Loyalty points and other usage incentives

Tom’s now shared his predictions for the evolution of loyalty / reward schemes & how Monzo users could benefit from them, here -

From the medium post -

all my spending is done via credit card for one simple reason; Rewards. While minimal (I’m not at companion voucher spending levels yet), my credit card usage gives me access to various offers and the chance to save on future flights

You didn’t seem to address why you would want to stop earning Avios/miles?

re: a competitor for my current account

I use my BA Amex for everything, so the only two transactions in my current account every month is paying the BA Amex and paying rent. Every other transaction is done on the BA Amex so I can get miles (or sometimes a Visa equivalent when Amex not accepted).

I’d use Monzo a little bit more if it did visa rate of Avios (1/1). I would use Monzo a lot more, almost exclusively, if it gave the same Avios as BA Amex card (1.5/1).

The issue is the recent regulation changes that will reduce the merchant fees such that the BA Amex will be unviable.

I use it too, have had it for years (so long that I don’t pay the fee for it), but at 0.3% merchant fee they simply cannot afford to give us 1.5 avios per pound. The notional value of an avios is around 1p, so whilst they almost certainly get them at a discount, they must lose money on it once the fee reduction is in place.


From my understanding the vendor would still pay fees, it’s just that they would absorb that in the costs of products generally, not charge a separate fee for it. The coffee shop I go to would still pay just the same for Amex transactions, it’s just they would not pass that on to me directly, instead increase the prices of the coffees in the shop generally.

Transaction fees aside, I assume Amex would make the majority of its money from interest from the debts people owe it, and providing Avios gives incentives for more people to sign up with Amex, get in debt, and owe Amex interest. Some of that interest would pay for Avios.

Also, Amex does charge a pretty hefty annual fee, that somewhat covers some of the cost of giving Avios. Especially given that most Avios go unused.

Even if I’ve misunderstood and I’m wrong about those three things, and you’re right the regulation is going to influence it, I don’t think Amex and other card providers wouldn’t just stop providing Avios, they would probably try to influence the Avios programme to devalue them slightly, so it costs more Avios to get the flight you want, and makes them cheaper for Amex to allocate. It would still be worth while for medium household incomes.

Either way, it still makes sense for me to use my BA Amex up until the point that it’s no longer value for money. I’m getting companion vouchers and free flights. So I’d stick to using it for now. I can always jump back to Monzo at any time.

What are the recent changes? I thought the directly issued AmEx cards (such as the BA one) were exempt from the interchange fee caps? I don’t use any of these points cards, so am just curious.

Here’s a little info

Sounds like it was ruled they should be included in the cap (although the article is old and I’ve seen no impact from American express) but their exception would only last until December 18 anyway?

1 Like

Thanks, that’s interesting. It seems the reason there’s been no impact yet is because:

In the short term, nothing. American Express has a contract to operate the British Airways card and will presumably continue to do so under the agreed terms unless there are suitable break clauses in place.

I always wonder why retailers even bother to accept American Express, given the higher cost to them. I can’t imagine it would stop anyone purchasing from them, because I’ve never seen anyone who has an AmEx without also having a Visa/MasterCard. There are too many places AmEx isn’t accepted to make it viable to only have that as a card.

1 Like

I only have amex for the cashback and have Visa/MasterCards for places that don’t take it. I’ve also wondered why any retails take it but I’m not complaining :smile:

I’d be curious to know more about this too. The two reasons that I can think of are an increased shopping cart abandonment rate online & I’ve heard that Amex does deals with some merchants so they’re not always charged the ~7% interchange rate that you hear about. But there must be more to it than that :thinking:

Apologies - I misread, I didn’t realise that interchange fees also changing. I was thinking about the regulations to charge customers a fee.

Wonder if the interest and annual card fee, and devaluing Avois a little bit, would help keep it going :thinking:

At that point, wouldn’t you be better of just paying for Avios points directly? You’re not really getting a ‘benefit’ if you have to pay the card company for the privilege. I guess we’ll have to see what happens, and what the level of fees, etc, are.

Devaluing Avios is the nightmare scenario, as every point you’ve already earned suddenly becomes worth less!

I think the end of loyalty points from credit card providers is likely - it was always based on an inefficiency in the market - that being they could charge more than the actual cost of providing the service because there were few real competitors driving the price down. Once fintech steps in and forces the prices to be related to the actual costs plus reduces those costs through modern technology, there is no slush fund left to give out freebies.

Interesting discussion. I got Monzo as an efficient overseas card - replaced the short lived Travelex card that mapped overseas CC transactions to my U.K. CC. Would be good if Monzo could add that function* but not sure what the business value for Travelex was (presumably some basis points built into the foreign conversion rate - might be easier for Monzo to do but of course Monzo debit card benefits from interest on everyone’s balances).

I use cash back CCs for U.K. spending. Current account for DDs, also with cash back and interest. Corporate CC** for business.

What would make me use Monzo more? Interest on balances maybe. Integration with Loyalty schemes would be a winner (every supermarket seems to want to load you down with a plastic card for some reason).

'* Note this could be done several ways. Associate a CC for Monzo and select transaction types to be transferred (nonATM, hospitality, hotel, etc). For more than 1 CC you could select by type or allow selection in the app up to 24hrs after the TX if underwritten by a cash balance…

** Would be a v good market for Monzo to compete in!!!

I’d :heart:️ to see a partnership with a tool like topchasback that could automatically give cashback to monzo customers for using their cards.

They basically pass on the referral fee straight to the end user (like monzo is thinking for bill switching) but this could be done at a mass and invisible level on any transaction if they were linked up.

Not sure how it would work, but how nice would it be to get cashback seamlessly just by using your card!


Hi @Stivenskyrah :wave:

I moved your post here, as we had a bit of similar discussion around this idea in the past. Moving posts helps us keep feedback together and makes the forum a bit tidier. I hope you don’t mind. :smile: Feel free to read what others had proposed too, maybe it will spark some new ideas and feedback?

1 Like

I hope i’m not just raising an old thread (if there’s something newer please let me know) But i’d just like to reiterate some points some people have made and disagree with others.

I agree, Monzo is great for more spending transparency which can lead to better money management and saving etc.

However to say that this transparency is as valuable as offering incentives I think is completely false. I currently get 0.5% back on all credit card purchases upped to 1% on groceries. I also get 2% back on most direct debits paid via my current account (netflix, council tax, broadband etc.)

I see this money as extra cash in my pocket as it is being gathered from purchases/bills I am going to make anyway.

Is Monzo going to look to implement some form of cashback reward like this whether that be via the introduction of a credit card or via direct debit rewards etc? It is currently the only factor stopping me from moving over to Monzo in entirety.

Would love to hear what others think?

1 Like

Totally agree.


Not that I’m aware of.

But they are looking at offering cash back for your regular purchases -

I expect you could save more with Monzo’s help than you earn from your current providers - particularly as you’re incentivised to spend more to earn more by them (I’ve gone into that more here) & rewards in their current form, are a broken concept so they probably won’t be around for much longer..but obviously that doesn’t really matter because it looks like Monzo’s going to provide both benefits :slight_smile:

Cheers for the detailed response.

I would still have to disagree about saving more money. I’m quite frugal as it is and Monzo’s main draw for me is the quality of life features such as how quick it is, how good the app is, spending abroad etc.

It sounds like some form of rewards is in the works though so v interested to see what that becomes. Rewarding me for my everyday spending is as I’ve already said the final piece of the puzzle for me moving all my day to day funds to Monzo

Thanks alexs