extra Christmas cash

Supermarket Christmas boost

Get extra cash to spend on your shopping

Many supermarkets urge you to save for bonuses in their savings schemes year-round - though this isn't recommended as the money's not protected if the scheme goes bust. It's better to bag the rewards in a day – this guide shows you how to bag 2021 supermarket saving scheme rewards.
 

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What are supermarket savings schemes?

Supermarket savings stamp schemes encourage year-long saving for Christmas, yet it's possible to get the year's bonus in just one day.

Most supermarkets pay out the bonus based on the total amount you've saved saved by a specific day or month, so put the cash in just before and they'll add a small percentage on top – up to 6%.

The savings themselves come in the form of booklets or electronic cards which you can top up a little at a time. Some supermarkets only allow stamps to be redeemed at set points in the year, while others will let you spend at any time.

Supermarket savings need-to-knows

To help you make the most of a supermarket savings scheme, it's worth getting your head around the following...

  • Don't think of the bonus as a gift – it isn't the supermarkets being generous, it's good business acumen. You save for a year, they earn interest on your money, and eventually give you a little back. And more importantly:

    You must spend the cash at that specific retailer, often within a short time period, so they effectively lock in your custom

    You won't be surprised to hear there are some exclusions on what you can buy with the stamps – you can't usually spend them on lottery tickets, petrol or goods from third-party concessions (when a retailer has a space in a larger department store). Some supermarkets also don't allow you to redeem them online.

  • It's important to understand these schemes DO NOT have the same protection as savings in a bank. In fact, this is exactly what happened with the Farepak debacle back in 2006. It's the reason we've always cautioned against savings clubs.

    Yet, don't get this confused with normal savings accounts provided by supermarket-branded banks like Tesco Bank or Sainsbury's Bank – they have the usual £85,000 per person protection. See the Safe Savings guide for more info on that scheme. 

    If saving for Christmas over the year – a fantastic aim – save in the bank (see Top Savings Accounts and Top Cash ISAs). Then withdraw the cash and buy savings stamps the day before the bonus date to bag double interest – more on this below.

  • Supermarkets tend to pay the bonus on a specific day or month, normally during November or December. The bonus earned only depends on how much is in there, not how long it's been there. Therefore, you can simply...

    Buy all the stamps/credit required just before the bonus date, get the full bonus, then use the funds to shop

    As this technique's about keeping a small sum of cash on the cards for just a couple of days, the risk's reduced. The chance of a big supermarket going bust in that time is pretty slim, though nothing's impossible.

    Remember, the cash must be spent at that specific store, so only do it if you would've spent there anyway. Keep your card or stamps booklet safe, as many supermarkets don't keep a record of your savings, unless it's an online scheme. So lose it, and your money's gone.

Top supermarket savings schemes for Christmas 2021

No two schemes are alike, and some are simpler than others. Whichever you go for, ensure you make a careful note of the deadlines to pay in by:

Supermarket Max rate of return Max bonus in pounds To get bonus, pay in by Bonus paid How long is the bonus valid for?
Tesco
How it works
6% £12 This year's scheme is now closed Nov 2021 Two months from the date of issue

Asda

How it works

5.35% £15 5pm 21 Nov 2021 Within 24 hours Two years from the date of your last transaction

Sainsbury's

How it works

5% £25 11:59pm 1 Nov 2021 End of Nov 2021 Until the date printed on the card
Iceland
How it works
5% £50 Any time Within 48 hours Doesn't expire, can be used at any time
Co-op
How it works
4% No max Any time Dec 2021 Doesn't expire, but can only be used each December

Morrisons

How it works

3% £6 11:59pm 31 Oct 2021 31 Oct 2021 Until 31 Dec 2021

All schemes let you register your card online, except Co-op's which is a paper stamp book.

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