Football clubs may urge fans to show support for their team by taking out a branded credit card, but Which? research has shown that loyal supporters would be better off with a cashback card.
We found that fans who let club loyalty dictate their choice of card would have to spend between £5,000 and £10,000 on an MBNA card to earn enough points to get a shirt from Aston Villa, Chelsea or Liverpool.
Football credit cards: how do they work?
MBNA provides the majority of football credit cards. They work in the same way as ordinary credit cards, but often offer rewards, including discounts in club stores, as well as paying the club a percentage of what you spend.
However, it’s hard for fans to tell how many points they need for a specific reward, because they are not given full details until they receive their card. When they apply, they are simply told that one pound spent will earn them one loyalty point.
Football credit cards: potential rewards
When we asked MBNA for details of what points are worth, it only gave us examples of items that could be earned within bands of 5,000 points. For example, a football shirt needs between 5,000 and 10,000 points, so requires a minimum spend of £5,000.
In contrast, supporters would have to spend £3,084 on the American Express Platinum Everyday Credit Card in order to earn enough to buy the same shirt, typically sold for around £50.
Not only do fans get little information about the redemption values when they apply, they’re also left in the dark about what percentage of their spending goes to the team they support. MBNA told us that donations varied, but that details were confidential.
Football credit cards versus a cashback card
In the table below you can see how much you need to spend on each card in order to buy a selection of football rewards.
|Fooball goodies: How much you need to spend to buy….|
|Aston Villa, Chelsea or Liverpool shirta||Liverpool match ticketsb||Liverpool match and hospitality packagec|
|MBNA football credit card||£500 – £10,000||£10,000 – £15,000||£15,000+|
|American Express Platinum Everday Credit Cardd||£3,084||£3,200||£7,015|
- Shirt typically worth £50, Aston Villa and Chelsea credit cards currently have a time-limited offer – new customers can get a free shirt if they spend £200 within 90 days. Liverpool’s equivalent offer has now expired
- A £52 Premier League Band A game against Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Man City, Man Utd, Newcastle or Spurs
- The cheapest package available is worth £114
- Calculations based on spending over the first year in equal monthly amounts
Information correct October 2013