The Royal Bank Reward Credit Card

By: Peter Stephens | Updated: 17th June, 2019.

Great for: Racking up points
2 stars question mark
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On Royal Bank of Scotland's Secure Website

Don’t skip over the Royal Bank Reward Credit Card! Like the NatWest Reward card, our rating is low on this card for good reasons. But also simliar to the NatWest card, the rewards yield for the Royal Bank Reward card is better than most rewards cards, and you’re not as limited as store-brand cards. And again, that annual fee is reimbursed if you have a Reward current account.

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CREDIT RATING req:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 1% rewards for spending at supermarkets, 0.5% for spending everywhere else
  • Special offers of 1%-15% rewards for some MyRewards retailers
  • The annual fee is refunded if you have a Reward current account

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Purchase Rate 18.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative APR 23.7% (variable)
Assumed credit limit £1,200
Annual fee £24

what we like

  • 1% rewards for spending at supermarkets, 0.5% for spending everywhere else
  • Special offers of 1%-15% rewards for some MyRewards retailers
  • The annual fee is refunded if you have a Reward current account
  • ANNUAL FEE:

    £24
  • REPRESENTATIVE APR:

    23.7%
  • INTRO OFFER:

    N/A

KEY SCORES:

  • 4/5 Perks
  • 1/5Fees
  • 1/5APR

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 1% rewards for spending at supermarkets, 0.5% for spending everywhere else
  • Special offers of 1%-15% rewards for some MyRewards retailers
  • The annual fee is refunded if you have a Reward current account

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Purchase Rate 18.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative APR 23.7% (variable)
Assumed credit limit £1,200
Annual fee £24

Our Bottom Line

The Royal Bank Reward Credit Card offers a relatively simple means of generating cash or vouchers when spending in a wide range of stores. It offers a relatively high rate for purchases in major supermarkets, as well as up to 15% for stores that are within its MyRewards network. There’s also no annual fee for Royal Bank Reward current account holders.

However, some competing cards have a simpler rewards scheme, and it’s possible to find higher rewards rates. This card also becomes incrementally less attractive for those that don’t hold a Royal Bank Reward current account, since they will have to pay an annual fee.

Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent

What I like about the Royal Bank Reward Credit Card

  • Supermarket spending rewards – This card offers 1% in rewards for all amounts spent at UK supermarkets, although the figure drops to 0.5% for spending on fuel at supermarkets. Since the average weekly family food shop at supermarkets totals £58, this means that the average household could receive as many as 30 points per year from their supermarket spending. Since 1 reward point equals £1 when redeemed, rewards from supermarket spending could be as much as £30 per year.
  • Higher rewards at selected retailers – The rewards at selected retailers in the MyRewards network can range from 1% all the way up to 15%. Retailers such as Ernest Jones and French Connection, as well as companies such as Europcar, Jamie’s Italian and Caffe Nero are included within the MyRewards network. Individuals shopping at one or more MyRewards stores could rack up a significant amount of rewards.
  • Rewards at all retailers – A rate of 0.5% in rewards is available from all other spending on the card. This means that while some stores may offer a higher level of rewards, it still pays to use the card whenever possible in order to take advantage of the rewards programme.
  • Annual fee refund – There is an annual fee of £24 on the card. However, for Royal Bank Reward Current Account customers the fee is refunded in full each year. A Reward Current account itself charges an annual fee of £24, but offers 2% cashback on a range of household bills.
  • Widespread acceptance – Since it is a Mastercard, the Royal Bank Reward Credit Card has widespread acceptance. This means that unlike some other cashback or reward cards, it is possible to obtain rewards from almost every purchase made by an individual. Therefore, the speed at which points are accumulated may be higher than for other cards that offer higher cashback or reward percentages on spending.

Why trust me

I have been writing for The Motley Fool since 2013, and have experienced the booms and busts of the UK economy for a number of decades both as an investor and a consumer. I have held various senior management positions during my career, while also setting up my own manufacturing company in 1996. It was subsequently sold in 2007. I have a keen interest in consumer finance, as well as in the stock market.

What could be improved

  • Annual fee – Although the annual fee is refunded for customers who also have a Reward Current Account, those who do not will see the value of their rewards decline by £2 per month. This is in contrast to other cashback/rewards credit cards which often do not charge an annual fee.
  • International use – The card charges a non-sterling transaction fee of 2.75%. This means that there may be significantly better options when using it abroad. Consumers may therefore have to obtain a second card elsewhere which does not penalise usage on holiday or international business trips.
  • Differing rewards – Consumers who do not frequent the stores featured on the MyRewards network, or who do not spend significant sums in supermarkets, will effectively receive 0.5% of their spending in rewards. This may be relatively low compared to other cards which offer a standard rate of cashback, rather than different amounts depending on the nature of the spending.

How does the Royal Bank Reward Credit Card stack up?

It is possible to obtain a higher level of rewards from other cashback and reward credit cards. American Express, for example, has rewards cards that offer 1% on all purchases. They also have no annual fee, which means that consumers are likely to be better off given that its rate applies to all spending, rather than it being dependent upon the store itself, as is the case with the Royal Bank Reward card.

American Express, though, is not as widely accepted as Mastercard. Therefore, it may be the case that the difference in rewards received is not as wide as it appears at first glance. Other cards do, however, offer incentives to sign-up, such as bonus points or gift vouchers. In contrast, the Royal Bank Reward Credit Card does not. Therefore, consumers may be able to get a better overall deal elsewhere – especially if they do not wish to have a Reward current account from Royal Bank of Scotland.

The Royal Bank Reward Credit Card credit score

The advertised APR is representative, which means it is offered to at least 51% of applicants. Consumers may therefore receive a higher rate than that which is advertised, which could make it even more important to pay off your balance in full each month. The card is available to all UK residents who have UK bank accounts and are aged 18+. They must also have an annual income of at least £10,000.

How to apply

Applications can be made online. Details such as address history for the last three years, income figures, employer information and details of monthly outgoings will be required in order to complete the application. Existing current account details will also be needed. The process takes around ten minutes to complete, with a decision provided within five minutes of starting the application.

Is the Royal Bank Reward Credit Card right for you?

For an individual who spends a significant sum at supermarkets on a regular basis, as well as at the stores in the MyRewards network, the card could prove to be relatively appealing. It may be even more attractive for individuals who have a Reward Current account with Royal Bank of Scotland, since this will mean there is no annual fee for the credit card.

However, other cashback and reward cards offer initial rewards for becoming a cardholder, which the Royal Bank Reward card does not. Its 0.5% in rewards at retailers other than supermarkets and stores within its MyRewards network is also not among the highest rates in the industry, such as American Express. However, Mastercard is more widely accepted than American Express, so it may be possible to use the card more frequently than its rivals.

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