for 12 months
  • Unlimited 0.5% purchases on sterling purchases
  • Representative 15.9% APR (Variable)

This card is potentially great, as it gives unlimited cash back and 0% on purchases. However, it’s only available to Nationwide current account holders.

American Express Cashback Credit Card

American Express Card

  • Cashback in first 3 months up to £2,000
  • Representative 19.9% APR (variable)

One for the high rollers out there – in the first three months you could potentially rack up £2,000 worth of cashback, and 1.5% on purchases thereafter. However, beware that an annual fee of £25 applies! You’ll also need a minimum income of £20,000 a year to get your hands on the card.