Christmas savings schemes: Boost your supermarket spending

Asda, Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Iceland and Co-op all offer Christmas schemes, and there’s a trick to get the bonus without risking your cash.

The idea behind these supermarket savings schemes is to help people gradually save up some money that can be used at Christmas when food bills are usually higher.

As an incentive, some supermarkets offer a small bonus, normally between 2% and 6%. It seems like a decent way to get a little extra right?

Well, I’ve a few issues with these schemes which mean I don’t think they’re wise ways to save on a regular basis (more on this in a second).

However, you can take advantage of a loophole where you can get the full bonus paid out and you’d only need to “save” your cash for a day or two.

Here’s how they work, and how to get the best return possible.

Christmas Saver schemes

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Why I’m not a fan of Christmas saving stamps

First, these are marketed as alternatives to saving at a bank. Well, any money held in a bank is protected if the bank goes bust. If these supermarkets were to go under or you lost the gift card or voucher once it’s been paid out, you’d lose all your money.

You’ve also got less flexibility of how, when and where you spend your savings via these schemes. They tend to require you to spend your stamps in December, and obviously you can only spend them at one retailer.

Not only does that restrict the supermarket you use, but if you have an emergency you can’t use the money you put into stamps for any other reason. You might also not get change from your vouchers, pushing you to buy things you don’t need to hit the voucher value.

In previous years there were also better savings options for people who want help to save regularly in the build-up to Christmas. These plummeted, but rates have begun to improve, and it’s possible to get up to 3.5%.

So generally I’d say stay clear. But there is a trick where you can avoid most of the pitfalls but gain the free bonus.

How the loophole works

Here’s the cash hack. The bonus on these cards isn’t paid until a set bonus day. So it’s only the amount saved on that date that counts. Plus there’s no requirement to save each week or month to use these schemes.

This means you can instead pay in as much as you can (up to the set limits) just before the scheme closes. Literally on the final day if you want.

Say you put in £120. You’ll then be entitled to the same bonus as someone who’s saved £10 a month since last Christmas.

Until you do this, you should be paying your money into a high-paying current account. So you’ll have earnt money in those accounts too. Double win!

But just make sure you’re aware of the risks and limitations with each card, such as deadlines to spend the money on your supermarket Christmas card.

The Christmas saver schemes

I’ve explained each of the main schemes and their deadlines below. But before you try this trick out yourself, do make sure you can spend the amount you save at that supermarket in the time given.

We are talking about small amounts of money unless you buy multiple cards. So it’s only worth the effort if you are shopping at those retailers anyway.

Asda Christmas Savings Card 2023

You can collect your card in-store, and then register it online.

The deadline to add funds onto an Asda Christmas Savings Card is 5pm Sunday 12 November 2023. The bonus will be applied by 9am on Monday 13 November.

The bonus increases the more you save

  • £1 bonus when you save between £30 and £79
  • £3 bonus when you save between £80 and £129
  • £6 bonus when you save between £130 and £179
  • £9 bonus when you save between £180 and £229
  • £12 bonus when you save between £230 and £279
  • £15 bonus when you save £280 or more (max amount per card)

With this and all the other schemes, those savings are not cumulative. So put £80 on the card and you’ll only get £3, not £1 for the first £70 and another £3 for getting over the £80 threshold.

However, you don’t need to put the money down gradually – you can do it in lump sums. We’ve found that you can put up to £140 in at a time, so you can make two payments to get the full amount available.

The most effective way to do this is to keep your cash in a savings account, and then pay whatever you can afford by 12 November to earn the bonus.

With the highest level (£280) it’s the equivalent of 5.3% extra free. If you only save £79 it’s 1.25% extra.

There’s no limit to how many cards you can have. This could be useful if you’re short of hitting the bottom of a new level. For example, it’s better to have two £30 cards than one with £60.

Also you can use them all year round, not just in December.

There’s also a school uniform scheme that works in the same way but pays out in August.

BEST VALUE: £280 earns £15 = 5.3% bonus

Asda Rewards Cashpot 2023

Asda has launched an additional Christmas savings scheme for Asda Rewards members. The Christmas Saver Cashpot is a new feature in the Rewards app that lets you earn a bonus on your savings.

The scheme works by allowing you to transfer money earned from your regular Asda Cashpot to the Christmas Saver Cashpot. The maximum amount you can transfer is £300 in total.

You can pay into your Cashpot until 19 November to get the bonus, which will be added to your Cashpot balance between Monday 20 November and Friday 24 November 2023.

The bonus you earn depends on how much you transfer:

  • £1 bonus when you save between £10 and £19
  • £2 bonus when you save between £20 and £24
  • £3 bonus when you save between £25 and £39
  • £5 bonus when you save £40 or more

You can then choose to convert your Christmas Saver Cashpot into vouchers to spend at Asda in-store or online from Friday 24 November 2023 until Sunday 31 December 2023, after which they will expire. Vouchers range from £1 up to £100.

Co-op Saving Stamp 2023

You buy actual physical stamps with the Co-op scheme. Each stamp costs £1 and you put them in a booklet which you can use at the till whenever you want.

But to get a bonus (£2) you need to have filled a full book, which is 48 stamps. Hand this over at the till and you’ll get £50 knocked off your bill. That’s the equivalent of 4% extra. This bonus is only available in December, though you can use and buy the stamps every month of the year.

There’s no limit to the number of cards you can have, so you can have multiple cards to add stamps to. But make sure you don’t lose your cards as there’s no protection.

So the best option here is to buy 48 stamps just before you want to shop. Stick them all in, then hand it over. As with Morrisons, you will need to spend the full amount. So that’s a shop of £50 or more.

BEST VALUE: £48 earns £2 = 4% bonus

Iceland Bonus Card Christmas boost 2023

This scheme from Iceland runs all year so isn’t technically a Christmas scheme, but the loophole works the same. You get £1 for every £20 you add to your account, worth 5%.  The bonus should be added within 48 hours.

At various points in the year, often in November, Iceland gives a boost. In 2023 you’ve got until 3 November to top up by £100 to get an extra £15 added on top of the standard bonus. That makes it a £20 Christmas bonus. This cash will be added to your card by 24 November.

You can use the app or pick up a temporary card in Iceland stores, and will be posted a full card once you register online.

There’s a limit of £1,000 that can be added to your card and cards expire 24 months after you last use them.

BEST VALUE: £100 earns £20 = 20% bonus

Morrisons Christmas Savers 2023

The Morrisons Christmas card is linked to the My Morrisons loyalty scheme. You can buy stamps in-store, but it’s all digital so you will need to go online to monitor and manage your savings.

The cut-off point to buy stamps is 30 October 2023. The total saved and bonus added will be converted into a voucher to use in-store or online. You have to select on your My Morrisons account which you want. If it’s in-store you have to collect them yourself.

You also can’t get change from a voucher. So if you have a £100 voucher you need to spend £100 or more in a single transaction at the till.

The maximum bonus you can get is £6. It’s calculated as follows

  • £1 bonus when you save between £49 and £96
  • £3 bonus when you save between £97 and £145
  • £4 bonus when you save between £146 and £193
  • £6 bonus when you save £194

The biggest return is £3 when you spend £97 or £6 when you add £194, gaining you 3%. I’d be wary of adding too much to this card as you need to spend your voucher in a single transaction, and there’s the end of the year deadline to spend it.

BEST VALUE: £97 earns £3 = 3% bonus

Sainsbury’s Christmas Club 2023 (including Argos)

The money you save on the Sainsbury’s Christmas Club card can be used online and in-store at Sainsbury’s and Argos. The bonus is worth 5% on every £50 you save.

The deadline for this one is 1 November 2023. Whatever you have on the card by 11:59 pm that evening will be used to calculate the bonus. There’s a minimum of £50 and a maximum of £500. Here’s how much you’ll get:

Card balanceBonus Value
£0.00 – £49.99£0.00
£50 – £99.99£2.50
£100 – £149.99£5.00
£150 – £199.99£7.50
£200 – £249.99£10.00
£250 – £299.99£12.50
£300 – £349.99£15.00
£350 – £399.99£17.50
£400 – £449.99£20.00
£500 and over£25.00

You can only add money to the card in a Sainsbury’s store, both at a normal and self-service checkout.

The bonus will be added to your card by the end of November and you’ll have until the date printed on the card to use it.

BEST VALUE: every £50 earns £2.50 = 5% bonus

Tesco Christmas Saver 2023

There isn’t long left to pay into Tesco’s 2023 Christmas Saver, as the deadline is 18 October 2023. If you’re thinking of saving into it, here’s how it works.

You can top-up your Clubcard points throughout the year at the checkout or customer services till, from 50p to £360. Bonuses are up to 6% and are calculated as follows:

  • £1.50 bonus when you save between £25 and £49.50
  • £3 bonus when you save between £50 and £99.50
  • £6 bonus when you save between £100 and £199.50
  • £12 bonus when you save £200 to £360

You get the top-ups and any bonuses sent as vouchers in your November Clubcard statement, alongside any Clubcard vouchers you’ve earned. You can then spend them in Tesco online, in-store or on petrol. You can’t boost them with Clubcard partners.

The bonus vouchers are only valid for two months and expire if not used. And they won’t be replaced if lost.

The larger top-up vouchers (i.e. the money you add to your account) are valid for two years, so there’s no rush to spend them at Christmas.

BEST VALUE: £100 earns £6 or £200 earns £12 = 6% bonus

Saver scheme deadlines

To make sure you don’t miss out, here are the last dates to add money to the schemes for 2023:

SupermarketLast date to add moneyMaximum bonus
Tesco18 October 20236%
Morrisons30 October 20233%
Sainsbury’s1 November 20235%
Iceland3 November 2023£20 with £100
Asda12 November 20235.3%
Co-opTBC (Likely 31 December 2023)4%

20 thoughts on “Christmas savings schemes: Boost your supermarket spending

  1. Can you use these cards( Asda, Tesco Sainsbury’s Morrisons) to buy petrol?

  2. Hi Andy
    Just visited Sainsbury’s, just shy of the deadline for the bonus, ready to load £500 onto 3 separate cards. Due to fraud you are only allowed a max of £250 per day on a single card. So just a heads-up get on this a few weeks earlier on not days before the cut off. Live and learn I guess.

  3. Icelands Xmas Saver for 2023 is worth up to 20%. Add £100 to the Bonus Card by 3 Nov and they will add £15 (on top of the £5 from the normal £1 per £20).

    Extract from email I received:

    “Load £100 onto your Bonus Card in one or more transactions between 22nd September and 3rd November and not only will you receive your usual £5 bonus (£1 FREE for every £20), you’ll also qualify for a £15 CHRISTMAS BONUS! That’s a total of £20 ABSOLUTELY FREE. Your standard £1 bonuses will be loaded onto your card within 48 hours and your £15 Christmas Bonus will be loaded by 24th November, just in time for the festivities to begin. “

  4. Can you top up the Sainsbury and Tesco cards with Credit Card or is just cash and debit card? Thanks

    1. OK at Tesco, even with Amex cards

  5. Is there an expiry date on the Asda card? I could find nothing in the relevant section of their website about this.Seems I might have to look at the card itself before I commit.I am tempted to buy a £285 card (using a temporary 1% cashback offer on my credit card as an extra bonus) but like Scott my main shop is at Aldi with only the odd item I cannot get there together with pickings from the reduced counter forming my spend at Asda.It might therefore take me more than a year to spend the £295 on the card.

    1. I buy 4 of these cards each year and have had no problem with time limits – indeed have one card where I have had the bonus 3 times as value was still over the £280. Even if I do not empty the card I can top it up to 280 just in time for the next bonus. For me, it is the least restrictive of the schemes, and always pay on credit card for cash back or points too. As a higher rate taxpayer, it’s great for me.

  6. Thank you very much for this comprehensive round-up. I have been using both the Tesco and Asda xmas savers in the last few years, as the deadlines for using them are not restrictive, but I have never come across the Sainsbury’s one. It says : “you’ll have until the date printed on the card to use it.” Any idea what this deadline is? As I said I have never seen a card instore.

  7. Hazel Misselbrook May 1, 2021 at 11:29 am

    I can still buy stamps at Morrison’s but they have not yet provided the cards to put them on. Assistants don’t have any answers.

  8. When I topped up my Iceland card this week, I was only given £1 per £20, not the £2 you mention. And I can’t find any promotion about it online. Have you seen it confirmed ? Thanks

    1. Hi Laura, all the info is here The offer runs until the 29th November, after which they’ll no doubt remove the mentions of the offer!

      1. I want to add that I think you could be wrong on the Iceland savings scheme, now an App on your phone, I have used this in the past & you could save, spend at any time of year?

        1. HI Marion, yes it’s all year around at Iceland but there’s often a double value offer ahead of Christmas (and at other times of the year)

  9. Hi Andy

    I love your weekly email on the subject of perks I joined complete savings it’s like quidco etc but they have a gift card section with all the the top brands like m&s etc I like the one for all card you get 20% off that’s a great discount other cards range from 1% up but you can only have 1 card a month not great so I’m wondering how often and how much you can add to the ISA perks gift cards also with the complete savings offer they have a £15 monthly fee but you get this back in full if you make any purchase on there website hope this helps.

    1. Thanks Niall. Yes I’m not a fan of the services like this that make you pay every month as they’re hoping people will forget and keep paying! But if you manage it well to get those discounts it could well save you cash.

  10. I have been buying Morrisons digital stamps throughout the year.I checked my balance on the Morrison more app, the balance was zero. I have tried calling customer service at the main headquarters,& in my local store even the staff there did not know how to redeem them. I certainly won’t be buying anymore.

    1. Did you keep receipts or proof you uploaded the money?

  11. Very interesting advice Andy! I’ve not heard of these Christmas schemes before.

    Obviously, it would depend on family size and regularity of spending, but do you think even the maximum 6% savings would be able to compete cost-wise with the likes of Aldi and Lidl who don’t NEED(?) to offer these schemes?

    From personal experience I’ve found that these two supermarkets seem to be so much cheaper and equal in quality for the standard foods (of course you miss out on the brand favourites) so I no longer need any coupons or savings.

    What do you think? Will be interested to know!

    1. I wish I had a Lidl or Aldi to shop at! It’s hard to say if the discount brings it in line price wise, I’d imagine yes on some products and no on others. But it’s good to check these out if you do use one of the supermarkets with a scheme

    2. I agree. I shop at various supermarkets from Aldi to Waitrose, so hard to commit to one store to save at. Will look at gift card advice. Thanks


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