MoneySaverSpain: Store cards in Spain worth having
Which store cards in Spain are worth having? Here's a guide to the benefits of Spain's store cards to keep down your collection of plastic loyalty and point cards.
Most stores have their own loyalty or points cards, but which are worth having in Spain? We've checked out the major store cards and let you know about the perks that each one offers.
El Corte Inglés offers the most widely held store card in Spain and is valid also in Hipercor and Viajes El Corte Inglés. The card is free, you'll be kept up-to-date with offers and you can get cards for different family members under the same account. The purchase period is by calendar month and payment is on the last day of the following month, so you can effectively get up to seven weeks credit. Payment options are: pay in full, a percentage every month or a fixed amount. Perks include two hours free parking (subject to a minimum spend – varies by store). Also, if you travel to France you can use the card in Galeries Lafayette. The El Corte Inglés card can be requested online or in any store.
Club Cortefiel offers two types of cards: a loyalty card and a credit card. Both can be used not only in Cortefiel but also in Pedro del Hierro, Women's secret and Douglas perfumeries. In both Cortefiel and Pedro del Hierro you'll get points by showing your card (even if you don't pay with it). A EUR 75 spend is equivalent to 1000 points, and each 1000 points means a EUR 5 discount voucher for future purchases. Points expire after one year and discount vouchers are valid for use during promos and on sales items. Perks include free alterations (except during sales periods and at outlet stores), one hour free parking at a nearby car park and a gift on your birthday (must spend EUR 100 in a calendar year). There are also special promos only for card holders. Full info (in Spanish) at Club Cortefiel.
Inditex Group: Zara, Pull & Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho. Called Affinity, this card includes some of the biggest names in Spanish fashion. The Affinity card offers a choice of five different ways of paying (debit or four different types of credit), and you'll receive a newsletter with their fashion updates. There is often promos too (click here to see if there are any current offers). You can request an Affinity Card online or in store.
Sephora has stores across Spain and next time you're in, pick up one of their White Cards to get access to their offers. On your first purchase your card will be scanned but you don't need to bother to fill in the form there and then. Within the next 10 days you'll have to register online: www.mitarjeta.sephora.es – a short form with your personal details and you'll receive an e-mail confirming your registration (no need to reply). Then, once you've made purchases on four separate days, or accumulated 150 points, you'll get a voucher for 10 percent off your next purchase. As their website doesn't mention any minimum threshold for the amount of each use of the card, it's helpful if you plan your purchases so that you get the 10 percent when you really need it, such as for Christmas or birthday presents. When you've used the White Card four times, then you'll get their Black Card (which substitutes the white one). The Black Card gives 1 point for each euro spent. Then for every four separate times the Black Card is used (on different days) or you reach 150 points, you get a 10 percent discount voucher for your next purchase. The Black Card has added advantages such as private sales with a 20 percent discount, personalised offers and you'll also get a present on your birthday. Seems a bit overly complicated for something so simple!
Kiabi has more than 55 stores in Spain and low prices (similar to Primark). With the Kiabi loyalty card as soon as you sign up you'll be credited with 50 points as a welcome gift, then you get 1 point for every EUR 2 spent, with a 50 points bonus on your birthday and 100 points if you have a baby. When you get to 300 points you'll be entitled to a 15 percent discount either in store on online. For online purchases free delivery is available for orders over EUR 15.
Bodybell. Fill in a form on your next visit for their BeautyFull People card and 5 percent of everything you spend will be returned to you in vouchers (reduced items accumulate 2 percent), a present on your birthday and discounts and promos based on what you normally buy. This card can't be used when you purchase online.
Hopefully in the future we won't need to carry around all that plastic, as Spanish start-up Fidiliti offers an app to have all your store cards on your smartphone rather than in your wallet. We think that this is a great idea, but until most stores join the programme, you're still faced with either carrying around numerous plastic cards or leaving them at home just the day you need them!
Reprinted with permission of Money Saver Spain.
Photo credit: Wonderlane (photo 2).
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