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Boots Advantage Card
Member Name: pink_glitter
Boots Advantage Card
Advantages: 4 points per £1, lots of offers for Advantage card holders
Disadvantages: Can't pay in part with points
~Applying for a card~
To apply for a card you can either pick up a leaflet in store or visit www.bootsadvantage.com. The leaflet has a cardboard temporary advantage card on the front of it, so you can start earning points straight away.
You are only required to give them minimul details, such as name and address, and they also ask if you wear contact lenses or glasses. When signing up, you can also opt to join the health club or the parenting club. If you choose these you will get sent extra offers, like money off coupons, through the post, so they could be worth doing.
Boots Advantage Card is widely known for being the best on the high street, offering 4 points (worth £0.04) for every £1 spent. Whereas this doesn't sound a lot, compared to many other points cards, such as WH Smith or Nectar, it is pretty generous. You can earn points on just about everything in Boots stores. The only exceptions are prescription items, infant milks (up to 6 months), gift vouchers/cards and postage stamps.
Pay as you go mobile owners can benefit greatly, as you can earn points on your top up. A £10 top up will earn 40p back, 80p if you have been sent a double points voucher, or £1.20 if Boots are having one of their triple points events (although it has been ages since I've seen a triple points event, I must admit).
You can spend your points on almost anything in the store - if you're not sure, then check the price labels on the shelves - if they have a * symbol in the top right hand corner then you can spend your points on that item. Of course, there are some restrictions to the things you can buy, these are as follows: prescription items, infant milks, phone top-ups, and insurance products. If in doubt, check the price tag on the shelf, as items that can be purchased with points have a star on the tag.
One thing to note about advantage card points, is that they cannot be used as part payment for something. For example, if you have £1's worth of points on your advantage card, you couldn't buy a bottle of shampoo costing £1.50 and pay the extra 50p yourself - you have to have the full amount in points to cover the cost of what you're buying.
~The Advantage point~
If you have been into a larger Boots store any time recently, you may have noticed the advantage point. This is a bright pink machine, with a touch screen. Once you insert your card, you are then shown various offers. These offers can be anything from competitions, discounts, extra points or even on rare occasions freebies. The offers are often particular to one brand (usually a Boots brand), such as Boots Expert, and will be along the lines of '100 points when you buy any Boots Expert product'. If that sounds like something you're interested in, then you simply select 'print' and it prints out a voucher. These vouchers are only valid for that particular day, and you are under no obligation to use them.
There is also an option to update your details on the advantage point - if you have changed address or had a baby for example (in this case they will ask if you want to join the Boots parenting club).
There is no facility on the boots.com website to spend your points, but you can, however earn them. One point to remember though, is that you will not get any points on the postage and packing costs. To add the points you've earned online onto your total, you will need to put your card into one of the advantage points, and the machine will then add them on for you.
~Are they really worth it?~
Yes and no, really. I currently have around £70 on my advantage card, this figure though is from points collected over around a year, but since getting my card several years ago, I have spent £120 of points.
So, in total I have earned around £185, which is a lot, but as to whether it's really worth it, I'm still not sure. A lot of that money has been earned from phone top-ups - both mine and my ex-boyfriends, this is one area in which I definitely think the card has been worth it. A lot of the money however, has been earned on products that I could probably have picked up a lot cheaper elsewhere.
For example, recently I bought a hair dye kit from Boots costing £7.99. For purchasing this I would have received 31 points, equivalent to 31p. I then later saw that same kit in Wilkinsons for £5.50. So, although I earned 31p towards my next Boots purchase by buying the kit from Boots, I could have saved £2.49 if I'd bought it from Wilkinsons and I could have spent that money anywhere I liked.
I think the points that you earn on a product should be looked at as a discount - for example that hair dye kit, should have been looked at, as 'this costs £7.68' rather than '31p of points, that can only be spent in the one place.'
Of course there are other times apart from phone top ups where you can make the advantage card really work for you. I remember a time when they were offering 150 points (£1.50) when you bought any product from the Boots hair removal range. The cheapest product in that range was only 99p so by buying it you would be earning your money back plus 51p in points.
Other plus points to having a card, are that you can get a free Health and Beauty magazine, which also has money-off and extra point coupons, as well as telling you about all the new Boots products available. Also Boots have recently introduced an offer for advantage card holders, where if you buy 5 meal deals within the space of a month you will get the sixth free.
Even if Boots is a place you rarely shop, I still think it's worth having a card in your purse or wallet, just in case you pop in. This is the one loyalty card I use on a regular basis, and it's nice saving your points up to buy something special. The only negative point is that I end up shopping in Boots more often, when I could probably get the same products cheaper elsewhere.
Summary: Boots advantage card
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