Boots, one of the UK’s leading health and beauty retailers, is changing its Advantage Card loyalty programme by reducing the number of points earned per pound spent from 4p to 3p, from May 2023.
This change is understood to be a response to customers’ desire for immediate discounts rather than having to wait to accrue points. For many savvy money savers across the UK, it has come as a big and unwelcome shock.
However, the retailer will now offer 10% off 6,000 of its own-brand products and lower prices on selected products through its Price Advantage scheme. The changes will take effect from 23 May 2023, and existing points earned until then will not be affected.
If you want to maximise your use of the Boots Advantage Card, before and after the change, below is everything you need to know.
What is the Boots Advantage Card?
The Boots’ Advantage Card was originally launched in 1997 and is hailed as one of the most popular loyalty programmes in the UK. Over 15 million customers have used an Advantage Card since its launch over 25 years ago, to save money on their purchases in-store and online.
A true testament to the popularity of the Boots Advantage Card is that over 50,000 of the original customers who joined the loyalty scheme in 1997, were still using the programme in 2022.
Why Are Boots Making Changes to the Advantage Card Loyalty Points?
According to Pete Markey, chief marketing officer at Boots, “Customers want to be rewarded with on-the-spot lower prices and instant value. We’ve also noticed that Advantage Card members are now more frequently using their points to buy essentials instead of saving them up. We’ve listened and have expanded the scheme to give more instant rewards, immediate value and lower prices.”
Rising costs faced by retailers
Boots are not alone in making changes to their loyalty scheme. Many retailers across the country are facing rising staff costs, increased prices for their energy suppliers and vast increases in the costs of goods from their suppliers.
Collectively this has put financial pressure on Boots and other retailers. As a result, loyalty programmes such as the Boots Advantage Card are often one of the first to be affected when a retailer is looking to reduce costs in their business.
By switching the discounts to their own brands, many retailers can keep their profit margins, while offering savings to their customers.
Changes in consumer shopping habits and expectations
Many of Boots’ customers choose to save up their points over the year to pay for presents or bigger purchases when they have amassed enough points. However, consumer behaviours and habits on the whole are somewhat different today from what they were back in 1997.
With regard to loyalty schemes, it is widely noted that rather than building up or accruing points in the scheme, consumers prefer the instant gratification of discounts at the point of purchase.
According to Boots, over 70% of its Advantage Card holders will purchase Boots’ own brand products. To appeal directly to these Advantage Card holders, Boots have announced a generous 10% off in-store purchases of its own brand products.
Are Boots Advantage Card points still worth collecting?
It’s true the reduced value of the points will be a big turn-off for many shoppers, but if you are going to shop at Boots, then always make sure you collect your points with each transaction online and in-store.
It’s important to note, that the value of points earned will be unchanged. One point is worth one penny to spend on products in-store and online at boots.com.
Don’t be fooled by “earning points”
There are many items where Boots are competitive in their pricing. Conversely, there are thousands of products that can be bought cheaper elsewhere. It always makes sense to shop around and buy your health and beauty items where it is most economical to do so, regardless of the points you will accrue.
Don’t be a shopper just for the points. Often items can be found cheaper elsewhere, even when factoring in the points you will earn.
How to Maximise Savings at Boots
If you’re a Boots customer and you want to maximise your savings, then yes the Advantage Card change will make an impact. All is not lost, however!
- Any points accrued up until 23 May would still be worth 4p in value when making purchases with points
- Student discount of 10% across the store will still be applicable
- The 10% student discount and the 10% off own-brand items can be used in tandem.
- Keep an eye out for Advantage Card Points Events, as these will provide a great opportunity to get more points for your purchases.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to register my Boots Advantage Card?
All physical plastic Advantage Cards should be registered with Boots. After one year, Boots will remove the Boots Advantage Card points on any unregistered cards. All you need to do is log in to your account and add the Boots Advantage Card to the account area. You can register your card online at https://www.boots.com/advantage-card.
Advantage Card points will be added to your Boots Advantage Card account when the order is charged.
Why have Boots decided to change their Advantage Card points?
According to Boots “We have responded to feedback from our customers on how they would like to shop and get great value from Boots. We understand that more customers are looking to access instant savings, so offering 10% off our Boots own brand range will give even more opportunities to save. We understand that many customers still love saving up their points for big purchases in the future, so will continue to offer 3p worth of points for every £1 spent at Boots.”
Are Boots Advantage Cards points still worth the same value?
Yes – any points you have already earned will be worth the same amount. Only those points earned after 23 May will be at the lower value.
Are the changes in-store or online at Boots?
The Boots Advantage Card changes are being applied to all purchases in-store and online. These take place early May 2023.
What are the exclusions to earning Advantage Card points?
Points are not available on NHS prescriptions, private prescriptions excluding those that are associated with a pharmacy service and selected dispensary items, infant milks (up to six months), gift cards, plastic bag levy and Boots Insurance and Travel Services and Professional discount cards. In addition, points are also not available on gift boxes, charitable merchandise and delivery charges for purchases made online.