The best supermarket loyalty cards can make a significant difference to your weekly shop with food prices soaring and household budgets increasingly squeezed by astronomical rises in energy bills and fuel prices.
Food price inflation has been significant over the last year, at times hitting the highest levels seen in 45 years, which is why using a supermarket loyalty card at the till to unlock bonus offers and discounts is more worthwhile than ever before.
Britain’s Coupon Kid Jordon Cox says: “It’s probably a good idea to sign up to all supermarket loyalty schemes, even if you don’t shop there that often. Not only does it give you options, but you may get sent coupons and personalised offers that can save you money.
“With lots of different loyalty schemes offered, the best thing to look for is flexibility, whether the rewards work for you, and does making a supermarket switch negate the potential savings you make?”
We’ve checked out all the major supermarket loyalty cards to help you get the most from every pound.
BEST FOR SAVINGS
Lidl | Lidl Plus
You’ll need the Lidl Plus app, which is free and opens the doors to discounts and prizes. This loyalty scheme isn’t about points but reward coupons, cash discounts and free food depending on how much you spend in store.
Every Thursday a new selection of coupons pop up.
Shoppers get personalised rewards based on their activity. For example, spend £50 in a month and you get a free bakery coupon. There are then free product coupons when you hit the £100 and £150 monthly milestones, while spending £250 in a month means you get 10% off your next shop.
If you shop at Lidl regularly then you can potentially bank bigger savings than other supermarket loyalty cards, thanks to the free product coupons and potential to get a 10% saving on a shop should you hit the £250 monthly threshold.
BEST FOR BUDGETING
Iceland | Iceland Bonus Card
Iceland is still dishing out a physical savings card for you to put money on to use in store. You can top up online, in store or via an app.
It gives you £1 for every £20 you put on the card, which is a 5% boost and can be a simple way to budget for your weekly shop or save for holiday periods. It works across Iceland and Food Warehouse and it can get you access to special ‘Bonus Card’ offers.
It means if you put £100 on the card to spend you get an extra £5. Other benefits include special offers, free home delivery if you spend £25 or more in an Iceland store plus prize offers.
A very generous offer: if you shop at Iceland regularly, this is a great way to boost the power of your pound as sticking £20 on your card regularly can earn you a 5% bonus.
Supermarket loyalty cards: the best of the rest
Morrisons | Morrisons More
Morrisons More is a free scheme, and is available as both a physical card and an app.
You earn points when you purchase selected items, and once you reach 5,000 points you can convert them into £5 vouchers to use in store or online.
There are also regular offers on items you frequently buy and exclusive deals that you can only take advantage of if you’re a Morrisons More member.
And every time you shop and scan your card, you’ll be in with a chance of a ‘basket bonus’ which ranges from money off your next shop to free treats.
It’s hard to work out how much you can save with My Morrisons because it largely comes down to how often you buy the selected items tied in with the scheme.
But it is definitely worth signing up for if you’re a regular Morrisons shopper.
Tesco | Tesco Clubcard
Every pound you spend in store or online at Tesco can earn you one point and if you fill up your car with petrol at Tesco you get one point for every £2 at the pump. There’s also one point on offer for every £4 spent on Tesco credit cards and one point for every £1 with Tesco Mobile. You can also get extra points by using the code on the back of your receipt and filling out a survey at tescoviews.com
Points are transformed into pence: Once you reach 150 points, you will get Clubcard vouchers worth £1.50 to spend at the till – both in store and online.
If you want to get more bang for your buck you can swap these Clubcard vouchers for credit with certain brands and products, including Pizza Express, Hotels.com, Legoland and cinema tickets. When you do so, you can double the value of those points making this an efficient way to cash in your rewards.
As well as earning points, scanning your Clubcard at the till will get you discounts on more than 8,000 products with Clubcard Prices, which saves the average customer £350 a year, according to Tesco.
Don’t rely on Tesco Clubcard points for big savings; you need to spend £100 to get the equivalent of £1 in points. The big bonus with Tesco Clubcard is access to regular discounts and trading your points for double their value on treats, which can mean significant savings on days out or gifts, and you also have the option to cash them in at face value at the till.
Asda | Asda Rewards
Asda Rewards is all about building up cash savings in your ‘cashpot’ to use on future shops. You do this by buying certain Star products – normally around 10% of the price goes into your ‘cashpot’ to spend on future shops.
There’s also the opportunity to boost your pot with Super star products – for example right now you can get 50p back on a £4.50 pack of eight cans of Diet Coke.
It’s easy to see what you’ve got in your cashpot and convert the cash into savings for your next shop.
Sainsbury’s | Sainsbury’s Nectar Card
Every pound spent with Sainsbury’s earns you one point and you’ll get one point for every litre of fuel when filling up at Sainsbury’s pumps. Every 500 points equates to £2.50 to spend at Sainsbury’s or one of its ‘spend’ partners including Argos, eBay, British Airways and Esso.
You can spend points at the supermarket by tapping your Nectar card but you need to have shopped there within the last year and used your Nectar card. So you can’t cash in points in a Sainsbury’s branch you’ve never used unless you want to shop there and then wait 24 hours before redeeming points.
Sainsbury’s has introduced a Nectar Prices scheme, giving cardholders all-year-round discounts on hundreds of items in a bid to compete with Tesco’s Clubcard.
By scanning your Nectar card at the till or online you can get special discounts – for example right now you can get Taste the Difference cherry tomatoes for £1.50, rather than £2.25.
Every £100 spent earns you just 50p. Nectar does give you personalised offers available through its app, and there are regular savings on everyday products by scanning your card at the till.
Co-op | Co-op Membership card
You pay £1 to get a Co-op membership card. You’ll then earn 2p for every £1 spent on selected Co-op products. Cash earned goes straight to your Co-op account and Co-op matches this with a donation to local community projects.
You can only earn on certain Co-op products – but when it comes to spending them – you can pay for most products on the shelves this way.
Membership at Co-op also entitles you to the ‘member prices’ scheme where you pay less for certain items. Right now deals include £2 for various berries, rather than up to £2.40.
You’ll firstly need to spend £50 (on selected products) to earn the points to get your £1 back for signing up to Co-op membership card.
Earning £2 for every £100 spent sounds good, but unlike other loyalty schemes you can only get points when you buy selected products, and unlike other supermarket schemes this isn’t free and costs £1 to join.
It may be a small price to pay if you shop at a Co-op regularly but it doesn’t have the same range of deals and cash bonus offers compared to the likes of Lidl, Asda, Tesco or Sainsbury’s.
Waitrose | My Waitrose
You can sign up for a My Waitrose card for free to get personalised vouchers, offers and discounts. You’ll also get 20% off selected fish at the fresh fish counter on Fridays and 20% off meat on Saturdays. Cardholders get a free hot drink when they bring a reusable cup and buy something in store.
You don’t earn points and there are no fixed discounts because it very much tailors deals to your shopping habits.
Worth keeping in your pocket or purse but it’s not as generous as some of the other schemes with their quick cash bonuses and freebies.