There are a lot of highstreet reward schemes out there. The ones you choose will depend on where you shop and the ones you stick with will depend on the return. So which shops on the UK highstreet offer the best loyalty schemes?
I’ve had so much plastic in my purse over the years. When asked to sign up to a loyalty scheme, if I will save money or get something for free, then I usually say yes. However, as I don’t want a purse full of plastic, I will only continue to use a scheme if I get something out of it, or if I visit a lot, so it makes sense to use the card.
Finding the best reward scheme
There are lots reward schemes available on the highstreets. In fact, it often feels like somebody is trying to sign you up to a scheme constantly. Here are some of the best programmes available within the UK:
The Tesco’s Clubcard is probably the most well-known reward schemes on the highstreet. You get 1 point for every £1 you spend and then every quarter, vouchers are posted out to you. You might not think that you tend to spend much in Tesco’s, but I’d still say it’s worth getting a card, even if you think you only shop there occasionally. You’d be surprised by how quickly grabbing a drink as you pass Tesco’s, or filling up your petrol tank can add up.
By signing up to the Clubcard scheme, you’ll also receive regular money-off coupons. I get a money-saving voucher through the post about four times each year. I usually get £4 off a £40 shop, but I know different customers receive different offers.
You can use your Clubcard vouchers to buy things in store, or to fill your car up with petrol. However, I personally think that spending your Clubcard points in this way is a waste. Instead, I’d recommend that you cash them in for restaurant, or activity vouchers. The main advantage of doing this is that the vouchers are worth up to three times the value, so you get more for them. Tesco’s Clubcard vouchers are also valid for up to two years, which means you can save them up and put them towards a day out with the family.
I’ve visited the Eden Project, La Tasca and the cinema for free using my Tesco’s Clubcard vouchers. As I use the vouchers to treat my family, I find this scheme particularly rewarding. I think it’s the best out of all the supermarket reward schemes out there. I have a Nectar card too, but I don’t think the rewards are a patch on the ones I have received through my Clubcard. If you’re going to sign up to just one incentive scheme, make it this one.
Boots Advantage Card
I’ve had a Boots Advantage Card since I can remember. I don’t always shop there for OTC medicine, as I find that it can be expensive, but I do buy Natural Collection makeup and I like the Boots baby range.
With an Boots Advantage Card, you get 4 points for every £1 you spend and if you sign up to join the Parenting Club, then you’ll get 8 points for every £1 you spend on a baby item, as well as the occasional freebie.
I have my Advantage Card synced with an app on my smartphone. This allows me to check for any personalised offers whilst I’m in store. I often find a double points coupon, or a money-off deal.
The triple Advantage Card events are also great. They often hold them before Christmas, so if you have gifts to buy, it’s worth popping in to see what’s on offer, as you’ll earn extra points.
I sometimes get frustrated that I can only spend my Boots points on items in store, as it can feel like I’ve been saving for ages for little return. But overall I do think it’s a scheme worth signing up to and sticking with. I find the app easy to use and I enjoy the Parenting Club benefits.
I think that Nando’s is overpriced, but I love it, so I still visit regularly. When you go, if you spend over £7 and you present your Nando’s Card, then you’ll earn a chilli. Once you hit three chillis, you will get a green reward (a ¼ chicken or a starter). Six chillis will get you a yellow reward (half a chicken, a single wrap, burger or pitta) and 10 visits will earn you a red reward (a full chicken, or a single combo meal). Once you’ve gone through the cycle, it will start again. Just to note though, you can’t spend £7 on your third visit and claim your free starter there and then. You will have to wait until your next visit.
I don’t think the Nando’s scheme is particularly generous, but if you enjoy eating there then you should get a loyalty card, because free Nando’s food is a no brainer for all fans.
Visiting coffee shops is hardly a thrifty activity, but if you do go to Costa Coffee, then signing up to the Coffee Club is definitely worth it. I joined the scheme whilst I was on maternity leave, as I found I was spending a lot of my time in coffee shops during that period.
I have an app on my phone, which I added the card number to. This means that I don’t have to carry around another piece of plastic. The app also allows me to order ahead, before collecting my coffee in store. This feature is particularly handy if I’m running late, but really fancy a coffee.
I think that Costa’s Coffee Club scheme is a pretty generous incentive scheme and it’s nice that they reward loyalty with coffee. If you use my invite a friend link, you’ll receive 100 points as a welcome, plus 200 points when you make a purchase (instead of the standard 100 points). Going forward, you’ll then another 5 points for every £1 you spend. You can also claim Costa points when using the machines in petrol stations, as well as shops. If you drink in Costa Coffee regularly, then the scheme is definitely worth signing up for.
Are the rewards really worth it? Do these schemes give us the recognition we deserve?
There are loads of programmes available to sign up to, but the loyalty schemes you choose will depend on your individual shopping habits. There’s no point in having a Nando’s card if you don’t like chicken. But if you shop at any of the places listed above, then I’d recommend that you sign up to their loyalty schemes, because they’re actually worth being a part of. Just remember to keep your receipts to scan into the Shoppix app!
What would you say were the best incentive schemes on the highstreet? Is there a particular membership that you love?
If you enjoyed this article about highstreet reward schemes, then check out my guide to getting free cash in the UK.