Chemmie Squier | Acting Fashion & Beauty Editor | Monday, 3 August 2015

How To Be The Boss Of The Loyalty Ccards

How To Be The Boss Of The Loyalty Cards

The Debrief: And save a nice wad of cash in the process

My purse is full of two things: years old receipts and loyalty cards. While everyone else has crisp tenners and pound coins snuggled in theirs, mine is a back catalogue of dog-eared cardboard squares, showing off the odd stamp. Everywhere I go, I pick up a loyalty card. Even if it’s somewhere I don’t frequent, not getting one is akin to throwing a wad of cash on a fire. It’s monetary sacrilege. And it’s not just loyalty cards that hold the key to eternal wealth, loyalty schemes are a goldmine of... gold. So let me show you how to save a wad by doing pretty much nothing except carrying on with your usual spending.

The Supermarket Loyalty Card

If you don’t have a loyalty card for the supermarket you shop at, what are you doing with your life? Don’t chuck away the coupons you often get with your receipts because they could actually come in handy. Plus, you can get points when you’re buying petrol too so make the effort to fill up wherever you have loyalty card (supermarket petrol tends to be cheaper, anyway).

Sainsbury's

With a Nectar card you earn 1 point for every £1 you spend and 250 points is the equivalent of £2.50. If you spend £20 on shopping every week, if you use your Nectar card every year that’s £9.60 you’ve saved.

Plus, until 11th August, if you have over 1,000 Nectar points, you could trade it in for two Vue tickets (a saving of around £20) or 2 main courses at Pizza Express (£23.10 if you go for the most expensive options). 

You can get Nectar points other ways too (a full list is here) like through buying train tickets. If you buy a monthly open-return home to say, Bristol, you’re looking at £6.72 worth of points a year. 

= £16.32, but to spend them it has to be multiples in £2.50 so it’s actually only £15, if we’re being picky.

So you could buy... eight packets of ‘Ripe and ready’ avocados (that's 16 avos) with leftover to buy a 2L bottle of pink lemonade.

Tesco

Clubcards are really similar - you earn 1 point for £1, and once you get up for 150 points (a spending of £150 which translates into a £1.50 voucher) they’ll start sending you vouchers to redeem against your shopping. So your £20 weekly shop would earn you £10.40 a year in points. On top of that, they send you monthly vouchers with random deals that will help you rack up the points or make further savings.

So you could buy... four packs of smoky bacon that your hangover is going to thank you for, with a side of strawberry laces. 

You even have the option to ‘boost’ your points which means you can reclaim 4x the value by transferring it into a voucher for a certain restaurant/attraction etc. They do this at Christmas too. I once got a Michael Kors watch for free, doing just that. True story.

Toiletries

There’s no discussion here, you’re going to have to get a Boots Advantage Card because you earn 4 points for every £1 you spend. Say every month you buy the below; obviously this is a guestimate and doesn’t include regular beauty splurges, so take this as a minimum.

Toothpaste - £2

Make-up wipes - £3

Shower gel - £1.50

Tampons - £3

Shampoo and conditioner - £3 

= £12.50

This means you get 50p worth of points a month which equates to £6 a year.

So you could buy... a great new Rimmel lipstick, with some left over. Score.

Plus, definitely put your card in the machine and check out if you can scrounge any extra points on what you’re buying – they often offer more points when you spend over a certain amount or bonus points for certain products. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you would have without it, because that would defeat the purpose.

That Morning Coffee

Every morning is the struggle between getting a nice, freshly made coffee and… not. If you succumb to the urge going to Cafe Nero is where you’re going to make the biggest saving, once you’ve picked up their loyalty card that is. For every 9 coffees you buy, you get a free one. So if you get three a week for the year, you’d save £33.80 in total by utilising your loyalty card.

So you could buy... this dreamy Topshop dress and approximately five packets of gum.

All The Other Stuff

If you look hard enough, you could be saving extra cash in all sorts of places. Right now, O2 Priority are running a deal with Boots on Mondays where you can get a meal deal for £1, rather than £3.79 so if they’re your mobile provider, make sure you download it. If you’re on a different network, check out whether they offer any rewards for being with them. 

Banks often offer rewards so definitely check out what you could be getting from yours. Santander does a whole range of cashback schemes and Natwest offer 1% cashback in a range of shops once you register your card here, plus you get 1% back on all contactless payments until 31December.

Barclays Blue Rewards is especially good: you pay £3 a month and they’ll give you £7 back, as long as you’re hitting these targets which makes you £48 a year.

So you could buy... these ASOS Hilfiger-esque boots and a Sainsbury’s meal deal (£3) which you’ll also get Nectar points from and, oh my god, you’re winning at life.

Like this? Then you might also be interested in:

Ask An Adult: How To Have Savings When You've Got No Money

How To Get The Money Your Friends Owe You Without Sounding Like A Dick

Camping Is The Cheap Holiday You Can Actually Afford To Do With Your Mates

Follow Chemmie on Twitter @chemsquier

Tags: Money worries