Raincheck vouchers – Supermarkets’ best kept secret (Money tip #136)

1 min Read Published: 13 Jul 2011

Woman walking under an umbrella with a rainbow We've all been there, we've gone to the supermarket to take advantage of a deal that we've seen advertised on the TV or in the newspaper. We load up our trolley with other bits and pieces while on our way to finding that wonderful special offer. However, when we get to the relevant aisle the blasted item is out of stock! All there is is an empty shelf and a ‘buy one get one free’ sign gloating at you. It’s like an episode of Bullseye – ‘let’s look at what you could have won’. It’s even more annoying if you've gone out of your way to use a supermarket that you wouldn't have normally.


Well this is where Raincheck vouchers come in. If an item is out of stock some supermarkets will give you a voucher entitling you to buy the item at a future date, at the special offer price! It’s not well advertised but the practice has been around for years.

I recall working in Tesco when I was a teenager and staff could give out Raincheck vouchers even back then (or as Tesco call them – ‘Special Promise Vouchers’). That was over 15 years ago! But the amazing thing was that only one or two customers ever asked for them as people were simply not aware they could. In fact most members of staff are unaware that the ‘Special Promise Vouchers’ exist. It’s usually only the older staff members, that remember the days of the starchy grey uniforms with the red trim, who are aware of the vouchers.

It’s not just Tesco that do such vouchers, Asda and Sainsbury’s do as well albeit slightly differently. ASDA issue ‘Smiley’ vouchers which entitle the bearer to £1 off their shopping while Sainsbury’s offer coupons that allow you to buy a different brand at the offer price, but on the day of issue.

So the next time you miss out in the rush for a special offer ask for a Raincheck voucher. You may have to go to the customer service desk, because as I’ve said not all staff will know what you are on about, but it is clearly worth it!!

But let’s get the word out there and let other people know. You can help do this by sharing the article via twitter, facebook, email etc below.

Image: graur codrin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net