Nationwide is scrapping a scheme allowing credit and debit cardholders to earn cashback on their spending after the building society admitted it wasn’t worth the time and resources.
Its Simply Rewards scheme will close in April and is no longer open for new registrations.
Those already registered can continue to claim cashback up until that date.
Nationwide established its cashback rewards programme in 2011, revamped it in November 2015 – and has now announced it is closing it at the start of April
It comes less than four years after it revamped its rewards programme to make it easier for customers to receive cashback.
The change meant cardholders would automatically receive payouts when spending with retailers signed up to its scheme.
Participants include Adidas, Argos, Emirates, Reebok, Savile Row Company, Toby Carvery, with some deals offering up to 35 per cent.
Before the November 2015 update, customers had to opt into individual deals rather than automatically benefiting.
Anyone wanting to see currently available cashback offers can do so by logging onto the Simply Rewards website, and you can still spend any cashback you’ve built up before the end date afterwards.
A spokesperson for the building society said: ‘A review of the scheme concluded that considering the ongoing investment of time and resource required it was not sufficiently meeting the wider needs of all our members.’
How can I earn cashback on purchases now?
Cashback credit cards are rarer these days, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Meanwhile, a number of current accounts also offer the perk.
While Nationwide’s Simply Rewards scheme had the advantage of being able to be paired with your credit and debit card, rather than requiring you to take out a credit card specifically to earn cashback, alternatives do exist.
A number of current accounts do give you the option to earn cashback.
These can differ – some offer it on your household bill payments, while some will give you cashback when you eat out or book a hotel. We list some of the options below.
This is open to all Lloyds debit or credit cardholders that also use internet banking.
The bank says customers can earn up to 15 per cent cashback ‘at places you regularly shop’, including Just Eat, Morrisons, New Look and Superdrug.
You can register for it by either logging into internet banking, clicking ‘get free add-ons’, followed by ‘find out more’, or on your mobile banking app by selecting ‘register for everyday offers’ from the menu.
Cashback you’ve earned will be paid into your account at the end of the following month after you’ve made a transaction.
RBS’ Reward account already features in This is Money’s five of the best current accounts table, and it has the additional sweetener of giving you £150 if you switch before 8 March.
When it comes to cashback, you can earn two per cent in rewards on seven types of household bills paid by direct debit.
These rewards can be banked in cash or exchange them for gift cards or codes at the bank’s partner retailers, which you can view through ‘MyRewards’ on its website.
The bank claims customers receive an average £83 per year in cashback from their account, based on spending £345 per month on bills, you can work out how much you would earn using the scheme here.
First year earnings after fees, which are £2 a month, on the account could be as much as £209 including the switch bonus.
To earn that bonus you must use the current account switch service to switch to the ban, and pay in £1,500 and log in to online or mobile banking before April 12 2019 to receive the payout.
Lloyds offers cashback on spending, RBS offers it on bills, Santander’s 123 does it on both.
It offers up to three per cent cashback on six household bills and a further few types of insurance, while it says you can earn up to 15 per cent cashback with its retailer offers service.
Some of those it’s partnered with are Costa, Subway, JD Sports, Morrisons and Vue.
To gain access to this you need to be 16 or over and have online or mobile banking as well as a Santander credit or debit card.
To activate it, visit retailer offers in the ‘more’ menu at the bottom of the Santander mobile app, or visit the retailer offers section within the ‘my offers’ banner at the top right of screen when online banking.
If you want to earn cashback on bills, as well as a 1.5 per cent interest rate, then you’ll need to pay in £500 a month and have two active direct debits.
Water and council tax bills will pay one per cent cashback, gas and electricity bills as well as premiums for the bank’s own life and home insurance policies will pay two per cent, and mobile and home phone bills, broadband and paid for TV packages.
123: Santander’s current account offers cashback on a variety of spending
Below, we list some of the best cashback credit cards. But, as always, there are traps you can fall into – so you’ll need to play the rules if you want to benefit.
Barclays says this card is best suited for customers with an income of £20,000 or more and it comes with an APR of 21.9 per cent, which means you need to ensure you pay it off so the cashback offer doesn’t get swallowed up in interest payments.
For that though, you get 0.25 per cent cashback on all spending until 31 August 2023, and £15 back if you spend £1,500 in the first three months of using it.
The most important thing to note is that Tandem Bank is a mobile-only bank, so if you’re not used to doing your day-to-day banking online or on your mobile it might take some getting used to – particularly if you’re transferring to it from a building society with plenty of branches.
Don’t let that put you off though, as it has some good benefits.
It has a slightly lower APR of 18.9 per cent, and gives you 0.5 per cent cashback on every purchase above £1 at home or abroad.
And there’s no reason why you couldn’t use it abroad, as both it and the Barclaycard offer no fees for making purchases or withdrawing cash abroad.
It does come with a £12 charge if you make a late payment though.
It sits in This is Money’s tables as the best credit card for cashback for a reason, as it offers the highest cashback rate currently available and doesn’t come with an annual fee.
You can earn a five per cent cashback rate, earning up to £100 if you spend £2,000, in the first three months of having the card.
After that three month period you’ll earn 0.5 per cent cashback on purchases of up to £5,000, and one per cent if you spend more than £5,000.
You do need to spend £3,000 a year in order to qualify, and the card comes with an APR of 22.9 per cent. Just remember that not everywhere takes Amex.
THIS IS MONEY’S FIVE OF THE BEST CREDIT CARDS