More than 150,000 Halifax Clarity credit card customers will no longer be able to pocket a £5 monthly reward for using their card. However, new customers applying online can still take advantage of the old offer for a limited time.
The £5/month reward, only available to customers who also have a Halifax current account, is to be withdrawn in two separate phases according to when the card was opened. It blames costly changes to credit card regulations for ending the perk.
Longer-standing customers, who are currently being contacted by the bank, will lose their £5/month reward from 30 September 2016. Newer customers will wave goodbye to their reward later this year, although Halifax wouldn't tell us when exactly the second phase of reward removals will take place.
While the reward is no longer available to new customers that apply in branch or on the phone, those who apply online can still trouser the monthly bonus if they do so before Tuesday 9 August.
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Is it worth applying for the Clarity card online to get the reward?
New customers applying online shouldn't expect to make much money out of the monthly reward as it's going to be wiped out for all customers within the next few months.
But if you do still want to apply for the Clarity card and you meet the criteria for the £5 monthly reward (more on that below), you can expect to make at least £10 in rewards, as industry rules dictate that customers must be given at least 60 days' notice of any changes to banks' T&Cs before changes are enforced.
New customers who open a Clarity card online before 9 August will be informed about the end of the £5 reward in a second phase of notifications later this year.
Who qualifies for the £5/month Clarity card reward?
- Hold a Halifax current account and pay in £1,000 or more each month; or use Halifax's switching service to move your current account to a Halifax current account and agree to pay in £1,000 or more each month; or open or hold a Halifax Ultimate Reward current account (no minimum pay-in required).
- Spend at least £300 on the Clarity credit card each month.
- Stay within your credit limit.
- Make your minimum monthly payment.
Of the more than one million Halifax Clarity customers, around 15% have historically accessed the £5 monthly reward.
Are other benefits that come with the Clarity card changing?
Other elements of the Clarity card will remain intact, including...
- No foreign exchange fee for using your card anywhere in the world (interest charges apply).
- No transaction fee for withdrawing cash in any currency (although certain ATM providers may charge a fee, and interest charges apply).
- One rate for balance transfers, purchases and cash withdrawals.
As an existing customer, when will my last monthly reward be paid?
It depends on when your reward is being removed, but longer-term customers (those losing the reward from 30 September) could still earn the reward up to the end of September if they continue to meet the qualifying criteria. The final reward payment will be shown on the October statement.
As above, new customers will be notified of how long they can expect to collect the reward when they are contacted during the second phase of Halifax's communications.
Can I do anything to protest about the reward scrapping?
You can vote with your feet. Customers who think the Clarity card no longer meets their needs can close their account by contacting Halifax on 0345 944 4555.
Closing your account will mean you can no longer use your card and Halifax says you'll need to make at least the minimum payment, or any other payment you have agreed, on time each month until your balance is completely cleared.
Halifax says that if it doesn't hear from affected Clarity customers by 30 September it'll take it to mean they've accepted the change.
Why's Halifax scrapping the reward?
Halifax has blamed it on changes to credit card regulations namely the cap on the 'interchange fees' that credit card companies charge retailers to process transactions.