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Lots of supermarkets have loyalty cards these days and I probably have every one available. However I have found the Co-op Dividend Card to be the best and I give you the information as to why.
What is a loyalty card? ==================
A loyalty card looks just like a credit card but without the power or danger of falling into debt. It will have your membership number printed on it and the logo of the relevant company on the front; some may even print your name. The back has a swipe strip and details about what to do if you lose your card (Has anyone ever thought that if you lose your card, you can't read the back of it to know what to do?)
You hand over your loyalty card at the relevant shop when you make a purchase and the points/cash is added onto your card. Some shops send vouchers through the post at different intervals through the year and other shops allow you to use the points as and when you require.
The amount of points/cash you earn will depend upon the shop's policy.
How to get a Dividend Card =====================
You can pick up a leaflet in store either from the cashier or leaflet holder. In the leaflet is your card so you can use it straight away. The leaflet also gives information on how the scheme works and tells you how to register.
You need to register your card otherwise you will not receive your vouchers. Registration can be done one or two ways, fill in the form attached to the leaflet and drop back into the store or simply phone a 0845 number to give your information. I chose option two, I called the 0845 number, and the lady I spoken to was very friendly and took the information quickly. The information I gave was just basic details really, name, address, telephone number, how often do you shop at Co-op and can we sell your details on?
The scheme states that you earn approximately 5p for every £1 that your spend. However please be aware that this is for Co-op products only, if you buy major brand names you will not earn any cash.
On my last shopping trip I bought 46 items costing £62.54. 39 items were eligible for Dividend points that totalled £57.24 and I received £3.03 on my Dividend card. That means I received just above 5% return on my shopping.
Just hand your Dividend card over when you pay for your shopping and your reward will automatically be added. On your till receipt a statement is printed informing you what you have earned on this visit and your total balance.
Claiming your cash ==================
You do not need to claim your cash, Co-op will send you vouchers twice yearly (May and November) through the post. You can use these vouchers in store to get money off your shopping next time you go or you can save them up because you do have approximately a year to use them.
Along with your money vouchers you also receive a booklet filled with money off coupons. I have used some of these but the money off coupons is for major brand names so you will not earn Dividend rewards.
Bad Points =========
Like all loyalty schemes this card does have it's faults. You must remember to take your card with you and hand it over when you pay otherwise you will lose your rewards. I only found this out myself recently as normally the cashier asks me if I have a card, I wasn't asked that time and I did not remember until I had paid for my shopping. I was told that since the transaction has been completed I had lost my reward and there was no way to added the cash on.
I was a little disappointed as I would have received approximately £4 and I very rarely have to remember about my card as the Cashier normally asks me.
I am not sure whether this is a good or bad point but as I mentioned earlier you have to buy Co-op products to gain the Divided rewards. There own brand products are a very good quality as I was a little dubious at trying them but I have now found that some of there own products are better than the major brands.
Good Points ==========
East to use, you just had over your card and they do the rest including sending your vouchers. All you have to remember is to take your card and vouchers.
Quite a high return for the money you spend I only had my card for a couple of weeks before the November payment and I received £2.50 in vouchers. I currently have nearly £15 on my Dividend card ready for the May payment, I still have time ton increase this.
I think this has to be one of the best loyalty cards available due to the fact of the high reward scheme. I shop once a fortnight at the Co-op and I buy quite a number of the Co-op Branded products which as just as (if not better in some cases) good as the major brands.
I also like the fact that the vouchers are posted to you and that you can save them up, I shall be saving mine ready for Christmas 2006, so in theory they can be used as a saving scheme as well.
I have saved money by buying Co-op branded products alone plus I now have the benefit of the Dividend card because I buy their products, double savings for my custom.
At the co-op I go to the will put the points on for you if you have forgotten your card, mabey it's changed since you wrote this... Nice review BTW
JohnGroom 18.02.2006 02:16
I didn't know about this and I shop there a lot. I'll definitely get one of these now.
pootasticpopcorn 16.02.2006 16:16
A very descript review! The only point I have to make about it is that you stated in your review that you do not recieve divi on branded goods. On branded goods Co-op pays 1p in the £1! Something else thats great about the card! I use mine all the time although I exchange my vouchers for cash and go spend it in other shops. Lorna