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2022-03-18

Using points to pay for fuel, saving on clothes and food – how SA’s most loved rewards programmes work

We keep swiping and swiping. But that loyalty card or rewards programme never really seems to put a little extra cash back in your pocket or actually help you save on your purchases at the till.


Additional reporting by Boitumelo Matshaba | Drum

Still, in a time when we’re having to squeeze our belts tighter than ever before, it’s nice to be rewarded with points that you can actually use for things like buying fuel or toiletries or to get a discount on in-store purchases that you really need.

About three in four economically active South African used loyalty programmes in 2021, according to the South African Loyalty Whitepaper survey results by Truth & BrandMapp, which last did this type of research into loyalty insights in 2019. According to the consulting business, the use of loyalty programmes has increased in SA from 67% in 2015 to 74% in 2021.

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The top 15 loyalty programmes South Africans cannot live without.
 

We take a look at how the loyalty programmes of some of the brands that came up tops in the survey work.

  • Discovery Vitality

Cost: R305 per month (main member)

Rewards value: You earn discounts on a tiered accumulative rewards system.

How it works: You can get half price movies at Ster-Kinekor, a discount on your monthly gym fees at Virgin Active or Planet Fitness, rewards for buying healthy foods at Pick n Pay or Woolworths and up to 75% on flights and/or travel bookings. As a new member you start off on the gold tier which earns you up to 15% back on qualifying purchases. The highest tier is platinum where you can get up to 75% off discounts on certain products and services. Vitality Drive members get up to 50% of their fuel spend back at BP and Shell and up to 25% off Uber trips.

  • Pick n Pay SmartShopper

Cost: Free

Rewards value: 1 point for every R2 spent

How it works: You can earn points every time you swipe at Pick n Pay. For every R2 you spend, you get one point – 1 000 points = R10 in cash-back vouchers. You can redeem your points when you have a minimum of 500 points – valid for a year.

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Use the in-store kiosk or Pick n Pay’s mobile app to check points and convert them into cashback vouchers, which can be used to buy groceries, clothes or airtime or pay utility bills. You can give all, or some, of your points to charity as well, also via the kiosk or app.

  • UCount

Cost: R25 paid monthly for the UCount Rewards programme - payable by debit order from your Standard Bank personal account only (this can’t be paid from a third-party account). 

Rewards value: Percentage-based and tiered. For instance, you can earn up to 20% back in Rewards Points when you swipe with your qualifying Standard Bank personal Credit, Cheque or Debit card for groceries or clothes at a participating Reward Retailer or up to R5 back in Rewards Points per litre of fuel and oil purchased at Caltex.

How it works: You can use your UCount to pay for fuel and oil at any participating Caltex; pay for a family member’s school fees or donate to charities online with your Rewards Points; or pay in-store or online using your points, according to the website. 

  • eBucks

eBucks has consistently always been the most used non-retail loyalty brand throughout the Loyalty Whitepaper series, according to Truth & BrandMapp.

Cost: Free. A monthly fee of R16,50 is required to link certain FNB credit cards to eBucks. 

Rewards value: R1 = 10 eB 

How it works: You earn eBucks, a virtual currency, every time you swipe your qualifying FNB or RMB Private Bank credit or cheque card anywhere. You can also earn up to 10% back when you buy groceries from Checkers and Shoprite, or petrol, prepaid electricity and prepaid airtime through FNB’s electronic channels.

How much you earn back depends on your rewards level. Collect points by using FNB’s banking services and you move up a level. For example, if you have an active FNB credit card and a tablet, smartphone or laptop contract with FNB, you earn points each month. How much you earn depends on what type of product or device you have. You can also earn points from eBucks partners, check the eBucks website. 

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You can spend your eBucks at participating retail stores, use them in the eBucks Shop or book a holiday through eBucks Travel. You also qualify for up to 40% off when spending your eBucks at the online shop or on selected flights and domestic car rental through its travel service.

  • Dis-Chem Benefits

Main benefits: Redeemable points, in-store purchases, in-store promotions, special offers and vouchers, free Dis-Chem’s Benefit magazine, and more, depending on the interest group you join. 

How it works: Spend a minimum of R10 and you earn 15 Benefit points. You can use your points any time to shop in store or on Dis-Chem’s website. For every 100 points you redeem you get R1 off your purchase. The pharmacy’s loyalty programme is divided into five focus groups – Baby, VIB Nappy, Beautiful Woman, For Youth and 60 Plus. Each group offers additional benefits and you can join more than one group.

Dis-Chem also donates a percentage of all eligible purchases to the Dis-Chem Foundation to fund worthy causes, and it has additional partners such as such as Absa Rewards, Total, and eBucks, as well as certain medical aids. Each of these partnerships comes with a host of benefits to boost your cash-back earnings.

  • Clicks

Main benefits: Cashback vouchers, special offers and partner discounts. 

How it works: Swipe your ClubCard at any Clicks store or participating partner and earn points. For every R5 spent at Clicks, Claire’s or The Body Shop, you earn one point. If you get 50 or more points in a two-month period you qualify for a cash-back reward to spend at Clicks within 12 months. 

The Clicks ClubCard is tiered: entry level is the Blue ClubCard. Earn more than 300 points in a year to get to Gold. Gold ClubCard holders get a digital or printed copy of the ClubCard magazine. You also get rewards at selected ClubCard partners.

 


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