MSE News

Waitrose to axe free newspaper perk for the majority of loyalty card holders as it tweaks membership scheme

Waitrose has again changed the terms and conditions of its loyalty card scheme, and this time round it will result in most shoppers no longer being able to get a free newspaper when using their myWaitrose card at the checkout from 23 February. 

Currently, when you spend at least £10 or more in store or online at the supermarket you can pick up a copy of a newspaper for free. So say, for example you spend £10, including the price of a weekday copy of The Guardian, which costs £2.50, the price of your basket will then fall to £7.50.

The free newspaper offer appeared to be popular with customers but Waitrose told us that only 5% of myWaitrose card holders took up the deal. 

Last summer, Waitrose shook 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 to prevent them from stacking the two schemes together to get a bigger discount on their shop. 

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

Waitrose says you'll have to buy a newspaper 'regularly' to continue to get the freebie

From 23 February, only shoppers who regularly buy a newspaper using their myWaitrose card at the checkout, will receive this offer. Waitrose said it was changing the scheme to give shoppers "more personalised offers".

We asked Waitrose how often customers would need to buy a newspaper in order to receive the offer but it couldn't tell us. It said this will vary depending on the shopper's habits and history, adding that an algorithm will look at people’s most popular items and then give offers based on those items.

'I've seen a few angry comments on Twitter'

The policy change has prompted a mixed reaction from users on the Forum. One said: "I’ve seen a few angry comments from customers on Twitter. I know a few people who only go there [Waitrose] on weekends for the paper/TV pages - not anymore."

Another said: "Just seen that the myWaitrose free newspaper offer is finally ending, which also means no more free Nectar points from the back page of the Daily Mail. I hope it remembers to order in a lot less papers."

You need to sign up for a myWaitrose card to claim its benefits

Waitrose has confirmed that the change only impacts the free newspaper scheme and that all other loyalty card offers - including a dry cleaning discount, free Waitrose food and health magazines and a cookery school discount - will continue.

To sign up to the free myWaitrose card, you'll need to visit the Waitrose website and register. 

You'll need to input your name, address and contact details (including an email address) to sign up. Once you've signed up, you'll be sent a digital myWaitrose card you can use immediately in shops. 

What does Waitrose say?

A Waitrose spokesperson said: “We’re improving the myWaitrose programme to offer customers personalised discounts on the products they buy most. While the newspaper offer was enjoyed by some of our customers, in reality it was only being used by around 5% of members. The new approach will mean that all members can make greater savings by receiving benefits tailored to them.”

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