Beauty loyalty cards: reviewed
By Bronni Hughes on September 13th, 2016 - 12:16 AM
In recent years more and more beauty loyalty cards have sprung up, and unless you’re carrying around a wallet the size of a small country – chances are that you’re not going to be able to fit them all in.
The Ts & Cs for all of these cards are hidden in the depths of their respective websites, but I’ve done the digging for you, so it’s up to you to decide which ones are worth it.
Obviously, the loyalty cards that are going to be most useful to you is going to depend on where you like to shop- but I’m going to cover the big ones, and some you might not have considered getting.
The Boots Advantage Card is definitely the most popular beauty card in the UK, and if you’ve got any of the cards in this post, then it’s probably this one!
The general offer is 4 points per £1 spent, which means you have to spend £125 to get a fiver. It doesn’t sound too appealing when you think about it in those terms, but it’s special points promotions that can really push your points through the roof.
Ways to earn more points:
- Double points weekends
- Points events- every Christmas they do an offer where you get £12 of points when you spend £50, which is an incredible 24% earnt back.
- Vouchers in the post- the ones you get depend on what you buy in store (if you only buy toothpaste and deodorant, those are the vouchers you’ll receive), but you usually always get at least one double points voucher.
- Receipt print out vouchers – sometimes you’ll get a double points voucher handed to you with your receipt when you shop in store.
- The Boots app- the deals you get on the Boots app are similar to the vouchers you get in the post, but you can apply them to your Advantage Card with the app, so you don’t need to remember to bring any tiny pieces of paper to the shop with you – they’re automatically applied at the till. Check the My Offers section on the Boots website if you don’t want to download the app.
It’s well worth signing up for if you’re not already.
Here are some tips you might not know:
- If you forget to bring in your Boots card you can ask the cashier for a validated receipt, and when you remember your card next time they can scan the receipt to add your points retroactively.
- You must pay for the WHOLE item when you’re redeeming your points, i.e you need 499 points in order to buy something for £4.99- if you only have 450 you cannot make up the 49p with cash.
- Having a Boots card means you get the monthly Boots magazine for free, it sometimes has samples and freebies- and it always has extra coupons inside.
- Boots points never expire, so if you earned 100 points ten years ago, you’d still have £1 to spend today.
The Superdrug Beautycard is often viewed as the dowdier, less rewarding sister of the Advantage Card, and it’s true- you only get ONE point per £1- so a £500 spend will earn you £5 at Superdrug. Not that great.
However, if you’re an online shopping addict like us, then the Beautycard might actually be superior to the Advantage card- because… there’s FREE ONLINE DELIVERY with no minimum spend. If you have a Beautycard.
Reasons to get a Beautycard:
- It sometimes has double/triple points events, which can add up – if you get the newsletter you’ll be warned in advance about them.
- You can use your points as a discount on higher priced items. Unlike the Boots Advantage Card you can use points and cash combined to pay for things. This means you can access your rewards more quickly, which is pretty good. BUT you need to spend them in increments of 100.
- This is one of only a couple of places on this list that has student discount (only in store)- so if you’ve got an NUS Extra card you can get 10% off AND your points.
- Surveys – occasionally Superdrug will email you a customer survey and in return you’ll get a decent amount of points.
- Freebies from the newsletter – I’ve been offered both a free Kinder Bueno and a box of hair dye in the Beautycard newsletter. These offers were linked to my card, and when they swiped it took 100% off the price of those items.
Warning: your points WILL expire, sadly. You have to use your card once every 12 months to keep it alive, and any points you’ve accrued will disappear after 2 years even if you carry on using your card. So spend them as soon as you get 100- it’s the best way to ensure you don’t lose out.
So that’s the end of the high street chemist beauty cards- I know some of you will buy beauty products at the supermarket, but to compare their loyalty schemes would be a whole other blog post (clue: Tesco Clubcard is the best). On to department stores!
The Debenhams Beauty Club is the only department store loyalty card that is just for beauty products, this has its perks as they can afford to be more generous with the rewards and you can use your card in store to pick up free samples – however this means that if you’re going to make a big purchase on furniture (or whatever else) you won’t be able to earn points on that spend. So although the DBC is more generous than the cards you can get at House Of Fraser, John Lewis and Harrods, it’s harder to rack up points because unless you’re a real beauty addict you’re never going to spend hundreds of pounds on it.
As it stands you’re getting 3 points per £1, which means you need to spend approximately £150 to get a fiver. BUT like the Superdrug card the perks you get are often considerably more valuable than the points you receive.
Why you should pick up a Beauty Club card:
- Sign up bonus – this changes seasonally, but there’s often a free gift for new members of the Beauty Club who sign up in store: at the moment it’s three free Clinique samples. Ask at a counter if you’re unsure.
- Free delivery on all online beauty orders- the code at the moment is SHA5 (if it changes and this no longer works – our apologies). The Debenhams website has brands like Mac, Chanel and Benefit who all have pricey delivery options on their own websites, so this is definitely worth it.
- Double/triple points events.
- Free Benefit brow wax on your birthday- worth £11.50. You can claim this within four weeks of your birthday (they’ll ask for ID)- so you’ve got 8 weeks to get it, and they advise that you book it in advance.
- Free samples in store- you can get free samples at counters in all good department stores, but maybe this means you won’t have to buy anything? They also offer free makeovers.
- If you’re worried about this card taking up valuable card-slot real estate in your purse, you don’t need to! Once you’ve got a card you can register it to the Beauty Club app, and the salesperson can just scan your phone (iOS only).
You need to use it every two years to keep the card active, your points will be deleted if you don’t use your card in 12 months and you need a minimum of 500 points to convert them into a reward (you can use them to part-pay for a higher priced item) . Once you’ve made your £5 you’ve got 6 months to spend it, so I’d do it ASAP.
House of Fraser
The Recognition card from House of Fraser gives you 1 point per £1 spent, so you have to spend £500 to get £5 back.
You need 500 points to be convert them into a £5 voucher, but the card does sometimes give you access to 10% off events for Recognition holders and other exclusive offers like bonus points promotions.
A relatively new entry into the branded beauty game, M&S now stock big names like Stila, Pixi, Nails inc and more. The Sparks card doesn’t earn you vouchers to spend in store, but having more ‘Sparks’ will get you early access to sales, and exclusive offers you can individually add to your card like you do with the Boots Advantage card app.
- Keep an eye out for store-wide discounts, your Sparks card will automatically add any promos to your shopping when you scan it.
- Check your offers regularly on the Sparks homepage, they change about once a week.
- Look for bonus “treats” that you can apply to your card as well as the offers – we’ve had a free hot drink from the cafe before.
The N.Dulge card will earn you 1 point per £1 spent, but 100 points will get you a £5 voucher, so you need to spend £100 to earn a fiver. Look out for double points days if you’re planning a Space NK shop, as this means a £50 spend will get you a £5 voucher.
This makes it one of the most generous loyalty cards out there, but the biggest perk is a freebie that you’ll receive in an email near your birthday. You can either apply the freebie to an online order, or get it completely free by bringing the email in store.
We’ve had a freebie from Nuxe, but we’ve seen people get Nars and other amazing brands totally free.
The Body Shop
The recently relaunched Love Your Body card (pick one up in store) is now totally free (was £5) and you’ll get 10 points per £1 spent – so it’s a £50 spend to get a £5 voucher to spend at The Body Shop.
You also get a £5 voucher free on your birthday every year, you can use it to spend on anything you like in store, so you can get some totally free mini products or use it as a discount on something bigger.
Enjoyed this? Have a read of our guide to beauty cashback to make your shop even more rewarding.