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Can a retailer’s loyalty scheme save you money?

Posted 03 August 2016

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Imagine being rewarded for buying what you need. Well, that’s exactly what some retailers offer if you join their loyalty scheme.

Loyalty schemes let you collect points each time you spend with a specific retailer either in store or online. Depending on the retailer, you can earn various rewards. These can include vouchers for money off certain products or even entitle you to freebies.

Should you sign up?

Loyalty points are a great money saving tool – as long as you use the loyalty scheme to buy only what you need. Remember, loyalty cards are an effective way for retailers to encourage you to spend with them. 

With this in mind, you shouldn’t buy from a particular retailer just because of their loyalty points. Instead, only use the loyalty scheme if you’re already shopping in the store. This way, you’re only being rewarded for buying what you need making the most out of your money. 

However, it’s still worth shopping around as you may just grab a bargain elsewhere. When shopping online, you may be able to find better discounts, by using cash back apps, for example. For more money saving tips when shopping online, be sure to check out our previous blog.

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What are the best loyalty schemes?

The best loyalty card options will depend on where you like to shop. Plenty of retailers offer rewards to their regular customers. It’s worth weighing up the various loyalty schemes on offer to find where you can earn the most points and save more money. But make sure you always keep in mind that they are a way to entice you back to the store and spend your cash.

Our top loyalty card picks*

• Clubcard 

Whether you’re doing your weekly food shop, filling your petrol tank or shopping online, be sure to use your Clubcard and start collecting points. 

Tesco’s Clubcard is one of the most popular and long-running loyalty schemes. You can earn one point for every £1 spent in store or online and one point for every £2 spent on fuel. There are more points to be earned on Tesco’s double point event days. 

Once you have earned 150 points, you’ll be sent vouchers to redeem. You can also collect points with partner business’ including Esso and TopCashback. That’s just another reason to grab yourself a Clubcard if you shop on these sites.

You can exchange your points for Tesco’s participating partners including access to National Express value fares and Merlin attractions such as Madame Tussauds. This is a great way to save money on days out with the family.

• Nectar 

Similar to Tesco’s Clubcard, with Nectar you can typically earn one point for every £1 spent on your groceries, fuel purchase or online shopping at Sainsbury’s. You have the chance to boost your points on bonus point days too.

Nectar is probably the largest loyalty scheme. As well as collecting points in Sainsbury’s, you can pick up reward points when shopping with over 500 brands within the Nectar partnership. These include Argos, Debenhams and online stores such as Expedia.

So whether you’re booking Virgin train tickets for a day out with the kids or grabbing yourself a bargain on eBay, you can make sure you’re collecting points and getting the most out of the money you’re spending.

• Boots Advantage Card

You can earn points with your Boots Advantage Card each time you spend online or in store. The Advantage Card lets you collect four points (each worth 1p) for every £1 spent. If you do shop in Boots, it may be worth picking up a card and start earning reward points.

When registered, you’ll also receive news on promotional bonus days to earn even more points on your buys. Your accumulated points can then be spent either online or in store saving you money. 

As an Advantage card member you’ll also have access to various club deals such as the ‘parenting club’, which lets you earn 10 points for every £1 spent on baby products.

• Superdrug’s Health & Beauty Card 

If you shop at Superdrug for your beauty buys, it’s worth considering signing up to the Health & Beauty card. For every £1 you spend in Superdrug, you can earn one point with the added benefit of earning even more on special event days.

As a Health and Beauty cardholder, you’ll receive exclusive deals including discounted items on a Thursday. You will also be entitled to added benefits such as free delivery on your online purchases. 

Plus, unlike many other loyalty schemes, you can buy your items using both points and cash. As an example, if your shopping totalled £1.50, you can chose to redeem your earned 100 points which would deduct £1 and then you’ll pay the difference. 

With so many loyalty schemes on the market, be sure to find out whether your favourite retailer can offer you rewards. You can collect points simply by spending money on what you were planning to buy anyway, which can help you save cash in the long run. 

As long as you’re not tempted to shop with certain retailers just to collect loyalty points, you can save money.

Loyalty schemes are not the only way to get the most out of what you spend. Check out our previous blog on how cashback apps can help you save money.

We’ve got many more money saving tips on the blog, so make sure you have a look to help you stick to your budget. 

*Points correct at the time of writing – 21/07/2016

by Christine Walsh

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