Supermarket loyalty schemes compared: Clubcard vs Nectar?

Sainsbury’s is joining the battle of the bargains as it will now offer digital Nectar customers discounts on their most frequent purchases.

My Nectar Prices says it will give shoppers up to 30 per cent off handpicked products weekly and could save a typical customer more than £200 a year through the scheme, according to the supermarket giant.

It is hoped the new discount scheme, which launches on Wednesday, can rival Tesco’s popular and revamped Clubcard format, which offers discounts on certain products around the store if you have its loyalty card. 

However, Nectar customers will have to own a smartphone to use the My Nectar Prices app and check out in-store through Sainsbury’s SmartShop self-scanning service in order to access the deals.

New discount scheme: My Nectar Prices will give shoppers up to 30% off handpicked products

While this will be convenient for some, it may put others off accessing the discounts.  

To find out which offers the best savings, This is Money takes a look at the popular supermarket discount schemes to see how they compare.

My Nectar Prices

From this week, Nectar customers will have access to exclusive discount prices for the Sainsbury’s products they shop for regularly via the digital Nectar App.

Shoppers will be able to view their personal My Nectar Prices discounts and redeem them in store by checking out through Sainsbury’s self-scanning service, SmartShop.

Discounts are based on consumers’ shopping habits, meaning pre-existing digital Nectar customers will be offered up to 30 per cent off products tailored to them.

Customers can also use their personal discounts across multiple purchases within the validation period, which ranges from one week to a few months depending on the offer.

My Nectar Prices could save a weekly Sainsbury’s shopper upwards of £200 a year when taking full advantage of the app, according to Nectar.

However, those who do not have a smartphone or a nearby store with access to the self-scanning service will be unable to take advantage of the deals at all.

Rob Burgess, editor of loyalty points site, said: ‘If the reports are correct, and you need to use SmartShop, then I think it makes absolutely no sense.

‘SmartShop simply isn’t necessary for most shoppers, who have enough on their minds when shopping without having to mess around scanning items as they go.

‘No supermarket chain has, as far as I know, managed to make a success of scan as you go, either via their phone or with handheld scanners – people don’t seem to want it.’ 

Sainsbury’s now has eight million customers registered with the Nectar digital app with chief executive Simon Roberts targeting 10million by the end of next year.

It is hoped My Nectar Points will give regular customers discounts on their most bought items

It is hoped My Nectar Points will give regular customers discounts on their most bought items

Tesco Clubcard

Tesco revamped its Clubcard model last year when it introduced lower prices for cardholders and it has a catchy advert using early 1990s hit song You’ve Got the Power by Snap! 

Members can get money off certain discounted items in store and online with products changed weekly.

Customers can either scan their Clubcard on the app or tap their physical card or fob at the checkout.

Aside from lower prices instore, consumers will also collect one point for every £1 they spend in-store and online. On fuel, it is one point for every £2 they spend.

These points are turned into vouchers with 150 points getting customers a £1.50 voucher. 

The vouchers can be spent in store, online or on a range of different activities or at different places such as restaurants, cinemas or experience days out.

The Clubcard Plus was also introduced by Tesco in 2019. 

This costs consumers £7.99 a month but in return they will get 10 per cent off their groceries in-store, twice a month, as well as 10 per cent off clothing brand, F&F, all the time.

Burgess added: ‘Tesco Clubcard still remains the big beast, with the Clubcard Deals redemptions for three times face value remaining hugely popular.

‘The scheme is past its prime, with cash discounts – rather than bonus points – now preferred by Tesco, but customers seem happy picking up a couple of free Pizza Express meals or similar every quarter with their points.’ 

Tesco revamped its Clubcard model last year when it introduced lower prices for cardholders

Tesco revamped its Clubcard model last year when it introduced lower prices for cardholders

My Morrisons

My Morrisons replaced the Morrisons More scheme in May this year and is no longer a points based programme.

Instead, it is now an app based discount scheme which offers customers personalised discounts based on their recently purchased items.

Customers will still be able to scan their old physical More card at the checkout but to take part in the promotions they will need to use the My Morrisons app on their mobile phone or create an online account.

For those who don’t have a smartphone, Morrisons will send an email with weekly offers where users can then login to their online account and activate the offers they like with these loaded directly to their card.

Meanwhile, those with no internet access at all can still be part of the loyalty scheme via coupons at till.

Lidl Plus

The budget chains rewards app gives customers savings with new coupons released every Thursday plus exclusive discounts and prizes.

Each week customers can download coupons onto the app that will give them 15 to 20 per cent off a selection of food and drinks in store.

Customers who spend £200 in store in one month will also get a £10 off coupon.

Other features include Lidl’s ‘Spin of Surprises’ where consumers can virtually spin a wheel and potentially win £20 off.

Another benefit is the digital receipts it offers, showing customers how much they have spent in store and enabling them to track their purchases.

Lidl Plus is one of the newest discount schemes that offers customers prizes & weekly offers

Lidl Plus is one of the newest discount schemes that offers customers prizes & weekly offers

Marks & Spencer Sparks

M&S changed the way Sparks works recently, getting rid of the points system after claiming it was too ‘confusing’ for customers.

Now, instead, consumers are able to get personalised discounts on items throughout the store although it is not guaranteed how often or how much users will get off.

Every time they scan the card with a shop, they also have the chance to win the whole shop but again, it is not known what the odds for a customer to receive this.

M&S also donates 1p to the Sparks customer’s chosen charity every time they shop at M&S – whether in-store, online or via the M&S app. 

There are 35 charities and causes customers can choose to support.  Customers can either use the app or scan a physical card.  

My Waitrose

My Waitrose cardholders is another discount scheme without points. 

Instead customers benefit from a number of discounts such as Fish Friday when they will receive 20 per cent off selected fish from the counter. 

One of the main perks used to be the free tea or coffee for consumers each time they visit a store, however, this has been suspended during the pandemic.

Consumers can get a free selected newspaper when they spend at least £10 and exclusive myWaitrose prices.