amex_nectarYou would be surprised how many ways there are to get a free day out with the kids. We have had some great adventures using all the freebies that are available through loyalty card schemes. When I say schemes, I am simply talking about the rewards you get when using your Tesco Clubcard, Nectar cards or your credit card etc. Yes, you can say that by using these the companies are gaining more and more insight into your life in a vain attempt to sell you more stuff that you don’t really need. On the flip side, you can use this to your advantage and get some really cool free stuff.

In 12 months I have used reward / loyalty cards to bag loads of free stuff worth in excess of £1000 including:

  • £400 worth of Merlin Passes for the whole family given us free access to the big UK theme parks and attractions including Thorpe Park, Legoland, Chessington World of Adventures, Alton Towers, London Eye, Sea Life Centres, Seal Sanctuaries, Madame Tausauds etc.)
  • £300 worth of Pizza Express restaurant vouchers
  • £75 in Yo Sushi restaurant vouchers
  • £90 Family ticket for the London Open-top bus tour
  • £150 family ticket to Longleat Safari Park

My rewards come from a number of schemes, the main ones include:

Nectar Reward Card

Gaining reward from points collected at Sainsburys, BP petrol stations, Ford garages (car servicing)

Nectar American Express credit Card

Nectar points on every pound I spend on the credit card. The American Express Nectar Credit card is my preferred payment method since it gives me masses of nectar points quickly. Most of my monthly household spend goes on the Amex.

Word of caution here though… I am not advising anyone to use credit cards unless you can clear the whole balance every month. If you don’t clear the balance, you will pay interest on what you owe, off-setting any gains from the reward points.

RBS Credit card

I have the Mastercard because not everywhere accepts Amex. When this happens, I gain points on my RBS ‘Your Points’ scheme.

Tesco Clubcard

I get Clubcard points every time I shop at Tesco, fill up at Tesco filling stations or shop online at


There are a few other ways top up your nectar points. Completing online Nectar surveys is one such way. This does take up some time but it is more productive than watching another re-run of The West Wing.