Which is the best supermarket loyalty card?

13 min Read Published: 03 Sep 2021

Which is the best supermarket loyalty card?Families spend thousands of pounds each year on food shopping, and so it's no surprise to see popular supermarkets such as Tesco, Sainsbury's, and Lidl offering generous incentives to keep you coming back.

Loyalty points, coupons, and vouchers are just a few ways that supermarkets will entice shoppers back to their stores. In this article, we look at the best supermarket loyalty cards and reveal how much you can earn by using them.

It's worth remembering that while your wallet or purse might already be packed to the brim with debit cards, credit cards and loyalty cards, there is no limit to how many you can have - so it’s worth making space for a few more. Whether it’s your weekly shopping place or somewhere you visit only once a month, you should collect your points as they can quickly add up to a decent amount of money.

What is a supermarket loyalty card?

After signing up to a loyalty card scheme, you will usually be given a card (or digital card), which you can use to collect points every time you shop. You can exchange the points you have collected, either for vouchers to spend in the supermarket, or simply to provide money off at the till. Additionally, loyalty card points can often be traded up for better rewards, such as restaurant vouchers or theme park tickets.

Despite the name "loyalty card", you don’t have to be loyal to supermarkets to make money from them. There are plenty of other perks to each scheme which get you coupons and money off your shopping - even if you don’t shop there each week. Some loyalty schemes are better than others. If you don’t fancy using your points to pay for your weekly shop, some loyalty cards allow you to trade the points for double or triple the value with various partner retailers. With others, you can earn money-off coupons very quickly for a much smaller spend.

What are the top supermarket loyalty cards?

Tesco Clubcard Tesco Clubcard

Probably the best-known loyalty card, the Tesco Clubcard is something you should definitely have in your wallet. It's free for the first month and you get access to a lot of exclusive Tesco offers including Clubcard deals, personalised coupons, and a trade-up system to make better use of the points you collect.

How much is a Tesco Clubcard point worth?

For every £1 you spend in-store or online at Tesco, you earn 1 Clubcard point. Or, for fuel, it's 1 point for every £2. You can earn Clubcard points for other Tesco products, such as Tesco mobile and credit cards, too. For every point you earn, it’s added to your Clubcard balance and you'll be sent vouchers that total the value of points you've collected. The minimum voucher you can get is £1.50, which you’ll receive for collecting 150 points. This means at £1 per point, you need to spend £150 to get £1.50 back (around 1% in rewards). You can either spend the vouchers in-store on your everyday shopping or you can hold onto them to get a discount on something else.

What can you trade Tesco Clubcard points for?

Although rewards are only worth 1% if used on your shopping, there is an option to trade your vouchers up for another retailer. Tesco offers you the chance to trade in money accrued through Clubcard and receive vouchers for restaurants, theme parks, online retailers, and more. Some of the best offers actually triple up your points. For example, 50p in Clubcard points will get you £1.50 to spend at Pizza Express, Café Rouge, Bella Italia, and more. You can also exchange your vouchers for theme parks such as Legoland, Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, and Chessington with the same triple value. The more points you have, the more you're able to double or triple up. You can redeem the points in increments so you have more control over your rewards.

Any extras for owning a Tesco Clubcard?

Tesco Clubcard members receive coupons in the post as well as printed in-store coupons to save extra money. These coupons are usually personalised as Tesco tracks what you regularly buy in-store. For example, if you have a cat and keep buying cat food, it might incentivise you to come back by sending you a cat food coupon. You'll also get money-off coupons to use on your next shop and double points coupons on occasions - which, in turn, means you can earn more rewards.

Nectar Card Sainsbury’s Nectar Card

Sainsbury's Nectar Card is another fan favourite. Although you don't earn as much in rewards as the Tesco Clubcard, it's one that you should keep in your wallet nonetheless. Collecting points isn't just limited to Sainsbury's: there are plenty of other shops where you can earn Nectar points which can help supercharge your rewards.

How much is a Sainsbury's Nectar Card point worth?

When shopping in Sainsbury's supermarkets either in-store or online, you earn one point for every £1 spent, but the value is 0.5p per point. This means to get to the minimum reward of £2.50, you'll need to collect 500 points - which is a £500 spend. However, Sainsbury's isn't the only place that you can collect points. Linking your nectar card to Argos, eBay, Expedia, buying Esso fuel, and more can earn you points. And, unlike the Tesco Clubcard, you get the same reward for spending on fuel as on your groceries. Whenever you're shopping online, it’s worth looking out for the Nectar logo to see if you can earn more.

What can you trade Sainsbury's Nectar Card points for?

It's slimmer pickings for what you can redeem rewards for with your Nectar points than for a Tesco Clubcard. The standard one is redeeming off your Sainsbury's shopping, which gets you £2.50 off for 500 points collected. You get the same value if exchanging for Vue, Argos, and eBay at £2.50 worth of vouchers for 500 points. The only offers with better value are an individual pizza at Pizza Hut for 1000 points (£5 worth of rewards), or any sized drink at Caffé Nero for 350 points (£1.75 in rewards).

Any extras for owning a Sainsbury's Nectar card?

As part of owning the Nectar card, you can add coupons to your card via the Nectar app, which gives you extra points when buying specific food items at Sainsbury’s and using your card. These offers change roughly every week and, if it's for an item that you usually buy, it will mean your rewards mount up far quicker.

Lidl Plus Lidl Plus

The newest loyalty card/app on the scene is from Lidl, and it actually has the biggest reward rate in comparison to your spend, despite being one of the cheapest supermarkets to do your shopping at. It doesn’t work in the same way as the other cards, but it does still reward you for loyal spending.

How do you earn Lidl Plus vouchers?

Each calendar month, you'll have the chance to earn a £2 voucher for spending £100 in-store and an extra £10 voucher for spending an additional £200. To get these, you’ll need to reach those spending goals for your shopping each month. On the 30th or 31st of each month, your progress resets and you get the chance to get more vouchers the following month. Earning £2 on a £100 spend is only 2% in rewards, but if you manage to spend £300 in total in any given month, you'll earn an additional £10, which makes a total of 4% back in rewards - the highest of all the loyalty schemes.

Any extras for owning the Lidl Plus card?

As part of being signed up, you can use digital coupons that can be claimed through the app. These rotate every Thursday and give you a percentage discount on Lidl items. In the past, there have been discounts of up to 20% off sweets, chocolate, cheese, washing powder, and more. It’s always worth a look to see what's on offer. If you see a coupon you like, you can add it to your card and you’ll receive the discount when scanning your Lidl Plus card at the checkout. You also receive a scratch card each time you shop in-store and scan your card. This gives you the chance to win money off your next shop and you could win up to £20 off with no minimum spend.

Supermarket loyalty card comparison

Each supermarket loyalty card/app has different pros and cons, but if you make sure that you sign up for each loyalty card/app scheme, you'll start to earn rewards no matter where you shop.

Below, we compare the loyalty card/apps provided by Tesco, Sainsbury's, and Lidl:

Tesco Clubcard Sainsbury’s Nectar Card Lidl Plus Card
How much do you earn? 1 point per £1 spent 1 point per £2 spent Scratchcards and money-off coupons
Smallest in-store redemption (and points required) £5 (500 points) £2.50 (500 points) £2 off (After £100 spent in-store)
How much can you earn if you spend £500 a month? £5 £2.50 £12
Reward % (Based on £500 spend) 1% 0.50% 4%
Trade-up points for better rewards Yes Yes No
Coupons/Extras for being a card holder Yes - coupons sent in the post periodically Yes - bonus coupons to collect more points when buying certain products Yes - coupons available in-app, which rotate weekly

Conclusion

There are more and more ways to earn money back on your normal spending, such as using cashback apps and cashback credit cards. However, loyalty cards are probably the easiest of all - all you have to do is swipe when you pay for your items at the checkout and start collecting points. Make sure you remember those cards when you go shopping and scan them every time you’re at the checkout. It may not seem like you’re earning much, but the savings can and do add up. After all, what can be better than getting free food?