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One of the Advantage's of Boots
Boots Advantage Card
Member Name: chrisandmark
Boots Advantage Card
Advantages: Earn a good amount of points per transaction, spend them on anything, easy to use
Basically, with the Advantage card you get points added to your card each time you make a purchase in either a Boots store or at Boots Online. What really sets it apart from other loyalty cards is the amount of points you get for your hard earned cash. Whereas other loyalty cards will reward you with one solitary point for each pound spent, Advantage gives you four. A big difference, and as each point is worth 1p you can easily work out how many points you need to save to pay for whatever you fancy.
Itís free and easy to apply for an Advantage card, either fill in an application form in store or pop along to www.boots.com and follow the links for the Advantage Card micro site and apply there. Your card will be with you within 14 days and then youíre all set to raid Boots. If applying instore youíll get a temporary card which can be used until your permanent Advantage card arrives in the post.
OK. So itís four points per pound spent. Thatís the first big bonus Advantage has to offer. The second *ahem* advantage to this card is the fact that as soon as you start amassing points you can spend them. I get bored waiting for Tesco to send my vouchers through (after spending hundreds of £££ís to build up a meagre balance), Nectar points mount up sooooo slowly, even The Body Shop loyalty scheme isnít as generous as it sounded when I signed up for it. But if you fancy a packet of crisps costing 39p then you can use your points to pay for it, you donít have to wait until you have a minimum amount of points before spending them.
Boots say there are over 55, 000 products which you can spend your points on instore. Iíve never actually counted but I can tell you that (with a few exceptions) near enough everything in Boots can be bought with Advantage points, including sale items and special offer stock. When you see something you want to spend your points on, check the price label on the shelf and if itís eligible for you to buy the product with your points there will be a star ( * ) in the top corner of the label. Itís as easy as that Ė you even collect new points on the value of the stuff that youíve bought with your points. Now, for a loyalty card thatís generosity indeed!
But before you can spend points, youíve got to earn them. You really cannot go wrong. Hand over your Advantage card when youíre ready to pay for your shopping and the points will automatically be added at the till. Again, there are a very few exceptions which you cannot earn points on (baby milk up to six months, prescriptions, gift vouchers and postage stamps) but everything else you buy will help that points balance mount up.
Boots also allow you to collect points when you use their Opticians service; this pays one point for each £1 spent. You can collect points while shopping online at Boots.com, the points will be calculated at the end of your transaction and next time youíre passing a Boots store simply stick your card into an Advantage Point machine where the points will be transferred to your card. A bit topsy turvy I suppose considering youíve shopped online to avoid going into the storeÖ
Whatís an Advantage Point machine when itís at home then? Itís basically a big cash-point type machine in larger Boots stores. You slide your card into the slot, wait a minute while it reads the chip and then the machine is yours for a while. You can check your points balance, change your personal details, enter competitions and most importantly check for extra point offers on a variety of products. Simply press ĎPrint Voucherí on the screen and the machine will spew out a personalised voucher which youíll need to hand over with the item youíre receiving the extra points for.
Recent examples which Iíve taken advantage of are an extra 100 points on Botanics skin care, 250 on Toni & Guy hair care and 50 points on Boots shampoo. The machine is touch screen and if youíve got two minutes to trawl through the offers (and if youíre not particularly brand loyal) then itíll give your points total a decent boost while allowing you to try out new stuff.
Another brilliant little bonus which comes with the Advantage card is the free Boots magazine, Health & Beauty. It is available to non-Advantage card holders but itíll cost you £1 and isnít really worth that considering itís tailored to shoppers who hold the card. In each issue is a variety of very generous extra point vouchers, usually thereís at least one voucher per issue which more or less gives you the cost of the item back in points.
As I am a very regular Boots shopper, I find the Advantage scheme fantastic in every way. When my kids were still in nappies (both at the same time!) I was literally collecting hundreds of points a month, nowadays I average 100 points per week on my normal Boots shopping with extra points as and when suitable offers come up. I mean, this loyalty card is so simple to use that itíd be a sin not to have one. If I need shampoo or soap or a birthday card Iíll nip up to Boots instead of Asda, there isnít much difference in price (Boots is actually cheaper for a lot of this kind of stuff) and I can collect my points too.
The earning capability of Advantage is unlimited, every point you earn is 1p extra which you can spend on all the wondrous goodies you can find in Boots. I think of my points as cashback on my shopping, what other loyalty card will give you back the cost of a £5.99 lipstick for simply handing over a card and a voucher? Granted, the cashback is in points which can only be spent in Boots but in essence itís a free product. Also watch out for ĎTriple Pointí events when you earn a whopping 12 points per £1 spent Ė thatís over 10% cashback which you donít get with even the most generous credit cards, let alone loyalty cards!
When it comes to spending, I like to save my points up for a luxury item such as perfume or some ridiculously priced hand cream but as I said earlier if you get to 250 points you can treat yourself to a Boots sandwich meal. The choice is yours as to whether to spend or save your points, but whatever you do the Advantage is yours.
Summary: A generous loyalty card, scrap that - THE generous loyalty card.
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