Card payment perks (Alamy/PA)
Card payment perks (Alamy/PA)

Paying by card? Make sure you’re aware of all the benefits on offer

Using cards over cash can provide a host of perks and protections. Vicky Shaw takes a look.

Vicky Shaw
Monday 26 July 2021 07:30

Many people have found themselves using cash less often over the past year or so.

And if you are getting out the plastic in situations where you previously used coins and notes, it’s worth making sure you’re reaping the full benefits.

While cash is still a vital payment method and many people rely on it, tapping to pay by card can be quick and convenient – helping shoppers to pay and be on their way.

Here are some suggestions from for making the most of any perks, if you’re using cash less frequently…

1. If you’re looking to increase your credit score, paying by card can help – as long as you use it responsibly

By signing up for a credit card and paying it off responsibly, making sure you’re borrowing an affordable amount and you don’t miss any payments, you could potentially boost your credit rating. This will in turn help to increase the chances of getting other loans, such as a mortgage, and perhaps being offered a better interest rate if you can show a history of borrowing responsibly.

2. Look out for rewards

Cards may come with a variety of rewards and perks. With some you can earn cashback on spending, while others may help you earn air miles to go travelling or offer other perks.

You may also be able to get cashback from websites such as when taking out certain cards. You could also link your card to certain apps, such as banking apps, which reward you for spending with certain retailers.

Some credit cards also have interest-free periods before interest charges kick in.

3. Get help when something goes wrong

Unfortunately, when physical cash is stolen, it’s often gone for good. But if your card gets into the wrong hands, you can freeze it so no one else can use it. Many banking apps nowadays will allow you to freeze and unfreeze your card, if you later find it behind the sofa.

You can also benefit from certain protections if something goes wrong with a purchase. Chargeback is one potential option, where you can ask your provider to reverse a card payment back to you.

If you paid by credit card, you may also be able to claim your money back under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. To make a Section 75 claim, the goods or service must have cost between £100 and £30,000 – but the full amount does not need to have been paid using the card.