With the internet making it so easy to instantly switch from one retail outlet to another, companies are working hard to make their customers more loyal. And they're doing this via loyalty schemes, where those who stick with a certain shop are rewarded with discounts, free gifts or other benefits. We’ve gathered together our top pick of the best loyalty schemes around at the moment so you can make your money go that little bit further.
Supermarkets are involved in a fierce competition for customers at the moment, as can be witnessed by the huge amount of Local and Express shops that dominate cities across the UK. To gain an upper hand, most offer great loyalty schemes, with the Tesco Clubcard being one of the most popular.
Collect 1 point for every £1 you spend in-store and online or with 1 point when you spend £2 on fuel at a Tesco petrol station. Then, you can convert these into vouchers that entitle you to triple their value when you go to restaurants such as Pizza Express, Café Rouge, Prezzo, Zizzi and others. The same applies for days out at Legoland, Thorpe Park and a wide range of other popular attractions, plus various travelcards, organisation memberships, hotel breaks and lifestyle-based activities.
Not bad for simply doing your weekly food shopping at the local supermarket.
Tesco also has a new Clubcard Plus initiative that costs £7.99 per month but entitles customers to in-store discounts, double data for Tesco Mobile accounts, and a credit card with no charges for using overseas.
For more details you can visit the Tesco Clubcard site to see all that’s on offer.
Another hugely popular supermarket loyalty scheme is Nectar, although this is a little different as you can gain points not only at Sainsbury’s but also Esso stations, eBay and over 500 partners online.
Nectar points can be a little confusing in how they are accrued and spent. Different outlets offer promotions and offers all the time, so you need to check what’s on offer. The baseline is that 500 points are worth £2.50, while you get 1 point for each £1 you spend in stores.
It’s true that this doesn’t compare too well with Clubcard benefits, as you don’t get the triple value vouchers, but Nectar does give you a much wider selection of places where you can use the points and you can gain them when generally shopping rather than just for your groceries. At the time writing there were promotions for Argos, Vue Cinema, ASOS, BT Mobile, Currys/PC World, Domino’s Pizza, Lakeland, Microsoft and many others.
Sainsbury’s purchased the Nectar scheme back in 2018 and has recently updated the smartphone app to include tailored rewards and weekly offers which should add more value to the programme.
Visit the Nectar site to sign up to the scheme.
In certain parts of the country you can’t move for coffee shops. It seems they’re on every corner and often facing a rival. To secure your custom, most offer various inducements, but Café Nero is the best of all.
Forget the paper card that you need to get stamped and opt instead for the smartphone app. With this you can get a free coffee after buying nine others, but this is made easier due to the fact that you’re less likely to forget to bring the card with you and you can link the app to Google Pay or Apple Pay so you don’t need to open two apps at the checkout. The real bonus is that you gain extra stamps when you use your own cup and can get prizes of free drinks, cakes and other rewards with the variety of promotions that run throughout the year.
Sign up for the Café Nero loyalty scheme
Book lovers will want to check out Waterstones Plus. This has an easy to understand concept: for every £10 you spend at Waterstones (either in-stores or online) you get a stamp on your virtual card. Amass ten stamps and you instantly qualify for a £10 reward that’s added to your account and which you can spend on even more books!
This means that you get 10% off for every £100 you spend, which is a decent deal. Students can save even more money as they are entitled to an additional 5% of discounts online, in-store, and at Waterstones cafes.
Sign up for Waterstones Plus.
Paperchase Treat Me
If you regularly top up your stationary or greeting cards at Paperchase, then you’ll want to make sure you’re also using the company’s Treat Me loyalty scheme. When you make a purchase in-store you can sign up to the scheme, which entitles you to 15% off your next purchase plus a number of other ‘Treats’.
These include £5 discount on your birthday, a £5 voucher each time you spend £50, plus a free greeting card when you buy seven others. You can also benefit from delivery options too, with a free click and collect service when you spend over £10, saving £2.99, or upgrading to next day delivery with Yodel when you spend £25 or more.
Sign up for Paperchase Treat Me.