If you live in the UK, you'll have heard of these four cards before. Boots have had an Advantage card since before I can remember, I think I got mine when I was about 14. That means it's almost a decade old...Probably shouldn't dwell on that so much! I've had two Love Your Body cards from The Body Shop, I've had the Debenhams Beauty Club reward card for a couple of years and I've also got Superdrug's reward card offering. In this post I'm just going to tell you what benefits you can get from using these cards and which ones I like best.
First up is possibly my favourite card. In fact, I think it is my favourite. This is Debenhams' Beauty Club reward card. You get points credited to your account when you present the card in store or enter the details when shopping online. In store you will receive 3 points per £1 when you spend over £25 and online you will receive 5 points per £1 plus free delivery. Debenhams regularly run offers for extra points when you spend over a certain amount; they usually offer an extra 500 or 1000 points when you spend over £40. Sometimes this is specific to certain brands and other times it applies to any beauty and fragrance products. Each point is equivalent to 1p but credit to spend in store is only loaded onto your card in £5 increments. £15 in rewards is the maximum that can be given each month but any extra points are carried over to the next month's balance. So, for example, if you gain 1765 points one month, you'll get £15 credited to you reward card at the end of that month and 265 points will be carried forward and added to any points you gain in the next month and so on.
My top tips would be to shop online where possible as you get more points that way, try to shop only then the bonus points are available and if you're spending, say, £80, split it into two orders to get the maximum amount of points. The only downside to this card is that the credit you receive can not be redeemed online so if you don't live near a store this might be frustrating. However, the advantage is that your credit can be used as part or full payment on any purchases so you don't have to save up enough points to cover the entire cost of what you want to buy unlike with the Boots Advantage card.
You can get a card from beauty counters in any Debenhams stores and immediately start collecting points. Once you've registered it online you can check your balance and will receive monthly statements letting you know how much credit you've accumulated.
Reward Card Rating - 4.5/5
Next up is Superdrug's Beautycard. This annoyingly shiny card is my least favourite of the four that I have. For every £1 you spend in store you will receive 1 point on your card. You can use your points as part payment for your purchases but only once you've earned at least 100 points and only in increments of 100/£1. So if your shop comes to £3.50 and you have 400 points, you will still have to pay 50p. You can also earn points online. Superdrug sometimes run promotions offering more than 1 point per £1 and I remember there being lots of those when the card launched. At one point you could earn 10 points per £1 if you shopped online so it's worth watching out for those although they definitely don't happen as regularly these days. There are also occasional in store offers of bonus points on certain products or if you spend more than a certain amount on a particular brand. Again, these offers have been much less frequent in the past eight months or so.
My main issue with this card is that I'd have to spend £100 in order to get £1 back. Let's be honest, who spends hundreds in Superdrug? Boots offer 4 points per pound so if something is the same price in both stores, you're better off buying it from Boots. As I mentioned, the offers for bonus or additional points per £1 have not been as forthcoming since the hype around the card's launch died down which is a shame. The system of using the points as part payment is annoying too because it's so specific. If you have £20 of points on your Debenhams card, you can buy something at £17.50 and essentially get it for free or if you're in Boots and have enough points to cover what you're buying, you can also walk away without having to spend anything whereas in Superdrug you always have to pay something. Once I had to hunt around in my purse for 22p, it was annoying.
This card gets a thumbs down from me. I still use it if I'm in a Superdrug but I've not built up enough points to get money off my purchase for a really long time as it takes so long to get anywhere near 100 points these days. It's worth having if you shop in Superdrug a lot and you keep an eye out for the elusive bonus offers but I'm not telling you all to rush out and get one if you haven't already. These can be picked up from any Superdrug store and can be registered either online or by post.
Reward Card Rating - 1/5
The Boots Advantage card; it's an oldie but a goodie. As I said, I've had mine for a long time and over the years have used my points to make 'special' purchases, usually from Chanel! For every £1 you spend you collect 4 points. Boots often run promotions for extra points on certain brands or specific products. To benefit fully from your Advantage card check for offers at the in store kiosks and keep an eye out for vouchers sent in the post. There are lots of opportunities to earn 250 extra points on a £25 spend, 150 points if you buy three products from 17 or whatever. One thing I would warn you about is not to get sucked into buying things you don't want just because there's an offer of extra points, it probably won't be worth it. However, if you were going to buy those 17 products anyway, for example, it's nice to get a little extra back in the process.
You can spend your points whenever you like but the issue with this card is that you must have enough points on your card to cover the cost of your purchase. You can not use these points as part payment, hence why I don't use the points on this card so often. You can spend your points in store and online which is handy if you're a fan of online shopping.
You can pick up a card (if you don't have one already...I imagine almost everyone does!) online, over the phone or in stores.
Reward Card Rating - 4/5
Finally, I have a Love Your Body card from The Body Shop. This card works differently to the others as you don't gain points when you shop. You pay £5 for the card but there's usually some sort of free product worth at least that value if you buy the card so it's usually technically free or almost free. Look out for a sign up incentive that you actually want. I believe I got one of their sulphate free shower gels and it was lovely. For your £5 you get 10% anything you buy for a year. The discount is applied to full price items, items in multi-buy offers and items in the sale. In fact, during the most recent sale (still ongoing, I believe) I had an email offering Love Your Body members an extra 20% off sale purchases and if you scroll down the blog a bit, you'll see a bargainous haul! In addition to the discount you get a stamp for each £10 you spend and once you've spent £40 (i.e. have four stamps) you get a free product worth up to £5. Once you have eight stamps you get a free product worth up to £10. You also get a free product worth up to £5 in your birthday month. There are also offers of freebies or extra discounts throughout the year.
When it comes to online shopping, you can still get your 10% discount but if you want to have the stamps added to your card for each £10 you spend, you have to take your receipt into the store and have them do it for you which is a bit of a faff. It's not the most online-friendly reward card out there.
I would recommend this card to anyone who thinks they'd spend around £80 in The Body Shop in the space of a year in order to take advantage of the freebies. However, since the card usually ends up not really costing you anything, if you want the free product that comes with signing up, I'd say to just get it. If you never, ever shop in The Body Shop then this one obviously isn't for you!
Reward Card Rating - 3.5/5
Phew...that's it! Sorry it was a long one this time but I hope it was helpful and that if you don't have some of these cards, you'll be able to pick them up and start saving a little money.