I must admit that I do love my loyalty cards, and I tend to collect them wherever I go, regardless of how much I actually shop in the particular shop in question! Luckily I noticed at the beginning of the year that my branch of Waterstones was one of a few in the country who were going to trail a new loyalty card fo Waterstones customers. So I filled in the little form thingy at the checkout, they gave me my card and away I went, adding yet another oblong of plastic to my purse. The card was such a success it is available nationwide, and if you love books and regularly buy them at Waterstones I recommend you get one!
*THE WATERSTONES CARD*
The card itself is actually a nice looking little card. It is the same size and thickness as a normal credit card, so it will fit into your purse or wallet perfectly. The main body of the card is black, with a greeny blue stripe down the left side of the card, and also on the back. There is a card number along the front, which is in gold embossed numbers, and is 16 digits long. My card doesn't have my name on it, but I don't know if this has changed now it is a nationwide scheme, although as they are available instantly in-store I would think that your name isn't on them. The back of the card has a signature strip on and a 3 digit security number for allowing you to shop online with it. It also has a Customer Helpline number on, which is handy to have if you have problems with your card.*THE POINTS SYSTEM*
Ok, well obviously the most important part is the rewards, since that is kind of the point of a loyalty card, isn't it?! This is one of the better cards you can get actually, as some of them are actually quite pitiful regarding point earning potential. The Waterstones card earns you 3 points per every £1 spent in the store, or online. So for every £6.99 novel you buy, you earn 18 points, which is 18 pence back, as each point is 1 penny, which is a 3% return. Luckily for us, this is not the only benefit that the Waterstones Card offers us, and this is what makes the card even better for me.
- OTHER OFFERS TO THE WATERSTONES CARD MEMBERS*
Every so often, Waterstones will offer several different offers to Waterstones card members, which ae advertised online, in-store and sent to the email address you registered the card with. These are:
- Certain books priced down to £1.99 when purchased with your Waterstones Card
- Bonus points on certain titles
- Double Points on select titles
The selection of books is updated pretty regularly and always offers many different books so usually there is something which will appeal to everybody.
Waterstones Card members are also sent emails which feature book reviews, news on the latest books available, competitions and the chance to read and review books before they have been published! I have been the lucky recipient of 3 such books, so I know that this is a promise they deliver on! The website states that you should also get invites to Cardholder only events, although I haven't yet had one unfortunately! I suppose these invitations will vary according to where your store is and what is happening in your store at any time. And, you can get a free copy of "Waterstones Books Quarterly" from in the shops, which I think has an RRP of £1.99, so another nice freebie there!*USING YOUR WATERSTONES CARD*
Now, it is easy to use your card. If you are using it in store, just hand it over before you pay for your items and they will swipe it, and the points are added to your account. You can now earn points online as well. You just have to go to the My Account section of the website, log in, go down the column on the left hand side and click on Register My Card. Pop in your number, and then you will earn points on every purchase made online. SImple!
*REDEEMING YOUR POINTS*
Redeeming points is also nice and easy. If you want to take points off a purchase at a till point, just ask them to redeem the points when you pay, and this will come straight off your bill. Online, it actually tells you the normal selling price, and then "Your Price when using points" underneath so you can choose whether or not to buy something using your points. If you choose to use your points, then on the checkout page, simply select the underneath the item description which says either "Do not use my points" or "Use £XX.XX", or "Use other amount", meaning you can specify how much of your points you wish to spend. I must say I think this is one of the best redeeming cards I have got, and I love that there is so much flexibility with it.
*CHECKING YOUR BALANCE*
There are 3 ways I know of to check your Waterstones card balance. Firstly, you can check it online in the My Account section of the website, where it says "Points Balance" underneath the Waterstones Card section. Secondly, you can check it everytime you make a purchase as it is on the bottom of your till receipt, with the points earned on your latest purchase. Your receipt states both your points and their value of pounds. Thirdly, you can take your card to a member of staff at the till, ask them and they will be able to tell your balance. So again, nice and easy to use and find out how many points and what they are worth.
*APPLYING FOR A CARD*
It is nice and easy to apply for a card. You can either pick up a leaflet in the store which are normally situated by the tills, or if they are not, ask a member of staff who I am sure will help you. Just fill in the small form, and hand it to a member of staff, then your card will be registered. Or, you can apply online here:
http://www.waterstones.com. Alongside down the right column is a link to the card section, and a joining link. I cant post it here as it is over 80 characters!
You do have to have a Waterstones.com account, but if you don't this is easy to get and worth it, especially to get a Waterstones card! Cards applied for online will take up to 28 to reach you.
I think this is definitely the best loyalty card I have got in my packed purse. The earning potential is very good, with a 3% return of your purchases, the special offers and frequent and nice and varied, and communications from them are professional, and you do not get any spam from them. Book lovers - this is the reward card for you!
For another other questions, see the Waterstones Card FAQ on their website:
Customer Helpline: 0871 288 0332
Email address: email@example.com
Thank you for reading!