Best loyalty card and reward schemes for students

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Money is tight at the best of times, but it’s especially scarce when you’re a student. The majority of students rely on deals to help preserve their meagre bank balances.

That’s where loyalty cards and reward schemes come in. Whether in the form of an old school plastic card or modern day app, they give students a bit of something extra.

There are no shortage of options to choose from, so it can be confusing. Let us sort out the best for you, with our quick and handy guide to loyalty cards and rewards…


5. Tesco Clubcard

The most well-known loyalty card is also one of the best value. Tescos have branches almost everywhere, so it’s easy to take advantage of their long-established Clubcard.

It’s pretty simple. For every pound you spend at Tesco, you get 1 Clubcard point equaling a penny. That doesn’t sound very impressive but bear with us…!

You’ll receive vouchers every 3 months. These total up all your points over that period and you can boost them through companies like RAC and Pizza Express.

Plus by giving feedback as indicated at the bottom of your receipt you can instantly obtain 25 points. Read more about how to make the most of your Clubcard here.


4. Boots Advantage

With its range of health products and goodies such as sandwiches, Boots is a decent stop off for students seeking anything from moisturizer to aspirin.

This is the best part. Boots Advantage is viewed as one of the best loyalty cards on the market, providing generous rewards in the form of points.

While a point = a penny, you also get a good return on a shop. Spend £20 and you get 80 points, which could mean a free chocolate bar or toothbrush, the choice is yours!

A disadvantage is that you can’t apply the points to things like expensive prescriptions or phone top up. But overall the card/app provides good value for a student budget.


3. Waterstones Plus

Even in the digital age, students need books to study and generally improve their minds. Ebooks are common but actual books are doing pretty well also.

Read our lips. A Waterstones Plus Student card can knock £10 off every £100 you pay out. As many people know, textbooks and reference volumes don’t come cheap.

In terms of the nitty gritty, the card offers a “Plus stamp” which is applied every time you spend a tenner. Their Student scheme lops an additional 5% off purchases.

There are also discounts on things like Waterstones events. Unfortunately that staple of book buying, the gift voucher, isn’t included in the deal.


2. Co-op Membership

If you’re looking for a straightforward loyalty card with a more ethical base than some –  an important factor for students these days – the Co-op may be a great card for you.

Here’s the thing. When you go in a Co-op shop and spend with the card, 5% of that amount is added to your Membership account. But that’s not all.

You can then use your account to purchase items, be they Co-op or non-Co-op. And because it’s a historic company with ties to the community, your money goes further.

As well as discounts on Co-op services, 1% of whatever you spend on their products is given to a local charity of your choice. So you get a great deal and help others.


1. Nectar Card

Arguably the most versatile loyalty card is Nectar. It’s associated with Sainsbury’s, but you can get your points from various places such as Topshop and Vue Cinema.

This is how it works. When shopping at Sainsbury’s, you spend a pound to collect a point, though this can vary depending on the store location.

You then redeem them – for example, 500 points gets you £2.50 off a shop. In other words, 1 point would be redeemed for 0.5p. You can increase the value through certain deals.

Where the scheme excels, however, is in the range of point-earning options it delivers. Online surveys can be filled in to bag you points, so you don’t even need to spend.

You can even obtain Nectar points by donating to Oxfam. Read more about that here.


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