Credit Card Freebies
Thanks to the strong likelihood of debt being racked up and money being forked out, credit card companies often offer attractive freebies and introductory offers to new customers. If you shop around sensibly and read the small print you can grab the chance to claim some vouchers or even free flights. Just make sure you know what you have to do to qualify for the freebie, avoid interest by paying off any necessary expenditure required to trigger the gift or cash back offer, and be sure to cancel the card if you don’t want to carry on using it.
To claim your free gift, most credit cards require that you actually spend money on the card first, rather than just offering it on the approved application. Many of these don’t require you to make massive purchases, so spend low to avoid having to repay anything substantial by the end of the month. You should be able to avoid interest as long as you pay off within that time; this is crucial or your freebie isn’t really free at all.
If you’re keen on some European mini-breaks, then the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold charge card offers 20,000 Rewards points to new customers who spend £2,000 in the first three months. The first year is fee-free but remember to cancel after that if you want to avoid the £125 normal annual fee the following year. Because this is a charge card it’s crucial to remember to pay what you owe in full by the end of the month or risk some damage to your credit score and a fee. This card is available to applicants earning more than £20,000 per year and as is customary, you’ll be credit scored on application.
Lloyds TSB’s Lloyds Duo Avios card is currently offering 15,000 Avios to successful applicants who spend £500 each month in their first three months with the card (available 90 days after spending the trigger amount). These Avios points can be cashed in on a short haul BA flight or Eurostar tickets, so this is also a card worth checking out if you’re a frequent traveller. Flybe’s credit card also offers a voucher on European flights with no initial minimum spend, but there’s been some poor feedback on the availability of these flights. Readies has a similar offer, but with a minimum spending trigger of £100, offering a free flight, although taxes aren’t included in the freebie. With a high APR of 19.9% though, the card isn’t great for longer-term use.
If it’s vouchers and shop discounts you’re after rather than holidays, there are a few cards that offer points rewards systems and vouchers. By signing up to the Freedom Rewards Barclaycard and spending £500 in the first three months you’ll get 10,500 rewards points, the equivalent of a £30 voucher redeemable at around 70 different retailers. This offer is also available to those who already have a Barclaycard, but be sure to make your payment on time by the end of the month or face an 18.9% APR. The RBS Yourpoints World card will give you 2,500 points on approval, with no spend required, which equates to a £12.50 voucher redeemable at several major retailers. The card also offers nine months 0% on purchases, but if you’re only interested in the freebie then be sure to cancel the card. If you are approved for a Play.com credit card then you can get 1,500 Playpoints (a £15 voucher) to spend on their website, but only if you first spend £150 on your card within the first ninety days. This card may be handy if you’re already likely to spend on Play.com and want to get a little extra. If you frequent Lastminute.com then their credit card offer of 1,500 points after £250 spent within ninety days will get you £15 off your next Lastminute.com transaction.
These sorts of offers crop up and disappear again fairly quickly in the credit card world, so keep your eyes open to avoid missing out on freebies that could really benefit you.