Forget telling white lies to your significant other, pretending you got it on sale, and protesting that you’ve had it for years: let the new wave of rewards ease that shopping remorse. We round up some of the best offers, schemes and cards to help you enjoy a future dotted with guilt-free – and actually free – shopping.
A freebie trend: Most of the big supermarkets are currently offering money-off vouchers when you spend over a certain amount with them, as an incentive to return to their store. Just make sure you keep a track of the start and end dates and you’ll be rewarded for doing a shop you would do anyway.
Reward points: Tesco’s Clubcard points scheme is free to join and is the most generous points scheme offered by a UK supermarket, so it’ll be well worth signing up to. If you’ve been collecting points for some time but never seem to spend your vouchers, take a look at the Tesco Clubcard website to reclaim any unspent vouchers – apparently unspent vouchers worth up to £16 million are waiting to be claimed.
With Christmas on its way, you might as well accept that you’re going to be spending more than usual, so why not be rewarded for it? once again Tesco steps in with a good deal: Tesco Bank Clubcard Credit Card rewards you with Clubcard points when you use it to make purchases. If you struggle to get excited about free groceries, bear in mind that Clubcard points can also add up to money off clothes and homeware at Tesco, not to mention days out, meals out and money off travel.
American Express’s Platinum Cashback card gives you five per cent cashback on up to £2,500 of purchases made in the first three months. After that you’ll earn 1.25 per cent on purchases, and if you spend more than £10,000 on the card in a year, the anniversary month in which you took out the card will be marked with a special 2.5 per cent cashback. This card does cost £25 a year, but as This Is Money says, you’ll quickly make that money back if you spend just £500 on the card in the first three months after you open the account.
For more information about fees and other benefits, take a look at the handy credit card summaries here.
If you don’t like the idea of taking out a credit card, it may be worth looking into switching your bank account to one that rewards you just for using your debit card for purchases at participating retailers. Natwest’s Cashback Plus is once such account, and while there are some exceptions, if you’ve got a Natwest current account and you like the sound of getting at least one per cent of your spend back as cash rewards, it’s worth looking into.
Sometimes you don’t even need to spend to earn a free shopping session. Take an interest in your future with Key Retirement Solutions’ free Equity Release Calculator and you’ll be in with the chance to win £100 in M&S vouchers. There are plenty more free-to-enter prize draws like this around – just keep an eye on online forums for details. Money Sving Expert’s forums are always a great place to start.
There are plenty of opportunities to receive shopping vouchers for buying things you would buy anyway – such as the £25 voucher you get for signing up to SKY TV online. The only rule is to make sure you don’t get carried away with the freebie, ignoring whether you actually need the initial product. One way to avoid unnecessary temptation is to search online for products and services you need rather than vouchers and rewards for shops and services you quite fancy.
Enjoy the guilt-free spending!