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.
Save money on your grocery shopping.
You can rack up points with a wide range of Nectar partners, such as Argos, Debehhams, BP petrol stations and more. You can get up to two points for every £1 spent but the amount varies depending on the partner. At Sainsbury’s you earn one Nectar point for every £1 qualifying spend in store or online. You can also earn points shopping at Nectar.com where you'll find brands such as Apple and ASOS.
At present you need to spend £500-£1,000, depending on which partner you collect with, to qualify for 1,000 points, worth £5. Look out for special in-store promotions that enable you to double, triple or quadruple the points you earn.
Spend points at Sainsbury’s, or with other partners, such as Argos, Expedia or Vue cinemas. They may be worth double if used towards meals or days out, so always check online before you redeem your points.
Save money on your energy bills.
You earn one point for every £1 spent in-store or online with the Tesco Clubcard. The amount of points you earn with partners, such as Esso, varies. You can also collect points with Tesco Mobile, Tesco Clubcard Credit Card and Tesco Bank Current Account and Mortgages. 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 triple their value, so 500 points can get you a £15 voucher, and can be particularly handy for anyone with kids or grandchildren 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.
Where to get discounts for the over-50s.
Boots Advantage Card
If you’re a regular shopper at Boots, the Boots Advantage Card is definitely worth signing up for. It's the most generous, giving 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.
Download the Boots App on your Apple or Android smartphone and discover personalised offers.
If you’re over 60, sign up to More Treats for Over 60s to get 10 points for every £1 you spend on Boots-branded products. Alternatively, there’s The Boots Parenting Club - join and you can collect ten points per £1 spent on baby products.
Can I keep goods delivered to me by mistake?
Your consumer questions answered
My supermarket loyalty card account has been hacked and £100-worth of points was spent in a store 50 miles away that I’ve never visited. But the supermarket has said there’s no guarantee I’ll get my points refunded
If you think you have been hacked, report it to Action Fraud. You’ll be given a police crime reference number and your case will be forwarded to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, who’ll decide whether there is enough information for a police investigation. A refund will depend on the supermarket. Sainsbury’s Nectar Helpline team, for example, would review the account to identify any unusual activity, redemptions that don’t fit in with your normal shopping behaviour. ‘If we find this we would refund the points and if it’s less clear we’d investigate further,’ said a spokesperson. Mark Peacock, of Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards, notes, ‘If the details were stolen from your end, you don’t have much of a case. If the breach happened at the supermarket’s end, you can argue they were negligent in failing to prevent it.’
By Jo Carlow, consumer rights journalist