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3:40 PM 29th September 2021
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Opinion

Loyalty Scheme Shake Up Popular Nectar Promotion Scrapped But All Is Not Lost

This week, supermarket chain Sainsbury's announced it is cancelling its popular Nectar Double Up event, as part of a loyalty scheme shake up.

The promotion allowed customers to exchange Nectar points for vouchers worth twice their value at certain times of the year, which could then be spent in store on certain products.

The news comes as a blow to savvy shoppers across the UK, but personal finance experts at money.co.uk say this shouldn't stop them taking advantage of the many loyalty cards and reward schemes still available.

James Andrews, senior personal finance expert at money.co.uk, said: “The popular Double Up promotion was available around October and November last year but unfortunately Sainsbury’s has confirmed the plan has been scrapped for 2021.

“Many shoppers have understandably been left disappointed by the decision, as the scheme offered users a valuable shopping boost at a really expensive time of year.

“Despite the frustration, remember that it doesn’t mean your Nectar points are worth nothing and there are several other high street loyalty and rewards schemes to take advantage of that can help make your money go further. Now is the perfect time to sign up, especially if you’re worried about Christmas planning.

“The important thing to remember is that these schemes are free - meaning if there’s one available at a shop you use even occasionally, it makes sense to sign up.

“Once you have the card or membership, it’s just a case of remembering to use it when you shop and to check your account regularly to make sure you don’t miss out on offers or let your points expire.

“Make sure to sign up to email newsletters and check online before you shop, as most retailers run limited time offers exclusive to loyalty card holders. If you time it right, you can get more than double the rewards.

“In terms of points value, Tesco’s Clubcard points are worth double Sainsbury’s Nectar points - although you’ll need to reach the 150 point threshold first.

“Boots’ Advantage card points and Superdrug’s Health and Beautycard points are both worth 1p, and both retailers offer discounts for students. However, you’ll need to spend less overall at Boots in order to reach enough points to get money back. Boots give shoppers four points for every pound spent, in comparison to 1 point for every £1 at Superdrug - meaning you’ll need to spend just £25 at points to get £1 back.

“Co-op Dividend members earn points that are converted into vouchers which can be redeemed in-store against purchases or exchanged for cash. An added bonus with the Co-op scheme is that you can profit from it in store as well as at partner organisations like the Co-operative bank.

“You get one point for every £1 you spend in store or one point for every £40 you borrow on a mortgage from Cooperative Bank, Smile or Britannia. And as a Co-op dividend member you'll also receive a share of the annual profits made by the Co-op group.

“Things are a little trickier with rewards credit cards. These offer extra points or vouchers on top of the standard rewards scheme for spending on them, with spending in linked stores and certain purchases increasing rewards still further.

“But unlike standard schemes, there can be a penalty to signing up to too many of them - with applications for cards appearing on your credit report, potentially affecting your score, as well as interest being charged unless you clear them in full and potential black marks for missed payments.

“So before you make your choice, you need to decide where you’re likely to spend the most money each month and ideally not take out more than one."

For more information about rewards cards, visit https://www.money.co.uk/credit-cards/reward-credit-cards.htm