when your bank card earns you money

Whatever its color, the bank card is the main item of bank charges. A classic model costs on average 44 euros, a more high-end one (Visa Premier or Mastercard Gold), 130 euros, according to Panorabanques calculations. However, you can amortize your price by benefiting from the “cashback” services set up by certain establishments. Customers who subscribe to these offers are reimbursed for a fraction of the expenses incurred by bank card.

Unlike loyalty programs offered by major brands in the form of a reduction on a future purchase, cashback results in the payment of cash into the bank account of the holder, who can then spend them as they wish.

The principle is not new, American Express has been offering it in France since the 1990s. But cashback is now also present in network banks such as BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, Crédit Mutuel Arkéa, La Banque Postale and SG. LCL, for its part, closed in March 2023, its program focusing on local businesses, due to a lack of a sufficient number of partners. The online banks BoursoBank, Hello Bank, Ma French Bank and Revolut have also launched, and BforBank is considering it as part of its new positioning.

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You generally have to register – for free – in your bank’s program in order to receive offers. Depending on the establishment, this really involves the reimbursement of a fraction of the purchase from a partner (often around 10%), but also sometimes good deals (−10% on the invoice, for example), or even vouchers.

Partner brands

This last system is the preference of Jérôme (the first name has been changed), a fifty-year-old sports fan who equips himself at Decathlon. “At the automatic checkout, I buy a voucher for an amount close to my bill via my BoursoBank app and I scan it to pay. The reduction is immediate: I pay 95 euros for a 100 euro voucher, it’s much better than being reimbursed later for a fraction of my purchase”, he testifies. BoursoBank customers have saved an average of 75 euros since 1uh January 2023 thanks to The Corner program, at partner brands such as Carrefour, Cdiscount, Fnac, Ikea and Pathé Gaumont.

Each bank therefore offers a list of partners with whom cashback works. These include both physical brands and e-commerce sites. At SG, the cashback amounts accumulated during purchases are stored in a pot, this being paid to the customer once it reaches 20 euros. For its part, BNP Paribas pays cashback to its customer once a month, within thirty to ninety days following the purchase.

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