Get up to 5% rewards on your Christmas shoppingThe best and worst credit cards for rewards

15 November 2010

Christmas piggy bank

Which? reveals the best and worst reward credit cards for in-store shopping. Find out why Tesco perform poorly and BHS beats the competition.

Best credit card rewards on the high street

For credit card rewards, BHS beats the competition hands down. The BHS Reward MasterCard pays 5% rewards on shopping at BHS, double points on your first BHS purchase and 1% elsewhere. If you’re a regular BHS shopper and pay off your credit card bill in full every month, this reward card is unbeatable.

The House of Fraser MasterCard takes second place, offering 3% rewards in-store and 1% elsewhere. Four retailers tie for fourth place. Debenhams, Harvey Nichols, John Lewis Partnership and Marks and Spencer all offer 1% rewards in-store and 0.5% elsewhere.

Worst credit card rewards on the high street

While the Sainsbury’s Nectar MasterCard offers a healthy 1% reward on in-store shopping for the first two years, it will pay you a paltry 0.1% reward on shopping elsewhere.

Tesco, meanwhile, offers rewards of just 0.25% on your shopping both at Tesco and elsewhere. You can boost the value of your points by spending them on days out, but they’re worth only 0.25% if knocked off your shopping.

ASDA also offers poor value. While points are doubled for the first three months, after this period the card pays a 0.5% reward in-store and just 0.25% elsewhere.

If you’re planning to do your Christmas shopping with these retailers, chances are you’d be better off avoiding their branded credit cards. In most cases you’d earn more with a Best Rate cashback credit card, paying up to 1.25% cashback. Alternatively, some other retailers pay a healthy 1% cashback on shopping outside their own stores. The BHS and House of Fraser credit cards, for example, both pay 1% rewards on shopping in other shops, easily beating the low rewards on offer from ASDA and Tesco.

Best credit card rewards on the web

One online retailer’s credit card stands out from the pack. is amongst the best reward credit cards available, paying 2% rewards on on-site shopping and 1% on purchases elsewhere.

The MasterCard is also worth considering, paying a 1% reward on Amazon shopping. However, it only offers 0.5% on shopping elsewhere.

Apply now to get the best reward credit card

Which? credit card expert Martyn Saville commented: ‘We all have our own favourite retailers, but many just don’t repay our loyalty.

‘If you’re planning to pay for your Christmas shopping using your credit card, apply now to get the best deal as it can take a week or two for your new card to arrive. And don’t forget, reward credit cards are usually only suitable if you pay off your bill in full every month – the high interest rates charged by most of these cards will wipe out your reward benefits once any 0% period runs out.’

For details of many more reward and airline credit cards, read the Which? reward credit card reviews.

To find out how you could pay spread the cost of Christmas interest-free, as well as earning money on your shopping, read our news story Pay no interest for a year on Christmas shopping.

Get the best deal on your credit card and personal loans

To make sure you're not paying over the odds on your credit card or personal loans, read the Which? guide to your loan options.

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