The M&S Shopping Plus Card bottom line
This card ticks a lot of the right boxes to make it a solid overall package. It has a long 20-month 0% period on new purchases coupled with a 18-month 0% period for balance transfers, plus the M&S points rewards programme and a welcome points-bonus offer. There’s not much else you could ask for from a card.
Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent
What I like about the M&S Shopping Plus Card
It’s the combination of offers on the M&S Shopping Plus card that make it stand out from the crowd.
- 0% introductory period on purchases – The card has a long 20-month interest-free period on new purchases. This means that you would not need to pay interest on anything you buy for over a year and a half. The introductory period is not quite as long as for other cards that specifically cater for the purchases market, but it’s still a decent length of time and is matched by the card’s balance transfer offer.
- 0% introductory period on balance transfers – Mirroring the introductory period on purchases, the card also offers a 18-month interest-free period for balance transfers made within the first 90 days of account opening. It is worth noting that balance transfers carry a 2.9% fee (minimum £5).
- M&S points – A key selling point for the card is that cardholders can earn reward points, a rare occurrence these days. You will receive one point for every £1 spent in M&S and one point for every £5 spent elsewhere. If you are an M&S Premium Current Account holder, you will receive three points for every £1 spent on your card at M&S – something to bear in mind if you are looking to make the most of the reward offer. Points are accrued and converted to M&S Reward vouchers at the end of the collection period (every three months). Then all you have to do is decide what you want to buy with your vouchers.
- Welcome bonus offer – Cardholders also receive a bonus voucher for 500 M&S points (worth £5) with their new credit card, which will be added to their first quarterly reward mailing when they present it when spending on food, clothing or home items at M&S. It’s definitely not a life-changing amount, but it’s something to get you started.
- Worth knowing – You cannot apply for the card if you have held another 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?
While there is a lot to like about this card, there are a few elements that stand out as not ideal.
- Vouchers – Yes, the card gives you the potential to earn reward points, but those rewards only come in the form of M&S vouchers. This is great if you are a fan of M&S products, but not ideal if you are looking to use your rewards elsewhere. Added to that you only receive your vouchers every quarter, making it quite a limited scheme.
- Balance transfer fee – Any balance transfers made will be subject to a fee of 2.9%. So, for example, if you were to transfer a balance of £500, you would have to pay £14.50 in fees. The balance transfer offer of 18 months at 0% is good, but there are other cards that have a similar introductory period and do not charge a fee – just something to bear in mind if a balance transfer offer is what you are looking for.
How does the M&S Shopping Plus Card offer stack up?
There are other cards on the market that offer a longer interest-free period on purchases or a longer interest-free period on balance transfers, but what makes this card stand out is the combination of both its purchases offer and balance transfer period as well as reward points. Cards that offer reward points are few and far between, so to have this part of the overall package makes it a great credit card option.
The M&S Shopping 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, it requires applicants to be UK residents and be aged 18 or over.
Is the M&S Shopping Plus Card right for you?
The M&S Shopping Plus Card is a great all-rounder. However, if you are not fussed about having the combination of both 0% purchases and balance transfer periods, then there are other cards out there that will be more suited to your needs.
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