Loyalty schemes save money for 60% of women

loyalty card

loyalty cardYou're at the till after finishing the weekly family shop, you open your purse, and there's a scramble to find the right points card for the store you're in.

Familiar situation? Well for over half of women in the UK it probably is. Just under 60% make sure they get rewarded for shopping via loyalty schemes, according to a survey.

And some 37% of men also make sure they collect the points they're entitled to for what they've spent, Standard Life's Financial Efficiency research found.

Points cards can help you save up for all sorts - some money off next week's shop, a meal out or even a mini break. They can be a ray of light in these foggy financial times.

And more and more people are using them than ever before.

The survey findings indicate that there has been a rise in the use of loyalty cards, as 11% more people said they currently use them, compared to three years ago when the economy began to struggle.

Those who use cards the most are 35-44 year olds, the survey said, with 50% of that age group saying they collect in-store points.

Some 42% of 18-34 year olds say they use card schemes now, in comparison to 2009's figure of 27%.

Julie Russell, of Standard Life, said that since store loyalty cards were launched in the 1990s, they have become one of the most accepted ways of saving while spending.

But she added that while people are aware of the benefits offered by store cards, they are less switched on to tax-efficient saving products like pensions and ISAs.

"What's interesting is that while women are more likely than men to make good use of loyalty schemes to save money, neither are as savvy when it comes to the money they save," she said.

"Only a small number (17%) of people say they plan their finances to make the most of tax breaks from tax efficient long term savings products such as ISAs and pensions.

"These products provide tax benefits that add to every pound saved. So I'd encourage people to not just think about how to save money when they spend, but to make the most of any money they are tucking away for the future by being tax efficient with it."