Written by Karen Bryan
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We have a Tesco superstore close to home where we do about 40% of our supermarket shopping. We also buy the majority of the fuel for our car at Tesco. With the Tesco Clubcard loyalty card you get 1 point for every £1 spent on most items in the supermarket, 1 point for every £2 spent on fuel, plus all sorts of confusing Tesco Clubcard vouchers with money off and extra points. One Tesco Clubcard point equals 1 pence earned in vouchers. I estimate we spend £1,000 in the supermarket a year, so with the basic 1% bonus, along with some money off and extra points vouchers, I estimate a saving of £50 a year. Our £800 spend on Tesco fuel saves us a pathetic £4.00.
he Boots Advantage loyalty card is a lot more generous, offering 4 points for every £1 spent where 1 point is worth one penny; that’s a 4% bonus. However, Boots generally has higher prices than stores like Superdrug and SemiChem, so I don’t buy much there. I spend around £100 a year at Boots, so that’s £4.00 of savings.
The Superdrug Beauty Card is another 1 point for £1 spent loyalty card offering. I’ve seen it as high as 5 points for each £1 spent, but never when I’ve made purchases there. With a Superdrug annual spend of £200 that’s £2 of savings.
Nectar claims to be the UK’s most popular loyalty card. I mainly associate it with Sainsbury’s, again not really the cheapest supermarket, and we don’t have a store near where we live. You get 2 points for every £1 spent in a Sainsbury’s store, 500 points equate to £2.50 for instore spending, so it’s still a 1% bonus. I’ve also collected points recently when at Homebase (2 points for every £1 spent) and Expedia (200 points for a hotel booking (although it’s 600 at present). I reckon I’ve collected £12, mainly from Expedia hotel bookings.
So my total saving from these four loyalty cards is £72 for the year. At least I’m only buying things I’d buy anyway. However it’s making me wonder if I can be bothered to carry the cards around. I can’t fit them all in my purse. I wonder if there could be a simpler way, such as giving you a pin once you register for the loyalty card, which you enter during the payment process enabling your points to be allocated electronically to your account.
I’m sure you could earn a lot more points on a loyalty card if you purchase the majority of items at a limited number of stores. However I don’t think that will save you money, if you are paying higher prices for the items which you buy.
It seems much easier to earn 3% cashback on shopping by paying with my Aqua Reward Credit Card (up to a maximum of £100 a year) than to bother with loyalty cards. You can also save quite a bit of money by shopping through the links on Cashback sites, e.g. TopCashBack.co.uk are currently offering 12% cashback on Expedia hotel bookings.