Press Release

For immediate release

Customers need to spend £6,998 on average to save enough loyalty points to buy one weekly shop in the UK’s most popular supermarkets

  • 92% of adults in the UK have signed up to at least one supermarket loyalty card
  • 64% of loyalty card holders sign up to earn points to spend on future shopping at that supermarket
  • A spend of almost £12,500 is required to earn enough points to pay for a weekly shop at Sainsbury’s
  • This would take about 3 years and 10 months for the average household
  • On average, customers would need to spend £6,998 at UK supermarkets to earn enough loyalty points to pay for just one weekly shop

20, June, 2023, LONDON –

New research from personal finance comparison site revealed that customers would have to spend an average of £6,998 in the biggest UK supermarkets to earn enough loyalty points to pay for just one weekly shop.

The research was published alongside a survey which found that 92% of adults have now signed up to at least one supermarket loyalty card in the UK. The survey also revealed that despite the low value of loyalty points in UK supermarkets, a staggering 64% of loyalty card holders signed up specifically to earn points that they could put towards future spending at that store.

Sainsbury’s has the lowest value points of all the UK supermarkets analysed. These were half the value of Tesco and Morrisons points, and a quarter of the value of Co-op points.

To save enough points to pay for just one weekly shop at Sainsbury’s, a card holder would have to spend an enormous £12,440. This would take about 3 years and 10 months for the average UK household, based on a weekly shop costing £62.20. At Tesco and Morrisons, shoppers would need to spend £6,220 to get enough points to pay for one week’s groceries, and £3,110 would be needed at Co-op.

44% of loyalty card holders signed up to gain access to discounted prices

The second most popular reason to sign up to a supermarket loyalty card was gaining access to discounted prices (44%). With many supermarkets recently changing their loyalty schemes to emphasise member-only discounted prices, rather than points, it’s no surprise that this number is so high. Finder tracked the loyalty and non-loyalty prices of products at Sainsbury’s and Tesco over 2 weeks in June 2023 and found that regular prices at Sainsbury’s were 45% higher on average than the Nectar prices. At Tesco, regular prices were 36% higher on average than Clubcard prices.

The findings also revealed that some product prices changed before and after being placed on offer, potentially to increase the perceived savings of having a loyalty card at that store. A tin of tuna chunks at Sainsbury’s had a regular price of £5 and was on offer for £3.75. But once the offer stopped the regular price was reduced to £4.50.

Sainsbury’s members would have to spend over £1,600 to earn enough points to buy a jar of coffee

When asked which supermarket loyalty schemes UK shoppers had signed up to, most popular by far was Tesco, with 67% of Brits holding a membership at this store. Sainsbury’s was second, with 41% of Brits signed up to the loyalty scheme. Just behind were Asda (31%), Morrisons (24%), and Lidl (23%).

Finder analysed the costs of a typical basket of goods at the 2 most popular supermarkets, to see how much customers would have to spend at these stores to earn enough loyalty points to purchase various items.

If savers wanted to use their loyalty points to buy a 200g jar of coffee, they’d first need to spend £1,620 at Sainsbury’s to build up enough points to cover this item. At Tesco, customers would need to spend over £1,000 less than this (£600) to purchase the same product using their points scheme.

Spending needed to buy the item with points
Medium loaf white bread (own brand) 800g£75£150
Plain Flour 1.5kg£80£158
Uncle Ben’s boil in the bag rice 500g£315£630
Own brand dry fusilli pasta 500g£80£190
Cereal (Cornflakes 500g)£225£450
Chicken breast 300g£255£500
10 fish fingers£300£800
Cravendale semi-skimmed milk 2L£260£500
Lurpak spreadable 250g£300£600
Oranges (5 pack)£150£300
White potatoes 2.5kg (maris piper)£159£318
Granulated sugar 1kg£105£210
Heinz Top Down Squeezy Tomato Ketchup Sauce 700G£390£780
Nescafe Gold Blend Coffee 200G£600£1,620
Diet Coke 2L£199£480
Smirnoff Red Label Vodka 70cl£1,650£3,300

Commenting on the findings, Liz Edwards, editor-in-chief at, said

“With the cost of living crisis taking its toll on consumers, there’s now more pressure than ever for supermarkets to give back to their customers wherever they can, and loyalty schemes have become crucial for many families to help them pay for their weekly shop.

“However, our research shows that customers would have to spend a huge amount of money to earn enough points to buy even a small item.

“Our survey also revealed that 55% of loyalty card holders signed up to earn points that they could put towards vouchers for restaurants, travel, hotels or accommodation. However Tesco recently announced that these points will now only be worth 2x the Clubcard voucher value, instead of 3x as they used to be. This is another blow to customers who have come to rely on these vouchers over the years.

“UK supermarkets are clearly shifting the focus of their loyalty schemes towards discounted prices over earning points. Our research found that regular prices are up to 45% higher at Sainsbury’s than Nectar prices, and 36% higher on average at Tesco without a Clubcard. We also found that some non-loyalty prices were far higher at certain supermarkets than the regular price at others. For example, a 200g jar of instant coffee was on offer for £6 with Nectar, but cost £8.10 without a loyalty card. Yet at Tesco the regular price of this item was £6 without any discount applied. This could therefore be seen as a penalty for those who don’t have a Nectar card, and begs the question: can consumers afford to shop in the UK without loyalty cards? By signing up to these schemes you’re granting these supermarkets access to a wealth of information about your lifestyle and shopping habits, and this might not be something that everyone feels comfortable doing.

“If you’re looking to make your money go further when grocery shopping, it’s worth noting that some current account cashback schemes are potentially more competitive than supermarket loyalty cards. For example, with Chase, customers can earn 1% cashback on the first £1,500 spent per month for the first year after signing up, so if you’re uncomfortable signing up to a supermarket loyalty programme this could be a great second option. Alternatively, you could use both to double-up on your rewards!”

To see the research in full visit:


Finder commissioned Censuswide on 06 June 2023 to carry out a nationally representative survey of adults aged 18+. A total of 2,000 people were questioned throughout Great Britain, with representative quotas for gender, age and region

Prices for the ‘typical basket of goods’ were found on the 7th June, and any temporary discounts were ignored for the purpose of this study to reflect the item’s standard pricing at each store. The cost of an average weekly grocery shop (£62.20) was obtained from ONS and correct as of 7th June.

It’s worth noting that Co-op points can only be earned on own-brand items, and at Morrisons points can only be earned on select items at that time. Points at Tesco and Sainsbury’s can be earned on almost every product in store, and are therefore easier to earn.


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The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on's review pages for the current correct values.

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