When it comes to loyalty cards, many of us are guilty of hoarding several in our wallets, but how do we get the most out of them?
The key thing to remember is to never choose where you shop due to loyalty schemes, yet always use it if you shop somewhere with one! Don’t get sucked into thinking ‘points are better than cash’ – you can’t spend them in nearly as many places. That being said when used correctly they can be useful at helping you save money. Here’s a few tips we’ve rounded up to help you make the most of them:
Replace your cards with apps
Never miss out on points again by downloading apps to store your loyalty cards (and also helping free up wallet space). Apps such as Stocard and Fidme allow you to simply scan your loyalty card barcode on your mobile (it takes seconds) – the app logs the barcode, then reproduces it when you show it in store.
It’s important to note that not all stores accept these, Boots for example no longer accept the app but many stores such as Tesco, Morrisons & Nectar still do. Also make sure not to throw the cards away, as you usually need them to redeem your points
Rest your cards
It may sound unusual but giving your loyalty card a break can actually help! Many people have reported that they find that if they do not use the card for a few weeks they get a mailing of generous vouchers such as six £6 vouchers if they spend £40.
This is particularly true for Nectar card with one woman stating “My 20-something son (not the world’s most frequent food shopper) received vouchers for Sainsbury’s that would give him 590 points, worth £2.95 if he spent just £10.95 on various items. The same week, I was offered 300 points if I spent £60. He regularly gets £4 vouchers for spending £40 or £6 vouchers for spending £60.”
Join the club
Some cards offer exclusive offers for joining any clubs you may be eligible for. For example, Boots offers “More Treats for Over 60s” where you can get 10 points for every £1 you spend on Boots-branded products or there’s “The Boots Parenting Club” where you can collect 10 points for every £1 spent on baby products. It’s worth looking out for any clubs you can join to boost your points.
Choose the best value redemption
The key to maximising value is to choose the best value redemptions.
- Pick the redemptions you’re interested in
For example, imagine a Blu-ray can be bought with 2,000 Nectar points, while a computer game costs 9,000 points. If customers buy online via Sainsbury’s website, they exchange points by getting a Nectar voucher from Nectar.com to use for their purchase. They go to the site and select the value of the Sainsbury’s voucher they require (£1, £5, £10 etc). They then click ‘Get it now’ and the voucher’s ready to use.
- Value the points
Now check the value of those points. Here 2,000 points is worth £10 and 9,000 is worth £45.
- Check the cost to buy
Compare prices at other stores to see how much you’d pay for these items if bought in cash. Let’s say in this case the Blu-ray is available for £9.99, while the computer game can be bought for £39.97.
- Choose the best value redemption
Pick the one that’s the best use of your points. While the Blu-ray is £10 in points and about the same in the shops, the game costs £45 in points but can be bought for less in cash. Therefore the Blu-ray is a slightly better use of your points.