The supermarket has ditched free papers in favour of personalised offers.
If you regularly shop at Waitrose then March’s relaunched MyWaitrose scheme could mean you save more on the things you regularly buy. But you’ll no longer get free newspapers or quarterly vouchers. Here’s what you need to know.
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What is MyWaitrose?
The loyalty scheme has gone through a few iterations over the years, but essentially remains the same. Rather than earn points, you get discounts and vouchers to spend in-store. The idea of the revamp is that the vouchers will be based on your previous purchases.
When you sign up you can request a plastic card, or just use a digital card on your phone. To take advantage of the offers you need to scan this card at the till. If you’re shopping online it’ll automatically be applied – as long as you’re signed into your account.
How the new MyWaitrose offers works
Every Wednesday you’ll receive a new selection of discount vouchers. I’m usually shown a choice of six, though terms and conditions say you will be shown two, four or six options.
These are all visible in the MyWaitrose Hub section of the Waitrose website or in the Waitrose app. You can choose two of these and the discount will be valid for use until the following Tuesday.
Vouchers will be based on your shopping history, so you’ll need to make sure you scan your card for any to appear. So the more you scan the card, the greater the variety of offers you’ll see. New users might have to wait two to five weeks before this happens.
You’ll also get additional discounts. For example, at launch there’s 20% off selected counters in-store, either fish, meat, deli or cheese. It’ll change weekly.
The free hot drink (with purchase, and as long as you bring your own cup), returns on 7 November 2022 after a long pause. You can read details of that here.
The Waitrose magazines will also remain free, and there’s 5% off dry cleaning.
How to choose your vouchers
You’ll need to log into your MyWaitrose account either online or via the app. Then you’ll see the options available. Click “choose this voucher”, and then confirm you’re happy to select it. Once you’ve done this that coupon is locked in until the new options the next Wednesday.
If you know your phone has dodgy signal when you get to Waitrose then see if there’s a wifi network you can join (there should be in most stores). Failing that you’ll just have to select your voucher before going in. You can then screengrab you barcodes and those images will scan fine at the till.
If you do this and the item you want is out of stock then you can use it on any product in the category. Terms and conditions state a “reasonable alternative” can be discounted. If this substitution isn’t available you can’t change your voucher.
However in my experience “reasonable alternative” is pretty broad so there should be something else you want to buy at the supermarket.
How to use the vouchers
At launch, the coupons could only used online or via the app. This proved controversial with many customers unhappy, especially those without a smart phone (just read the comments below this article for a taste).
Waitrose quickly said the plan was always “digital-first” and that there would be alternatives in the coming months. Well those alternatives are now active, so below I’ve explained your options.
Via the app
You simply need to scan each voucher at the till for the discount to apply. You’ll find them in the “View vouchers” option of the app. Tap “use now in-store” to see the barcode.
Print at home
A new option added in the summer of 2022 was the ability to print at home. Open up your account on your desktop and once you’ve chosen your vouchers, press” Use now in store”. That will open up a barcode, and below this a link to print the voucher. Just scan the printout at the till to get the discount.
Via online shopping
When you get to the checkout stage, the vouchers you’ve chosen will appear in a “voucher wallet”. As long as the item is in the basket you can select to apply the coupon to your order. Remember there’s a £40 minimum order for online shopping.
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What if you can’t use the app or print vouchers?
If you don’t engage at all with the digital version of MyWaitrose, there’s a good chance you’ll receive the old style vouchers in the post. I saw someone at the checkout the other week with these, and they’re the same style you’ll be used to from before the change.
Frustratingly you can’t request switching back to this system as there’s no option to turn this on and off for customers on a case-by-case basis.
Instead you just have to wait and see if you’ll be moved across. Who gets the paper voucher and who doesn’t is decided by algorithms, looking at factors such as how you shop and if you ever use the website. If you’d rather get the coupons in the post I’d suggest never logging into the website or app.
It’s also worth making sure your address is up to date and that you’re opted in for post. If you don’t want to do this online (for the reasons above) or can’t, then you can call 0800 188 884 to do it.
However, the ability to print vouchers at home should help most people who couldn’t use the app.
Are the discounts any good?
The voucher choices I received at the start were all 50p off, but they’ve since increased to between £1 and £4.50 off. In fact most weeks, if I choose the most valuable vouchers, I’ve been able to save £5 to £7.
Assuming I save at least £5 a month and shop once a week, that’s £260 saved over a year. Much better than the old vouchers where I’d get perhaps £10 off each quarter.
Of course, this estimate is based on the vouchers I’ve selected. And the ones I’m offered apply to products I’ve previously bought. So it could be you get vouchers with different values, lower or higher.
And you might also not want to buy the items with the highest value coupon. I’m often shown the same items week after week – and I don’t always need to stock up again so soon.
Double your discounts
If you live with others then they can each have their own MyWaitrose account. This means even if you tend to do all the shopping, you could get them to print out their vouchers or send you screengrabs.
You’ll probably need to also scan their MyWaitrose card rather than yours, but you can add that to your phone using apps like Stocard.
Andy’s Cash Hack
As an experiment, I started using the vouchers not for the specific product listed, but for something in the same range. So a different brand and pack size of toilet roll, or a whole chorizo rather than sliced. And it worked.
Then I took it a step further and just selected the highest value vouchers and applied them at the till, even though I hadn’t scanned that item or anything similar. It worked too!
This can free up your voucher choice, especially if you don’t need or want the discounted items at the time.
Bear in mind if you do this you will be going against the terms and conditions of the offer, so it’s best to stick to items in the same category as the voucher offered.
Plus, I only tried this at the self-service tills – I’m pretty sure staff would check if they are operating the till and there’s always the chance of a self-service spot-check.
What about free newspapers?
Sadly the free newspaper when you spent a tenner ended on 23 February 2022 and this won’t come back. However, it’s possible you might get offered these as part of your weekly offers. The email sent to my mum about the changes said as she regularly bought the Guardian she can still get it free for a limited time.
36 thoughts on “MyWaitrose loyalty scheme revamped: How the changes work”
Tesco’s Way of redeeming vouchers is so much more simple and effective, whether that be using the paper coupons or the Clubcard. I am a very happy customer and wish Waitrose would take the same approach as they do!
We have been wondering what’s been happening and today at last found out that, not having a smartphone, we are unable to get any benefits whatsoever from having a myWaitrose card! This is unbelievable from a company that otherwise gets their marketing right. I’m not sure that what they’re doing is even legal, and it’s certainly a PR blunder of a high order, and must be losing them footfall! Their loss is all gain for their competitors! Have Waitrose been made aware of the comments people have been making, and if so have they responded?
MyWaitrose personalised vouchers have gone absolutely haywire this week!
In previous weeks the proposed offers invariably listed products I have been buying more or less regularly. I am generally satisfied with the discounts, and this has increased my loyalty.
However this week’s vouchers bear no relation to me – they are all products I have never bought, (and nor would ever buy), like chewing gum, Fabric dyeing products, Massaman paste (?) – mostly small discounts…..is this a widespread mix-up, or only me! I assume the preferences are based on transactions where my MyWaitrose card shown – looks like someone else’s card has been used – or is it perhaps a scam or hack, as my regular vouchers are worth much more??
Yes, really random. I’ve approached their press office for more information
I have complained and in response was told that
‘As this was part of a trial and a vast amount of our customers have encountered the same change/issue’
On a positive note, we have just been informed that as of tomorrow, the normal programme will resume, meaning all vouchers will return to being personalised as normal.
Extraordinary that with all our data and their ‘insight’ into our spending habits that this should happen.
I thought it maybe something to do with me having a combined Waitrose John Lewis card, which is the one I normally use and of course has a different number from the MyWaitrose card. Maybe they are ditching that?
Horrendous. Why would I choose Waitrose over any other much cheaper supermarket? Ludicrous! Totally agree with the above. Why would I give you my data when you give me nothing in return? Forget it.
i agree with many of these comments – do not want to use my mobile when I shop to get offers so disadvantaged – you will have noticed that i am shopping less at Waitrose, easier at Tesco and Sainsbury
Got this very wrong Waitrose not thought about your older customers. Tried to use the offers the lady on the till couldn’t help as she too didn’t understand the system and the queue behind me was growing so told her to forget it. Going to have to think reluctantly about changing stores as think it is a very complicated unfair system.
I get voucher offers then told I don’t use my card enough. What is going on waitrose
I’ve just lodged a complaint with them. I did an online shop and deducted two personalised vouchers and a newspaper voucher – a total of £6.70 so well worth doing. Except that when I get the bill they’ve only deducted £2.20 (for the newspaper), and ignored £4.50 worth of personalised vouchers. Maddening!
I agree with other commentators. I chose two items before going into the store but didn’t manage to scan the vouchers at the till (not helped by the fact that my local Waitrose has no 4G signal) so paid for two products I wouldn’t have bought today at full price. Net result is feeling irritated on principle with Waitrose which is (I assume) not the intention on their part.
***New Hack*** For the past 2 weeks, 1 or both of my voucher items have been out of stock. I was thinking about complaining to customer services, but though I would try scanning the vouchers anyway. And guess what, they went through and the money was taken off even though I hadn’t bought the item. So it seems their systems are not set up to actually check you have bought the item, so its best to save the 2 highest value vouchers and scan them, even if you don’t buy the item. I have also noticed you can now save your vouchers using the App, since it was updated this week. It would still be a lot better if they worked like Sainsburys, Tesco and others in that the discounts could be loaded to your card and deducted off your bill automatically. But I think making customers jump through hoops means most of their ‘rich’ customers won’t bother.
I don’t have a smart phone and it’s far to complicated.Tesco makes it so much easier
By making it difficult to access our vouchers in this way is actually very good for Waitrose , it will save them a lot of money because many shoppers will not be bothered to claim the vouchers in this way because it is a lot of hassle .
Please think of an easier way to give us vouchers without the bother of scanning & using our mobile phones .
My mobile phone often runs out of battery by the time I get to Waitrose.
Far too complicated and im fed with going online…i didnt realise the free newspaper has now gone…saturday /sundays was reason why i went in to shop..i havent been in for 2 weeks now as been lured away by Lidl very local 5mins down the road and sainsburys for my larger weekly shop
The new system is useless for me as I do not have mobile phone. Tesco lets you use your card for discounts why cant Waitrose. Needs a rethink.
This sounds far too complicated. Once you have activated your offers it should be possible to use them by just scanning your mywaitrose card (physical or electronic) rather than having to scan individual offers separately. This scheme is also far less attractive than their previous one especially if you do not shop every week.
Why on earth did Waitrose change their offers? It was simple and easy to use by everyone who wanted it. There’s an Aldi opening soon nearby. Waitrose have pushed me away!
The whole scheme is ridiculous, too complicated, and I don’t have a smart phone, great loyalty from Waitrose, I spend over £100 per week, and have done for 30; years, we have a new Lidl in our town, I shall change my shopping habits and use Lidl.
I completely agree. Complicated, not generous, and so much time and effort spent to selling it to local customers. This loyal customer is extremely disappointed and surprised at how badly Waitrose has got this wrong.
The system is useless. Unlike the Lidl card you have to activate each voucher in the store otherwise discount not applied. Even the supervisor said the system sucks. Another case of a misfiring initiative.
Yep, totally agree it could have been automatic
Absolute rubbish. Too complicated and I can’t be bothered. And what about my friend who regularly spends £100 a week in Waitrose but has no mobile phone of any sort, let alone a smartphone. Tesco, here I come. Your response would be appreciated.
Yes, the requirement for a phone is ridiculous. I hope it’ll change once customers start using it
A huge own goal by Waitrose. No advance warning, so I spent weeks waiting for the old discount before I asked staff why I wasn’t getting it. They were bewildered by the changes and incapable of explaining them to each other, let alone me. If you do grasp the change, an App is ridiculously time consuming. I’m sending my card back and cancelling my membership.
What happens to my waitrose card if I dont have a smartphone?
Sadly you won’t be able to claim the discounts.
“loyalty scheme” Lol. Is this instead of the monthly money off vouchers they used to send too. I stopped shopping with them when they scrapped the decent pick your own scheme insulting their customers by saying it was too complicated for their customers to understand. All that faff to save 50p, seriously? Everyone knows how much more Waitrose are than just about anyone else, so who do they think they will fool into degrading themselves to use this long-winded weekly farce? I see their owners John Lewis are ending the Never Knowingly Beaten scheme too as they can no longer compete. Oh well, I’ve been boycotting them for many years now too.
I prefer the quarterly vouchers too. I think they’ll have to rethink the scheme for those without a phone
Re Waitrose individualised vouchers. In my first week I got a voucher for Persil liquid 56 washes, presumably because that was what I bought the week previous. Now what is the likelihood I would want to buy that product in 2 consecutive weeks? There were other similar vouchers for in frequently bought items. They need to modify their algorithm for identifying suitable products.
Yeah, I’m waiting to see what I get in my second week and how different it is to week one.
There’s no way of editing a comment? I wanted too change ‘too’ to ‘to’ but am unable to do this. Why?
Have done it for you!
I was told by a Waitrose employee that your don’t need to buy the item to use the coupon… and they were right!
I pop in once a week for a few reduced items and a few things I can only buy there… (their Essentials toilet rolls are the softest I’ve tried!)… and always use my chosen vouchers which are always the ones with the highest value. (This week they’re all only 50p which is a bit rubbish, but better than nothing.)
It’s a little bit of a faff to set up but once it’s done it only takes a few seconds to use the vouchers at the till, so definitely worth it.
Really? We are giving away our valuable data and are required to jump through hoops by looking on and selecting offers. On your bike, Waitrose. It’s about time companies properly compensated customers for sharing their data.