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With costs of living so high, we're all trying harder than ever to save money wherever we can. Whether you hoard loyalty cards for that café you rarely visit or put on an extra layer at home to avoid switching on the heating, millions of households are finding ways to cut costs with inflation now at a 40-year high in the UK.
Keeping spending down is especially important when it comes to your weekly shop, with food inflation also rising hugely in recent months. In November it was revealed that prices were 13.3% higher than in October 2021.
Most of us probably have a preferred supermarket but most of the major chains have a discount scheme which can make a big difference to your food basket. So even if you're brand loyal, it's worth knowing how much of a saving you can make with the loyalty schemes at the different supermarkets.
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Here's a breakdown of the main customer loyalty cards for shops in the UK and what they offer you as of January 2023. To get all the latest money-saving news straight to your inbox twice a week sign up here.
Tesco's Clubcard scheme is free to join and allows customers to collect one point for every £1 spent in stores or online and one for every £2 spent on fuel. Every point is worth a penny when you're buying items in Tesco - so for example, a £70 shop will net you 70 points, or 70p.
The Clubcard also gives you discounts on items in-store and online though these might vary from store to store. You'll receive vouchers based on the number of points you've collected every three months or you can convert points into vouchers through the Clubcard app. However, Clubcard points can also be traded in for three times the value with Tesco’s reward partners which include Pizza Express, Disney Plus and Virgin Atlantic among others using the code on the vouchers. For example, you could turn every 50p you have in points into £1.50 to spend in restaurants. You can find out more here.
Sainsbury's Nectar card is free to join and allows you to get discounts in-store and online and collect points from over 300 partner brands including Argos, eBay and Esso (in most cases this only applies when you shop online). For a full list of brands click here.
With Nectar you get one point per £1 spent at Sainsbury’s in stores and online and a point for every litre of fuel bought. One point is worth 0.5p, so 500 points equals £2.50. Like the Clubcard, Nectar also offers savings on petrol and transport, can be used with other suppliers, and offers charity donations too. You can find out more here.
My Morrisons replaced the old Morrisons More scheme in May 2021. Under the old scheme you received five points for every £1 spent in store, online or in the café as well as five points per litre of fuel and a £5 voucher for every 5,000 points earned. You could also earn points on selected products and promotions.
The new scheme gives customers personalised digital coupons by email or through the My Morrisons app. These vouchers can be used straight away to save money while shopping in-store. The digital offers are personalised according to your shopping preferences so you should receive coupons that give you a discount on products you usually buy instore. You can scan the app at the till for any eligible offers to be instantly applied. Find out everything you need to know about My Morrisons here.
The Iceland Bonus scheme works slightly differently in that you effectively pay for your shopping in advance. For every £20 saved onto an Iceland Bonus Card, Iceland adds £1 which you can use along with your pre-loaded cash to pay for your shopping in store at Iceland or at The Food Warehouse.
You also get exclusive offers when you shop and a special treat on your birthday, as well as free delivery on in store orders over £25 and online orders over £35. Find out more about Iceland Bonus here.
The Co-operative membership loyalty scheme doesn't earn you points, instead giving you money back on what you buy. The scheme gives 2p back for every £1 you spend on selected products and services which goes into your Co-op Membership account. The Co-op gives the same amount to support community organisations and local causes. You can spend the rewards you earn on most things you buy, not just Co-op products, or you can donate them. Other benefits include having a say over how the company is run and a claim to its profit. You can find out more here.
Asda launched its Rewards loyalty scheme last summer via a smartphone app which allows customers to collect 'Asda Pounds' by buying certain products or completing 'missions'. These can then be spent at Asda in store or online. You can also convert these to vouchers.
Asda also has a Christmas Savings Card. In the run-up to Christmas, each time you shop you can add a few pounds into a 'savings' account. You'll get £1 when you've saved £30, £3 when you've saved £80 and so on, up to a maximum of £15 on £280 savings. You can find out more here.
Lidl doesn't have a card but has a Lidl Plus app which allows customers discounts and rewards. For every £100 spent each month you get a £2 off coupon and £250 spending a month nets you a 10% off coupon. Find out more here.
The MyWaitrose card doesn't offer points but has other benefits such as sending you relevant vouchers and coupons based on your spending history each month and member-only vouchers. Customers can also get a free hot drink if they buy something in store (but you need a reusable cup.)
Members also get a free copy of the Waitrose & Partners Food magazine as well as 20% off at the fish counter on Fridays and cashback when buying selected healthy foods. In February 2022, Waitrose announced it would stop giving members a free MyWaitrose newspaper and instead offer personalised offers based on people's shopping habits. You can find out more here.
Boots Advantage Card
With the Boots Advantage Card you receive four points for every £1 you spend, so for example a £20 spend would get you 80 points. This makes the Advantage Card one of the most generous on the market. Each point is worth 1p and you can spend your points anytime, as long as you have enough points to cover the whole transaction. For example, if you have 199 points you can use them to buy goods worth £1.99 in total.
There are also Mega Points Weekends where you can earn extra Advantage points for spending over a certain amount in-store or online – 1,000 extra points for spending £50, for example. There are other offers available such as for the Boots Parenting Club, who can earn eight points per £1 spent on baby products until their child turns five, while members aged 60 or above will qualify for eight points per £1 spent on Boots own-brand products plus sub-brands including Soltan and No 7. Advantage cardholders can also receive a free health and beauty magazine.
You also can't use your Advantage points to part-pay for an item – you need enough points to cover the entire cost. Points on the card are automatically removed after two years if the card is inactive for that long. You can find out more here.
Superdrug Health and Beauty
Superdrug's Health & Beauty card allows you to earn one point for every £1 you spend and each point is worth 1p. Points can be redeemed in multiples of 100 so you can use 100 points to get £1 off or 200 points to get £2 off.
Unlike the Boots Advantage scheme you can pay with a mixture of points and cash, meaning you don’t need to wait until your balance is exactly right to use them. Find out more here.
With the Nando's reward card you earn a 'chilli' every time you spend £7 or more on your meal. You can only collect one chilli per customer per day, so even if you spend £14, you'll still just get one stamp. So if you're dining with a fellow Nando's cardholder make sure you pay separately to maximise chilli earnings.
You'll claim a reward when you get a certain number of chillis - for example, three chillies gets you a 1/4 chicken or starter, six chillies gets you 1/2 a chicken or any single wrap, burger or pitta, while ten chillies earns you a whole chicken or single combo meal with regular sides.
Formerly the Subcard, Subway Rewards allows you to get free items by working up enough points. You get ten points for every £1 spent on orders. 100 points gets you a free hot drink, 200 points gives you a free snack, 500 points gets you a free six-inch sub, flatbread or salad and 1,000 points gives you a free footlong sub or flatbread.
Waterstones Plus Card
With the Waterstones Plus Card you get a stamp for every £10 spent. Ten stamps will give you £10 off your next purchase.
Costa Coffee card
Costa Coffee introduced a new loyalty scheme in September 2021 which swapped the points scheme to 'beans'. Costa Club members will receive one bean for every hot or cold drink. Once a Costa Club member has earned eight beans, customers will receive a voucher for a free barista-crafted drink of any size.
Cafe Nero card
The Caffè Nero loyalty card is a loyalty card that can be used to collect stamps for any barista-prepared drinks. Once nine stamps have been collected a free hot drink of any size will be earned.
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