Savings card can be used online and in store with more than 250 retailers earning up to 20% of the value back from a purchase
Parents can save money towards their children’s university costs and other expenses while shopping through a new scheme.
The Ffrees family card, allows shoppers to buy goods and services from more than 250 retailers from supermarkets and clothes stores, to holiday companies and insurers, and receive a percentage of the value of the purchase as Ffrees, units worth £1 each. Someone buying their weekly shop online, or in store from Asda or Marks & Spencer, would get back 3%, but someone taking out a buy-to-let mortgage through Springtide Capital could get 20% back .
Ffrees can either be left in the Ffrees family account earning interest at a standard bank account rate or, once 250 have been accrued, they can be transferred to a choice of three savings funds run by the school fees specialist financial adviser SFIA.
Applicants must be over 18 to open an account, to which they transfer money free of charge from their bank account. They are then sent a MasterCard to load with the money from the Ffrees account: the first two cards are free, with a £5 fee per card if more are required for different family members.
First Direct founders Peter Simpson and Alex Letts, whose son is about to start university, launched the scheme. Letts says it was inspired by the leap in university fees: “Until now it was the little bit of money families didn’t spend each year that went into savings. Now the much larger amount the family does spend will also help.”
Letts has calculated that a family of four spending £19,900 a year with different Ffrees registered retailers, including £3,600 a year on groceries, £1,000 on clothes and £3,500 on holidays, could earn up to £1,628 in Ffrees.
Ffrees family finance is paid commission by the retailers involved in the scheme every time a purchase is made.
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