The Natwest Reward bank account is a current account that pays you monthly and gives you extra benefits for being a member. But is it worth it, and how does it compare to its rivals? Take a look at this review to find out more.
The last 10 years have seen the way we conduct our banking change, with a move away from the high street and more of a focus on digital banking. But with an increase in the number of challenger banks such as Monzo and Starling, the more traditional financial institutions have upped their game by offering a new type of current account to attract extra customers or encourage current ones to stay.
Most of these accounts do come with a fee though, so the question is, do the benefits outweigh the costs? Let’s take a look at the Natwest Reward account in greater detail.
Natwest Reward bank account
The account was first introduced in 2015 as Natwest lost ground on its rivals thanks to accounts such as the Santander 123.
Unlike the 123 account, Natwest didn’t pay interest on credit balances. But, it paid 3% on all your direct debits, which was more generous than Santander’s tiered system.
But the last 2 or 3 years have seen banks reduce the generosity of these accounts and Natwest didn’t escape these cuts.
Also worth reading
The Santander Edge account rewards you with cashback every month.
Is there a switch incentive?
Usually, Natwest offers a £125 bonus if you switch your account over to them. You will need to use the Current Account Switch Service, have active direct debits and you cannot have received a bonus before a certain period – you will need to check the current terms and conditions.
Take a look at my post on the switch offers currently being offered.
What does the Reward account offer?
- £4 in Rewards for paying out at least 2 Direct Debits
- £1 for logging in to the mobile app
- you can exchange your rewards for cash or with one of Natwest trade up partners for increased value
- spend at selected partners to receive cashback
How much does the Reward account cost?
The fee is £2 per month. Not only that, but to receive your rewards, you will also need to have 2 Direct Debits (they must be £2 or more) leave your account, and you must pay in at least £1,250 each month. The money you pay in doesn’t have to be your wages and can come from another of your bank accounts. And you can transfer the money out as soon as you like.
Who are Natwest’s reward partners?
You will be sent personalised offers through My Rewards that will offer cashback when you shop at certain retailers using your Natwest card. The rate varies between 1% – 15%, and the partners and offers do change. But some examples include:
- Caffe Nero
However, as a member, the only offer I have received is from Europcar. And as I don’t need to rent a car, it hasn’t been useful.
How does trade up work?
Instead of using your rewards for cash, you can trade up your rewards for certain shops that will give you better value. You apply through your account, and trade-ups are available as an e-code or e-voucher, which will be displayed on-screen and a copy will also be sent to your e-mail address shortly afterwards.
You can trade rewards for vouchers from
- John Lewis
- Marks & Spencer
- Red Letter Days
- TK Maxx
You will usually get between 4% and 10% bonus if you decide to trade for a voucher.
Also worth reading
The Club Lloyds account gives you a free reward each year and you can avoid the monthly fee by paying in £1,500.
Other benefits to banking with Natwest
Of course, other benefits come from banking with Natwest. These include
- Loyalty card hub – add all your loyalty cards to the Nectar app – you’ll never leave home without them again. Unless you forget your phone.
- Spending – get a breakdown of your spending and sort it by categories. Or, you can set yourself budgets and Natwest can keep you up-to-date with how you’re doing.
- Cash without a card – if you haven’t taken your card out with you, you can apply for a secure cash code on the Natwest app to withdraw money at any Tesco or Natwest cash machine.
- Link your other accounts – through Open Banking, you can link your other accounts to Natwest so you have a good overview of your finances.
Is the Natwest Reward account worth it?
I’ll be blunt and say that the value you get from the account has significantly declined over the last couple of years. Ok, so you can earn £3 per month just for having your Direct Debits and logging in to the app after you pay out for the fee. But apart from that, the benefits are a little lacking.
The cashback might appeal, but it really depends on the offers that Natwest decides to send you.
Take a look at the Natwest Reward bank account.
Any alternatives to Natwest?
I mentioned the Santander 123 account above, which may make you a little more if you spend quite a bit on Direct Debits. But it’s also worth checking out the Barclays Blue Rewards account that could make you more money each month, plus comes with some cashback deals.
When are Natwest rewards paid?
Rewards can take up to 35 days from when you made the transaction to appear in your account.
Does the Reward account come with travel insurance?
No. If you are looking for more benefits, the Natwest Reward Platinum account offers extra but for £20 per month.
What is a Natwest Reward credit card?
This is a separate product from the Reward current account. This card earns you cashback at selected retailers, including 1% at supermarkets.
Do you earn Natwest rewards for paying bills?
Not any longer. The scheme was scrapped and you can now earn a set amount each month.
Where do I see My Rewards offers?
You set up your My Rewards account through natwest.com/myrewards
You will need your card number and email address, and you will need to create a password.