This card rewards highly if you are an M&S shopper, with double points on money spent at M&S plus a 500-point bonus voucher. The rewards are the main offer, but the card also has 0% interest for six months on purchases and balance transfers.
Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent
What I like about the M&S Rewards Plus Card
If rewards are what you are after and you are an M&S shopper, there is a lot to like about this card.
- Double reward points – M&S is putting its money where its mouth is by giving cardholders two M&S points for every £1 spent at M&S in the first 12 months. After that, you will earn one point for every £1 spent. You can also earn one point for every £5 spent elsewhere. There are increased rewards if you are an M&S Premium Club customer, as you will earn two additional points per £1 spent at M&S, meaning you could earn four points for every £1 spent in the first year. Basically, this card pays if you like to shop at M&S.
- Welcome bonus – To help sweeten the deal, cardholders will receive a 500-point bonus voucher (worth £5). Cardholders can use the voucher when they spend on M&S food, clothing or home items, and 500 points will be added to their reward statement.
- 0% introductory periods – The card does offer an interest-free period on purchases and balance transfers. Lasting six months, this isn’t the longest offer you can find, but it adds another element to the card. Just be aware that balance transfers need to be made in the first 90 days and carry a fee of 2.9% (min £5).
- Worth knowing – You cannot apply for the card if you have had an M&S credit card in the past 12 months. Also, M&S points cannot be earned on balance transfers, cash advances/withdrawals, interest charges, M&S travel money or foreign exchange.
What could be improved
If you are already an M&S shopper, then this could be a great option for you – but if you aren’t, there are definitely limitations to this card.
- Reward points and vouchers – In order to make the biggest gains with this card, you really need to use it at M&S: almost every reward is tied to spending with the brand. Then you need to think about the form in which you will receive your rewards: points are converted into M&S reward vouchers, which are sent out quarterly. So not only are any gains you make tied to you then spending at M&S, but you will only receive vouchers four times a year.
- 0% introductory periods – Compared with what other cards on the market offer, six months at 0% for purchases and balance transfers is hardly worth mentioning. The positive is that the purchases offer is equal to the balance transfer offer. In reality, though, if you are in the market for a purchases or balance transfer card, there are other more competitive options out there.
- Balance transfer fee – Following on from the point above, any balance transfers you make are subject to a 2.9% fee. Considering you then only have six months to pay off your balance without incurring interest charges, you need to think about whether this would be a cost-effective option to use.
How does the M&S Rewards Plus Card offer stack up?
In terms of the rewards available, the M&S Rewards Plus Card does deliver if you are an M&S shopper. It is not uncommon for loyalty schemes to reward more highly for spend in store, with Tesco and Sainsbury’s doing the same, but you do need to take into account that the vouchers are also specific to M&S and not as generic as rewards from other reward cards. The introductory 0% interest periods add to the package, but at six months they are unlikely to sway your decision.
The M&S Rewards Plus Card credit score
M&S states that it will undertake a credit register search and view your credit score as part of the application. Meanwhile, M&S requires applicants to be UK residents and be aged 18 or over.
How to apply
Applications can be made through the M&S Bank website and will apparently take only seven minutes.
You will need to provide your address details for the past three years, employment history, income, email address and the account number and sort code for a UK bank or building society.
Once you have completed the online application, the bank will send you the paperwork to sign and return before it opens your account.
Is the M&S Rewards Plus Card right for you?
If you are an M&S shopper looking for a card that will give you something extra, then the M&S Rewards Plus Card would be a great option for you. However, as the loyalty scheme is very much tied to spending at M&S and the rewards come in the form of M&S vouchers, if you don’t shop in M&S you will not see much benefit. The introductory 0% period for purchases and balance transfers does give the card an added element, but if you are in the market for these sorts of offers there are other cards available more suited to your needs.
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