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25 Jul 2020

John Lewis is changing its Partnership credit card points system: will you lose out on vouchers?

Some cardholders might actually earn more points under the new scheme

John Lewis Finance has announced changes to its Partnership credit card points system, which may benefit those who regularly shop in John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners, but might leave others earning fewer points than they did before.

The popular credit card reward scheme allows shoppers to earn points on what they spend, which are then converted to gift vouchers to use at John Lewis and Waitrose.

However, from 4 September 2020 the number of points you'll earn will be changing slightly, and whether you earn more or fewer rewards from the credit card will simply depend on how you shop.

Here, Which? explains what changes are being made to the Partnership Card and how they might affect your benefits.

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Partnership Card points changes

From 4 September, people who spend money on a Partnership Card at John Lewis and Waitrose will earn 25% more points than before. So, you'll earn five points after spending £4, whereas you only earn one point per £1 at the moment.

However, you'll earn half as many points for shopping elsewhere. At the moment, you get one point per £2 spent, but this is being reduced to one point per £4 spent in September.

Each point you earn equates to 1p in John Lewis/Waitrose vouchers

This is good news for those who spend a lot of money at John Lewis and Waitrose, and who want to continue to do so. But if you only shop with these retailers occasionally, you're likely to earn much less in the way of rewards vouchers.

How will my points be affected?

Say you're planning to spend £100 - here's how that would look now and after 4 September if you spent it in John Lewis or Waitrose versus another shop.

Before 4 September

Spending £100 in John Lewis or Waitrose at one point per £1 = 100 points.

Spending £100 elsewhere at one point per £2 = 50 points.

After 4 September

Spending £100 in John Lewis or Waitrose at 1.25 points per £1 = 125 points.

Spending £100 elsewhere at one point per £4 = 25 points.

How much do I need to spend to get a voucher?

You'll still need to earn 500 points to get a £5 voucher, and if you have enough points you'll continue to be sent your reward up to three times a year.

At the moment you'll need to spend £500 at John Lewis/Waitrose or £1,000 elsewhere to get a £5 voucher.

From 4 September, you'll get a £5 voucher after spending £400 at John Lewis/Waitrose, but you'll need to spend £2,000 at other retailers to earn it.

How does the Partnership Card compare?

John Lewis was the most highly rated provider in our 2020 credit card satisfaction survey, with its customer service, application process and the transparency of its charges and penalties all receiving top scores from existing customers.

And the Partnership Card isn't just about the points; it has 0% on purchases for the first nine months, 0% balance transfers for the first 18 months (minimum £5 for 2.9% fee), and a representative APR of 18.9%.

However, other credit card options might suit you better.

A cashback credit card, for instance, will reward you for spending anywhere - you'll usually receive a percentage of your spend as a credit on your bill. The best deals at the moment pay up to 5% cashback, but have higher APRs than the Partnership Card.

If the 0% on purchases and balance transfer features are of more use to you, other credit cards can offer these for much longer periods of time - but you usually have to choose between the two.

If interest-free spending is what you're after, the best deals offer this for up to 26 months. But if you have a balance you're trying to pay off, you can do it at 0% for up to 30 months with the best 0% balance transfer credit card.

Which? Limited is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Which? Financial Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 527029). Which? Money Compare is a trading name of Which? Financial Services Limited.