Score Free Stuff Now!

The in­side track on the best cus­tomer­loy­alty free­bies

Cosmopolitan (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - BY AOIFE STU­ART-MADGE

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.

Wool­worths WRe­wards

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!

Clicks ClubCard

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.

Mo­men­tum Mul­ti­ply

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.

San­lam Re­al­ity

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.

Absa Re­wards

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.

Ned­bank Green­backs

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…

Sign-up in­cen­tives

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. ■

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