We love Sony stuff, so have been saving up all our pulse beats for a few years. No-one tells you though that pulse beats have an expiry date. We have just had 7,700 pulse beats (a whole year's worth) removed overnight. No-one even had the decency to write to inform us of this - we happened to find out by chance. We eventually found a copy of the terms and conditions that state that pulse beats expire 3 years after the date that they were credited. As they are credited on a monthly basis, that means that they will be removed on a monthly basis. No-one we spoke to at MBNA seems to grasp this very basic concept, even (worryingly) one of their vice-presidents! And we are entrusting them to keep our account safe - I don't think so! We've closed our account and will never go near them again.
I've had one of these cards for a couple of years. I spent on it, saved up my points for the Playstation I wanted. However, when it came to ordering my "gift" I waited and waited only to be told that the item was out of stock!A Sony Playstation - out of stock at Sony! SO I have ordered some other items - of much lesser value. The small items came through within a couple of days, the camera I ordered however is still to come. I have a feeling that this will be "out of stock" too. I get the impression that the only things you will actually receive are the small things like mobile phone chargers or memory cards - all of which are cheap to buy anyway. I am ditching this card.
The Sony Card is an American Express credit card from MBNA. It is basically a reward card earning you one Sony Pulse Beat for every pound you spend (triple points if you buy Sony products).
The trick is to find a link where you are guaranteed points as soon as you sign up. If you go through Sony site you will only receive 4000 points but when I signed up moneysavingexpert (see earlier review) had a link with 8200 points but this now seems to have been withdrawawn.
The basics are as follows but should be checked on the official site.
0% pa on balance transfers for 12 months (3% handling fee)
0% pa on card purchases for 3 months
15.9% APR (typical rate)
No annual fee
You can access your account on line and there are competitions and you can sign up to an eNewsletter to receive exclusive offers and the latest product info.
Here are some current examples of what you can redeem your points for.
CD's - Too many to name but most current releases (pop, jazz classical from 1100 to 1700 Beats each.
DVD Movies - Again too many to name but mostly from 1300 to 1500 Beats
Games - Silver PS2 console 21,000 or 9,870 (Beats) & £74.02. Slim PS2 Console 19,000 or 8,930 (Beats) & £66.97 or 98,46 (Cash)
PS2 Dual Shock Controller Standard controller for PS2 featuring full digital and analog capability and dual shock vibration function 3,200 Beats
or 1,880 (Beats) & £14.09
Electronics - Hand held radio 1200 Beats, Headphones 1700 Beats, MP3 players 8200 to 17000 Beats. DAB radio walkman 16000 Beats
For a full list visit the website and work out if the card is worth it for you. You could of course just sign up for the opening offer and redeem your points then hang on to see if there are any further offers available, while still using another card. I would have thought a standard cashback card would be better for most people for main purchases.
One thing that I did not like is that they send you credit card cheques whether or not you want them. Although they promised that my account had been noted not to send anymore they still continue to send the cheques.
To conclude, if you cannot find a good opening offer you should avoid this card.
I admit, I got this card for the reason that. From the advertisement I saw online, it came with a free walkman, & I at that time needed one.... However, when the card arrived, I decided to keep it, and have yet to claim anything from the pulsebeats. Pulsebeats are Sonycard's loyalty scheme. You get 1 pulsebeat for every pound spent, and you receive a catalogue where you can send for different sonly products when you have collected enough points. These include CD's, DVD's, and Sony electronic equipment. Currently when you apply for a Sonycard, you receive 2000 pulsebeats, which will buy you a CD, for example Beyonce's Dangerously in love is 1600 pulsebeats. It's not the best loyalty scheme, as it is limited, but its nice getting something back for your spending. Most people will find something they like in the catalogue. You can also receive triple pulsebeats on Sony products bought with the card. Another advantage of the Sonycard is the 0% offer available for balance transfers on the card, ideal for all the rate tarts out there. There is a 15.9 APR on this card, which is slightly higher than most (Tesco and marbles are 14.9% and egg is 13.9%). There is up to 59 days interest free credit on the card for those who pay off the balance in full monthly. I did get an offer about a year ago with 1.5% APR for 6 months on balance transfers, but that seemed to be a one off offer. Sonycard also have competitions some months to win various Sony products. Customer services are always friendly. I have had to phone up a few times, and every time the queues haven't been that long and the staff are always friendly and know what they're doing. Sonycards are also distinctive, with their bluey silver design, and really stand out from many other credit cards. Sonycard have also started online access for those with a Sonycard. However, I have yet to use this, so am unable to comment on this.
Overall, this card is only ideal for 2 groups of people, those who are big fans of Sony, and like the idea of free products, although, you need to spend a lot on the card to get anything decent. For example a video recorder is 18000 pulsebeats, and a recordable DVD is a whopping 80000 points. The 0% deal is only really an advantage for rate tarts. I, however, knowing that I can get better rates elsewhere and having cleared the balance of the Sonycard, will probably cancel the card once I redeem my pulsebeats. It has its advantages, but none that persuade me to keep the card.
If you had problems with getting yourself a Credit Card- try to get this one. This is one of the Credit Cards companies, where you can get accepted more easily, than any others. This is Bank of Scotland card, which offers you 15.9% APR (variable) for balance transfers and purchases with reduced interest charges of 2.9% p.a. on balance transfers for the first 5 months. If you pay your balance in full first few month, you'll get a bigger credit limit 6 mnth later. SONYCard pays you back by giving you 1 pulsebeat per £1, that you spend using your Card. Every time you use your card you'll earn Pulsebeats, which you can exchange for FREE Sony products. And you'll get 2000 Pulsebeats for FREE, just for getting accepted, thats enough for claiming a FREE Columbia TriStar DVD or video, PlayStation® game, Sony Music CD or Sony WALKMAN personal stereo from the SonyCard reward catalogue, when you first use your card. You'll be sent a "rewards book" every now and again- with list of current products, which you can exchange for your pulsebeats. (including latest DVD/VHS, CD releases+ accesories for Sony products, PlayStations games etc. Plus there are regular prize draws as well. If you buy any SONY products using your SONYCard, you will get three times more pulsebeats per £1 spent, then usually (just fill in the special form, which you'll get, when you receive your Card.) Every time you recomend a friend to them, and he gets accepted you'll get yourself another 2000 FREE pulsebeats; I've just redeemed mine to get a memory stick (worth £65) for my digital Sony camera... nice eh? Oh, one more thing- the advisers line is always easy to get through- you'll get an answer from the "living" person strait
away...there are some few exeptions- holidays and late night time, I think, but I really pleased with the service I get anyway :) Interested, than you can check www.sony.co.uk
I recently applied for one of these as it has a great rate for balance transfers - only 4.9% for six months. Saved me absolutely loads on my monthly repayments! Their rewards scheme is also pretty good with a pulse beat being awarded for each £1 you spend and 3 pulse beats for every pound you spend on sony products. Pulse beats can then be used to buy Sony products like cds, playstation games and loads of other stuff. Applying for the card was really easy, it's all done on the web site www.sonycard.co.uk and I got my card in under a week after I signed the form they sent and returned it.