JASMINE BIRTLES: How to claim your share of £6bn in loyalty points

MISS MONEYSAVER JASMINE BIRTLES: How to claim your share of £6billion in loyalty points

We may be struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living in the UK, but it turns out that we have a staggering £6 billion-worth of loyalty points stacked up on old cards and apps that we’re not using!

It’s time to unlock that wealth — and there are more ways to do this than you might imagine.

First, check to see how many loyalty cards you actually have. Empty your purse and root through all your bags and pockets. Don’t forget to check your phone, too, as some loyalty schemes are linked to a retailer app or website.

You can sell cards that have been stamped — particularly for food shops such as Greggs — on eBay, Depop or Facebook Marketplace.

Or you could offer to swap the points cards you don’t want for those from a different retailer on local Facebook groups or at nextdoor.com — or give them away on free sites like freecycle.org or Gumtree Free Stuff to free up space in your purse.

Points you have earned on an app are mostly impossible to swap or sell, but you can sell hotel or credit card points at milesbuyer.com or thepointsking.com. They send the cash straight to your PayPal account.

For the cards you use regularly, find out how many points you have and draw up a list so you remember to use them.

Points you have earned on an app are mostly impossible to swap or sell, but you can sell hotel or credit card points at milesbuyer.com or thepointsking.com who send cash to your PayPal

If you log in to the Tesco Clubcard website (tesco.com/clubcard), you can check how many points you have and find out if there are any vouchers you can use to claim more points. Click on the ‘my vouchers’ tab to see what offers there are.

Tesco also sends out money-off vouchers every three months, but you can use their ‘Faster Vouchers’ service, so that you don’t have to wait. It’s worth doing this if you have a big shop coming up and you’d like to make the most of discounts.

Tesco Clubcard points are worth between 1p to 4p each, depending what you spend them on. The best way to maximise their value is to turn them into ‘Reward Partner’ tokens, as these are worth three times the value you would get in store (in other words, 300 points would get you £9 off the partner bill).

Go and check your points and convert them to spend on train tickets, pizzas, days out, hotels and much more.

Don’t forget to swipe your Clubcard at the till to benefit from discounted prices available only to Clubcard members. These can be up to 50 per cent off.

Another very popular loyalty scheme is the Boots Advantage Card, which gives four points for every pound you spend. You need 100 points to be able to spend £1 on products at Boots, and crucially you need to use them within two years.

Pay for toothpaste, deodorant and other useful purchases, or do what a lot of people do and put your annual total towards a Christmas shop. You can maximise their value in December by looking for ‘Three for the price of two’ Christmas gift offers.

Like many retailers, Boots is very keen to get shoppers to sign up to their Advantage service through the app and they’re offering an extra 200 points if you download the app.

Once you’ve done that, you can connect it to your card. It’s often easier to remember you have points when they are stored in an app on your phone, but don’t do it unless you think you will use it.

Nectar points, worth 0.5p each, are regularly forgotten about by collectors, but there are now easier ways to spend them and more ways to earn them on your weekly shop by using targeted coupons.

Look at ‘My Nectar Prices’ in the Nectar app or on the website to see what coupons you’re being offered and when you have to use them by. Many you can use more than once before the expiry date, so it’s a great way of collecting more points on items you buy a lot.

You can spend your Nectar points on your shopping or at eBay, Esso, British Airways, Eurostar and more.

Look out for other Nectar deals too. At Cafe Nero, when you redeem 350 Nectar points (worth £1.25) on the site or in the app you can download a QR code voucher for a free coffee.

You can also earn five Nectar Points a day by joining the Daily Mail’s free loyalty club at mymail.co.uk and simply entering the Unique Number printed at the bottom of the back page. Hundreds of thousands of Daily Mail readers are already doing it and making great savings.

Above all, you need to play the loyalty game to win. The apps work by sending you enticing, personalised offers for things you may not need.

If you download any loyalty apps, switch off ‘notifications’ so that you’re not continuously bothered by messages about offers that might tempt you to spend money you don’t have.

Sell or swap those unused gift cards

It’s not just loyalty points that can bring your costs down. Gift cards are also a way to get goods or experiences for nothing. However, at least 20 per cent of gift cards are never redeemed.

In fact, gift card re-seller Cardyard estimated consumers in the UK threw away nearly £500 million in unspent gift cards in 2020 alone. That’s like throwing away huge bundles of £50 notes.

So have a rummage in your drawers and wallet to see if you have an unused gift card or two. Some retailers will extend the life of your card if you call them and explain that you need a bit more time. If you have a card for a shop or restaurant that you never go to, you should at least get some of the money back on that by selling it or swapping it with others.

Gift card re-seller Cardyard estimated consumers threw away £500m in gift cards in 2020

Cardyard.co.uk enables you to swap unused gift cards for those you would actually spend. If you don’t see a card you want to swap with, you could sell yours for cash or credit. You won’t get the full amount of the card, but you’ll get more if you go for credit than cash.

You could also offer your gift card direct to buyers through Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace, Shpock or, of course, eBay.

If you get good at selling these cards, you could get into ‘gift card flipping’, where you buy gift cards at a discount (say a £50 card for £40) and then sell them at a profit.

Get paid to watch Love Island!

Glued to the latest series of Love Island? Well here’s how to make some money for watching it! The bed-linen company Secret Linen Store is looking for a ‘relaxation researcher’ who will be required to snuggle up in a pair of pyjamas and watch at least one episode of the show, which features Gemma Owen, pictured, to find out if it is relaxing. That sounds tricky!

This arduous work will also include settling down with a cup of tea and a book, having a bath and listening to podcasts and entertainment on Spotify and Youtube. All in the name of market research.

The bed-linen company Secret Linen Store is looking for a ‘relaxation researcher’ who will be required to snuggle up in pyjamas and watch at least one episode of Love Island (above) 

The ‘work’ will last for a month and you will be paid £300. You’ll be given a special pair of pyjamas and a whole set of bed linen to use while you investigate relaxation habits!

If you think you have the dedication required, fill in the application form at secretlinenstore.com by July 3.

If you’re an NHS worker, you could be going to festivals, shows and plays for free this summer, thanks to donations at ticketsforgood.org. Sign up at the website using your NHS email address to gain access to free and heavily discounted live events around the country.

Children aged 17 and under can go to West End shows such as Frozen, Back To The Future or Beauty And The Beast for free any day in August.

One child per paying adult will be able to see the performance without charge, and up to two extra children can go for half-price too. So a family of four could see a top West End show for the price of two seats.

Tickets are on sale now, so book while there are seats left at officiallondontheatre.com/kids-week. 

Claim an exclusive 20 per cent off your first box of women’s eco-friendly shaving essentials from ffs.co.uk.

Fuss Free Shaving specialises in boxes of women’s shaving essentials delivered to your door.

Just use the discount code JASMINE at the checkout to get 20 per cent off your first box. This offer is for new customers only and expires on July 2. 

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