Best supermarket loyalty cards for saving money on your shopping

We reveal the best supermarket loyalty cards for discounts, deals and points return on your weekly shop.

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(Image credit: getty images)

The best supermarket loyalty cards can make all the difference to your weekly shop with food prices soaring and household budgets increasingly squeezed by astronomical rises in energy bills and fuel prices.

Annual grocery bills are expected to rise by £454 over the next year, according to data analysts Kantar (opens in new tab). It found food prices had gone up nearly 10% in a month from June to mid July. 

Which is why using your supermarket loyalty card to make savings at the till and unlock bonus offers and discounts is more worthwhile than ever before.

Britain’s Coupon Kid Jordon Cox (opens in new tab) says: “It’s probably a good idea to sign up to all supermarket loyalty schemes, even if you don’t shop there that often. Not only does it give you options, but you may get sent coupons and personalised offers, that can save you money.

With lots of different loyalty schemes offered, the best thing to look for is flexibility, whether the rewards work for you, and does making a supermarket switch negate the potential savings you make?”.

We’ve checked out all the major supermarket loyalty cards to help you get the most from every pound.

Top pick supermarket loyalty cards

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Best for savings

Lidl | Lidl Plus (opens in new tab) 

You’ll need the Lidl Plus app which is free and opens the doors to discounts and prizes. This loyalty scheme isn’t about points but reward coupons, cash discounts and free food depending on how much you spend in store.  

Every Thursday a new selection of coupons pop up. This week discounts include 15 – 20% off ice cream, cooked meats and biscuits.

Spend £200 a month and you get a whopping £10 off plus the chance to get freebies like a free bakery item when you spend £50 a month.

The verdict

If you shop at Lidl regularly then you can expect to bank bigger savings than any other supermarket loyalty card. Spending £100 means a £2 saving on your shopping; twice the equivalent value with Tesco’s Clubcard.  And if you spend £50 a week, you should reach the £200 monthly limit which means £10 off – a 5% saving.

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Best for budgeting

Iceland | Iceland Bonus Card (opens in new tab)

Iceland is still dishing out a physical savings card for you to put money on to use in store. You can top up online, in store or via an app.

It offers a £1 boost for every £20 you put on the card and it can be a simple way to budget for your weekly shop or save for Christmas. It works across Iceland and Food Warehouse and it can get you access to special ‘Bonus Card’ offers of up to 50% off.

If you spend £100 you get £5 back. Other benefits include special offers, free home delivery if you spend £25 or more in an Iceland store plus prize offers.

The verdict 

If you shop at Iceland regularly, this is a great way to boost the power of your pound as sticking £20 on your card regularly can earn you a 5% bonus. Right now if you put £100 on your card by 31 August you’ll get an extra £15 bonus paid in November. 

Best of the rest supermarket loyalty cards

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Morrisons | My Morrisons (opens in new tab)

My Morrisons is free to sign up and you can use your card at the till, online or via the app.  There are no points on offer – it’s all about unlocking discounts, freebies and offers. Offers and deals will pop up on your card and be applied automatically which could be anything from a 10% saving to a £5 voucher. 

New parents, NHS workers, teachers and students can also get access to extra offers, competition draws and treats.

The Verdict 

It’s hard to work out how much you can save with My Morrisons because discounts can vary. But if you scan your card at the checkout you could win a ‘Basket Bonus’  of £5 off your next shop, a bunch of flowers or free item at the bakery. By comparison you’d need to spend £500 at Tesco to get a £5 voucher to spend at the till.

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Tesco | Tesco Clubcard (opens in new tab)

Every pound you spend in store or online at Tesco can earn you one point and if you fill up at Tesco you get one point for every £2 at the pump. There’s also one point on offer for every £4 spent on Tesco credit cards and one point for every £1 with Tesco Mobile.

Points are also on offer for doing things like filling in shopper surveys or shopping at Esso and Tesco Express.  And Clubcard holders get exclusive discounts on products of typically between 50p - £1.  

Once you reach 150 points, you will get Clubcard vouchers worth £1.50.

You can use these to save at the till – both in store and online.  

The best way to boost your spending power is swapping Clubcard vouchers for up to three times their value on the Tesco website for treats including theme park tickets, airport parking (opens in new tab), cinema tickets (opens in new tab), restaurants vouchers, railcards and magazine subscriptions. But you’ve got to be hot on checking voucher expiry dates as they’ve only got a two year lifespan.

The Verdict

Don’t rely on Tesco Clubcard points for big savings, you need to spend £100 to get the equivalent of £1 in points. The big bonus with Tesco Clubcard is access to discounts and trading your points for three times their value on treats which can mean big savings on days out or gifts, although you can cash them in at face value at the till.

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Asda | Asda Rewards (opens in new tab)

Asda Rewards is all about building up cash savings in your ‘cashpot’ to use at the till. As a rough guide spending £50 can earn you 50p, £100 gets you £1 and £2 for £200.  You can also get 10% back on Star Products or earn more with ‘missions’ – which can meaning spending over a certain amount or buying certain products.  

Easy to see what you’ve got in your cashpot and convert the cash savings to shopping vouchers.

The verdict

Spend £100 to get £1 in your cashpot.  This scheme is now being rolled out nationally. 

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Sainsbury’s | Sainsbury’s Nectar Card (opens in new tab)

Every pound spent with Sainsbury’s earns you one point and you’ll get one point for every litre of fuel when filling up at Sainsbury’s pumps. Every 500 points equates to £2.50 to spend at Sainsbury’s or one of its ‘spend’ partners including Argos, eBay, British Airways and Esso.

You can spend points at the supermarket by tapping your Nectar card but you need to have shopped there within the last year and used your Nectar card.   So you can’t cash in points in a Sainsbury’s branch you’ve never used unless you want to shop there and then wait 24 hours before redeeming points.

The verdict 

Every £100 spent earns you just 50p. Nectar does get you personalised offers available through its app.

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Co-op | Co-op Membership card (opens in new tab) 

You’ll earn 2p for every £1 spent on selected Co-op products.  Cash earned goes straight to your Co-op account and Co-op match this with a donation to local community projects.

You can only earn on certain Co-op products – but when it comes to spending them – you can pay for most products on the shelves this way.  

The verdict 

Earning £2 for every £100 spent sounds good, but unlike other loyalty schemes you can only get points when you buy selected products, and unlike other supermarket schemes this isn’t free and costs £1 to join.  Small price to pay if you shop at a co-op regularly but it doesn’t have the same range of deals and cash bonus offers compared to the likes of Lidl or Asda.

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Waitrose | My Waitrose (opens in new tab)

You can sign up for a My Waitrose card for free to get personalised, vouchers, offers and discounts.  You’ll also get 20% off the meat and cheese counter every day and 20% off the fresh fish counter on Fridays along with a free copy of the Waitrose food or health magazine each month.

You don’t earn points and there are  no fixed discounts because it tailors deals to your shopping habits. 

The verdict 

Worth keeping in your pocket or purse but it’s a lot less appealing since Waitrose removed its free coffee perk, it’s not as generous as some of the other schemes with their quick cash bonuses and freebies.

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Sue Hayward
contributor

Sue Hayward is a personal finance and consumer journalist, broadcaster and author who regularly chats on TV and Radio on ways to get more power for your pound.  Sue’s written for a wide range of publications including the Guardian, i Paper, Good Housekeeping, Lovemoney and My Weekly. Cats, cheese and travel are Sue’s passions away from her desk!