My purse is absolutely jam packed with cards. Credit and debit cards, membership cards to various organisations, my library card, but mostly ridiculous numbers of loyalty cards! It is just as well I don’t carry much cash, because there is very little space left for that.
As I only use about 4 of my loyalty cards, I am planning a cull. I need to decide which ones have the best benefits and which are worth keeping. Are loyalty cards worth the bother?
My most used loyalty cards
Boots Advantage card
My Boots Advantage card has to be my favourite. I like the shop and can easily pop in on my way home from work as we have a large out of town one. It seems quite generous too, giving 4 points (effectively 1p) for each £1 spent. Generally I save my points up for Christmas or the post Christmas sales.
However, I am aware that sometimes I can buy a product cheaper somewhere like Superdrug or at Sainsbury’s, which is also on my way home. I might not get the points, but saving money on my purchases comes first.
I look out for my double points vouchers and keep them in my purse. It is also worth making a note of mega points weekends. If I know one is coming up I will hang off buying regular purchases such as vitamins.
Tesco Club Card
I barely shop in Tesco’s as I prefer Aldi and Lidl. However, I keep my loyalty card because I sometimes pop into the Tesco petrol station near me. I also have my mobile phone deal with Tesco so earn points on that.
Tesco has always offered great deals when redeeming your points. They are worth a whole lot more if you spend them on a Club Card Boost deal rather than in store. We tend to mostly use ours for cinema tickets, but there are some excellent offers on restaurants, days out, etc – even on breakdown cover.
This loyalty card is worth having, but I wouldn’t shop in Tesco just for the points as I save more money overall in the discount supermarkets.
Sainsbury’s Nectar card
I used to save up my Nectar points for my Christmas shop. Now I have my Nectar account linked to my eBay account, so I can convert my points into a voucher to spend on eBay. This works for me, as I use eBay a lot, but, like the Tesco Clubcard, you can use your points to purchase all kinds of products and experiences. I also stop at Sainsbury’s for petrol and collect points that way.
We have a small Coop round the corner that is really handy when we run out of something like milk, so we use it quite a bit. However, I wouldn’t do my main shop in a Coop store. I love the ethos of the organisation, but the big supermarket near me is expensive and the fruit and vegetables aren’t great quality some of the time.
We all use the small local store often enough to receive a decent annual dividend though – usually around £20 at least. This card is worth keeping.
The thing that annoys me about the Coop is that we have two different organisations covering our town, and you can’t use one card in the other. Not very joined up!
And the rest
Also in my purse I have cards from Iceland, Superdrug, the Body Shop, Pets at Home, Holland and Barrett and the Wyevale Gardening Club. The latter is the only one I use. I am going to dispense with the others!
What’s the point?
The point of loyalty cards is, obviously, to promote your loyalty and get you to keep shopping in a particular store. But retailers don’t lose out or give you something for nothing. I am quite sure they build the cost of their loyalty cards into their general prices! This is why shops like Aldi and Lidl don’t bother with them. They focus on keeping their prices low. But if you are going to use the shops anyway, you may as well collect the points.
It has been worth collecting my points throughout the year on some of my loyalty cards, but to be honest I have earned more money using cash back sites in the past 4 months than I have the whole year on the cards! Over £100 on Top Cashback and £50 on Quidco.
I always check them to see if they have any cash back offers before buying anything online. At the moment Top Cashback has a great deal for new members. If you purchase a makeup palette from Superdrug you get a full cashback of £13, effectively getting the palette free. This could be another Christmas present off your list. (This is my tell a friend link).
What about you? I would be interested to know which are your favourite loyalty cards and how you spend your points. Do you use cashback sites or do you find it all too much trouble?