Paid market research

How to get the most from your loyalty card

Most of us have a stack of loyalty cards crammed into our wallets, and nowadays pretty much all retailers offer their customers some kind of reward for loyalty. From big brand supermarkets to individual retailers and even coffee shops and restaurants, whatever the shop, it will more than likely have some kind of loyalty offering. But what are the best loyalty schemes? How do they work? And how can you get the most out of your loyalty cards? We’ve rounded up the best loyalty offers out there as well as some handy hints and top tips on how you can make the most out of them. Read on to find out more…

Tesco Clubcard

As one of the best-known loyalty schemes out there, Tesco Clubcard offers customers the chance to accumulate points at a rate of one per £1 spend. The points can be collected in loads of ways, from in store and online to Tesco Fuel and Tesco Mobile, as well as through Tesco bank accounts, credit cards and mortgages. The amount of points you’ve accumulated are then sent out as vouchers every three months. You can choose to spend your vouchers in store, online or at the pump, or alternatively Tesco Reward Partners is a great way to do more with your vouchers. Choose from family meals, hotels, train tickets, magazine subscriptions or even a family day out – there’s so many options available! Have a look online for a full list of exactly what’s on offer.

Sainsbury’s Nectar

Another great supermarket offering is Sainsbury’s Nectar that allows you to gain one point every time you spend £1 – but make sure you keep an eye out for special in-store promotions that give you the chance to double, triple or even quadruple your points, too. With lots of partners to choose from you can collect and spend your points on what really matters to you – and with offers changing weekly, there’s always tons of choice available. You can redeem your points across 500 different brands such as Argos, BP, Debenhams and more, put them towards theme park passes and concerts or even meals and cinema tickets – or alternatively just put it back towards your shop. Check out the website for updates on what’s available and when.

Boots Advantage Card

Boots Advantage Card is one of the most popular reward schemes out there – and considering it gives you four points for every £1 spent, it’s easy to see why it’s such a firm favourite! You can use your points in store or online with points lasting for an impressive three years. There’s loads of offers available that change every day, so make sure you keep an eye on the website, sign up to receive news and offers via email or download the app. Alternatively, in larger stores you can also enter your card details into ‘Extra Offers Kiosks’ for offers that are personal to you. There are even more bargains to be had if you’re over 60 with 10 points up for grabs for every £1 spent, and members of the Parenting Club can also get 10 points per pound for baby products, too.

 

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ASOS A-List

Everyone automatically qualifies for ASOS A-List as soon as they make a purchase worth more than £1 with a registered UK account. So if you’re a frequent ASOS shopper, chances are you’ve already started accumulating points without even realising it! In order to redeem them you need to ‘unlock’ the first level by accumulating 400 points (at five points per pound that’s the equivalent of spending £80) to get benefits such as double points days, 15% off for your birthday and exclusive competitions and offers from ASOS as well as a £5 voucher for every £100 you spend. Phew! As you accumulate more points, you can unlock more levels which offer double and triple point days, 20% off for your birthday as well as advance warning and early access to sales. You’ll have six months to spend your points – so don’t forget to use them!

My Waitrose

Unlike other reward schemes, you don’t actually collect points with a My Waitrose card – but if you ask us it’s definitely still worth it for the free tea and coffee! Not only that but you also get to enjoy the rewards from day one without having to accumulate points, allowing you to save money on shopping and win exclusive prizes. Offers include a free Waitrose Food magazine, Waitrose Drinks magazine and online access to the Good Food Guide as well as special offers in store at the fish and meat counter, discounted dry cleaning and seasonal offers and prizes, too. Check out the website to keep up with the offers available.

When it comes to using loyalty cards, make sure you shop smart to get the most out of your points. It’s definitely worth putting a little bit of thought and planning into  – who knows, you could just get a family trip out of it, knock some money off the Christmas shop or even indulge in a little treat for yourself – you deserve it, after all!

If you’re looking for other ways to make your money go further, why not take part in some paid market research with Angelfish Opinions? Not only can you earn a few extra pennies, but it’s good fun too! Sign up here to take part in one of our paid market research projects.

 

Another great way to make a bit of extra money is by taking part in paid market research. If you’d like to sign up to paid market research with Angelfish Opinions, register here.

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Paid market research

How to budget your 2018

As 2017 draws to a close it’s almost time to reflect on the last 12 months and start making plans for the year ahead. Each year we say we’ll start doing this, or stop doing that – only for our plans to get ditched sometime in January. But what if this year you set realistic goals and resolutions that are actually achievable?

Christmas is an incredibly expensive time, and if like most people you end up overspending during the festive season, January is the perfect time to get your finances in order and start off the New Year right. Just the word ‘budget’ is enough to bring out a groan in most people – however, the reason most budgets don’t work is because they are simply unachievable, and when people place such high demands on themselves they are basically setting themselves up to fail.

Not this year, though! Here we take a look at the best ways to plan your budget for the year ahead, make sure you stick to it and save yourself some serious pennies along the way, too…

Look at the bigger picture

Start things off by deciding who exactly you are budgeting for and why. Are you planning your own budget, or are you organising your family’s budget too? Ideally you want to be planning your budget for the entire year, so make sure you’ve got your last three months of bank statements and bills to hand. What is your monthly household income? And what are your outgoings? Make sure you use worst-case scenario figures instead of underestimating your spending habits so you can ensure you’re completely prepared.

Drill down and be specific

Be detailed in your budget so you know exactly what’s going where – and why. Broad categories such as ‘car expenses’ make it easy to forget the little things that add up. Instead make sure you note down every last detail, from MOTs and new tyres to petrol, insurance, breakdown cover and more, so you can have a full overview of exactly where your money is going every month.

 

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What can I afford to spend?

Once you know where you’re spending your money, you can start to prioritise what’s important to make sure you stay within your means. We’d recommend recording what you’re spending daily or taking out a certain amount of money to last you a day as well as always paying in cash to make sure you keep on top of your spending.  

Start small

You know the saying every little helps – well it’s true when it comes to saving, too. Little lifestyle changes here and there can make a huge difference, from cutting out your daily takeaway coffee (which could save you a whopping £650 a year!) to other little daily expenditures such as magazines, chocolates, cigarettes, and parking. Every time you make a purchase, ask yourself two questions: Do I need it? And if so, could I do it more cheaply? Yes, you might be watching movies on Netflix rather than taking trips to the cinema, swapping Sky for Freeview or giving up holidays abroad in favour of staycations – but you’ll be surprised at how quickly the little things add up and your savings start to grow.

Make allowances for special occasions

Is there anything specific you need to save for, such as a summer holiday, birthday presents or Christmas? If so, factor it into your budget throughout the year rather than just splurging in one go or even worse spending on credit. For example, if you typically spend £800 a year on Christmas put aside £67 a month over the course of the year so you’re ready and prepared come December next year.

Shop smart

A really important part of successful budgeting is to be a smart shopper. Compare prices online, use vouchers and promotional codes where possible and make the most of reward schemes, too. When it comes to online shopping, use click and collect if you can instead of paying for delivery and when you’re doing your food shop try to plan meals ahead so you don’t waste anything. It’s also worth using money saving sites such as MySupermarket to see which products are the cheapest and where.

Use budgeting apps

There are tons of tools out there to help you budget, with money management apps such as Mint, Wally and You Need a Budget making it easier than ever before to watch what you spend. These apps act as an all-in-one resource for managing your money, allowing you to sync your bank accounts, credit cards, and monthly bills to one account and get a snapshot of what’s going on with your money at any one time. You can track what goes in and what comes out as well as sorting your spending into categories so you can figure out exactly what you are splurging on so you can keep on top of it all.

Why should you budget? Well, to put it simply, budgeting in this way and watching what you’re spending and where means you’ll have more money in your pocket to enjoy life. The typical savings from implementing a budget are between £3000-£5000 – so it’s more than worth having a go in 2018.

Another great way to make a bit of extra money is by taking part in paid market research. If you’d like to sign up to paid market research with Angelfish Opinions, register here.

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