How to get the most out of loyalty cards
Most of us have wallets stuffed full of brightly coloured loyalty cards that we never use. Moneywise TV shows you how to benefit from them.
Nearly every big high street store now offers some form of loyalty card, promising to give us money off and free days out. They may sound like a good idea, but are you getting the most out of them?
The key to using them successfully is to only have cards for the shops that you use regularly. As the cost of the card is priced into the products, don't waste your money in shops you wouldn't go to just to accumulate points.
Know the cash value of the points, and how you can redeem them, before you start to rack them up. For example, Boots offer four points per £1 spent, whereas the Nectar card scheme offers just 2 points per £1. Some schemes only give you the option of swapping the points for a money-off voucher, whereas others allow you to exchange them for certain rewards, such as free days out.
Exchanging your points for rewards is usually the best way to as they give a better return for your points than an instant money-off voucher. For example, the Tesco Clubcard reward scheme offers customers the chance to swap £10 worth of points for £40 worth of vouchers, which can be used for magazine subscriptions, hotel stays, restaurants and gym memberships among others.
By signing up to mailing lists and email newsletters from the loyalty schemes you can keep up-to-date with special offers available. Occasionally shops may offer special promotions where you can double the amount of points you earn by purchasing certain products. This is a good way to earn more points, however, it may cost you more if you buy something you don't need.
Always think of the points as an instant discount on your purchase. There's no point buying an item just because you can collect points on it when it may be cheaper elsewhere.
Remember to actually spend your points - there's no point in having a loyalty card with thousands of points that you don't ever redeem. If used well, loyalty card schemes are a great customer reward that can really save you money.