I thought this was a relatively new concept that I'd picked up a few months ago but have since found out that it has actually been around for a while, would have been useful in the time when I shopped there a lot!
It is very easy to get a card. I got a form because the person serving me asked if I would like a waterstones card, but I'm sure they would be happy to give you one if you decided to ask for it. It is just a form with your basic details on such as your address and email, it doesn't take very long to fill in and it is important that you do this so you can get all the different offers through via email. In addition to this, there is a plastic card attached to the form which is unusual to get the actual card straight away, quite convenient.
Everytime you shop in waterstones you use the card, just hand it over when making your purchases and the sales assistant will put your points onto it for you so its nothing too hard. For every £1 you spend you get 3 points and each point is worth 1p, so for example if you bought a book that was £6.99 then you should earn 18p back. This isn't really a fantastic sum of money, but getting 3% back is better than nothing so every little helps really. While it is good if you are getting something anyway, don't go out of the way to shop at waterstones because of the card - I don't use this a lot because I often find it many times cheaper to just shop on amazon.
I read a lot of books and, as such, I used to use my Waterstones Card a lot! I mean I probably bought about 3-4 books a week and I would always use my card when purchasing them and so, over the years, I accumulated points which I would then use to buy myself more books. Unfortunately, I don't use the card as often anymore because I tend to read books on my Kindle and so buy books through Amazon - but for a while this card helped me out a lot.
It's like a credit card and so you can store it in your purse or wallet. Getting the card was really easy and just involved me filling out an application form in the Waterstones shop and then I was given the card straight away - and was able to use it straight away. The whole application process took about a minute and so it wasn't really inconvenient. The card will then be registered for your use with an online account also and so you can use the card to accrue points whether you're in the store on shopping online. As well as accruing points, there are also special deals where sometimes you can pick up free gifts or heavily subsidized gifts - and so it's worth having for that also. The card is free and you don't get bombarded with junk mail or spam.
The points are added to the card whenever you buy anything. The number of points you get will be shown to you at the till - or if you're shopping online it will be told to you. Each point is worth 1p and so 100 points will equal £1. On average, a book that costs £10 will give you 30 points - and occasionally there are deals where you may get double or triple that number of points. I would estimate that I was spending about £30 on books each week and was accruing around £1.20 of points per week - which over a year equalled around £62. It was just nice to have that to spend every now and again as a treat. To redeem the points it was just a matter of asking when you're at the checkout.
I do think this is a good scheme - but I do think the points accrual could be higher. £62.00 worth of points over a year when you've spend £1560 is actually not a lot in the scheme of things!
What is the waterstones card?
The waterstones card is a loyalty card scheme, similar in nature to the tesco clubcard and boots advantage card. With waterstones you get 3 points for every pound you spend instore or online, each point equals 1p.
How to get a card:
Getting a card is quick and easy - you fill out a simple form which can be picked up in store. Instead of sending the form off in the post you can just hand it to someone at a till and you get your card instantly. I believe you can also sign up online.
You can choose to redeem your points at any time and can use them to either partially pay for an item if you don't have enough points to pay for the whole thing, or pay for the whole thing and any extra points will be left of your card for future purchases.
Like when accumulating points, you can also redeem them online aswell as instore - you're account on the waterstones website will tell you the current balance of your card. When using the online check out you will be asked whether or not you want to use your points towards the purchase.
As most people don't tend to spend a large amount of money on books on a regular basis, it can take quite some time to build up points (I've accumulated just under £4 in about a year) but it's effectively still money for nothing. You still need to weigh up whether it's worth paying rrp for a book, and getting points back in Waterstones or buying the book already discounted online. Compared to other loyalty schemes I think waterstones comes out well - you get more back per pound than with tesco, but slightly less than at Boots. Overall I would say it's definately worth having even if you only shop at Waterstones on a fairly irregular basis.
The Waterstones Card operates by giving its members three points every time they spend £1. Each point is then worth a penny and the points can be redeemed at any time. This fact is a great advantage of the Waterstones Card over other rewards systems. Rather than giving vouchers or prizes to members when they reach certain points or, your points are yours to spen in store as and when you please. And points aren't only earned for books but for any of the products on sale in Waterstones (excluding concession stands like the internal coffee shops I think). This means that you could go on a biography book buying spree one day and use your points the next week to buy birthday cards or stationary. In this sense, the Waterstones card is an extremely flexible loyalty card.
However, I think caution should be excerised when getting too excited over the rewards system. If the system operated by giving discounts rather than points, the equivalent percentage off that the Waterstones card offers is 3% which sounds less impressive than the large points scores that you can accumulate. Obviously this is much better than nothing and I don't mean to imply that its a disregardable discount but for me, it was much smaller than I had initially thought and its probably impractical to use the discount as an excuse go on a book shopping spree (as I did once I got the card).
Having said that, its a still a good discount system and it can't hurt to keep a Waterstones Card in your pocket. Just be sure that you don't convince yourself to buy a book from Waterstones because of the possible points you could earn rather than buying a book at a much lower price from another retailer.
I am avid reader and so a couple of years ago when I found out that Waterstones were launching a loyalty points card I was delighted, free books have to be a good thing. Whilst I had a WH Smith club card (now sadly obsolete) for years and used that when I could, I'd always loved browsing around Waterstones and so I was pleased to hear that I would be able to get some reward for shopping there too.
Signing Up For the Scheme:
Signing up for the scheme is really easy, you can either fill in a leaflet in store and get your card right away or sign up on line and be sent your card within a couple of days. If you sign up in store you can then add your points card to any existing Waterstones online account you may have and that's it, you're ready to shop.
Points are available on items bought both in store and online. Purchases generally attract 3 points (each point is worth 1p) per £1 spent although there are sometimes particular books on which you can receive double (or occasionally triple) points, such books are clearly marked in store with a "double points" sticker or notified to those registered with the Waterstones website by e mail.
You can get points not just on books but on any item you buy and so now and again I'll pop into the store for cards or wrapping paper and add to my points balance that way.
Finally if you choose not to have a bag from the store you get and additional five points added to your account, a nice touch I think.
Redeeming your points is really easy. If you're shopping in store it's just a case of asking for your points to be deducted from the cost of your purchase and there's no problem with using some or all of your points to make a part payment and paying the difference in some other way.
When shopping online as long as you are logged into the website the cash price of a book to you using your points will be displayed with each book. On check out you then have the option to use all your points against the purchase or to pay by card and earn points on your purchase, it's up to you.
All in all I think this is a really great loyalty cards. 1p per point might not sound like a lot but if you buy a lot of books these points soon add up. I've had four free books over the last eighteen months or so and getting each one has felt like a real treat.
I am an avid reader, and buy at least 1 book every fews weeks, meaning i get good use from the waterstones reward card!
You gets points every time you buy, 3 points for every £1 you spend instore or on the waterstones website. Each point is worth 1p, which doesnt sound a lot, but if you but regularly, the points soon start to add up.
You can easily check how many points you've got by accessing the waterstones website or in store. You can redeem your points at any time, so you can save your self as little as 10p off a book, to paying for the entire book using your points!
I find having the card a great advantage, especialy as you recieve special offers regularly! This is great for making the best use of the card as well as saving those few extra pennys! For example, for purchasing a particular topic of book one month, say travel books, you can earn double points. There are always extra points to be earned which is updated often on the website/newsletter.
As well as collecting points, the card gives you the unique opportunity of special offers and competitions as well as a free yearly magazine (collected instore). All these are great and the card is free, so you've nothing to loose really.
I would definitley recommend getting a waterstones reward card, it's free so you have nothing to loose really! Although the prices in waterstones are a little more than the books available in supermarkets, the rewward system is actualy rewarding! We'll worth the 5 minutes it takes to sign up!
In my world -It doesn't get better than being paid to read and Waterstones reward card does just that. In addition you get special offers notified in a weekly e mail and the chance to enter competitions. You also get their Book Review Magazine free - which in itself is a good read and in my opinion worth getting the card for. But, if you are not a major book buyer, it could be a very very long time before you can treat yourself with your rewards. Also if you only tend to read the bestsellers- then you are going to be better off getting them during your supermarket shop and earning points on that loyalty card. So the bottom line is if you are a bookworm - sign up at your local branch - if you are not and only buy the Christmas books etc;- then not worth it for you.
The Waterstones card is in basic terms a points card which gives points based on pounds spent but once you go under the skin of this card you find a huge amount more to this. I registered to the card and updated my e-mailing address as part of my registration to keep track of my points but since doing this I have been very impressed with the amount of offers and extras on offer to card holders. If you are a Waterstones card holder then you get many competitions offered to you as well as events including book signing events which are fantastic extras on top of what is a nice little rewards scheme already.
If you regularly purchase books then this card is a great little bonus scheme for you and if you purchase books when they are on offers (especially the 3 for 2 offers) then you are saving money on your book purchases as well as adding together a few points to use towards future purchases and if you are like me and enjoy using Waterstones due to the feel of the stores (and an easy to use website) then this all adds up to make this card a must have.
Let's face it, money for nothing is something that no-one would snub. Whether that is winning some money on the lottery, using your clubcard at Tesco, or, as I'm sure a number of you will obviously like - getting money from your reviews here on Ciao. I tend to be rather stingy sometimes, and hate spending money, I suppose most of my money at the moment goes on my weekends, the nights out, the alcohol and the food. Really, I suppose that is a bit of a waste, but anyway, I'm digressing..
So, I like getting money for stuff I would get anyway, that's why I have my Tesco clubcard, my Boots advantage card, my Nectar Card, my Co-Operative Card, the list could go on really. One day, while getting some books in Waterstones, the person behind the counter brought to my attention "The Waterstones Card", 'ooh,' I thought, 'another card for my collection...'
So, I signed up.
I got my card immediately after signing up, it's not personalised with your name in anyway, just a plain card, designed to fit perfectly in your wallet/purse along with other cards, and is recognisable by the green stripes down the left hand side, and the little Waterstones "W" in the right hand corner.
How does it work?
Very simply. Whenever you make a purchase in Waterstones, be this for books, bookmarks or whatever else they sell, you simply present your card to them, and they swipe it. You earn 3 points for every £1 you spend, which is in-line with most other reward cards (Tesco = 1 point per pound, Boots = 4 points per pound). These points are then stored in your account, and each point is equal to a penny. You can use the balance you have against any purchases in store, be that whether you have 45p or £100.
I think I have had my card for just over two years, although I am not 100% sure, and so far, my balance is just under £3. Which I don't really think is too bad, considering I haven't really brought loads in store.
Not only can you earn points each time you spend, there are a ton of other advantages too...
I am not talking in store here, at current, looking on the website, card holders can enjoy a few discounts. From saving £5 when joining the Royal Horticultural Society, to 20% off of tickets to the Dawin Exhibit at the Natural History Museum. You can get 2 for 1 tickets to see the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition, and you even get tickets to the "Henry VIII: Man and Monarch" exhibition at the British Library for just £7. While, these probably aren't up everybody's tree, the offers change regularly, although keeping the general theme of cultural activities.
Fancy winning a nice Family Safari Tour in South Africa? Well that is just one of the competitions currently available to enter for holders of Waterstones Cards! Others include weekend breaks, meeting authors right down to just winning a copy of a book. The competitions tend to revolve around newly released books, and they are obviously well worth entering.
Entering a competition is simple, I just entered one to win some Binoculars worth £1000, and the one for the Safari, and all I had to do was enter my Card Number, and my contact details - simple. Let's just hope I win ïS Others are more involved, such as requiring you to enter a photo that represents Britain today..
Fancy trying a new type of fiction? Well they are offering a bonus of 25 points if you purchase any of their recommended titles under the different categories, such as "The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen", under crime along with others. While maybe 25p doesn't seem that alluring, if your stuck for a book to chose, it is worth giving it a go, and if one of the books you want is in the lists then that's a pure bonus... There are loads of books to chose from, so there should be something you might like.
You can also get 100 bonus points on selected pre-order titles, again there is a diverse choice and options are updated monthly. If you are looking at getting a book when it comes out, why not pre-order it and get the bonuses of an extra £1 of points...
Normally priced at £2.95, if you have a Waterstones card, you can pick it up for free in Waterstones' stores. It contains interviews with authors and other odd bits, about future releases etc. I myself have never bothered getting it, but I had a flick through once, and it did look like it could help pass some time if you don't have anything better to do.
So, have I now managed to intrigue you? Signing up is simple, you can do it online. Simply going to the Waterstones website (www.waterstones.co.uk) then selected "Waterstones Card", and then "Sign Up". You do need a Waterstones online account to do this, but that just takes seconds to set up, they then send you your card, receiving it within 28 days. Alternatively, I think you can still sign up in store and get your card then and there.
Checking your Balance
Simple. Whenever you make a purchase in store, on the bottom of your receipt is your points balance, or if you want to check online, just go to the card section of the website, and you can check it there easily.
A good card?
I got mine because I like the idea of points cards. When there is things I am going to spend my money on anyway, then it makes sense to receive some benefit from it, likewise, if I am with any of my friends/family when they are making a purchase, I can pinch the points. It all adds up, and while at the moment I don't have enough to actually buy a book, give it a few years and I will, in the mean time, it's not like I am losing out. For those who buy loads of books then this will be even better for you, since you will inevitably earn points faster.
I gather that Waterstones intention is that by owning a card, you will be more likely to spend the money in store, and that definitely works with me. While I won't pay any extra for a book, I am more likely to use Waterstones than, say W H Smith or Borders. It is always worth checking their website before buying in store too, since prices can differ by a fair bit - today I went into Peterborough to buy "Breaking Dawn", the final in the Twilight series which I have read this week, and it was £12.99 in store, but just £6.49 on the web, so I saved myself a good few quid.
I definitely recommend this card, after all, the only cost to you is about 2 minutes signing up and an extra gram or two to carry around in your wallet!
The Waterstones Card is a loyalty card, much like the Boots Advantage card. You can register for one either by picking up a form at your nearest store, or by applying online, as I did.
The card can be used both in a Waterstones store and on their website. Points-wise, for every £1 you spend, you will earn 3 points, which is better than many of the loyalty cards out there, and each point is equivalent to 1 penny; this quickly mounts up and you can use your points to buy a book or to purchase a book at a reduced price.
As well as the obvious point-collecting, the Waterstones card offers a whole host of extras. There are many offers open to card holders (which will be advertised in-store and on the e-mail newsletter sent to card holders), such as double or bonus points on certain titles, and other books which will be reduced to just £1.99 or similar when bought with a Waterstone' card! As well as this, Waterstones will send email newsletters and updates, letting you know about special offers, new book reviews, chances to meet authors and other special events AND competitions to enter - some of which are exclusive to loyalty card holders.
Finally, the Waterstones card will sometimes allow the holder free/reduced/fast-track entry to an event. For example, in the summer of 2008, Waterstones card holders were able to gain fast-track entry into the Tutenkhamun exhibition at the O2 Arena.
I must admit that I do love my loyalty cards, and I tend to collect them wherever I go, regardless of how much I actually shop in the particular shop in question! Luckily I noticed at the beginning of the year that my branch of Waterstones was one of a few in the country who were going to trail a new loyalty card fo Waterstones customers. So I filled in the little form thingy at the checkout, they gave me my card and away I went, adding yet another oblong of plastic to my purse. The card was such a success it is available nationwide, and if you love books and regularly buy them at Waterstones I recommend you get one!
*THE WATERSTONES CARD*
The card itself is actually a nice looking little card. It is the same size and thickness as a normal credit card, so it will fit into your purse or wallet perfectly. The main body of the card is black, with a greeny blue stripe down the left side of the card, and also on the back. There is a card number along the front, which is in gold embossed numbers, and is 16 digits long. My card doesn't have my name on it, but I don't know if this has changed now it is a nationwide scheme, although as they are available instantly in-store I would think that your name isn't on them. The back of the card has a signature strip on and a 3 digit security number for allowing you to shop online with it. It also has a Customer Helpline number on, which is handy to have if you have problems with your card.
*THE POINTS SYSTEM*
Ok, well obviously the most important part is the rewards, since that is kind of the point of a loyalty card, isn't it?! This is one of the better cards you can get actually, as some of them are actually quite pitiful regarding point earning potential. The Waterstones card earns you 3 points per every £1 spent in the store, or online. So for every £6.99 novel you buy, you earn 18 points, which is 18 pence back, as each point is 1 penny, which is a 3% return. Luckily for us, this is not the only benefit that the Waterstones Card offers us, and this is what makes the card even better for me.
*OTHER OFFERS TO THE WATERSTONES CARD MEMBERS*
Every so often, Waterstones will offer several different offers to Waterstones card members, which ae advertised online, in-store and sent to the email address you registered the card with. These are:
* Certain books priced down to £1.99 when purchased with your Waterstones Card
* Bonus points on certain titles
* Double Points on select titles
The selection of books is updated pretty regularly and always offers many different books so usually there is something which will appeal to everybody.
Waterstones Card members are also sent emails which feature book reviews, news on the latest books available, competitions and the chance to read and review books before they have been published! I have been the lucky recipient of 3 such books, so I know that this is a promise they deliver on! The website states that you should also get invites to Cardholder only events, although I haven't yet had one unfortunately! I suppose these invitations will vary according to where your store is and what is happening in your store at any time. And, you can get a free copy of "Waterstones Books Quarterly" from in the shops, which I think has an RRP of £1.99, so another nice freebie there!
*USING YOUR WATERSTONES CARD*
Now, it is easy to use your card. If you are using it in store, just hand it over before you pay for your items and they will swipe it, and the points are added to your account. You can now earn points online as well. You just have to go to the My Account section of the website, log in, go down the column on the left hand side and click on Register My Card. Pop in your number, and then you will earn points on every purchase made online. SImple!
*REDEEMING YOUR POINTS*
Redeeming points is also nice and easy. If you want to take points off a purchase at a till point, just ask them to redeem the points when you pay, and this will come straight off your bill. Online, it actually tells you the normal selling price, and then "Your Price when using points" underneath so you can choose whether or not to buy something using your points. If you choose to use your points, then on the checkout page, simply select the underneath the item description which says either "Do not use my points" or "Use £XX.XX", or "Use other amount", meaning you can specify how much of your points you wish to spend. I must say I think this is one of the best redeeming cards I have got, and I love that there is so much flexibility with it.
*CHECKING YOUR BALANCE*
There are 3 ways I know of to check your Waterstones card balance. Firstly, you can check it online in the My Account section of the website, where it says "Points Balance" underneath the Waterstones Card section. Secondly, you can check it everytime you make a purchase as it is on the bottom of your till receipt, with the points earned on your latest purchase. Your receipt states both your points and their value of pounds. Thirdly, you can take your card to a member of staff at the till, ask them and they will be able to tell your balance. So again, nice and easy to use and find out how many points and what they are worth.
*APPLYING FOR A CARD*
It is nice and easy to apply for a card. You can either pick up a leaflet in the store which are normally situated by the tills, or if they are not, ask a member of staff who I am sure will help you. Just fill in the small form, and hand it to a member of staff, then your card will be registered. Or, you can apply online here:
http://www.waterstones.com. Alongside down the right column is a link to the card section, and a joining link. I cant post it here as it is over 80 characters!
You do have to have a Waterstones.com account, but if you don't this is easy to get and worth it, especially to get a Waterstones card! Cards applied for online will take up to 28 to reach you.
I think this is definitely the best loyalty card I have got in my packed purse. The earning potential is very good, with a 3% return of your purchases, the special offers and frequent and nice and varied, and communications from them are professional, and you do not get any spam from them. Book lovers - this is the reward card for you!
For another other questions, see the Waterstones Card FAQ on their website:
Customer Helpline: 0871 288 0332
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for reading!