Last Updated on 4 March 2021 by Dan
Hello everyone! We’re always big fans of looking to save you money on things like groceries, and it’s always fantastic when you can get a little extra off through a loyalty scheme! Today we thought we’d compare the details of the big supermarket loyalty schemes and reach that all important judgement – which is best?
Note here we’re just looking at the loyalty schemes in isolation – not the quality of the supermarket themselves. Each store has it’s own particular target market and “thing” that it promotes itself on be that quality, price or location and that’s more a matter of personal taste.
However – if you’re potentially looking to change your supermarket, we think loyalty schemes are something well worth considering in that decision, as the savings can really stack up.
The supermarket loyalty schemes compared:
Note: Nearly every loyalty scheme sends additional vouchers or offers for specific products. These are difficult to quantify, so I have not included this in the “main other benefits”.
Keep scrolling for some more detail on our thoughts on each scheme, or click the links to scroll straight to that section if you’re interested in a particular supermarket.
|Supermarket||Loyalty Scheme||Minimum Value back |
per £ spend
|Main other Benefits?||Verdict?|
|Sainsbury’s||Nectar||0.5p||Nectar Double Up||Ok-Good|
|Tesco||Clubcard (Basic)||1p||Nothing major, but good basic rate. |
Extras if upgrade to Clubcard Plus.
|Morrisons||Morrisons More||0.5p||Good earnings rate on fuel||Ok|
|Co-op||Co-Op Membership||2p (on own brand)||1p charity donation||Good-Excellent|
|Marks and Spencer||Sparks||None||Occasional free treats and charity donation.||Poor|
|Waitrose||MyWaitrose||None||Free tea/coffee, free newspaper with spend.||Variable|
|Asda||Asda Loyalty||None (on groceries)||Can earn points on clothes etc.||Very limited|
|Lidl||Lidl Plus||6p (on £200 monthly spend)||Bonus scratchcards with extra savings.||Excellent|
Is Nectar with Sainsbury’s any good?
The Sainsbury’s loyalty scheme is a standard “spend and collect” approach called Nectar where you earn points that convert into cash.
In terms of earnings well better than some, but definitely not best in class. It’s hard with the relatively dismal earning rate to rack up points quickly, but through the app you can save special offers to your card which can speed up your earnings considerably.
Nectar also partner with a number of organisations as well for enhanced earnings – if you regularly get fuel at Esso, shop on Ebay or travel with First Great Western, going for Nectar may be a good idea as this provides multiple streams of point building!
What points earning rate do I get with Nectar?
Excluding promotions, you get a Nectar point for every £1 you spend at Sainsbury’s or qualifying partners, but as a point is only worth 0.5p, this equates to a 0.5% earning rate.
Is Nectar Double Up good?
Where you get the biggest savings are on the annual Nectar Double Up event, where points are worth (you guessed it) double value!
The Nectar Double Up event usually happens for week/week and a half in November.
It sounds good, but in practice it’s hurt by the fact that there’s a number of restrictions on the event which mean that in practice nearly all groceries are excluded.
If you’re after something like homeware or electronics however, this can translate into an extra £100 at full value! I picked up a Nintendo Switch game which are rarely discounted and that definitely felt like a win. If you’ve got your eye on something, it’s absolutely worth waiting for this.
It’s also somewhat fiddly, as you have to specifically request a Double Up voucher…..
Verdict on the Nectar Loyalty Card
Ok-Good. There’s some versality on how you can earn points, but the earning rate is ultimately just ok, and the upside on the benefits you get from your points are limited by the restrictions in Nectar Double Up.
Is Tesco Clubcard any good?
At 1p per point even the basic option (see below for details on Clubcard Plus) Tesco Clubcard pays out at a good rate relative to peers. A real advantage with this is that it offers plenty of opportunities both to earn points (fuel and other Tesco services are included) as well as spending points (there’s a multitude of partners to spend with, and some offer boosted earnings rates).
Tesco also offer a fairly extensive range of offers – having “Clubcard prices” on it’s goods to encourage you to sign up is becoming an increasingly frequent thing.
What points earning rate do I get with Clubcard?
Excluding promotions, you get a Clubcard point for every £1 you spend at Tesco or qualifying partners – as a point equates to 1p, this equates to a 1% earning rate.
Can I boost my Clubcard points for extra value?
Tesco used to run semi-regular “Clubcard Boost” promotions which were the best time to cash in your points and quite often you could get triple value with these. Unfortunately they seem to have to stopped these promotions and there’s no regular boost, but some partners will allow you to cash in your clubcard points at what’s effectively a better rate than the 1% earn level.
It’s worth keeping an eye out for promotions, and Clubcard Boost was popular so maybe Tesco will have a change of heart.
Is Clubcard Plus worth it?
If you subscribe to Clubcard Plus, you pay a £7.99 monthly fee (and need to be a member of the Clubcard basic scheme). In exchange for this you get:
- 10% off two shops of up to £200 each. (By far the main benefit)
- 10% off non-grocery Tesco brands (so their clothes ranges for example).
- Double data on a pay monthly contract.
- The option to apply for a Clubcard credit card with no exchange fees.
If the scheme is worth it or not can be answered pretty simply – if you will spend £80 or more across two individual grocery shops every month, you’re at the breakeven point. Otherwise, it’s likely a losing deal.
This is because I’m largely dismissive of the other benefits. The Clubcard credit card doesn’t match anything you can’t get for free elsewhere (see our guide to getting the best travel money here). The double data is a nice perk if you’re on Tesco Mobile anyhow, but you’ll need to do your sums on if it’s worth swapping deals for – I think it’s a negligible save for most.
Verdict on Tesco Clubcard loyalty card
Good. Flexibility on both earnings and redemptions make this a very rewarding scheme – and simple to use with few bells and whistles. A better basic earnings rate that some peers as well. Clubcard Plus needs som
You can sign up for a Clubcard at Tesco’s website.
Is Morrisons More any good?
The Morrisons loyalty scheme is also a spend and collect loyalty scheme approach.
If you happen to be near a Morrisons this one has a good payout rate of fuel – most schemes limit the value of points you earn on this. Overall, it’s again solid but unspectacular in terms of earnings rates.
What points earning rate do I get with Morrisons More?
Morrisons make this one quite difficult to work out. You get 5 points per every pound of spend which sounds absolutely brilliant at first glance – but when you look closer each point is only worth 0.1p – so it’s a standard 0.5% payout rate in practice.
For fuel, you’ll also get 5 Morrisons More points per litre of fuel. I can’t put a percentage payback on that as the per litre element means it’ll vary with the underlying price of your fillup!
Verdict on the Morrisons More loyalty card
Ok. It’s earning rate is in line with some peers, but it doesn’t to my knowledge have the benefit of any events where the value of points become boosted.
Is Co-Op membership any good?
We really like this scheme. If you’re a regular Co-Op shopper and tend to buy some of their own brand products the payout rate is good at 2p. (We’ve actually marked Co-op down slightly – it used to be an unbeatable 5p). What they’ve replaced it with however is a series of two “offers” a week sent to your phone which do usually attract good offers.
If you’re buying anything else like branded goods whilst you won’t personally benefit, the rate of payout to charity partners is excellent which we like very much – you can feel a big warm glow in your heart!
The charity partners are designed to make sure they’re supporting local causes – and you get a choice as to what cause you support.
Note that Co-Op is the only scheme that charges you to become a member – however it’s a very reasonable £1.
What points earning rate do I get with Co-Op membership?
For Co-op own branded goods, you’ll earn 2p per £ of spending (equivalent to 2%) – a good rate of return compared to most supermarkets.
For anything else, you won’t earn anything yourself, but a 1p per £ spend will be donated to a local charity of your choice.
Verdict on Co-Op membership
Good-Excellent. If you’re buying those branded goods (and Co-Op has a good range) the payback rate is stronger than most, and the vouchers offered through the Co-op app tend to be on staple good making them useful. If you’re not, the donation to charity is at a rate which beats the payout rate from most other schemes, and we like the charitable element of the scheme.
Is Marks and Spencer Sparks any good?
Here we’re getting into the schemes which are a little more vague, promising miscellaneous benefits but not actually given a standard payout as you spend approach.
Sparks has been controversial for M and S, with people seeing it as not offering tremendous amounts of value. M and S have recently reformed the scheme.
What you do get is a charity donation each time you spend for a charity of your choice, and a chance of getting a “treat” or offer. Apparently the chance of getting a treat increases the more that you spend an M and S.
This makes it very hard to value the scheme – things I’ve seen as treats include a Tote Bag, a bag of Percy Pigs and a £5/£10 voucher on select items.
Verdict on M&S Sparks
Poor. Even with the reforms here, the problem is the lack of flexibility. A reward isn’t guaranteed, and even then it’s something you don’t necessarily want. It’s better than nothing, but this still doesn’t feel like a reward system which is worth it.
Is MyWaitrose any good?
MyWaitrose is another scheme that doesn’t work on a standards basis and doesn’t simply reward you when you shop, although there can be occasional percentage reductions that are exclusive to MyWaitrose customers either posted or though promotions like Fish Fridays.
The difference to the M and S scheme above is that the MyWaitrose benefits are mostly fixed and tangible. When making a purchase in store (and bringing a re-usable cup) you can get a free tea or coffee in store with any purchase, or a free newspaper when you spend at least £10.
Verdict on MyWaitrose
Variable. This is probably the hardest one to score because if you’re regularly using the fixed benefits they actually are pretty good – a free coffee and a paper every day can potentially save you around £5 each time, especially at the weekend. If you don’t use those, whilst there’s occasional opportunities to save money, they can be a bit more unpredictable and inflexible.
Is Asda loyalty any good?
It’s limited – the ASDA loyalty scheme only applied to clothes and household goods in store. The payout rate is ok, but as this article is intended to be grocery focused I’m not going to say any more about it.
Is Lidl Plus any good?
Lidl plus is one of the newer loyalty schemes out there, but one of the better ones! You’ll get 4 vouchers a week which can be variable, but if you’re a bigger spender and will hit £200 a month you’ll get 6p per pound back (in the form of a £10 off voucher). It’s quite a bit target, but that absolutely smashes the rate of most.
You may also get a random scratchcard as well which I always feel is a fun bonus. It can offer money off a product, a freebie or a simple voucher.
Verdict on Lidl Plus
Excellent. If you’re a higher spender it’s really the best in class. For those on lower spends it’s a simple scheme that still offers good opportunity for money off, although the scratchcard element makes it much more variable.
Does Aldi have a loyalty scheme?
They do not, but Aldi tends to be extremely cheap and good value to begin with and you may still end up saving more here regardless – sometimes simplicity is better!