Sunday, 26 October 2014

I Love My Loyalty Cards

Like many shoppers, I was quite incensed to hear that Sainsburys’ are halving the amount of Nectar points that they award to customers as of April next year. They will only be awarding one point per pound spent, as opposed to the current two (two points are only worth 1p ).

It’s true to say that Nectar points always have been slightly inferior to those awarded by Tesco Clubcard, with the exchange rate of the latter being four times their face value when converted to Days Out vouchers, and each point being equal to 1p .

There are some shoppers (misguided in my opinion) that question the value of loyalty cards, but I believe that any reward you are given for shopping is better than no reward at all.

Less effective than a loyalty card
The argument goes, that if stores are operating reward schemes, they subsequently have to set their prices a little higher to offset these incentives. However, I would refute this, as many good value items I buy are purchased in shops that offer reward points.

Many of the products that I purchase in places such as Tesco and Superdrug, are not only cheaper or at least comparable to those offered at other shops, but earn me points. Over the years I have acquired so many points under the Clubcard scheme, that we have been able to pay for several family days out each year, including trips to expensive theme parks, which we would not otherwise have afforded. Even if I have occasionally paid a few pence more for the odd product or two, I have received this amount back umpteen times over. It’s true to say, that if I could have bought some items slightly cheaper elsewhere and put the pennies I’d saved into a savings account, I would not have accumulated anywhere near enough to pay for the equivalent number of fun outings.

I regard all loyalty cards (and I can boast a considerable collection) as mini saving schemes that allow me to enjoy life’s little extras. Unless prices are considerably higher in a shop that offers a good value scheme, I am unlikely to shop for identical products somewhere that does not offer me these extra benefits.

So my message to Sainsburys’, and any other stores planning to reduce or withdraw their points schemes, is that this may result in a customer-cutting exercise as opposed to your intended cost-cutting one!

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