I am a great believer in money back websites and money back schemes so when I started doing my shopping at Tesco's and noticed that they had a Tesco's clubcard I signed up straight away and I must say shopping there has now become a bit of an obsession. I know that the money saving expert says you shouldn't go to just to get points if you can get a better deal elsewhere that is worth more but I just cant help it I am addicted to collecting to points at tesco!
There I have admitted it now I must join the Tesco clubcard anonymous club. Here is why I support the Tesco clubcard.
EASY TO SIGN UP
Once a store opens up you will see millions of leaflets with clubcards stuck in them with a registration form. You can then start using your card straight away whilst registering afterwards which is good so you never miss out on the points and for some reason if you didn't use your clubcard if you keep your receipt you can go back to customer service and get your points backdate up to a week, sometimes more if you get an assistant that doesn't bother about the date!
If you are the one new to the store you have to go to customer services and they will give you a card you can complete to register or you can phone up the customer service call centre.
The design is just like the Tesco's logo blue and red! The main credit card sized clubcard is a light blue with red logo and barcode on the back to scan. You are also provided with mini keyring sized fobs so you can always have you clubcard with you. I keep mine on my house keys so always have it handy.
With anything you sign up for you get sent magazines, newsletters etc with different products for you to try and more ways in which to spend your money. Tesco don't do this they send you your quarterly statement but if you want bumph through your door you can sign up to any of their exclusive member clubs which are not as bad as I am making out. They are quite useful especially the baby and toddler group which my sister has joined because you get newsletters, magazines, product ideas, money off vouchers etc. The different clubs you can subscribe to are
- Wine club
- Greener Living
- Baby and Toddler group
- Healthy living club
- Food club
This is the easy bit especially for all us points addicts. Every pound you spend in store you get 1 point which is the equivalent to 1p so if your shopping comes to £100.00 you get £1.00 I know this doesn't sound like much but once you get your vouchers in you realise how much you spend it really is scary. For a long time me and my boyfriend didn't do shopping we just used to get the odd bits on a Saturday night for tea, petrol every week and mobile phone top ups and I would buy the odd item of clothing and after 3 months we would get £12.00 in vouchers so we had spent the equivalent to £1200.00 over 3 months so £400 a month on nothing really!
Tesco's network is growing all the time and now you don't just have to spend money in store you can also claim clubcard points for petrol, the tesco's café, online purchases and green points. Outside of the Tesco brand you can also get points with Eon if you allow them to supply your house with gas and electric!
If you take out a Tesco credit card you can also claim back a tiny bit more for every £4.00 you spend you get 5 points.
Tesco seem to really be ruling the roost because they also provide a mobile phone network, broadband and home phone access. If you buy into any of these you can collect a point for every £1 spent and 3 points for every £1 spent on pay as you go top ups! I am not into all these different schemes but I am sure a lot of people are and making a nice little profit too.
These are another new idea Tesco's have not long come up with. Green card points can be exchanged for the vouchers as the other points but they are gained in a different way. In a way to help the environment!
Every time you bring in your own bag for your shopping you get a point for each bag which is good especially now asking for Tesco carrier bags is so frowned upon! A tip I do is if I have not got much shopping I go to the self check outs and out in that I have dragged a long with me 10 of my own bags oohhh I am so bad!
You can gain 300 points for recycling an old mobile phone and 100 points for recycling an old inkjet cartridge. You can do either of these two things from the comfort of your own home too; you just send off for an envelope and put your phone or cartridge in and wait for your points to get added.
Another way of getting green card points which is still a grey area for me, which I am not happy about. There are recycling points in Tesco car parks for plastics, tins and glasses. You are told to swipe your clubcard and put your items through so it seems like you are getting points for everything you recycle but after looking more closely I have now realised that it is the luck of the draw if you get clubcard points or not! What a swizz I thought I was on to a good thing getting everyone's recycling and taking it up but not getting much for it well not except for the goodness of man kind !!!!
In the good old days when points were worth pennies and people weren't money mad you used to get offers in store such as 100 extra points if you bought a certain item that Tesco's were trying to push which was a good deal because you could buy something for £1 and in theory get a £1 back which wasn't rare but as soon as points could be redeemed for 4x the value for air miles etc everyone jumped on the band wagon good old Martin said live on GMTV buy all the times even if your not going to need them just to get the 4x the value because it made sense to get a £1's worth of points and exchange them for £4 worth of air miles and you get the item you purchased. Needless to say this soon got abolished and now to get extra points when you have done a few shops you get random vouchers print off with your receipt at check out. I for some reason keep getting 100 points extra for buying always sanitary towels and woman's own magazine! They normally only last a week and I hardly ever use them because I forget but there a good way to boost earnings.
Every so often the website does special offers where you can bag extra points for purchasing big items to sway you into spending your cash with them.
They occasionally give double points on mobile phone top ups and at the minute are giving away double points with petrol which is good if you are going to buy these things anyway. It must boost Tesco's loyalty business too because I wont allow my boyfriend to top up anywhere else or get petrol from anywhere else no matter where we are!
Every 3 months you are also sent out a statement updating you on how much you have earnt, how you have earnt it, your vouchers and a page of coupons which are a mixture of offers that change every time but all are based around your shopping habits. You get things like 30p off a certain cereal, double points on your whole shop, 40 extra point if you spend over a £1 on bread things likes that. These are also valid for between a month and 3 months so you normally use them if you remember at the till. REDEMPTION
You can redeem your points in the good old fashion way and get the least for your money by getting £15 through in vouchers going back to store and buying £15.00 worth of stuff and getting it for free great, you can also do what a lot of people do and save them up for Christmas and have a free Christmas shop which is even greater. They also now let you spend your vouchers on
- Travel insurance
- The photo centre
- The opticians
- Books, DVD's and games
- Mobile Phones
- Gift cards, yes you can put the points on a gift card and give them to a friend or family member for a pressie or you can do this to make it easier for yourself instead of having to use a full voucher you can just use what you want off the card, but you do get mixed denominations so you probably wont be faced with this problem.
TO THE POWER 4!
Points might make pennies in the stores but when you receive your money back vouchers if you keep hold of them and accumulate them you can use them on almost anything and not just 1p per point but 4p per point I know this doesn't sound much but if you get a voucher for £5.00 this can be swapped to £20 to spend at a restaurant or for a theme park ticket. The offer is truly brilliant its no wonder people are flocking to spend their money with Tesco's. Here are some top examples on where you can spend your money on BA executive air miles
If you are a BA executive member for every £2.50 you have in vouchers you can swap these for 600 air miles so for £100 worth of vouchers you can claim 24000 air miles thus getting availability to free flights as far as Cyprus, Albania, Greece, turkey etc for £100 worth of clubcard points.
If you are not a BA executive member you can earn £2.50 for 60 normal air miles so if you have £100 worth of vouchers you get 2,400 air miles that get you a return flight to places such as Sofia, Tripoli, Warsaw etc.
£10 worth of Tesco vouchers gets you £40.00 worth of jewellery subject to a spend of £200.00 so £50 worth of vouchers can get you an item of jewellery worth £200.00! Not bad going for an easy valentines gift.
4 driving lesson for voucher worth £48.36 by anyone's calculations that's not 4 times the value but it's a bloomin good offer my driving lessons used to be £23 an hour 5 years ago!
Roadside cover at home for £27.75 worth of vouchers, roadside for £14.75 worth of vouchers, £34.75 for Roadside cover, recovery and onward travel and £26.00 for standard roadside recovery.
£10 worth of vouchers exchanged for £40's worth of yummy tapas
Grand designs live
A ticket for the show at the London Excel centre for £4.50 worth of vouchers.
Annual subscription for £12.50, which is left blank, so can be given to anyone, a great idea for a free gift!
Every £10 voucher you have you can exchange for £40 so you will probably get a nights stay for £30 not bad for a Ramada Jarvis you wont get that sort of rate on the web!
This is a brilliant offer going by the prices Blockbusters charge now! £11.85 for 12 rentals on either DVD's or games/
These are just a few good ones I have mentioned there are too many to tell you about. You can get deals all x4 of your voucher value with companies such as
- Nationwide auto centre
- Harry Ramsdens
- Euro tunnel
- PandO ferries
- Land Rover experience
- Alton Towers
- Cosmos holidays
- Hilton Hotels
- Optimax (I never used my vouchers but I should have done!)
HOW TO CLAIM YOUR REWARDS
If you want to use your vouchers for their face value then you can take them into the shop and literally do a straight shop for your items over the till. If you are looking to swap your vouchers for one of their x4 deals you need to order the voucher for the deal first which can be done 1 of 2 ways either by the easiest method which is online. You do this by signing up to the clubcard website adding the deal you request to your basket and entering the code on your vouchers to claim the money. You are then posted the voucher with your name and postcode on within 5 days, you can alternatively do it by carrier pigeon, which means printing off an order form attaching your vouchers and posting to Tescos in Crawley for them to assign your deal vouchers and send them to you.
I think this is a great idea because it affects repeat business and customer loyalty. I now will never shop anywhere else or I feel like I am missing out on my points, which is so sad every little helps as they say. I wouldn't dream of shopping at Morrisons or Somerfields because you get nothing back. Although you don't get a great deal back from Tesco unless you are spending vast amounts of money at least its something. They don't have to offer you any incentive at all. I think loyalty cards are a good idea and I think the x4 of the value is brilliant you get a good deal back for your money and its not like your getting a bum deal by having to pay a higher price to get your discount you cant argue with the cost of air miles or RAC membership that is standard! Ok there are separate terms and conditions for each offer but if you follow the guidelines for each offer there is no reason why you cannot get a good deal out of collecting club card points. Why wouldn't you? You wouldn't give money away so if you shop at Tesco get yourself a clubcard. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Just a quick update i am happy to say all that saving has paid off ok it has took 3 long years but went to Goldsmiths last weekend & picked up my Tag Heur watch for £178.00 was meant the be £1350. I did originally want amore expensive one but with the big tax rise & then Tesco reducing their cashback value from 4x to 3x it was going to work out too expensive as some of my vouchers were running out. Got to say i have had lots of admiring comments so am super pleased with my new purchase Thanks Tesco's xxxxxx