Best rewards programmes and how to make the most of them
Reward schemes and loyalty cards have been around for years, but many of us have overstuffed our wallets with plastic and don’t take advantage of what they offer.
It’s fair to say that some rewards programmes are better than others. We take a look at the ones worth joining and share some tips about how to redeem your points.
Supermarket Loyalty Cards
The Nectar card is one of best loyalty cards to get, as cardholders are not tied down to using it in one store. Points can be collected at big name shops including Sainsburys, Homebase, eBay, BP, British Gas, Expedia and hundreds of eshops like Argos online, the Apple Store and Next. Nectar customers earn points on everything they buy in partner stores, normally 2 points for every £1 spent. 500 points are worth £2.50 in vouchers to be redeemed in store or online.
The Tesco Clubcard is another big favourite with shoppers, and is especially good if you normally shop in Tesco for your groceries. Clubcard points are straightforward with 1 point accumulated for every £1 spent. Every 100 points is normally worth £1 in vouchers, which are sent out quarterly. Clubcard customers also get regular money saving coupons sent out for the products they normally buy in Tesco, saving extra money.
Both Tesco Clubcard and Nectar offer bonus reward schemes where you can trade in your vouchers for different items from partner organisations, and get more value for your money. The rewards normally include cinema tickets, meals out, holidays and travel, day trips, flights, and even magazine subscriptions.
Tips for supermarket loyalty cards:
- – Look out for bonus point promotions which give you extra points for your purchases
- – Register your loyalty card online to get more from your card and find extra deals
- – Check if you would get more value trading in vouchers for another item you need to purchase, such as a magazine subscription or cinema ticket
- – Don’t buy things you don’t need just to get points – you’ll end up losing money!
Reward Credit Cards
Many shops have brought out their own reward credit card, which gives you points that you can redeem in store when you use your credit card to purchase items anywhere.
The M&S Credit Card gives you 1 point for every £1 you spend in Marks & Spencers and 1 point for every £2 you spend elsewhere. Points are converted into quarterly vouchers that you can spend in M&S stores or on their website, with credit card users receiving £1 back for every 100 points saved.
If you regularly shop in Waitrose or John Lewis, then a Partnership Card might be a good reward credit card for you. Every £1 spent at John Lewis and Waitrose earns you 1 point, and £2 spent on your partnership card elsewhere gets you 1 point. 500 points are worth £5 in vouchers.
Sainsbury’s Bank and Tesco Bank also offer credit cards which feed in to their reward point schemes, while many banks and credit card companies also offer rewards on their credit cards.
Tips for reward credit cards:
- – Don’t get a store credit card unless you actually shop in that retailer
- – Research the card in advance – don’t just sign up in store
- – Always pay off your balance in full when you get your statement
- – APR rates vary, so make sure you’re getting a good deal
- – Check if the credit card has a yearly fee – you may end up paying more for it than you save in vouchers
High Street Loyalty Cards
There are many other loyalty card schemes out there. Some of the best are:
- The Waterstones Card, which gives you 3 points for every £1 you spend in Waterstones that can be used against future purchases in store as well as exclusive offers
- The Boots Advantage Card, which gives you points on most purchases and has special points offers for over 60s
- The Starbucks Card, which is good if you regularly visit coffee shops as you get a free drink with every fifteen purchases
Do you use loyalty cards?
Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor
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