I am a massive fan of customer loyalty schemes, and they are EVERYWHERE these days. If a shop offers me a loyalty card, I take it. I know you might only get a couple of points at a time, but if you’re shopping there anyway, why not earn a few points? They all add up in the end!
Supermarket schemes like Sainsbury’s and Tesco give the highest rewards for me, but I also have loyalty cards for beauty stores like Boots, coffee shops such as Costa and Starbucks and loads of local independent places in my area. I love that my hairdressers and favourite local restaurant both have one!
Once you have the points, it’s easy to spend them as soon as your statement or vouchers come through. But, spending them in-store isn’t always the best way to get good value from them though.
There are a few easy ways to make the most of customer loyalty schemes:
Swap your points for higher value rewards
Lots of loyalty schemes including Sainsbury’s and Tesco have rewards partners. These are companies which give you products or vouchers in exchange for your points. Most of the time, if you use your points with one of these partners, you’ll get much better value than spending them in-store. For example, if you exchanged £10 worth of Tesco Clubcard points for a Zizzi voucher, you’d get £30 to spend there. Exchanging your vouchers can be great way to get a free day out for the family, or just to save money on something you wanted anyway.
Last Christmas my boyfriend bought me tickets to see Ed Sheeran at Wembley, and my mother-in-law offered to have Ollie for the weekend so we could stay over. Now the problem is, ALL the hotels in the local area put their prices up for the dates Ed Sheeran was playing – anywhere from an extra £50-£200 PER NIGHT!!!
We found the cheapest hotel we could, which was £215 – now there’s no way I was paying that for one night! So, we exchanged our Tesco Clubcard vouchers to pay the bulk of it and ended up only paying £69 cash.
I was even more pleased we’d done this when we got to the hotel and discovered the pay-on-the-day price was £399!
Save your points
The best way to make the most of your points is to save them up until you can buy something you actually want. It might be tempting to take a few pounds off your normal food shop using your points, but this often isn’t the best value. If you want a big day out, save them up and exchange them for the vouchers I just talked about.
Boost your balance by earning extra points
It can take a while to earn enough points to buy something you actually want. Especially if you’re going for a big ticket item or swapping them for an expensive reward voucher. But, there are a lot of ways to boost your loyalty points and get to your target quicker!
Wait for the right time to spend your points
If you are going to spend your points in-store, wait for the right time. I always save my Sainsbury’s Nectar points for the end of November when they have their Double Up event. You swap your points for vouchers worth twice the normal value to spend in certain areas in-store. Entertainment, gifts and Xmas decorations/wrapping are normally all included so it’s a great way to cut the cost of Christmas.
I do the same thing with my Boots points, and use them to buy Christmas gifts while they have their 3 for 2 offer on! Alternatively, you could wait until there’s a sale in store. The only time I ever spend my Tesco points in-store is when they have a sale on kids clothes, and I replace the kids’ wadrobes without spending a penny!