Gocompare.com is warning RBS and NatWest credit card customers that they need to act now to redeem their YourPoints rewards before the scheme ends on 31 October 2015.
YourPoints was an incentive scheme where people earned points for every £1 they spent on their RBS or NatWest credit card. Points could then be redeemed for shopping vouchers, flights, days out or restaurant coupons (200 points were worth £1 if redeemed for rewards). Alternatively, customers could opt for points to be converted to cash that would be credited to their account (400 points were worth £1 cash credit).
The YourPoints scheme closed on 1 July 2015, but customers have been given until the end of October to redeem their points.
Credit card customers signed-up to YourPoints will need a minimum of 1,250 points to exchange their points for vouchers (e.g. 2,000 points for a £10 Amazon voucher) or household goods (such as a slow cooker or kettle). Cash credits can only be issued in multiples of £5 so customers will need a minimum balance of 2,000 points to redeem points in this way.
NatWest and RBS, who are owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, blamed the closure of the YourPoints rewards scheme on an EU initiative which will cap the ‘interchange fees’ card firms charge retailers when credit and debit cards are used to pay for goods and services. The caps mean that, from October, credit card providers will potentially lose millions of pounds on transactions. On credit card transactions, they will only be able to charge retailers a maximum interchange rate of 0.3% on the purchase price (current average 0.7%).
Matt Sanders, Gocompare.com’s credit cards spokesman, commented: “NatWest and RBS credit card customers need to act now or they will lose the points they have already earned on their spending.
“Over recent years, we’ve seen the number of credit cards with reward programmes fall to less than half. Points-based incentive schemes, like YourPoints, have been affected the most – falling by around 10% in the last three and half years. However, cash-back and Air Miles-based schemes have actually become more prevalent.”
Gocompare.com reviewed hundreds of credit card products on offer in 2012 and 2015 which revealed that:*
7 January 2012 (231 credit cards):
- 54% of cards had a reward programme;
- A points scheme was offered by 26% of cards;
- 10% of products offered Air Miles;
- 6% of cards offered cash-back rewards.
20 October 2015 (258 credit cards):
- 49% of cards have a reward programme;
- A points scheme is offered by just 17% of cards;
- 15% of products offer Air Miles;
- 11% of cards offer cash-back rewards.
Gocompare.com has created a guide on reward cards.
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Notes to editors:
*Defaqto Historic Matrix of 231 credit cards (7 January 2012) and Matrix of 258 credit cards (20 October 2015) - instant and unbiased market and competitor intelligence, from independent financial researcher Defaqto. Percentages are rounded up to the nearest whole number