Getting the most from loyalty cards

Harriet Meyer / 30 January 2015

Most of us have one or even a stack of loyalty cards in our wallet, but which offer the best rewards for regular shoppers?



There are plenty to pick from, from the biggest supermarket schemes to individual retailers.

The companies benefit from the schemes as they provide them with information on our shopping habits and encourage us to become frequent customers.

In return, make sure you benefit from the schemes too by using the points you build up. Here are three of the best-known schemes on offer and how you can squeeze value from them.

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Nectar

You rack up points at a wide range of stores, getting two for every £1 spent in Sainsbury’s, Homebase and BP petrol stations. Each point is worth half a penny. However, this will fall to one point for every £1 at Sainsbury’s from 11 April 2015. You can also earn points shopping at nectar.com with hundreds of brands, such as Apple and easyJet.

At present, you need to spend £500 to qualify for 1,000 points, worth £5. Special in-store promotions enable you to double, triple or quadruple points. You can also earn double points by booking hotels and packages with Expedia.

Spend points at Sainsbury’s, or with other partners, such as Argos or Vue cinemas. They may be worth double if used towards meals or days out, so check online.

 

Tesco Clubcard

You earn one point for every £1 spent in-store or online, or £2 spent with partners Esso and Eon. Points are worth 1p each, so you’d need to spend £250 in Tesco to get a £2.50 voucher. You receive vouchers every three months to use towards your shopping.

You can boost your points by swapping them for rewards, such as meals and day trips. These often double or quadruple their value, and can be particularly handy for families with kids to entertain.

Look online to find out what’s on offer. You can also stretch points by using ‘clubcard boost’ offers at particular times of the year, such as Christmas.

Find out where to get discounts for the over-50s.

 

Boots Advantage

If you’re a regular shopper at Boots, this is definitely worth signing up for. It gives you four points for every £1 you spend, making it more rewarding than supermarket schemes. Provided you use points within three years, these can be used to buy items in-store.

Anything you buy using points must be purchased outright. However, you cannot use points towards some items, such as prescriptions, mobile phone top-ups or Boots insurance.

You can also use the scheme to earn one point per £1 at a wide range of brands on the Boots Treat website.

Use your card at ‘extra offers kiosks’ to find out what personal offers you can apply for. Also download the smartphone app to see offers that can be redeemed in-store.

If you’re over 60, sign up to get 10 points for every £1 you spend on Boots-branded products. Alternatively, there’s a parenting club to give greater discounts towards baby products.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.