The high street giants are making major changes to their loyalty card schemes in the face of a survival crisis, and it looks like good news for Asda customers, but bad timing for Sainsbury’s loyalists.
Boots is the latest high street giant to make changes with users, currently charging 4p for every £1 spent in store: from May they will charge just 3p – a 25 per cent discount.
Boots justified the move by saying it was aimed at reducing prices on key products.
But while other initiatives such as £10 Tuesdays and Free Fridays will be maintained, the move has angered boot devotees.
One Twitter user, ‘Tweeter Tat’, said: “So now the loyalty cards are completely useless. Great, thanks, Boots.”
Another added: “Soon it could be as useless as a Marks and Spencer Sparks card.”
Sally Answell wrote on Facebook: “This sent me to Savers or Superdrug.”
Pete Markey, Chief Marketing Officer at Boots, said: “The Boots Advantage Card is one of the original and most generous loyalty programs and we are now improving it – to meet the changing needs of our customers and what they want to buy now.
“Customers want to be rewarded there with low prices and instant prices. We’ve also noticed that Advantage Card members are often using their points to buy essentials instead of saving, so we’ve listened and expanded the scheme to deliver faster rewards, immediate value and lower prices.
But it’s far from the only business making changes. Here’s a comparison of them.
Which one? Tesco has announced it is phasing out Clubcard, which now has 20 million users, for its grocery and Clubcard app, which will offer users vouchers every two weeks, rather than the previous scheme eight times a year. However, the price of the meal deal has increased from £3 to £3.40 for Clubcard holders and from £3.50 to £3.90 for non-cardholders. Tesco introduced Clubcard Plus in November 2019, which costs £7.99 a month and offers 10% off two “big shop” purchases per month in store, as well as other benefits.
Marks and Spencer
Marks and Spencer’s Sparks card is free and you get a seventh hot drink free when you buy six from M&S cafes. The network has now launched a trial for Sparks Plus, a loyalty scheme with selected current members. Which one? announced that it will charge an upfront cost of £120 for benefits such as a monthly £10 voucher, invitations to store events, double donations to charity, unlimited next day delivery and a free hot drink every month.
Sainsbury’s Bank customers will now earn one Nectar point for every £2 spent, whereas previously they gave customers two points for every £1 spent, the Leicestershire Mercury reported. There is no change in the free Nectar card scheme.
Last year, the supermarket made changes to its My Morrisons app to provide surprise offers and deals on everyday items that customers are asking for. These include rewards that are personalized to customers’ individual tastes.
Asda Rewards was launched last year, allowing customers to earn pounds to spend in store. Customers can also complete “missions” by purchasing certain products.
The reporter reached out to all of the stores for further comment.