Nationwide defends £20 credit card promotion

15 June 2011

Bitterwallet - NationwideYesterday we reported on a recent promotion by Nationwide, encouraging customers to blow a grand in a month on their credit card, in return for a £20 credit which Nationwide had already stuck in their account.

This is exactly the sort of activity that isn't needed from banks right now, and we said as much; it felt like an exercise to generate lapsed payments among customers. Nationwide don't quite see it like that, obviously. We asked a spokesperson for a comment on the promotion, and they've replied as follows:

We recently ran a promotion for selected existing customers to encourage them to use their Nationwide credit card as their main account.  We credited their accounts with £20; to keep the £20, they had to spend at least £1,000 on new purchases in the UK between two dates as confirmed in their offer letter. Otherwise, the £20 will be debited at a later date.This promotion was about encouraging existing customers to use our account as their main account and is similar to cash-back rewards that many card providers offer.  For example, £20 reward on £1,000 spending is equivalent to 2% cash-back.  All customers selected for this promotion had the required available credit of £1,000 within their existing credit limit and we did not extend any credit limits.

We regularly review and introduce new promotions, so it’s not possible to say at this time whether or not similar campaigns will be run in the future.

It's not really similar to cash-back promotions though, is it? Unless those credit cards also goad you into spending a minimum of a grand in 30 days to receive the cashback. Which they don't.

TOPICS:   Credit Cards


  • Grumpy
  • Sawyer
    I'm no expert on cashback credit cards, but they don't usually have a minimum spend, do they? The cashback is just a percentage of whatever you do spend. So you could spend £900 and get £18 back, instead of nothing with this offer.
  • Grumpy
    I think that they've missed the point slightly. You see, the term "cashback" generally means that you make purchases and then get some of that cash back. Not that you get given some cash and then have to give it back at a later date. That's usually referred to as a "loan". And sometimes "theft". And sometimes "daylight robbery". And some banks and building societies are sometimes referred to as "cheeky scumbags". Sometimes. Not necessarily in this case. Well. Maybe. Actually, I'd just like to point out that I am not trying to suggest that Nationwide, any of its employees or any of its stakeholders are "cheeky scumbags" or that there is anything wrong with this promotion in anyway. Even though that's how it might have sounded. I am sorry for the confusion, which I am putting right before I even press .
  • Andrew
    It's not really 2% cashback though, is it ? If I miscalculate and only spend £900, how much am I getting back ? If I have to send something faulty back and get a refund, would that still count as money spent ? This is more like the marketing ploys of the gambling websites than what should be coming from a sensible, trustworthy(ha !), operation like a bank.
  • Grumpy
    To avoid further confusion, the last word there should have read "SUBMIT". Sorry Nationwide for my careless posting skillz.
  • Alexis
    They are actively giving you £20, which is acting as an unrequested loan with conditions. I would argue this was different from a voucher or credit note that you'd usually see with betting companies for example. I think they are breaching the Consumer Credit (Disclosure of Information) Regulations 2010.
  • Grumpy
    I don't have a Nationwide card... but some people should really write to the Ombudsman.
  • Jerec
    Banks = Arseholes.
  • Brad
    Sorry Nationwide but your bullshitting here, its not cashback at all.
  • andy y.
    what really riles me is I have a nationwide card and didn't get the offer.
  • Richard
    tbf, they're not forcing you to spend £1000, if you don't want to then just don't :-P. giving you £20 if you're already going to spend the money is still an offer, not saying its unbeatable as i don't know what else is available, but it's better than nothing...
  • Jamie
    Not sure the editorial above is right about 30 days to spend a grand. The offer was spend a grand in 60 days (May and June) so that's £500 per month. I don't like the offer personally. I don't think it's done the Nationwide any favours as it just confuses customers.
  • therealbob
    halifax has a credit card where you have to spend £300 per month (per statement period, actually) to get £5 cashback. not sure why this is so different, apart from the bizarreness of dangling the money only to snatch it back again like a cruel uncle teasing an infant.

What do you think?

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