Loyalty cards and store vouchers reduce “big store” spending.

One of the few business models that thrived during the pandemic is the supermarket.

especially during the blockade, with prospects of eating out, sales grew. We find ourselves making all our own meals.

For stores, it’s all about customer retention. How do you prevent a buyer from going elsewhere for their “big store”? In general, our cart has the same items every week. For commodities like detergent, bread, milk and vegetables, does it really matter where you buy?

Supermarkets were the first to recognize loyalty cards as a way to get the buyer back. The first, introduced by Tesco in 1995 in the United Kingdom (1997 in Ireland) was an instant success. There are now millions of Clubcards that are taken advantage of every day in their stores. Most retailers have them, but is that the last thing you need to be loyal to?

Surely by switching between brands, cards and points, you can earn all the way?

Research shows that not only customers benefit. Stores record the products customers buy to meet their needs and desires. Loyalty programs are really a function of market research.

Tesco says its product has evolved over the decades, from credit card style to keychain to an application today. “Our one million Irish customers can receive coupons, an exclusive discount on certain products, the use of the scanning tool while shopping and additional personal savings to use at Christmas,” they state.

So what else is there and should you change? Are there loyalty programs you don’t even know about? What are “reward partners” and should you also share your lot with them?


Stores that have loyalty schemes are based on spending, with € 1 generating a point. Although points can be accumulated to give discount vouchers, in some cases they can be exchanged for other services with different companies.

For example, Tesco Clubcard currently offers a three-month subscription to Disney + once you earn € 9 in points. In addition, 5 euros can be translated into a ticket for adults in Odeon cinemas, which is worth twice as much.

Dunnes Stores value card holders usually offer a € 10 discount at a supermarket over € 50.

Supervalu Rewards has a draw with Electric Ireland to earn extra points by paying bills. There is a current supply of a gift card for the supermarket when you change your energy provider.

Lidl, the latest convert, takes a different approach to “unlocking” discounts while in-store or at checkout instead of accumulating points.

Find out which scheme does what can really save you money when you’re shopping. But being disciplined is also important as many of the bargains are attractive to make you buy other things as well.

If you have the time (and energy), you can make better use of your loyalty scheme by switching stores as you receive a personalized discount notification.

Supermarkets may not offer points or benefits on certain purchases, such as lottery tickets, baby formula, tobacco products, stamps, or alcohol.


Your caffeine solution is the least rewarding. The Frank & Honest / Centra loyalty card offers you your eleventh free coffee after 10 purchases.

Starbucks offers three “stars” for every euro spent. You will need 150 to get a free drink (it costs € 50!).


Aer Lingus offers an Aer Club layout for frequent travelers and hotel reservations through its app. There are four levels and each one gives you ‘grandparents’, with three grandparents for every € spent.

Ryanair has yet to launch its frequent flyer program, but will likely base it on a paid membership option rather than accrue points, according to CEO Michael O’Leary.

Agree with Easy flight magazine, a fare of € 199 would buy free upgrades, priority boarding, etc., but passengers would need to make 10 flights or five round trips before saving.


The market leader is Boots. With a generous four points for every euro spent, there are also a number of discounts on its application tailored to individuals and online shoppers.

An example would be 500 extra points for € 50 spent, double points for certain number 7 purchases or triple points on branded products.

The AllCare Pharmacy loyalty scheme offers one point for every € spent (1c).

Life Pharmacy also offers one point for € 1, along with 200 points on registration and 200 on your birthday. Haven Pharmacy also offers a similar deal, with 200 points upon registration.

By law, points cannot be accrued or spent on prescription or listed drugs.

Banks and brand relations

Permanent TSB has a good loyalty scheme in their Explore checking accounts. It offers a 10 c refund when you use your debit card (maximum € 5 per month), which will partially offset your monthly account fees of € 6. It partners with companies like Sky, SSE Airtricity and Circle K to save, such as refunding 5 units on bills.

Bank of Ireland has a reward link with Aer Lingus through its Aer credit card. You can earn € 267 in benefits such as upgrades and fast passes, but the card costs € 7.99 per month in fees. It also has free travel insurance, as do many of the full-service credit cards available at banks.

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