Right now, before you settle down with your cuppa for your daily dose of A Thrifty Mrs go and grab your purse. I want you to sit down and count the number of loyalty cards you have in there. Here’s my list (and this is after a huge clear out)
Sainsbury’s Nectar Card
Boots Advantage Card
Superdrug Beauty Card
The Waterstone’s Card
Odeon Premier Club
Pets at Home VIP Card
Cripes that’s quite a lot of loyalty and for what? I’ve never really felt like I was getting any kind of special deal with all of those cards and yet I use them through habit and convention. Research by Quidco shows 44% of British loyalty card holders use their cards out of habit and well over half don’t know the value of a point. Some of these loyalty cards speak in a language of riddles and reaching an amount of points of any real value (especially if you don’t have to do a huge weekly family shop or fill up your car with fuel) requires some real dedication to one store which can really harm your choices when it comes to saving money.
Staying totally loyal to one supermarket or shop in order to cash in on loyalty card points might seem like a great idea but if you’re missing out on deals elsewhere and shopping loyally at one store just for the loyalty card points you could be losing out greatly in the long run. Sure you might find yourself ‘rewarded’ with ten pound off here and ten pound off here but could you be saving greater amounts on each shop by mixing it up a bit?
Years ago I used to think I was getting a great deal and I’d stick to my supermarket of choice in a bid to rack up those loyalty card points then cash them in to buy gifts or household items. Nowadays I keep my cards and accrue them when I shop in those shops but I move my shop around a lot, I have no loyalty to my loyalty cards. Yes I still use them but I know in the long run I’m saving more money by chasing the deal than chasing the points.
I seek out the deals, I use voucher sites and cashback websites on a regular basis. I use loyalty cards too and there are some great deals to be had but no more so than looking out for great deals and saving money off your weekly shop each and every week rather than getting a voucher for £5 once in a blue moon. Voucher codes and cashback sites to me are no longer supplementary to the old fashioned former might of loyalty card points, to me they’re actually far, far better and loyalty cards are their lowlier cousin.
Sites I use on a regular basis include:
I use MySupermarket to find the best deals on not only groceries but health and beauty too.
A no catch way of making money back on pretty much everything you buy online.
A great site for finding voucher codes that are actually relevant to you, their iPhone app is pretty useful too.
The biggest voucher code site in the UK and one of my favourites for online and printable vouchers.
What do you think? Are loyalty cards worth it anymore?
Boots Advantage Card is one of my favourites and when I’m down at Euston getting the train back up north I know I can get the best bang for my buck food wise with a Boots sandwich meal deal and I happen to collect quite a few points, and over the year and a few journeys down to London it all soon adds up. But previously I would also try to buy all my make up there just so I could collect the points and whilst Boots do offer one of the most competitive loyalty schemes, I probably would have still saved a lot more money by shopping around for what I was buying at the time.
So what do you think and what do you use? I’d love your recommendations for websites or even great ways to use loyalty card points to get the most from them, because spending in store is usually the worst option with regards getting value for the monitary worth of the points you’ve been sent. For the most part, I’d rather have pounds off at the point of purchase than points to spend at a later date, that’s not to say I’ll stop using loyalty cards anytime soon but it won’t be my primary source of money saving in store or online when there are a multitude of options I can combine for a far greater deal.