When it comes to the likes of insurance, savings or mortgages, loyalty rarely pays – but in the wider world of high street shopping, it can definitely pay off. After all, research from TopCashback.co.uk shows that consumers collectively earn at least £5.7bn in rewards each year, so all those loyalty cards can be put to fantastic use!
The research found that consumers typically belong to five loyalty programmes each, and earn an average of £112 each year as a result – with a particularly savvy 4% earning more than £500 in rewards. Many have clear tactics when it comes to spending that extra cash, too, with 86% of respondents saving up their points; 41% intend to use them to cover the cost of Christmas, while 32% redeem points when making a big purchase and 22% use them during tougher times.
"Reward programmes are now huge in the UK with many of the largest retailers offering consumers something in return for their loyalty," commented Adam Bullock, UK director of TopCashback.co.uk, "and now our research shows consumers are using these rewards to help during financially hard times or periods of high spending.
"It is always worth looking for ways to make your money work harder. Whether that is shopping with a retailer that offers points in return for pounds spent, using a reward credit card to build up Avios points, or shopping through a cashback site to get money back on spending."
As Adam pointed out, there are other ways you can get more from your everyday spending, and you don't need to confine yourself to a few specific shops in order to succeed. What about cashback credit cards? These can be ideal for those who are confident they can pay their card balance off in full each month, as you'll get something back on everything you spend.
For example, you can earn up to 5% in the first three months with American Express's Platinum Cashback Card, as well as up to 1.25% thereafter, or its fee-free version
boasts the same introductory cashback rate of 5% and a standard rate of up to 1%. Alternatively, you may want a more 'traditional' reward card that allows you to rack up loyalty points, such as the Barclaycard Freedom Rewards Visa, the British Airways Card for savvy travellers or the M&S Bank Shopping Plus MasterCard
for loyal M&S shoppers.
The choices are seemingly endless, and with deals to suit all shoppers and all tastes, you've got plenty to choose from. Just make sure you've got a good enough credit score to be able to qualify for such cards – if you haven't, find out how to improve things here – and make sure you can comfortably pay off the balance each month to ensure you can truly reap the rewards (if not, the interest being added could easily outweigh any benefits earned).
Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.