All of us have been affected by the cost of living crisis. From energy bills to weekly food shops, everyday prices have become more expensive and many of us have had to cut back on spending or completely go without.
As Deals Writer & Shopping Expert at T3, I’m always looking for ways to save money to help our readers battle the cost of living price hikes – see my 5 biggest tips for saving money during the cost of living crisis for more. One of the best ways to save money is by signing up for loyalty cards and programmes.
Loyalty cards are typically free to sign up to, and can help you save money at your favourite stores or retailers. This is done by earning points for money off your purchases and other incentives are also available, including exclusive offers, members-only events and prize draws.
With so many loyalty programmes out there, it can be difficult to figure out which ones are actually worth signing up for and which are a waste of your time and commitment. That’s where I come in! Below, I’ve ranked the best loyalty cards and programmes that can help you save money, and offer you incentives that you’ll actually enjoy.
What are loyalty cards?
Before we get into the list, it’s important to understand what a loyalty card or programme is. A loyalty card is a customer incentive scheme which is issued by a retailer to encourage customers to continue shopping at their stores or on their website. When a customer spends money at the retailer, they’ll collect credits or points that they can use on future purchases. Typically, you’ll need to reach a certain amount of points to be able to spend them on your orders.
Loyalty cards come in the form of a plastic or paper card, or you’ll have to download the retailer’s app. Loyalty programmes also give customers many other benefits depending on the retailer, like double points on holidays, special discounts on your birthday, competition entries and more.
Overall, loyalty cards are a handy way to save money at your favourite retailers, much like using the best discount codes. Below, I’ve rounded up the best loyalty programmes that can actually help you cut your spending, and I’ve put them into categories so you can easily find loyalty cards for supermarkets, health & beauty, food and drink, and more.
Best loyalty programmes to sign up to today
Supermarkets & Fuel
With the Asda Rewards in-app card, you can scan your loyalty card every time you shop at Asda and earn Cashpot rewards. Missions and Star Products are added to the app regularly so there are multiple ways you can earn rewards. To use your rewards, convert your Cashpot into a voucher that you can spend in select Asda stores.
If you regularly fill up at your local BP garage, join the BPme Rewards programme to save money every time you fill up your car. Every £1 spent equals 1 point and 1 litre of fuel converts to 2 points. Once you reach a certain amount of points, you can get money off your fuel or in-store purchases, and you can earn double or triple points during specific times, and give points to friends and family.
Sainsbury’s Nectar Card
While Nectar cards can be used at other stores, they’re most commonly associated with Sainsbury’s. At Sainsbury’s, you collect 1 Nectar point per £1 you spend, and you can use them to get money off your food shop or fuel. Nectar cards can also be used at Argos, Esso petrol stations and eBay.
With ShellGo+, you earn visits instead of points. This means when you spend £10 or more on fuel, or £2 or more in the shop, you can get 10% off all hot drinks and deli2go food, and money off fuel every 10 visits.
With a Tesco Clubcard, you collect points on everything in store or online which you can use when you checkout. There are also exclusive Clubcard prices available and you can save more money with Tesco Reward Partners, including Disney+, Hotels.com, Pizza Express, RAC and Virgin Atlantic.
Texaco Star Rewards
With Texaco Star Rewards, you save 1p for every litre of fuel purchased which translates to 1 point. When you redeem 500 points, you can get money off fuel or vouchers for M&S, Argos and Love2Shop. When you register and download the app, you’ll also receive 200 welcome points.
Food & Drink
The Costa Club helps you save money on hot drinks, meal deals, and other food and drink at Costa Coffee. For example, once you’ve bought 8 drinks, you’ll get your next one for free, and if you use a reusable cup, you’ll get a free drink after 4 drinks. There are also other rewards up for grabs, including free cake on your birthday.
When you download the Greggs app for free, you earn rewards on absolutely anything at Greggs. Every time you buy something, you’ll receive a stamp. You’ll need to collect 9 stamps within a category to get your 10th item for free. Categories include hot drinks, sandwiches, baked goods, etc.
To collect Nando’s rewards, create a free Nando’s account and add it to your wallet, phone or Apple Wallet. From there, you earn a chilli point on every order of £7 or more. Customers only need 3 chillies to get their first reward, and these rewards include free sides, free drinks and free whole meals.
Starbucks Rewards Card
Starbucks Rewards allow you to collect stars based on how much you spend, for example, £1 = 3 stars. With every 150 stars earned, you get a free drink and at 450 stars, you get extra shots, syrups and whipped cream for free.
Download the Subway app and register for a SubCard to start saving at Subway. With a SubCard, you earn 10 points when you spend £10 and once you reach 100, you can redeem points for free items, like drinks or footlong subs. Extra benefits include double points on 2nd purchases made within 7 days of your first purchase and exclusive in-app offers.
If you’re an O2 customer, O2 priority gives you great offers on concert tickets, experiences, cinema tickets and restaurants. There are also hundreds of exclusive prize draws and competitions that you can enter.
EE Smart Benefits
For EE customers, EE Smart Benefits are available when you choose a Full Works or All Rounder plan for a phone contract or SIM only deal. Once you’ve chosen your plan, you can add EE Smart Benefits at the checkout which are available throughout the duration of your contract. Benefits include Apple Services, BT Sport, Microsoft 365 and Roam Abroad Pass.
Vodafone VeryMe Rewards
The VeryMe Rewards programme is available on the My Vodafone app for Vodafone customers. VeryMe is completely tailored to you and includes money off on days out and experiences, for example, VeryMe Rewards Adventure Days offers discounts on theme park, zoo, aquarium and bowling trips.
The B&Q Club acts as a newsletter subscription and rewards programme in one. B&Q Club members receive all the latest news, offers and benefits to their email inbox, and get £5 off when they spend over £30. The B&Q Club also offers rewards every time you shop, including exclusive offers, discounted key cutting and discounted van rentals.
Boots Advantage Card
To sign up to the Boots Advantage Card, download the Boots app. Once you’ve done that, you collect 4 points for every £1 you spend which can be used for money off your orders. Members also get in-app offers, like 25% off select brands, exclusive deals across your favourite brands, and more. If you’re over 60 or a student, you also get extra discounts and rewards with the Boots Advantage Card.
Holland & Barrett Rewards For Life
The Holland & Barrett Rewards For Life programme allows members to collect 4 points per £1 they spend which can be converted into vouchers for money off orders. When you sign up, you’ll receive 300 bonus points and you’ll also be sent exclusive offers.
Hotel Chocolat VIP.ME
The Hotel Chocolat VIP.ME loyalty scheme gives members access to exclusive offers, rewards and previews. When you sign up, you also get 15% off your next purchase and other benefits include 20% off drinks and ices, prize draws and birthday treats.
The IKEA Family loyalty programme offers members discounts, lower prices on products, damage cover and workshop events. Another benefit is that every time you visit IKEA during the week, you can get free hot drinks from Monday to Friday.
My John Lewis
When you sign up to My John Lewis, you get special discounts, personalised offers, exclusive competition entries, free treats and members-only events. Other benefits include three months of Apple Fitness+ for free and you can save £5 on beauty and fashion when you recycle your old clothes or empty bottles at John Lewis.
Kiehl’s Family Rewards
There are many ways to collect points with the Kiehl's Family Rewards plan. For example, you can spend money (£1 spent = 1 point), refer a friend (50 points), recycle empty products (15 points) and have an in-store consultation (20 points). Once you reach 120 points, you get a £10 voucher to spend in store.
For book lovers, sign up to Waterstones Plus. When you shop at Waterstones, you earn and redeem points, receive seasonal offers and secret sales, and enter prize draws. Every 10 stamps you collect, you get £10 to spend at Waterstones. If you’re a student, you can sign up to Waterstones Plus Student and get 5% off every purchase you make, in addition to all the other Plus benefits.