Santander 123 credit card to pay bonus summer cashback on holiday booking spends

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The 123 cashback credit card from Santander is paying a 1% bonus rate on flights, hotels and at travel agents over the summer.

Santander has launched a summer bonus cashback offer on its 123 Credit Card.

From now until 31st August 2014 it will pay 1% cashback when used to pay for flights, hotels or for holidays booked at a travel agent.

The offer is available to new and existing customers and is in addition to the 123 Credit Card's existing benefits.

The 123 Credit Card

Santander's 123 Credit Card pays tiered levels of cashback on certain purchases.

You can get 1% cashback at supermarkets, 2% at department stores and 3% at petrol stations as well as on National Rail tickets and TFL travel (capped on spends of up to £300).

These rates are ongoing, but in the past Santander has offered a bonus like its summer cashback offer at certain times of the year, such as cashback on spending at Amazon in the run up to Christmas.

New customers can now also get a market leading 18 months 0% on purchases with the card, which means your cashback won't be eaten up by any interest charges for a year and a half.

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The best way to get the 123 Credit card

One downside of the Santander 123 Credit Card is that it comes with a £24 annual fee.

But on the whole that's a relatively small charge for consistent levels of cashback that are mostly uncapped. Some cards charge an annual fee as high as £150 and only offer their best cashback rates within the first three months of opening an account.

However, if you want to avoid the charge you can get the 123 Credit Card free for a year if you have or open a Santander 123 Current Account.

Like the credit card this account pays tiered cashback up to 3%, but on your bills rather than on purchases.

You can earn 1% on water, Council Tax and Santander mortgage repayments; 2% on gas and electricity bills and 3% on mobile, home phone, broadband and TV package subscriptions.

In addition the 123 Current Account also offers up to 3% in-credit interest on balances between £3,000 and £20,000. That's better than what the best easy access accounts have to offer at the moment.

However, while you'll avoid the credit card annual fee, there is a £24 annual fee for the current account which you'll still have to pay.

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Alternative cards to help you save on your holidays

If you want to save money on a holiday there are some other decent credit cards to consider.

If you like the sound of cashback and interest-free purchases you can get the fee-free American Express Platinum Cashback Card Exclusive, which offers 16 months 0% on purchases as well as a consistent 1.25% cashback rate for every £1 spent on the card. You'll get double cashback in your anniversary month with this card too. The representative APR is 18.7%.

For a higher rate of cashback there's the fee-free American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card. It offers 5% cashback, capped at £100, on anything you buy using the card for the first three months. Thereafter you can earn up to 1.25%.The card has a representative APR of 19.9%.

Alternatively you could go for a credit card that earns you air miles as you shop to help you bag a bargain holiday. The MBNA Virgin Atlantic White Credit Card Account will give you 3,000 miles with your very first purchase plus 7,000 miles if you apply before 30 June and spend £1,000 within three months. The card allows you to earn one mile for every £1 spent with the American Express card and one mile for every £2 spend with the Visa card. The APR on this card is 17.9%.

The Post Office Platinum MasterCard is a good option for when you're actually on holiday. It won't charge a fee on purchases you make overseas and there's no cash fee when you use it to purchase currency from the Post Office. The card also comes with 18 months 0% on balance transfers (0.7% fee) and three months interest-free on purchases. This card attracts a representative APR of 17.8%.

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