Score Free Stuff Now!
The inside track on the best customerloyalty freebies
Gone are the days when companies would reward your loyalty with a free pen (er, thanks but no thanks). In the tech age, loyalty schemes have upped their game, targeting you with rewards apps packed with high-value incentives. As a result, loyalty schemes are big business in South Africa: according to a 2016 Truth Loyalty White Paper by WhyFive, there are more than 100 loyalty programmes in South Africa; the average South African belongs to 4,6 loyalty schemes. This super-competitive market is good news for consumers, and it’s easier than ever to get customer kickbacks. In fact, free swag is available at the touch of a smartphone button if you know how to work the system. Here are the hacks you need.
Best cashback app SnapnSave
Cashback apps have been flourishing in the UK and US, so it was only a matter of time before South Africa followed suit with its own mobile cashback app. Step forward SnapnSave, the cashback app that allows you to claim back a certain amount of cash when you buy featured items. To register, download the app and register your cellphone number and password, then get ready to shop. Browse in-app offers and book the ones you want – you have 48 hours to buy before your booking expires. After you shop, upload a pic of your receipt to prove you’ve bought the featured item, and a couple of days later the cashback appears in your SnapnSave wallet, which you can redeem as a coupon for use at any Pick n Pay, Dis-Chem and other participating stores. The savings are pretty hefty (up to 51% off in some cases); you can also save on items already discounted in store for a saving double whammy.
Need-to-know: GET THE TIMING RIGHT
You need to be quick: new offers are uploaded every week (usually on Friday) and get booked up fast. There are decent savings to be made on everyday items such as bread, milk and cooking oils, and treats such as chocolate and mags. (R3,45 back on the latest issue of COSMO, anyone?) But here’s the rub: the cash incentives can tempt you to buy stuff you don’t actually need. A good rule of thumb is to stick to brands you buy regularly anyway.
Best rewards schemes Pick n Pay Smart Shopper
Earn one point for every R2 spent with your Smart Shopper card. Once you hit 500 points, you can claim the cash value at an in-store kiosk or choose to donate it to a selected charity. As a member, you also receive personalised vouchers with offers tailored to your shopping habits.
The rewards of this scheme increase the more you spend, with shoppers placed on a tiered system according to their annual spend at Woolworths, Country Road and Trenery. If you’ve spent R8 400 to R25 200, you’re in the Loyal tier (the top VIP tier is for those who spent upwards of R25 200), and you’re rewarded with instant savings on selected products, bonus rewards for eco-products and first dibs on sale items for the first 90 minutes. Elbows at the ready!
Earn a point for every R5 spent on selected purchases of more than R10. Earn 100+ points in two months, and you qualify for cashback vouchers and personalised coupons for use in store at Clicks. If you earn more than 300 points annually, you’re promoted to a Gold ClubCard member, which entitles you to cashback vouchers and coupons. Look out for double-points days. You can also earn points at partner retailers Sorbet, The Body Shop and Nu Metro.
Dis-Chem Loyalty Benefits Programme
Members can select benefits tailored to their specific interests and their lifestyle, so you can get rewards for shopping for your favourite items at Dis-Chem. (A percentage of your money is also donated to the DisChem Foundation charity.) You can also boost your benefits if you’re an FNB eBucks or Absa Rewards member: you can earn and spend eBucks at Dis-Chem, or earn an extra one percent in rewards when you shop at Dis-Chem using an Absa debit, cheque or credit card.
Edgars Thank U Card
Earn 10 points for every R1 you spend at clothing retailer Edgars (including Edgars Active, Red Square, Boardmans, CNA, Legit, Jet and Topshop), with special promotions of multiple points earned on certain purchases. You can use 10 000 points to get R10 off purchases, and track your points balance and access personalised offers on the smartphone app.
It promises at least 4,5% back in Dis-Chem points, at least 7,5% off Mango flights, and tickets at Nu Metro from R44, so if you’re on a Momentum health plan, take advantage of its loyalty scheme Multiply. Momentum also multiplies your Pick n Pay Smart Shopper points and offers up to 40% off Edcon gift cards as you work your way up the tiers. Multiply Starter is free to join – but fees increase as you move up the tiers, so make sure your lifestyle allows you to take advantage of the benefits before you sign up.
Here’s the rub: cash incentives can tempt you to buy stuff you don’t actually need – so stick to brands you buy regularly anyway
Discovery Vitality + credit card
If you’re insured with Discovery, joining Vitality can get you discounts on your premiums, plus up to 30% off some flight bookings, up to 25% cashbacks at Woolies and Pick n Pay, and discounts at various outlets (including Virgin Active). The trick? Ensure you’re racking up rewards worth more than the monthly fee you pay (from R219 per month), and stick to the system, which focuses on genuinely healthy habits – such as going to the gym – to reach top-level discount status. Vitality members are also eligible for a Discovery credit card, which earns you miles as you shop. There’s a monthly fee so, again, you need to be using the card and harnessing the miles for the card to be worth it.
Available to Sanlam clients, Reality is a fourtier rewards programme that starts from R35 per month. The kickbacks? Big discounts at participating gyms, restaurants, Nu Metro cinemas and on Computicket bookings, among others.
Need-to-know: DO YOUR RESEARCH
To get the most out of a customer-loyalty scheme, you need to ensure its rewards – and means of achieving these rewards – fit your lifestyle. Hate eating healthily and exercising? You’re unlikely to get the most out of Discovery Vitality, for example.
Need-to-know: DON’T HOARD POINTS
Check for any limits or caveats in your rewards scheme: for example, do the points have an expiry date? If so, set a reminder on your phone so you don’t waste them. You may also need to earn a certain number of points per quarter to reach a rewards level. Keep track of points earned on your phone or via the rewards-scheme website. One of the most basic things is to make sure you always carry your rewards card on you: you can’t earn points while your card is at home.
Best bank kickbacks FNB eBucks
You can earn more eBucks by getting groceries at Shoprite. FNB is also partnered with Checkers, Checkers Hyper and Makro. You can earn eBucks by filling up at any petrol station, but if you want to spend them on fuel, fill up at Engen garages.
Standard Bank UCount
Partners include Shoprite, Checkers, Checkers Hyper, Food Lover’s Market, Fruit & Veg City, Pick n Pay, Makro, Spar and Woolworths. You do not earn points for liquor or in-store pharmacy purchases – but you can earn points (and use them to buy fuel) at Caltex garages.
There is no grocery partner, but Absa focuses on lifestyle partners including furniture (Hirsch’s), as well as online shopping partners such as Netflorist. You can get a fivepercent cashback on fuel and other purchases made at Sasol garages. Rewards are in cash, not points.
This scheme lets you earn when you swipe a Nedbank credit card or cheque card (or an American Express). You can spend the Greenbacks at Makro and, while you can’t earn them for buying fuel, you can load Greenbacks onto a prepaid card and use it to pay for fuel at any petrol station.
Need-to-know: FIND WAYS TO BOOST POINTS
Check the bank’s website for details of special offers, and know how the rewards are structured so you can make the scheme work for you. For example, FNB offers double eBucks for using a credit card. It makes sense, then, to buy groceries with a credit card and transfer the funds from your current account so you don’t take on unnecessary credit-card debt. Nedbank is teamed with American Express to offer double Greenbacks points for every R5 spent on American Express, while Standard Bank rewards specific behaviour such as using the Standard Bank app or depositing a minimum monthly amount.
Best onlineshopping deals Takealot Daily Deals
Since stock depletes fast, sign up online for the daily e-mailer that pings through the best discounts of the day directly to your inbox – or download the app (which has its own exclusive deals) to access them at your fingertips. Just remember: it’s only really a bargain if you needed to make that purchase in the first place…
Estée Lauder offers a 15% discount when you sign up and shop online for the first time, while Superbalist gives an impressive 25% off your first online spree. We also love that shopping online with Estée Lauder allows you to snap up free samples. And don’t forget MAC – get 10% off when you sign up to shop online.
Birthday? Cash in!
Love a mani? Join the Sorbet Club to enjoy 50% off treatments during your birthday month. The Body Shop offers Love Your Body card-holders a R50 voucher during their birthday month. Got a Vida loyalty card? Get a free cuppa on your birthday; or make use of Ster-Kinekor and Nu Metro’s programmes to score a free movie ticket.
Best travel saver The Entertainer
Download the app and enjoy a few days’ free trial. Then register to access the real discounts. A once-off annual fee is at its most expensive in January (because you have the whole year to make use of the incredible offers), but it gets cheaper each month. Membership is pricey (R495 at the beginning of the year, and sitting at R295 at time of print, for the second half of 2017), but the discounts are significant. It offers savings on everything from eating out to travel and accommodation in cities around the world, including London, Dubai and Athens. Most deals are a minimum of 50% off – or two-for-one. The best way to use this app is while you’re travelling overseas, where you can quickly earn back the membership cost on hotels, restaurants and activities that would normally cost top dollar. ■