Recently a friend of mine flew to America, which they had done on a regular basis prior to the pandemic and lock downs. They always flew the same US airline and had built up a substantial amount of frequent flyer miles. So many frequent flyer miles in fact, part of the trip across the USA cost them £8. £8 and they flew 3,600 miles back and forth across the USA.

One might argue they paid full price for the trip in the long run due to all the other trips they flew, but the fact is that using frequent flyer rewards programmes, and loyalty cards do save us money.

It is worth signing up for these programmes, especially is you are going to use the service or shop at the store anyway.

Not all airlines offer frequent flyer rewards, and unfortunately some change their terms of use as time goes on and we are banking air miles. But it is a way to save money in the future.

Years ago in the news there were couples getting a divorce, and one of them had loads of frequent flyer miles, and these were mentioned in the divorce proceedings, and one party wanted half of the reward miles. That is how valuable these programmes can be.

Loyalty Schemes

Many, if not most, food stores for the major chains, offer loyalty programme. So do many of the drug stores and stores that sell toiletries.

These loyalty programmes give you points based on what you spend and buy. And these points can add up.

For some you can use the points towards future purchases to reduce what items may cost you, and some stores send out vouchers or coupons that can be used as cash. And using them as cash is always a nice thing.

Many people may be surprised how much they spend and how quickly their points or vouchers grow. In addition, some food stores now offer discounts to loyalty card holders on some items the store sells, in addition to gaining loyalty points. A double win!

Coop Membership

I have singled out the Coop as a loyalty scheme for a few reasons which will be outlined.

The Coop began in 1844 as the Rochdale Pioneers, and in 1863 became the Co-operative Wholesale Society, which later became the Coop we know of today.

As a Cooperative the group have a common philosophy of making goods and services available to everyone, and also being a part of the local and larger community.

When you become a member of the Coop, and you do not need to be a member to shop at their stores, or use their funeral services, 2p of every £1 you spend goes into your Coop membership account. To become a member it does cost £1, but you can earn that back very quickly by shopping in the stores.

One of the many reasons this loyalty scheme is good as you can use the 2p you earn and bank it up to spend in the stores, or you can designate it to a local charity.

In addition, the Coop donates 2p to local causes for every £1 you spend.

This is a win-win situation for us as consumers, and for local causes and charities.

And just to toss it in the mix, many people are concerned about Fair Trade issues and sustainability, all of which the Coop believes in.

There are a lot of loyalty programmes out there, and it may seem like your wallet is bursting with loyalty cards, but they are a way of not just saving money, but also helping with local causes.

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