Wednesday 2 September 2015

Cashback cull: Tesco halves Clubcard points for 2.8m credit card holders

According to The Telegraph, EU rule changes on the fees paid by retailers accepting payments via Third Party credit cards has been halved to 0.3% of purchases to reduce shelf prices.

In practice, credit card owners like Tesco either have to reduce the reward points on usage of their card in non-Tesco outlets, or absorb the losses on such deals.

Tesco have decided to reduce the rewards from £1 per £400 spend (0.25%) to £1 per £800 spend (0.125%), whilst retaining the £1/£400 spend in Tesco stores. 

In practice, being a lead player, other retailers will follow Tesco, and savvy shoppers will probably switch to a more rewarding card for their non-Tesco purchases. This means that the viability of retailer credit-card schemes built on the assumption of access to the entire market, will become less profitable and/or will result in additional charges/points reduction to claw back losses...

However, the real downside is that any attempt at detailed explanation will only heighten consumer awareness of the miniscule rewards available via credit-card and loyalty schemes, with questions asked re what costs are involved and how much is distributed via rewards, in an increasingly suspicious mode on the part of consumers, especially those returning from their first holiday trip refusals to show boarding cards at checkout...  

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