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NatWest and RBS launch a half-hearted debit card cashback scheme

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This is not strictly a ‘miles and points’ piece of news. However, it does include Tesco and it does touch on issues such as ‘should I use a credit card?’ so it is worth a mention.

NatWest and RBS both launched a cashback service for DEBIT card holders yesterday. Called ‘Cashback Plus’, it gives you 1% cashback when you use your NatWest or RBS debit card at selected retailers.

Decent idea? Of course. Well executed? No. Here are three reasons why:

Reason 1

The list of retailers is genuinely pathetic. The only stores included are BP, Cineworld, Café Nero, Charles Tyrwhitt, Multiyork, Loch Fyne, Feather & Black (bedrooms only), Hungry Horse, Ernest Jones, H Samuel and American Golf.

Apart from BP, the list is so poor it is laughable.

I would also be wary of persuading people to use a debit card – and thus give up the legal protection that comes with using a credit card – as ‘big ticket’ retailers such as Multiyork.

However, ONLY as a trial, Tesco is also included until 30th November. However, only Tesco in-store purchases and online grocery orders count – you don’t get anything for Tesco Direct etc. Tesco petrol sales are also excluded.

Reason 2

You don’t actually get cash back directly. It accumulates at a special website. Remember, we are talking 1% per transaction here, just pennies. When you reach £5 – which means spending £500 at the list of retailers above, quite a feat if you don’t visit BP a lot – you can cash it out to your NatWest account or as a £5 voucher for one of the stores above. Is it really worth the effort required?

Reason 3

You are missing out on credit card perks when you use your debit card.

Verdict

It is all a bit embarrassing, in my view. If they had got ALL of the big supermarkets and garages signed up, then they would really have been onto something. As it is, I really wouldn’t have wasted the money (technically, my money, as taxpayers still own these two lumbering hulks) launching this.

The ONLY reason I can see anyone wanting to bother with this is:

if you don’t have a rewards credit card, or if you do it pays out at a poor rate, and

you spend so much at the shops on the above list that getting to £500 on a regular basis won’t be a problem


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