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Countrywide offers mortgage reward scheme

Countrywide has launched the industry’s first rewards scheme for new mortgage customers.

Countrywide Rewards is designed specifically for all new Countrywide mortgage customers and existing customers wishing to remortgage or renew their insurance policies.

Customers will automatically accrue points which can be redeemed for rewards or saved so they can grow in value at renewal.

Rewards include discount vouchers from retailers, cinema tickets and spa days, while the top rewards on offer include city breaks, free flights and exotic holidays to a choice of 30 worldwide destinations.

The rewards are provided through a number of companies including Champneys, Virgin Wines, Thomas Cook and other top high street brands.

For example, any new mortgage customer that takes building and contents insurance cover with a mortgage payment protection plan will receive 1,800 reward points, which would entitle them to a choice of rewards, including up to 50% off selected holidays, high street discount vouchers, 2 for 1 unlimited usage cinema cards and theatre tickets.

For a new mortgage they will receive 1000 points, 200 for contents and building insurance and 400 points for Mortgage Payment Protection.

Grenville Turner,  group chief executive at Countrywide, says: “Over 85% of people in the UK are involved with at least one type of reward scheme and its common place to collect points when grocery shopping, booking flights and purchasing petrol but Countrywide Rewards is the first of its kind in the property industry.  This is an exciting and innovative concept for our customers, the property industry, our retail partners and for Countrywide itself.”

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Comments
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  • S Ferguson 15th March 2010 at 9:38 am

    Its really interesting to read the comments from those people who are obviously scared of Countrywide’s new idea. I used to work for Countrywide but now work for another organisation. We provide a good service to our clients and so are not worried by this innovation, but unfortunately the cowboys in our industry who say “you don’t get anything for nothing” and piously go on about not using a panel of lenders we all know they only use lenders that offer them the best commission so don’t lets be mislead by their rants. The Scheme is a reward not an incentive, shame people don’t know the difference! Also, I kind of think Countrywide would have checked out the FSA’s views on such a Scheme.

  • Remi Keeble 12th March 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Interesting comments as usual. I think that the idea of gimmicks to sell over priced products is similar to the banks giving away “freebies” on accounts that charge a monthly fee. It’s simply a smoke screen. Who ever heard of a bank giving away something for nothing. In my experience it is always exactly the opposite: loyal customers shoring up the rickety finances of poorly run institutions who rely on underpaid staff, (except the management, of course), to push their high margin products.

  • insider 12th March 2010 at 11:32 am

    the rewards are not dependend on taking specific mortgages from specific lenders – any product available through mortgage services accrue points – if you get the same deal as you would through another broker but get something else as an added extra why wouldnt customers at least consider it? You have the option of getting something straight away if you only use the service once like cinema tickets or if you save and remortgage through cw the top end is a free holiday for 4

  • Mark Stroud 12th March 2010 at 11:31 am

    We make a regular living out of re broking over priced countrywide insurance policies, I assume this is way to ensure more stays on the books.

  • Also a Hampton 12th March 2010 at 9:41 am

    Absolutely hillarious, “I dealt with Countrywide and they were great!” – now we know its their own employees, no real consumer has ever said those words! And only they would be thick enough to come onto a trade site claiming to to the public. Ask any IFA or independent mortgage broker about Countrywide and they will tell you they are the bottom of the barrel. “we insist you speak to our mortgage advisor to be validated before we accept your offer, sorry no your mortgage certifcate or letter in blood from another broker or lender just isn’t sufficient” -the FSA should have shut this lot down years ago, absolute vermin.

  • Dan McGeehan 12th March 2010 at 9:24 am

    Customers are very savvy now adays and are unlikely to be taken in by mediorce rewards when faced with a limited lending panel and friends provident for protection.

  • Mike Nelson 11th March 2010 at 4:59 pm

    I agree with Anon @ 4.43pm, the 3 “customers” must be Countrywide employees. I also think that the FSA should have look at any incentive which pushes a customer towards a product based on a vague points system rather than sound financial advice, especially when the provider is tied to a limited panel.

  • Brian Frost 11th March 2010 at 4:57 pm

    i do not believe that the public will be taken in by this scheme they will understand that there is no free holiday just the one that they paid for through their exclusive mortgage and life products?

  • Bill Johnstone 11th March 2010 at 4:55 pm

    I never knew Countrywide customers were such a well informed bunch; imagine subscribing to Mortgage Strategy so they can keep abreast of the mortgage industry & quickly comment on stories such as these!

  • Darren Barrett 11th March 2010 at 4:52 pm

    Working for countrywide was a great experience, low pay, limited panel & advice, high pressure to sell insurances which the customer doesn’t want & conveyancers that everyone in the industry hate, it was a truly remarkable experience,

    Lets face it their whole sales process is 20 years out of date, and i cant wait to see these professional people pitching to there clients halfway through an appointment about the brand new “club card” they have to offer, its like a scene out of the office. This would surely be an embarrassment to real professionals?!?

  • Gavin Potter 11th March 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Looks like these positive comments will end up being the majority when the hierachy at Cuntrywide tell the minions that they must comment as a customer to make them look good!

  • Gavin Potter 11th March 2010 at 4:43 pm

    I am concerned at how many Countrywide “customers” have commented on this article as it is in mortgage strategy which is distributed among mortgage brokers and IFA’s, personally in the 6 years I have been in the business I have not come across 1 happy Countrywide customer let alone 3 who have commented here!

  • Danny Lovey 11th March 2010 at 4:35 pm

    From my past experience of client’s that have come to me after being sold products by Countrywide it has often ended in tears for them. Countrywide kept on peddlings low cost endowments and ISA’s long after the flashing amber light had turned red and of course had a deal with Friends Provident on Life Insurances that were very generious to the seller in commission, but not of good value for money to the customer.
    Buyer beware would be my advice to anyone and beware of Greeks bearing gifts!

  • Nick Blatcher 11th March 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Client is paying for this anyway. Countrywide’s protection is approx 30% overpriced & they get enhanced procuration fees by working to a panel of about 9 lenders (to the contributor who stated their advisers have the option to go outside this panel – I used to work for Countrywide and it was hugely discouraged & you received no commission for doing so, I personally went off panel once in 2 years)

  • Paul Iley 11th March 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Ha ha. I’m loving the fact that the postive comments on this thread are clearly from people from Countrywide. As far as offering inducements etc well I think it’s a bit tacky and a bit desperate.

  • Heather Robertson 11th March 2010 at 4:29 pm

    I have already discussed this scheme with my mortgage advisor at Countrywide. They did not try to sell this to me they simply informed me that it was a thank you at the end of the process. My advisor also informed me that by only using a panel of lenders they were able to get me an exclusive fixed rate with Chelsea. I could not beat this looking on the web. My points will get me to Dubai for free with my kids in tow in three years time. The insurance was a bit steep but I got a holiday out of it. Still happy overall though.

  • Ben Olney 11th March 2010 at 4:17 pm

    A Hampton are you on the same planet? Countrywide are the biggest cowboys in the business. I could write a book on their tactics. I expect most posts on here will be from the top level Countrywide board!!

  • James Lindon-Travers 11th March 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Reward points – all well and good when you are buying your Stella from Sainsbury’s – our clients are rewarded by our sound, professional and regulated advice – not tacky gimmicks

  • Rob Rose 11th March 2010 at 4:16 pm

    I think it is an excellent idea, the only people that will be against it , are the brokers who lose out to Countrywide .

  • John 11th March 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Why should the FSA be bothered about this?
    Obviously Countrywide are considering their obligations towards TCF! They are just making certain that their customers are being treated fairly…Stack ’em high, sell ’em cheap!

  • henry evans 11th March 2010 at 4:14 pm

    You have to offer incentives if you fail to provide decent levels of service. Cant see that this will pull in much new business.

  • Ben Olney 11th March 2010 at 4:14 pm

    I used to work for them 6 months ago and I heard they were rolling this out. Knowing Countrywide, it would take 3 mortgages and a premium of £500 per month of life cover for the customer to get a £50 off holiday voucher to Disney Land!

  • A Hampton 11th March 2010 at 4:12 pm

    I disagree with many of the comments above. Countrywide have delivered me a fantastic professional service time and again. I would not hesitate to use them instead of a lot of the other high st cowboys out there. Some of the information above is factually inaccurate and they do not always use the immediate panel if best advise is elsewhere!

  • John Jones 11th March 2010 at 4:06 pm

    A rewards scheme for Champneys vouchers?

    What has that got to do with the product? Why to just make sure you have the best product, best rate and best service instead of investing in marketing ploys?

    And aren’t schemes like this aimed at customers who transact little and often Boots, Tesco etc, to keep customers loyal and returning? … Not for people who make one transaction every few years. Rant over.

  • Neal Carr 11th March 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Not a big surprise a pushy company like Countrywide have to offer people a bribe to come back to them. My local Countrywide agents get very little repeat business, who would go back to be re sold their expensive insurance and limited panel of lenders!

  • Nick Blatcher 11th March 2010 at 4:03 pm

    Lovely! Paid for the client anyway as Countrywide get increased procuration fees by only offering mortgages from a panel of about 9 lenders & their protection products are overpriced by about 30%

  • Nick Blatcher 11th March 2010 at 4:03 pm

    Lovely! Paid for the client anyway as Countrywide get increased procuration fees by only offering mortgages from a panel of about 9 lenders & their protection products are overpriced by about 30%

  • Anonymous 11th March 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Many (a high percentage of consumers) will DEFINITELY go for this over a usual broker – and why not? the UK consumer is OBSESSED with loyalty points!

    I think it will work very well, a threat for other brokers indeed.

    Watch out for this to be featured on Moneysavingexpert.com.

  • Glen Smith 11th March 2010 at 3:59 pm

    It is not the first point reward scheme a company has offered, Essential mortgages done it before they were shut down in 2005. Like most things there is no free lunch, you paid for in the long run, let’s hope people will see through it.

  • Richard P 11th March 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Surprised this has got through the FSA.. surely an incentive scheme could be viewed as taking products or cover that may not be needed or best suited.. Saying that the level of discounts would have to be huge to sway the average client towards a particular brokerage..

  • Mark Stroud 11th March 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Why a loyalty scheme? If you provide good honest advice people will always come back for more.