Author Mark Fairlie
M&S Bank has launched their “most rewarding credit card offer” to date, promising new customers interest-free purchases and balance transfers for the first six months.
Where standard users would receive just 500 loyalty points, worth £5 to spend in store or online, when they sign up, Reward Plus customers have seen the points they accrue on spending greatly increase.
What does Reward Plus include?
The newest credit card offer grants M&S customers 2,000 loyalty points when they sign up, with a £20 voucher incentive when they first spend on the card before the 31st March 2018. With an additional 500 points on the first use of the card, new customers will see a total of £45 to spend at M&S under the Reward Plus scheme.
M&S Bank’s latest offer also includes a double point programme for all M&S shopping over the first 12 months, with the opportunity to collect points whenever they shop with the card anywhere in the world.
Collecting two points – equivalent to 2p – for every £1 they spend in-store for the first year of using their credit card, they’ll amass the usual one point for every pound they spend at M&S. These customers will also collect a point to spend in store for every £5 spent on their card outside Marks and Spencer.
Every three months, the bank customers’ points will be automatically converted into M&S vouchers and sent out to them.
A twelve month period of 0% interest will apply on all purchases made on the card, running alongside a further ninety-day bracket of interest-free balance transfers.
The Reward Plus offer has also brought back M&S Bank’s lowest loan rate ever; standing at 2.8% APR for loans between £7,500 and £15,000 over one to seven years. Available to both new and existing customers, this scheme is highly competitive in the market.
How does Reward Plus compare to the top credit card reward offers?
Marks and Spencer is not the only UK retailer offering their own credit cards. John Lewis, Waitrose, Tesco, and Sainsbury’s all provide the cards with their own reward point programmes.
Barclaycard Freedom Rewards also offers a year of interest-free shopping, and no interest on balance transfers made within the first two months of opening the account. But, once the 0% period ends, customers face interest charges at 21.9% APR.
In a 2015 uSwitch survey, John Lewis took home four of the thirteen awards; being ultimately named as the top credit card for rewards in the UK. The award-winning John Lewis/Waitrose Partnership Card shares a lot in common with M&S Reward Plus.
According to Money Wise, “M&S Rewards Plus pips the John Lewis Partnership card, but only in the first 12 months.”
Both cards offer the same loyalty points scheme of one point for every pound spent in store, with the Partnership card having no time limit on the accruing credits. John Lewis also allows customers to collect a point for every £2 they spend elsewhere, as opposed to M&S’s £5.
The Partnership card offers just nine months’ interest-free purchases but has an 18-month limit free for balance transfers. By the end of the period, however, cardholders will be charged at the same APR as Reward Plus, at a rate of 18.9%.
Whilst Rewards Plus offers additional rewards when you join, points can only be used within Marks and Spencer where the John Lewis/Waitrose reward points can be spent across both stores.