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Waitrose shakes up loyalty card terms to prevent shoppers stacking two newspaper offers together to get bigger discounts

Waitrose has shaken up its terms and conditions to prevent shoppers with a daily, weekly or weekend newspaper subscription from using their MyWaitrose card in the same transaction. It means shoppers can no longer stack the two schemes together to get a bigger discount on their shop. 

The change, which came in on 16 June, is complicated as it involves combining a discounted newspaper subscription scheme, which is run by certain newspaper brands at various retailers, alongside a separate newspaper offer run by Waitrose for its MyWaitrose loyalty card holders. Below we explain how the two schemes work and why shoppers can no longer use them together to get extra money off their shopping.

See our Loyalty Points Boosting guide for more on how to boost the value of points. 

Some shoppers stacked the two newspaper offers to get a bigger discount

Until last week, some Waitrose shoppers took advantage of two separate newspaper offers to get a bigger discount on their shopping. Here's how the two schemes, which individually remain unchanged, work: 

  • Certain newspaper brands reduce the price per copy if you take out an upfront subscription. In this scenario, the newspaper publisher gives you a voucher for the subscription to redeem in-stores. For example, you can subscribe to a daily copy of The Guardian for £47.69/mth for 12 months. This brings the daily cost down to about £1.56 meaning you save just under £1 to £2 on the usual £2.50 weekday cost and £3.50 weekend cost. The vouchers can be used at various retailers, including Waitrose. 

  • Separately, MyWaitrose loyalty card holders can get the price of certain newspapers discounted from their shopping when they spend at least £10 in store or online. So pick-up a copy of The Guardian on a weekday, for example, and you'll get £2.50 discounted from your shop, bringing the price of a £10 basket down to £7.50.  

Until 16 June, some Waitrose shoppers had used the two offers together. So they'd spend £10+ on shopping at Waitrose, present their newspaper subscription voucher, which doesn't detail a monetary value, and then swipe their MyWaitrose card to get the cost of their paper discounted against their shopping. When this happened, the full price of the paper was taken off - not the reduced subscription price. 

So if you were an annual The Guardian subscriber, for example, you'd get the full £2.50 to £3.50 price of the paper deducted from your £10 Waitrose shop instead of the £1.56 ish the paper actually cost you. 

But as of 16 June, Waitrose has changed its terms and conditions so you can no longer use subscription vouchers alongside your MyWaitrose card - although you can still use your loyalty card to pick up a second paper in a separate transaction. You can register for a free myWaitrose loyalty card online.

'I've not received an email but have been told by staff' has seen a handful of complaints on social media over the past two weeks from MyWaitrose customers who largely appear to be confused about the shake-up. Here's what a few shoppers had to say:

What does Waitrose say?

A spokesperson for Waitrose said: "In line with other voucher and offer schemes, if a customer now chooses to take advantage of this offer, we are no longer able to accept a prepaid subscription voucher as part of the same purchase to avoid Waitrose removing the price of a newspaper from a customer’s shopping twice in a single transaction.

"We will of course still accept prepaid subscription vouchers at Waitrose and if a customer chooses to take advantage of the myWaitrose newspaper offer, they are still able to use their prepaid subscription voucher, at a different time."

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