How to get a discount without becoming a loyalty member.

If you’re the kind of shopper who loves a loyalty discount and goes a little bit crazy during a ‘spend and save’ period, you could be throwing around a lot more cash than you think.

It turns out all those loyalty cards – which are currently weighing down your wallet – could be doing you more harm than good.

According to, Australians who sign up to loyalty programs actually spend 40% more in store than those who don’t.

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In 2016, 82% of Australians over 18 were enrolled in at least one loyalty program. That means 14.9 million people are receiving daily emails and text messages promising them deals and discounts that are just too enticing to ignore.

Bessie Hassan, money expert at, says while it’s tempting to sign up when a discount is on offer, it can lead to impulse spending down the line.

“We’ve all been in a store and given away our personal details for an extra 10% off. While it makes sense at the time, days after we start receiving information about offers and promotions that tempt us to make another purchase,” she said.

“It’s no secret that these rewards programs generally allow retailers to track buying habits and personalise newsletters to encourage shopping.

loyalty member discounts
82% of Australians over 18 were enrolled in at least one loyalty program. Image via iStock.

“However when shoppers receive catalogues and emails from a variety of different stores, it becomes hard to cut through the clutter and assess whether deals are good value,” she added. 

In 2016 almost a quarter of shoppers decided to leave a loyalty program with more than half of those leaving because they weren't earning great rewards.

In order to save money Hassan suggests shopping around before making a purchase, and searching for coupons online.

“If you’re easily persuaded by promotional emails, you can bypass the loyalty programs altogether and instead, hunt down a coupon at the time of purchase,” says Hassan.

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Hassan's other money saving tips include unsubscribing to promotional emails so you're not tempted to buy all the time, and following your favourite shops on social media - as many will announce 'flash sales' through their Facebook and Instagram pages.

She also says you should leave items in your online cart for a few days as many retailers will try to lure you back with a discount.


Do you have any other savvy shopping tips?