M&S Bank is offering new customers £45 to spend in store or online when they open a credit card account and sign up to Reward Plus.
The incentive comprises of a £20 voucher as a reward for your first spend on the card by 31 March 2018 and 2,000 M&S loyalty points – worth a further £20, as one point is the equivalent of a penny to spend – if you use your card within the first 90 days.
There’s also an additional welcome bonus of 500 points, worth £5, as a further reward for the first card spend too.
New M&S Credit Card ‘Reward Plus’ customers, who apply directly with M&S Bank in January, will receive up to £40 to spend in store
The bank’s Reward Plus offer gives cardholders double points on M&S shopping for the first 12 months and 0 per cent interest on purchases and balance transfers for six months – before reverting to an APR of 18.9 per cent on both.
A balance transfer fee of 2.9 per cent applies, with a minimum of £5.
What’s more, new customers will get double points – two for every £1 spent at M&S – for the first year, reverting to the usual point per pound in subsequent years.
All other spending earns one point for every fiver spent.
M&S points are automatically converted into M&S vouchers and sent to customers each quarter.
M&S Bank has also brought back its lowest ever loan rate of 2.8 per cent APR. It is available on loans between £7,500 and £15,000 over one to seven years to both new and existing customers.
How does the credit card reward offer compare?
The most similar deal is that offered by the John Lewis/Waitrose Partnership card.
It’s interest-free on purchases for nine months and balance transfers for 18 months (transfer fee of 2.5 per cent applies). After the 0 per cent interest periods end, the card charges an APR of 18.9 per cent.
Loyalty points clock up at a rate of one point for every £1 spent on your card at John Lewis, Waitrose, John Lewis Insurance and Foreign Exchange, and 1 point for every £2 spent elsewhere.
Another card the new M&S Reward Plus offer card can be compared to is Barclaycard Freedom Rewards.
It offers 0 per cent interest on purchases for a year from the date you open your account, and on balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening.
It comes with a pretty impressive discounted balance transfer fee of just 0.15 per cent – though somewhat confusingly a fee of 2.9 per cent is applied first and then the difference is refunded.
After the 0 per cent period ends, interest is charged at 21.9 per cent APR, which is higher than both the M&S Bank Rewards Plus card and the Partnership card.
You’ll get double Freedom points at all UK supermarkets, petrol stations and with Transport for London and one point per pound anywhere else.
This is Money Verdict
It is good practice not to choose a credit card solely on the incentives for new customers and look beyond the bells and whistles to see the proposition for what it is once the deal expires.
Here, the the M&S Rewards Plus card beats the Partnership card on interest-free purchases but it’s worse for balance transfers.
There is a lot to consider when choosing credit cards. There are a whole host of different credit card categories to choose from, before you even begin searching for the top offer so it can be daunting trying to find the right card.
For more information on how to pick the right card and get the best deals, click here.