If you're an American Express cardholder and you have a smartphone, you can now get cashback at a house of retailers via the Foursquare app.Foursquare is a location-based app that allows you to signal where you are in the world by 'checking in'. I have to confess I've never really seen the point of it – until now.
However, it's now teamed up with retailers to offer cashback when you check in at shops and pay with an Amex card linked to your Foursquare account.
The current offers include cashback at Shell petrol stations, Gap, House of Fraser, Banana Republic, Starbucks and Pizza Hut.
Cashback offers in full
Here's a full rundown of the offers with their expiry dates.
Banana Republic: spend £50, get £25 back (ends 28th February)
Carphone Warehouse: spend £25, get £10 back (ends 28th February)
Gap: spend £50, get £25 back (ends 28th February)
Harrods: spend £50, get £25 back (ends 28th February)
House of Fraser: spend £50, get £25 back (ends 28th February)
Pizza Hut: spend £30, get £15 back (ends 6th March)
Shell: spend £50, get £15 back (ends 18th April)
Starbucks: spend £10, get £5 back (ends 13th February)
How to earn the cashback
To earn the cashback, you need to download the Foursquare app. Next, link your Amex card to it by going to https://sync.americanexpress.co.uk
Then when you check in at any of the aforementioned retailers, tap the Special button and press the 'Load to card' button. Pay using your Amex card and your cashback will be credited within three to five working days.
There is a limit of one cashback transaction per retailer per card. But if you've got more than one Amex card in your household, you can earn cashback (same rules apply) on those too.
If you don't have an Amex and this offer is making you think about getting one, you have several options.
You can earn extra cashback on top of your Foursquare cashback with the Platinum Cashback Everyday card, which pays 5% cashback on your first three months' spending (up to a limit of £100, so the first £2,000 of spending). It then pays tiered levels of cashback from 0.5% up to 1.25% depending on how much you spend each month. The representative APR (the annual interest charges and fees you'll pay if you don't pay off your balance in full each month) is 19.9%.
If you collect Nectar points, the American Express Nectar card gives you up to four Nectar points for every £1 you spend at Nectar retailers and one point for spending elsewhere. At the moment, there's also an introductory offer of 10,000 free Nectar points. The representative APR is 19.9%.
If you like to travel, the Lloyds TSB Duo Avios card package gives you an Amex and a MasterCard. If you apply now and spend a minimum of £500 a month for the first three months, you'll be given a welcome bonus of 18,000 Avios points. That's enough for two return flights to Western Europe – all you have to pay is a £30 per person tax charge on top. You'll also collect one Avios for every £1 you spend on the Amex and every £5 you spend on the MasterCard. The representative APR is 17.9%.
Meanwhile, the British Airways American Express card offers roughly one Avios for every £1 you spend on it. Spend £1,000 in the first three months and you'll get 9,000 Avios. The representative APR is 15.9%.
If you're a bigger spender or you've got a big purchase coming up, the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold charge card will give you 20,000 Amex Membership Reward points if you spend a minimum of £2,000 in the first three months. You can redeem these against flights, gifts, experiences and a host of other things. You can also transfer them to other reward schemes such as Nectar and Avios. Note that as this card is a charge card, you HAVE to pay off the balance in full each month. The card also normally carries a £125 a year fee, but Amex is currently waiving this for the first year.
If you don't want to pay interest charges, which will quickly negate any money you make from cashback or reward points, make sure you set up a Direct Debit to pay off your balance in full each month.
And, needless to say, while the Foursqaure cashback offers are tempting, don't spend more than you can afford just to get some money back.