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NatWest / RBS launch half-hearted DEBIT card cashback scheme, inc Tesco

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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.

Cashback plus

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

If you’re a NatWest current account holder, you can find out more and register here. For RBS holders, go here. The Tesco logo is not on the website although it is mentioned in the small print.

(To see our complete list of all current travel credit card bonuses, click here to visit our ‘Credit Cards Update’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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