Having got used to shopping using credit cards, it has become one of my best friends! For years I was just a joint holder with my partner in credit cards. But alliance Leicester card was one of my first successful credit cards. I was looking for a good credit card with cashback but I wasn't getting any good one for my salary range. That's when I was introduced to this card.
I had a current account with A&L then and they called up with the offer of getting a credit card in alliance with the account. Their cashback offer was not bad too. It is almost like 0.5%. Initially it was very confusing as they have the points system which has to be redeemed either for rewards, vouchers or cash. They didn't have an easy answer for how many points equals to how much money in cashback form. But as the points got collected and the days passed, I got used to it. Also they gave a bonus 2000 points if shopped using the card within 90 days- which wasn't that difficult!!!
I usually exchange mine for restaurant/leisure voucher. 4000 points= £20 voucher (pizza hut, tgi Fridays, London attractions etc). As cashback 5000 points= £20. There are lots of choices for rewards on the website.
This credit card is acceptable in all places where MasterCard is accepted unlike the Amex cards.
They do have online banking and you can manage your account, view pin, pay bills etc through the web. They do have telephone banking but I have never used it.
Their customer services are quite helpful. They have free phone number (0800) to help 24/7.
One major problem is when you go abroad you can't access alliance Leicester accounts unless you inform them before hand. I was stuck once when I tried to log in to my account and couldn't transfer some money into it. On returning they informed that it is in their terms and conditions that for security purposes when you are trying to log into your account, it will not be accessible. But if you inform them, they will make it accessible- don't ask me how!!??!!
I've had an Alliance & Leicester card for several years and am about to cancel it. Anything out of the ordinary and they just can't cope. As I'm away at least once a year when a payment will fall due I send a cheque with credit card number, name and address on the back with a message, (on back of cheque so that it cannot be detached), that this is a 'payment against (month)'s statement.' I've done this three times now and each time I've received threatening letter alledging that my account is in arrears and transactions and money-back facilities will be withdrawn. Each time I 'phone them and inform them of what I have done and that I know they have received my cheque as it has been presented to my bank for payment. EACH TIME THEY SAY THEY HAVE NOT RECEIVED IT AND I HAVE TO PAY MY BANK TO SEND ME A COPY OF FRONT AND BACK OF THE CHEQUE TO PROVE WHAT HAS HAPPENED. This month they have really excelled themselves!! Not only did they promise to sort this out in December AND withdraw the £18 they charge you for late payment, but they have just sent me a SECOND threatening letter, adding another £18 to my account. This is now going into the hands of my solicitor (more money!), as I'm incandescent with rage that they dare to make out that I'm in arrears when I was actually paying before they requested payment - something they cannot cope with, obviously. I'm transferring to egg, the staff are a joy to speak to and can deal with the little hiccoughs in life!
I am very very picky when it comes to my finances, especially credit cards. For a start I don't want to pay an annual fee. Plus, I expect my credit card company to pay me for using it - which is exactly what A&L do. Before getting my A&L card I was with HSBC, saving points to buy a tiny range of unattainable goods (I once worked out you had to spend something like £30,000, just to get a toasted sandwich maker or something equally ridiculous). With A&L, they give you cash!! AND you don't have to pay anywhere near £30,000 to get that toasted sandwich maker. Even better idea, go and buy that toasted sandwich maker and get moneyback on it. But enough of toasted sandwiches because A&L has far more to offer. Their customer service department is excellent. I managed to go over my credit limit (which I WOULD criticise A&L for authorising the payment rather than rejecting) and then received a penalty of about £12 for doing so. I rang customer services livid and ready to tell them where to shove their credit card BUT was met with a very calming person who agreed to waive the fee as a token of goodwill. Good move!! Only problem I have is they don't send you the bill with much time to spare. I am aware you can set up Direct Debit, but I'd prefer to check the bill BEFORE they take payment. I was faced, after coming back from holiday, with a mad panic to get it paid on time. Just beware of that. At the end of the day, a credit card is a credit card. You buy stuff with it, you pay for it a few weeks later and you worry that someone will clone it and use it to visit American porn sites on the internet. HOWEVER, the way I see it, if you're going to have a card, you may as well have one that gives you something back. Now, whose for toasted sandwiches?!
It is not very often that a bank or building society gives you something for free, but here it is........... If you don't need a credit card for credit purposes then get this card. This is the consumers chance to get back at those greedy money grabbing institutions. My advice is for those that can afford to pay the bill off every month is to get one of these cards. For each purhuse you will earn a cash back of 0.5 %. If you purchase items over a total amount of £3000 it rises to 1%. Certain 'money back partners' which include companies like Currys and Index will enable you to a greater cash back. But if you don't pay off your bill every month then shop around as there are better deals to be had. The other benefit is your can put all your purchases together on one card and pay off the bill as one. There is another bonus to this, while you are waiting for your bill to arrive, your money is sitting in your bank or building sociey earning even more interest !! Before you know it you will be a self made millionare. Check out my review on Intelligent Finance (I.F) to see how you can save more cash !!! You receive your money by cheque in January -just in time for the January sales.
There are not many free lunches in the world, but having a money back credit card pretty close. They still make their money by charging the retailer. However, having them pay some of it back to you is better than nothing. I’ve had an Alliance and Leicester MoneyBack card for 2 ½ years now. It’s a Visa card that pays 0.5% back on the first £4000 that you spend in a year, and 1% back on spending after that up to a limit of £20000 a year. You get double the rate at a few places (Currys, BP petrol stations etc) and a few other offers. This is reasonably competitive. You can get a flat rate of 1% money back from the credit cards from Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Egg, Boots. The 0.5% cashback period with the Alliance and Leicester means you get the same back as if they gave a 1% flat rate with a £20 annual charge. There are a few ways in which they try to claw back some of their money compared to cards like a Barclaycard. Duplicate statements cost about £20. You also don’t much time between receiving the statement and the last posting date for sending in a cheque. If you miss this date, you can still pay cash at an Alliance and Leicester branch. However, this is pretty inconvenient. Its much less hassle to set up a direct debit to clear the balance at the end of each month. I have had this set up for a while now and it works well. I had problems at the beginning as one direct debit application got lost. I didn’t hear anything about the next one until a few days before the date when the bill had to be cleared. I rang up their customer services and they couldn’t say what had happened to it, so I paid the bill in cash myself. I then found out that the direct debit had been set up, leaving my credit card account in credit, and my current account perilously close to being overdrawn. You could also have a direct debit just to pay the minimum monthly payment. The problem with that is that if you don’t clear the whole
balance, then you pay interest on the whole amount on the statement from the statement date. Once, I tried to pay off the whole balance and was 50p short. I then got charged interest for three weeks on the £800 outstanding balance, which cost about £10. I complained and they refunded this amount. Apart from these two problems, their customer service has been fine. You can get the balance of your account by telephone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If I wanted to open a new money back account, I’d still think about the Alliance and Leicester one. I’m not wild about Egg’s customer service – using a WWW site is fine when it works, but it’s a hassle if it doesn’t. The MSDW card might be worth investigating further. Given the hassle I’ve already had with setting up direct debits, I’m happy to leave my card as it is.
I have just sent off for information about the Alliance and Leicester Diamond credit card after reading about it on one of the internet pages. There are all different types of credit card with this company but I decided I wanted lower interest for a fixed period and to lower my payments. I filled in my details on-line and within four days I got accepted by post. Believe it or not my credit limit was £5,000, I thought that was quite high to start with. After reading all the small print Iam still unsure what to do. I was thinking of transferring my existing balances off my other cards to this account as you get low interest charges, they are 6.8% APR if you close the old accounts down altogether. This stays at this fixed term until you have paid the balances off. If you transfer your old cards to this one and leave the card accounts still open , then the interest APR is 8.8%, apparently still lower than most banks. If you decide to spend on the card the APR becomes 13.8 on goods bought. There is no annual fee either. I rang customer service to get a quote for the transfer of the balances expecting reduced payments. I wasn't surprised to hear that they would cost me more per month than what I was originally paying, that is because the interest is charged over three years is what she said. My payments were going to cost me £10 a month more but would get paif off quicker. What I was really wanting is to reduce my outgoings. Anybody worried about applying for a card off this company probably needn't worry , as my credit history isn't fantastic and look what they offered me. I'm still thinking about it.
I HAVE held an Alliance and Leicester Cash Back credit card for about two years now and can thoroughly recommend it. The card gives you 0.5 per cent of your spend up to £3,000 and 1 per cent thereafter back in the form of a cheque each January. If you are the sort of person who pays off your credit card in full each month then this card will be very useful. If you don't then I think you would be better off with another card as the interest charged on the Cash Back card is not very competitive. There are certain Cash Back Partners who pay double cash back. The ones I have found to be most useful have been BP (on petrol), Currys (electrical goods) and Index (virtually anything). One disadvantage of the card is that you do not have much time between receiving the statement and the date on which full payment is due. However, I have found a good way of ensuring that I never miss the due date. It is widely publicised on the statements, etc. that it is possible to pay the minimum amount due each month by Direct Debit. No mention of paying the full amount. However, I rang up the customer hotline and was able to set up a Direct Debit to pay the full amount by the due date each month. I'm sure other people must be able to do the same, but Alliance and Leicester do not seem to publicise this service at all. I have found that by getting all our food at the supermarket on the credit card, petrol (at BP) clothes and all the other things that crop up during the year it is quite easy to get a cheque for £100 plus each January.
THE BENEFITS THAT THIS CARD OFFERED ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE - THE WARNINGS AND CUSTOMER SERVICE POINTS REMAIN VALID
Does anyone actually use Barclaycard Profile Points? Give me cashback any day. The A&L card does just this - spend money on the card and you will be rewarded with cashback - 0.5% for the first £3000 and 1% thereafter. You can even get multiple cashback amounts from selected partners such as BP and Interflora.
But a word of warning before you jump - the A&L card has two payment dates, one for if you wish to pay in full which is about ten business days before the minimum payment is due and only about 17 days after the account date. They really don't give you much time to get your affairs in order before the account starts accumulating interest. This is made worse by the fact that you can't check your statement online and the telephone service is slow. You also have to remember a password to access the telephone service. You are going to need to be organised to get the best from this one.
That having been said, the cashback is a great feature, together with the fact that this is a fee free card. The incentives for using the card get better as you move through the grades (standard, gold and platinum) although it is somewhat annoying to see all these ads advertising "Double Moneyback" for new customers when existing card holders are not entitled to the enhanced benefits.
Customer loyalty seems to be a foreign phrase to A&L - rules for new joiners are different from rules for existing customers. They don't offer an Introducers reward (like Barclaycard do, i.e. you can recommend the card to the whole world and still not get a word of thanks from A&L for doing so). They really ought to watch out - more and more of their competitors are catching on and offering money back rather than points ......
Alliance & Leicester will pay you to use their credit card, up to 2% on normal purchases. Basically the initial £3k is at 0.5% but some places (BP, Comet and a few others) it is double. Once you cross the £3k threshold the reward is 1% and doubled to 2% at the cashback parner shops. There are also special offers during the year to earn even more. If you pay interest you get some of that back. The payout is made after January's bills settlement date. I basically use the card for everything and pay off in full and haven't had a problem with the card (apart from the signature part getting worn out). I think that the Gold Card that they offer pays back an even higher percentage. There is an upper threshold of £20k (I think) that you wont get money back on spending more than in a year.
I have had an Alliance & Leicester Moneyback Visa Card for the last 2 years. It is certainly one of the better credit cards that I have had and I have certainly had a few. So far this year I have earned £30 cashback. Basically for every purchase you make Alliance and Leicester give you 0.5% cashback. If you spend over £3000 in a year then any purchase over £3000 earns 1% cash back. It doesn't sound much but it is better than most other credit card reward schemes were you spend £10000 to get a sports bag. You can also earn 5% of interest payments back and they have bonus partners such as BP, Powergen and a number of others where you earn double cashback or even triple on some partners. If you earn over £20,000 a year you can apply for a Gold Card which offers an extra percentage on certain purchases. Both the cards have no annual fee and average interest rates of 17% variable. The customer services are very good which is very unusual for me to say if you have read my other opinions! I make nearly all my purchases on my card earning me money backall the time. The only downfall is you have to wait until January to get your cheque but it is quite a nice surprise after Christmas!
Unfortunately for me I believed the hype surrounding this card. Yes - a card that gives you money back, the more you spend the more you get. True I did get some back, but when I worked it out, the cash value was about 0.75% of what I had spent. The catch is - and there always is one - that you only earn big points on your card when you use it at one of their partner companies. I got it because it promised to earn me about 10% on my petrol purchases, however you only earn those points when you use BP garages, so if you're low on petrol and can't find one, or don't have one nearby forget it. It works similarly with the other places to earn points. This card is only worth applying for if you use a BP garage regularly and only shop at the stores they are partners with.
Alliance & Leicester offer three different credit cards, designed for different credit card users. None of them incur an annual fee, but that's pretty much standard for credit cards nowadays, and all of them are available as either Visa or Mastercards. For the debt jugglers, there's the Diamond Card. The main advantage of the card is the low interest rate on balances transferred to the card from other credit cards - 6.8% APR. While this is higher than the introductory rates for several other credit card services, this rate is guaranteed for the life of your balance, rather than just for the first six months. On standard purchases, there's a pretty competitive APR of 13.8%, if you don't pay off your debt each month. Credit limts are very generous, with a minimum of £1,000, but you must have an annual income in excess of £12,000 to apply for one. For other credit card users, they offer the MoneyBack Card, and the Gold MoneyBack Card. The only difference between these cards, other than their colour, is the size of the credit limit - you must have an income in excess of £20,000 per annum to qualify for the Gold Card. APRs are pretty typical for these cards - 9.4% on transferred balances (but only if the other account is closed, and the balance is transferred within 8 weeks of opening the Alliance and Leicester account), 18.4% on purchases and 20.2% on cash withdrawals, so as ever, it's best to pay them off each month. The real advantage of the MoneyBack cards, is that you actually get money back at the end of the year. Unfortunately, it's not much money compared to other cashback cards (Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Egg, Amex Blue or Bank One, for example) you get 0.5% on purchases up to £4,000, then 1% on further purchases up to £20,000 per annum. [The rate of cashback is included in their calculations of the card's APR, so be aware that the figures they quote are not as good as they sound!] You do get 2% when you use your ca
rd with their MoneyBack partners - BP, Powergen, Currys, Vodafone, Going Places, Thistle Hotels, Hertz, Index, Interflora, Ticketmaster, Green Flag and Littlewoods. Adding to the convenience, you can apply for their credit cards online, but there's not yet any sign of an internet site for checking your balance or paying it off. Having said that, I've had no problems with use of my Alliance & Leicester Visa MoneyBack card, and on the rare occasions that I have phoned them with a query, they've always been polite and helpful. The credit limit they gave me has always been ample, so I've not yet had any experience of how difficult it would be to do so. I think overall, the card has been fine, but I would like to see the amount that has to be spent to change from 0.5% to 1% cashback brought down a little.
I've had one of these cards for over a year now and I love the concept of getting cash back on purchases rather than points. I get 0.5% cash back on every purchase I make and at the end of the year Alliance and Leicester send me a cheque for the moeny I have accumulated. They were the first company in this country to run this type of scheme and I much prefer it to the TSB scheme of giving points that are virtually worthless. The other great thing is that certain "partners" offer double cashback. I always fill up with petrol at BP because this means I get a few pence back on each tank of petrol. Not much, but it all adds up. The one criticism I have is that they don't give you very long to pay off your bill in full. I tend to get my statements about a week after the date printed on them and about ten days before the bill is due to be paid. I always pay my bill in full so the later, part payment date, is of little use to me. Still this is probably the price of gettin cash back. Last year, for example I got £12 back for about eight months use. Not much, but twelve quid is twelve quid. If you can spend more than £4000 in the year then everything after that will earn you double cash. I know other companies offer cash back schemes but they are newcomers and I like Alliance & Leicester.