Oh how I love a good loyalty card! My purse is lined with a very colourful collection and some of them work really well for me. Others, however, could do better.
Strangely enough, it’s often the shops that are already offering the best prices who are giving the best rewards, so I don’t believe the rubbish spouted, sorry the statements issued by some stores claiming they prefer to offer low prices in lieu of loyalty cards.
Besides, it’s thanks to us shoppers that these businesses do so well, so why shouldn’t we be given a little thank you!
Here’s my rundown of store loyalty cards I use and how they work for me.
Tesco Clubcard – love it! A point given for every pound spent, but I’m forever getting extra points coupons that raise the total faster. Tesco often send me money off vouchers too, for items that I actually buy. When it comes to using my points, I get four times their value by exchanging them for family days out. We’ve not paid for a family outing in years!
Rating: 9/10, well nothing deserves a perfect score!
Sainsbury’s Nectar Card – confusing points system. Two points earned for every £1 spent, but it takes 2 points to make 1p, so it’s basically a penny per pound like Tesco. Technically this card not just usable in Sainsburys, but personally the only other place I occasionally use it is BP. The deals on point exchange aren’t great, so I tend to use the points in store to buy Tu clothing (especially when it’s a 25% off day). Rewards have to be used in blocks of £2.50, so even if you have a balance of £9.99 you can only use £7.50, as you’re a penny short of the next target. I sometimes get given coupons at the till, but they often relate to things I don’t buy or amounts I don’t spend.
Rating: 6/10, could do better!
The Co-operative Membership – share in profits scheme. This works a bit differently in that you get a so-called “share of the profits” based on the amount you have spent in store over a year. Each year vouchers are sent to the value of profit you have earned, which are then used to take money off your shopping. The rate is quite good, as I shop relatively little in the Co-op, but do manage to get several pounds return. You also get to vote for committee members etc.
Rating: 5/10, certainly different!
Iceland Bonus Card – bit strange this one. This has recently been revamped to include a savings facility where you put money on the card for future use. Not a feature I will use. Am feeling a bit bemused as to what good this one is doing for me. I could use it to have a home delivery (shopping not childbirth), but choose not to. I do get entered into the monthly prize draw when I use it, but I prefer to have a bite of the carrot, not just have it dangled in front of me. Finally, I am supposed to receive money-off vouchers every so often, which in my case seems to translate as once in a blue moon.
Rating: 3/10, oh dear!
Boots Advantage Card – good rate of points. Four points for every pound spent, and I get sent regular extra points and money off vouchers too. There aren’t very many extra point opportunities in store these days though. My one gripe is that when I want to exchange points for goods, I have to have the full value on my card, as they won’t accept a shortfall paid in cash. Annoying if you are only 50p short for an item, and end up having to pay in full for it. Come on Boots, think again!
Rating: 7/10, bit of tweaking needed!
Superdrug BeautyCard – a mirrored card! Awards the average one point for every pound, but with the opportunity for extra points deals in store. Gets the slight edge on Boots Advantage Card though, as points can be used in part-payment for goods (in full pounds) and the difference paid in cash, which I think is much more user-friendly. Superdrug offers good prices too!
Rating: 8/10, feel free to up the points.
Matalan (where’s the snappy name?) Card – not enough benefits. When I first signed up for this card I was sent a great money-off voucher, but it’s gone very quiet since. I apparently get entered in a prize draw when my card is scanned (dangling carrot syndrome again). I was told that if I put my email address on the application form, I would receive a gift on my birthday. Well, Matalan, it was my birthday last month (I share a birthday with Stephen Fry actually) so where’s my pressie? I do receive online newsletters of average interest (that’s me being polite) and did seem to get an increase in spam mail after filling in that form – co-incidence, obviously!
Rating: 2/10, starting to wonder “what’s the point”?