Rewards credit cards
The credit cards with the lowest typical APR are shown first
What are reward cards?
They’re credit cards that offer rewards or extra perks for spending on your card. Some reward cards are free, but with others, you’ll have to pay a fee.
The types of rewards you could get include:
- Starter bonuses
- Exclusive offers & discounts
- Travel miles
- Free flights
How do cashback cards work?
Cashback reward cards give you back a percentage of what you spend on your card.
For example, if you choose a card with 1% cashback and spend €10,000 you would get €100 paid back to your account. This may be credited to your card monthly or yearly
Most card providers will pay cashback on shopping and entertainment spends, but not travel costs, gambling or household bills.
Is there a limit on cashback earnings?
Yes there is usually a cap on how much you can earn, but the maximum amount of cashback depends on the credit card provider. It’s typically around €10-15 per month but can be up to €19 per month.
Which credit card offers the best rewards?
It depends on your lifestyle and how you use your card.
If you like to shop and spend, a reward card with a decent cashback percentage is ideal, however, if you’re a frequent flyer, it may be worth forking out a monthly fee to earn travel perks and collect Avios.
|Type of reward||Best if you…||Cards on offer|
|Cashback||Enjoy shopping & spending||Avant Money Reward+, KBC Card, AIB Platinum, ptsb ICE Visa Credit Card|
|Exclusive offers||Enjoy luxuries & special perks||AIB Platinum, ptsb ICE Visa Credit Card|
|Cash bonus||Want a cash lump sum||Avant Money Reward+|
|Travel perks||Love travelling & fly frequently||Bank of Ireland Aer Credit Card|
Build your own reward cards
With the Avant Reward+ card you can choose two rewards; one introductory offer and one ongoing benefit so you have a credit card tailored to your own spending style.
- a 0% intro offer
- a €30 starter bonus
- 15% interest refund
- 1.25% cashback
Are reward credit cards worth it?
If you pay off your balance in full and on time each month and spend enough, you can earn some attractive perks or extra cash with a reward card.
However, if you don’t settle your credit card bill each month, you’ll pay interest on your purchases which is often more than the cashback you have earned.
The best way to benefit from a rewards scheme is to find a card that suits your spending habits and lifestyle. Here are the pros and cons of rewards cards:
- You can earn money just for spending
- Discounts & perks can be useful if you plan well
- Bonus cash offers are a win-win
- Travel rewards can be valuable if you fly frequently
- You get all the benefits of a credit card too
- Interest rates can sometimes be higher
- The less you spend, the less you’ll benefit
- If you don’t pay off your card each month, you’ll lose money
- Cashback may be capped
- T&Cs on some offers can be prohibitive
Should you pay a fee for a reward card?
It depends on whether you think the benefits outweigh the costs. If you’re sure you would save money by paying a monthly fee for various perks and rewards then it could be worthwhile.
The Aer Credit Card which is is aimed at frequent travellers is the only rewards credit card with a fee at the moment at €7.99 a month.
For this, you’ll get all the benefits of a credit card, plus travel rewards worth over €267, including two free return fares to Europe and worldwide travel insurance for you and your family.
Credit card rewards FAQs
Can I apply for more than one credit card?
Yes, you can, but you will have to pay €30 stamp duty on each account so you need to weigh up whether it’s worth it.
If you want to transfer your balance to benefit from lower interest rates, make sure you close the account you are transferring from.
To avoid paying duty on both accounts, make sure your card issuer gives you a letter of closure stating that you have paid your stamp duty for the year. You won’t be charged stamp duty again for that year if you’ve supplied this letter to your new card issuer,
Can I get a rewards card if I'm a student?
No, if you are a student it’s unlikely you will qualify for a regular rewards credit card because you’ll need to provide proof of income.
Many student credit cards offer their own rewards and discounts, designed for students. You can find the best one by using our student credit card comparison tool.
Can I get a rewards card with bad credit?
Different lenders have their own criteria for approving credit and some are more stringent than others.
When you apply for a credit card, the card issuer will access the Central Credit Register Credit or Irish Credit Bureau to inspect your credit history. Your card issuer will use the credit report to assess your application before making a decision. They will also consider your income and outgoings, such as salary, rent and utilities.
If you have a history of unpaid loans, late payments or a poor credit score, it will make it more difficult to get a rewards credit card. If you want to find out how to access your credit report, read our guide How to check your credit record.
Can I get cashback on everything I buy?
No, there are often exclusions but these vary depending on the card provider, so it’s a good idea to check the T&Cs.
Spends that are normally eligible for cashback include:
- Retail shopping: groceries, hardware, clothes & accessories
- Entertainment: restaurants, cinema, pubs & leisure
Spends that often don’t qualify for cashback, include:
- flights, car hire, holidays
- utility bills
How do I redeem my rewards ?
This depends on the type of reward and the credit card provider.
- Cashback will usually show on your credit card statement and be automatically credited
- Avios can be redeemed by linking your Aer Credit Card with AerClub
- Special discount redemptions will be explained by your card provider
You can check your cashback balance online or on your credit card app.
What is Avios?
Avios is the reward currency of Aer Club, the loyalty programme of Aer Lingus.
Avios are earned and collected by taking flights and booking hotels and car hire. They can be redeemed to use on Reward Flights or hotel stays and car hire.
For every €1 you spend using the Aer Credit Card on Aer Lingus products or services you will collect 1 Avios. You can find out more on Aer Club.