The new warehouse, recognized as a “fulfilment centre” – in which products are obtained, saved and packaged – is a single of 4 getting opened this 12 months by Amazon in buy to fulfill “increasing client demand” in the United kingdom.
The centres will open up in Doncaster, Tilbury and Warrington close to autumn time, although the Daventry website opened in February.
In complete, far more than two,300 new everlasting total-time work will be designed throughout the 4 centres.
Amazon stated that personnel will start off on a minimal wage of £7.65 an hour – just a tiny in excess of the £7.50 obligatory countrywide residing wage for in excess of-25s.
Stefano Perego, Amazon’s director of United kingdom client fulfilment stated: “We are thrilled to get started recruitment for one,200 new everlasting roles in Warrington with aggressive wages and extensive rewards commencing on working day a single.”
Advantages include private health care insurance policy, subsidised foods and an personnel price reduction, which Amazon statements is well worth far more than £700 a 12 months, as effectively as a firm pension strategy.
Amazon also declared that the very first devoted United kingdom acquire centre will open up in Coventry up coming 12 months, and will act as a central hub to acquire and kind tens of millions of items offered every single 12 months. This will produce an added one,650 work.
Martin Lane, handling editor of cash.co.uk said that it was “great” Amazon is creating new chances for personnel, but that it could be potentially hindering opposition which could suggest increased charges for consumers in the extended operate.
He stated: “Competition is excellent for customers and Amazon is generating lifestyle challenging for little start off-ups and the self-utilized who basically simply cannot contend with its charges.
“After the exposé on its work procedures final 12 months, I think about Amazon will be guaranteeing it observes squeaky cleanse procedures and be fully commited to secure and lawful several hours.”
Learning the basics of investing is like learning a new language. It is easy to get lost or feel overwhelmed. You may understand when discussing stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. However, when the advisor starts throwing out investment terms like structures, entities, some ratio or the other, and dollar-cost averaging you may begin to feel in over your head.
it’s no wonder many beginning investors feel like they’re in uncharted waters. The good news is that once you have mastered the language and certain investing basics, you’ll better understand how your money is being invested for your future plans. To assist you on that journey, here is a look at the handful of the most common types of investments you will encounter in your lifetime: stocks and bonds, mutual funds, and real estate.
We’ll also talk about a few other relevant topics, such as the legal entities for businesses like limited liability companies and limited partnerships.
Basics of Stocks
Without a doubt, owning stocks has been the best way, historically, to build wealth. And for more than a century, investing in bonds has been considered one of the safest ways to make money.
Stocks are shares of ownership in a specific company. When you own a share of Apple, for example, you own a tiny piece of that company. Stock prices fluctuate with a company’s fortunes, and also with the economy at large. Public companies list and share their shares on exchanges. There are several exchanges in the U.S. and around the globe. Some companies issue shares but are private—meaning they do not trade on an exchange.
You can buy and sell a stock—in any quantity you like—without the requirement to hold it for any specific length of time. The market price of one share is determined by the supply and demand for that share on the open market exchange. Your broker will usually charge a service charge or commission to process your order to buy or sell a stock.
These investments come in different quality depending on the underlying company’s financial stability. Some stocks pay a regular return of company profits in the form of dividends, and others do not. Investors can realize capital gains if the shares appreciate in value above what the paid for them.
When you buy a bond, meanwhile, you are lending money to the company or institution that issued it. Bonds are debt securities and can be in the form of Treasurys, municipal bonds, corporate bonds, and other types of debt. You are lending money that the borrower will pay back by a stated date. Until they pay you back, the borrower will pay you interest on a regular basis.
Like with stocks, bonds come in different quality with the best being AAA. Rating agencies like Moody’s set the rating on a bond. Some bonds are called junk bonds due to the instability of the underlying company and are riskier to own.
Bonds have to be held for a period before they mature. However, you can resell them on the secondary market through your broker. Once again, your broker will charge a commission to transact the deal.
In the case of a school bond, for instance, you are lending money to the school district to build a new high school or improve classroom conditions. Buying a bond issued by a company means you’re lending money to that company, which it can use to grow the business.
Investing in Mutual Funds
One of the most popular ways to own stocks and bonds is through mutual funds. In fact, most people are statistically less likely to own individual investments than they are shares of companies through mutual funds held in their 401(k) or Roth IRA.
Mutual funds offer many benefits to investors, particularly to beginners who are just mastering investing basics. They’re pretty easy to understand and allow you to diversify your investments over more companies. However, mutual funds also have a few serious drawbacks: they charge fees, which can eat into your profits, and with some funds, they may boost your tax bill, even in a year when you don’t sell shares.
Mutual funds are pooled money investments that will have a primary focus. As an example, you may see a mutual fund the follows a particular index, invests primarily in a specific region of the world, or focuses their holdings on a specific size of company.
You and hundreds of other people give a fund manager money which they invest in various holdings. The manager uses the pooled money to purchase investments that align with the stated goal of the fund. This professional will buy or sell portfolio holdings and periodically return profits to the investors. These investments will charge various types of fees to pay for the management and promotion of the fund.
Mutual funds price once per day using the net asset value (NAV) at the market’s close. Any transaction you made with the fund executes at that time and at that price. In most cases, there is a broker fee to buy or sell these holdings.
Real Estate Investments
The world is full of people who are convinced that real estate is the only investment that makes sense. Whether you subscribe to that philosophy or not, there are more ways than ever to add real estate to your portfolio.
Yes, you can buy a home for yourself, or properties to rent. But you also can purchase securities called a real estate investment trust (REIT). REITs have a structure much like a mutual fund where a professional manager handles the individual assets held within the trust’s portfolio. However, in this case, all the investments are only in real estate.
You will see REITs that focus on the tangible property of land, shopping malls, apartment buildings, senior community facilities, and even medical marijuana facilities. To qualify as a REIT, a fund must meet specific benchmarks set by the Internal Revenue System (IRS).
Investing Structures and Entities
When you move beyond stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and real estate, you encounter different types of investment entities. For example, millions of people will never own a share of stock or a bond. Instead, they invest their money in a family business, such as a restaurant, retail shop, or rental property. Yes, these are businesses, but you also should consider them investments, and treat them accordingly.
More experienced investors likely will invest in hedge funds or private equity funds or trade in futures and options contracts. Others will buy shares of publicly traded limited partnerships through their broker. These special legal structures can have big tax implications for you, and it is important you understand how investing through them can both benefit, and potentially harm your pocketbook.
Investing in a Bad Economy
It’s the nature of the world that sometimes bad things happen. When they happen to your investments or savings, you don’t need to panic. Sometimes, you need to take a hit before you can make some money again, and holding on until the recession ends is the best plan.
Besides reading and learning as much as you can, one of the best things you can do is talk to a financial planner or accountant who can help you better understand the world of investing.
The Balance does not provide tax, investment, or financial services and advice. The information is being presented without consideration of the investment objectives, risk tolerance or financial circumstances of any specific investor and might not be suitable for all investors. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Investing involves risk including the possible loss of principal.
Becoming your very own manager seems wonderful, but working a little firm arrives with a lot of head aches – every thing from managing cashflow to selecting personnel and keeping on leading of new policies and laws.
Tv set residence queen and entrepreneur Sarah Beeny and accounting expert Bobby Lane have been touring Britain as component of a marketing campaign by accounting software program professionals QuickBooks to support little enterprise proprietors put together for the start of the Government’s new Producing Tax Electronic initiative.
We took the possibility to get their enter on the most common inquiries from The Sun’s military of little enterprise owners…
Q1. My enterprise demands much more money so I’m considering of placing up some of my home as stability on a mortgage. Am I undertaking the proper issue?
Keith, 37, a gardener in Essex
Sarah: It is all about threat administration and you need to never ever threat anything you are not geared up to shed. Individually, I would never ever set my home up. I’m really compartmentalised about my very own cash and the enterprise cash, and preserve them completely independent.
Bobby: Constantly appear at the Armageddon situation and never ever set your whole personalized fiscal survival at threat. For most individuals, the only stability they have to provide is their home – and do you truly want to threat dropping it? If the reply is no, appear at other alternatives this sort of as a new associate or trader. Also, inquire oneself why your enterprise demands money in the initial location – then see if you can make modifications to the way you function as an alternative.
Q2. Each and every quarter I invest a entire weekend striving to get on leading of my paperwork – it is a chore. What do other little enterprise proprietors do, and is there a greater way?
Samantha, 49, a florist in Birmingham
Sarah: For me, minor and frequently is the crucial. It is also value investing time and cash on programs that will automate procedures as a lot as feasible. There are some incredible accounting programs out there and they truly do get absent the ache and give you back again heaps of useful time.
Bobby: The crucial below is to make positive that you are in handle of the enterprise not the other way all around. There are now accounting programs, this sort of as QuickBooks, that will permit you to get on leading of your paperwork. They can immediately add invoices and receipts, and even elevate income invoices straight from the technique. You can do absent with heaps of your paper, and function in tandem with your accountant if you have 1. Of program, with Producing Tax Electronic coming in, obtaining an HMRC-recognised electronic accounting technique – like QuickBooks – in location indicates, you are all established to go, and it tends to make daily life so a lot less difficult.
Q3. I established up my enterprise with out any encounter of working a firm and minor encounter in my sector. It feels like I’m creating it up as I go together. Do you consider obtaining a enterprise mentor is a very good notion?
Helen, 28, a cafe proprietor in Leeds
Sarah: I have never ever experienced a expert enterprise mentor, but I have learnt from so numerous individuals more than the a long time. I’m fortunate as I function with my partner and we bounce tips all around my father was an architect so he was my residence specialist and I frequently get in touch with my tax accountant just to check out factors more than. Question inquiries of any person who may be valuable and never ever be ashamed of not understanding anything. Frequently delight will get in the way of finding out, but only silly individuals do not inquire inquiries.
Bobby: You are not on your own! Numerous of the most profitable enterprise proprietors nevertheless think they are creating it up as they go together – but you have received this significantly so you are absolutely undertaking anything proper. The crucial is to recognise your strengths and appear for individuals who can deliver you abilities in weaker places. It does not have to be an formal enterprise mentor – there are some wonderful networking teams for enterprise proprietors going through comparable problems and inquiries, and they could function just as effectively.
Backing you: QuickBooks insider ideas
Stay compliant As a little enterprise, the final issue you want is to get on the mistaken facet of the regulation. HMRC’s Producing Tax Electronic for VAT arrived into pressure on April one. If you are to comply, you are going to require to use software program this sort of as QuickBooks to post your VAT return. Don’t forget, when you are picking new accounting software program, make positive they provide wonderful buyer help, as well.
Devote much more time on what issues most Did you know that on the web accounting software program could help save you up to 10 several hours a thirty day period? Devote the time you have saved perfecting your craft, generating new goods or growing your solutions. The proper resources can take away the headache from fiscal administration and permit you to concentrate on what you take pleasure in most.
Get to grips with your funds It can be tempting to concentrate on the much more interesting elements of launching and working a enterprise, but do not neglect your firm’s fiscal wellness – particularly when on the web accounting software program can automate the bookkeeping jobs that most of us dread. It is also clever to seek out tips from an accountant as your enterprise begins to develop. They can support you lay the groundwork for a healthful fiscal long term.
This fall. I’m considering of packing my enterprise in – I acquired much more in my prior occupation with a good deal significantly less anxiety. It was my aspiration, but I’m fatigued!
Gary, 26, a builder in Southampton
Sarah: Just before offering up a safe occupation with a assured spend packet, absolutely everyone need to contemplate the negatives of doing work for oneself. Indeed, you get in touch with the photographs, but if your function-daily life stability is in chaos, that is not very good. Just before abandoning your aspiration, I’d advise heading back again to your enterprise prepare and rewriting it to be much more sensible. Is there a way to take away some anxiety whilst retaining the enterprise heading?’
Bobby: This is anything I frequently listen to from customers. They start off off with a large improve, and then there is an strength dip and the inescapable inquiries inquiring if it is all value it. Cease and consider about why you want to function for oneself. Seem at your enterprise prepare and set jointly a a few-yr forecast displaying what you could obtain and what that indicates economically. If it is not the sort of cash you want, and independence is not sufficient of an incentive, then you have your reply.
Q5. How do you know when to get on personnel? I want to construct my enterprise but I’m anxious about the duties.
William, 44, a driving teacher in Plymouth
Sarah: As quickly as you get on personnel, you are on an enlargement journey with heaps of duties. In some methods, you are truly significantly less free of charge. Genuinely contemplate in which you want the enterprise to go and how you want it to develop. Do you truly want or require a greater enterprise? It might be that the reply is sure, but it is not anything to hurry into evenly.
Bobby: The initial issue to do is determine what is having up your time and why you come to feel you require much more individuals. Can some procedures be automatic? Techniques like QuickBooks can get a good deal of the pressure, and if you do go forward and make use of personnel, it can even deal with factors like payroll. If you go forward, be geared up so you are not caught out by all the added fees related with becoming an employer.
Could you get on an apprentice as an alternative? The Govt is encouraging this so you may get support and help. Both way, put together a forecast displaying regardless of whether the added enterprise will outstrip the fees of an additional personnel member. Getting on individuals can be a wonderful way to broaden, but you require to go into this determination with your eyes open up and with a reliable fiscal prepare.
Q6. My financial institution supervisor is worthless and does not recognize my enterprise, but I’m anxious about shifting. Support!
Sophie, 31, a health and fitness teacher in London
Sarah: Be daring and change! My financial institution supervisor is supersonically useful – he even popped in for a espresso the other working day to provide some tips. There are two genuine alternatives – both go with a financial institution that is inexpensive but there is no provider, or spend for respectable provider. If you make a decision to spend, job interview possible financial institution professionals till you uncover an individual who understands your enterprise. You require overall flexibility, and a respectable financial institution will support with all of that.
Bobby: Go your account. Some banking companies have recognised that companies may want much more conventional connection-dependent banking, so appear all around and uncover 1 that is proper for you. Don’t forget, concentrate on your demands equally now and into the long term. If you will require a good deal of help as the enterprise grows, then that connection is essential.
MOTHERCARE has introduced it will shut 60 merchants, foremost to the decline of hundreds of work.
The having difficulties mom and child goods retailer experienced previously introduced it would shut close to 50 outlets in May possibly, but it verified 10 a lot more are up for the chop in an update right now.
The newest keep closures indicate a overall of 60 Mothercare merchants will shut by June subsequent 12 months, placing 900 work at threat all round.
Mothercare mentioned it was placing its Childrens Planet division into administration, but that 13 of these 22 merchants would be saved.
The modifications occur right after it cleared a so-named Organization Voluntary Settlement (CVA), an insolvency method that needed the acceptance of the retailer’s landlords.
The having difficulties retailer mentioned it is now organizing to elevate £32.5million of crisis funding from traders.
It has recognized personal savings of £19 million by way of the procedure, and hopes to realise £10 million in funds.
Clive Whiley, Mothercare’s interim govt chairman, mentioned: “The final 3 months of tough perform and development have place in spot the foundations to get Mothercare back again to in which it must be as a suit-for-function enterprise with a more robust and a lot more successful framework equally for our British isles enterprise and our global franchisees.”
It is the newest Substantial Road favorite compelled to near merchants in modern months with Poundworld going through administration and Home of Fraser axing a lot more than fifty percent of its merchants, ensuing in up to six,000 work losses.
It follows comparable moves taken by New Look and Carpetright, which are anticipated to near 60 and 92 merchants respectively, placing hundreds of work at threat.
In March, trend retailer Next also exposed it will axe 60 of its outlets placing 980 work at threat.
Mothercare workers lately claimed to the Sunshine On the internet that they work in a pressurised surroundings with lengthy hours and a perform load so large it feels like they are “selling their soul” to the company.
The organizationis 1 of the country’s most significant maternity and children’s merchants with about 140 merchants in the British isles and a lot more than five,000 personnel globally.
A aiding hand is constantly welcome when you are active developing a enterprise. And who much better than Television residence queen and entrepreneur Sarah Beeny and accounting expert Bobby Lane?
The pair have been touring Britain as portion of a marketing campaign by accounting application professional QuickBooks to assist tiny enterprise proprietors put together for the start of the government’s new Creating Tax Electronic initiative. We caught up with them at modern motorcycle enterprise RideTo.
In the two several years considering that James Beddows launched his enterprise RideTo in his bed room, it is raced forward, heading from a a single-gentleman band to a workers of 12, masking 30 towns throughout the British isles from an place of work in south London. It is been remarkable expansion, but Sarah Beeny is not stunned by Beddows’ achievement.
“He noticed a hole in the industry and loaded it,” she states. “Like all the ideal companies, RideTo was born out of an individual receiving so fed up with some thing that they made a decision to just take motion.”
For Beddows, that aggravation arrived when – soon after 6 several years of becoming squashed commuting on the Central line in London – he made a decision to acquire a scooter.
“Finding a instruction faculty to get my bicycle licence, acquiring my Vespa and every thing I necessary to go with it was a fragmented and tough client journey,” the 28-12 months-previous recollects.
“The motorbike sector is really previous-fashioned in some approaches – there was not considerably data on the internet and the small offered was scattered in excess of numerous distinct spots. I figured there experienced to be a much better way, and I experienced the notion of pooling all that data on a single web site, delivering a listing of respected instruction centres, for instance. RideTo advanced from there to turn into a a single-end store for all factors motorbike.”
Now the organization assists folks ebook motorcycle instruction classes and get their licences, acquire bikes and insurance policy, and even uncover supply employment when they are up and managing.
Beddows states they have obtained five,000 new riders on the street in the previous 12 months by itself. “I want it experienced existed when I started out out,” he provides.
In truth, Beddows started his enterprise job aged just 9, in a cart laden with fruit and greens hooked up to his huge sister’s bicycle as they offered their house-developed create doorway to doorway.
“Rhubarb was common, and we produced sufficient funds to acquire a trampoline,” he laughs. Then, at college, he ran a bicycle employ the service of organization so, like Beeny, who created her very first residence at just 19, he strike the floor managing at a younger age. They also share a widespread trait of the entrepreneur – brains continuously buzzing with suggestions.
“I constantly have fifty percent a dozen spinning spherical in my head,” states Beeny. “It’s known as shiny item syndrome,” provides Beddows. “I believe, ‘I’ve obtained a wonderful notion – let us do it!’ That can be a problem when I require to concentrate on my present enterprise fairly than contemplating about the subsequent likely task.”
Beeny agrees: “You have to just take pitfalls and shift ahead, but recognize that companies evolve continuously way too. They are both developing or shrinking and if you just take your eye off the ball, you may possibly all of a sudden uncover you are in decrease. It is all about receiving the equilibrium appropriate.”
Backing you: QuickBooks insider ideas
one Keep on leading of the quantities
It is tempting to concentrate on the thrilling areas of launching and managing a enterprise, but do not neglect the economic facet – specially when on the internet accounting application can automate bookkeeping responsibilities.
two Observe the cashflow
Cashflow administration can make or split a enterprise. The good news is, you do not require to be a economic whiz to recognize exactly where your funds is heading. Search for accounting application that types your knowledge and immediately creates a genuine-time dashboard of your cashflow. Use it to assist make seem conclusions for the long term.
three Invest time sensibly
Did you know that on the internet accounting application can help save you up to 10 hrs a thirty day period? That is added time to produce new items or providers. The appropriate instruments can take away the headache from economic administration and permit you concentrate on what you get pleasure from most.
For Beddows, the subsequent phase is European enlargement – some thing that will deliver with it clean difficulties, in accordance to accounting professional Bobby Lane. “This is an thrilling time for James and RideTo, and the enterprise is developing in the appropriate route,” he states. “If he desires to broaden overseas he’ll require to be up to velocity on the distinct policies and rules, and make confident likely consumers recognize the RideTo enterprise product.
“But James must also contemplate no matter whether there is much more he could be carrying out in the British isles industry. I’d say there is nonetheless plenty of area for enlargement right here. He’s carrying out a amazing occupation getting buyers on a journey and they enjoy the organization since it actually assists them get their bicycle licence. They are a captive and good viewers. What about making a RideTo servicing staff, RideTo insurance policy and perhaps even a RideTo garments selection? There are so numerous opportunities.”
And Lane warns Beddows not to get caught out by the modifications becoming introduced in on April one by the government’s Creating Tax Electronic initiative. It indicates all VAT-registered companies with a taxable turnover in excess of £85,000 are essential, beneath the new Creating Tax Electronic policies, to maintain information digitally. They have to also use an HMRC regarded on the internet accounting system, this kind of as QuickBooks, to post their VAT returns.
“I’d read about Creating Tax Electronic, but hadn’t paid out considerably interest to it,” Beddows admits. But there is no require for him to worry.
“There are some remarkable new techniques out there, this kind of as QuickBooks, that function simply and are a great deal less costly than at any time ahead of,” Lane clarifies. “Having the appropriate on the internet accountancy device in area will also assist as the enterprise grows.”
Possessing the pair seeking in excess of his enterprise programs has supplied a lot of meals for considered for Beddows.
“Bobby can make some actually legitimate details,” he states. “I maintain an eye on our accounts, but an on the internet device could make the function the accountants and I do considerably much more collaborative. And listening to about Sarah’s distinct companies in excess of the several years is really inspirational.”
BARCLAYS main Jes Staley is established to have his £1.3million reward axed for making an attempt to unmask a whistleblower.
The lender acquired two nameless idea-offs previous summertime voicing fears in excess of a senior worker.
A Barclays probe operate by a legislation organization explained Mr Staley “honestly but mistakenly” experimented with to learn who wrote the letters, believing them destructive.
The main, who unsuccessful to understand the whistleblower’s identification, will also obtain a created warning.
Watchdogs the Economic Carry out AUTHORITY and PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY are to examine.
In a warning shot to regulators, Commons Treasury Committee head Andrew Tyrie pledged MPs would “take a near interest” in their results.
Barclays explained it found Mr Staley’s steps previously this calendar year and notified authorities.
Chairman John McFarlane explained: “We get Barclays’ lifestyle and the integrity of its controls incredibly severely.”
But the lender insisted Mr Staley “continues to have the board’s unanimous confidence”.
Metropolis attorney Richard Nicolle warned the situation elevated severe issues about whistleblowers’ security in the Sq. Mile.
He explained: “For senior professionals to be concentrated on unmasking whistleblowers will do fantastic hurt to the self confidence of any individual who would like to anonymously increase genuine issues.”
The FCA experienced “no evident powers” or monitor file of guarding anonymous resources of idea-offs, he extra.
Mr Staley, paid out £4.2million previous calendar year, emailed lender personnel to apologise yesterday and make clear his steps.
He wrote: “One of our colleagues was the matter of an unfair private assault. The allegations connected to private troubles from several many years back.
“The intent of the correspondents in airing all this was, in my see, to maliciously smear this individual. In my wish to safeguard our colleague, I acquired as well individually concerned.
“My hope was that if we identified out who was sending these letters we could try out and get them to quit the harassment of a individual who did not should have that treatment method.
“Nevertheless, I realise I ought to have allow the compliance purpose manage this issue. This was a error and I apologise for it.”
He joined from US hedge fund BLUEMOUNTAIN Money and earlier invested far more than 30 many years at JP MORGAN.
His appointment adopted the elimination of Barclays predecessor Antony Jenkins, who experienced been pushing by way of a massive shake- up, such as enormous work cuts.
MILLIONS of Brits have at least one loyalty card in their wallet and most of us have three or four.
But between data privacy concerns, worries about hacks and regular reductions in benefits – are they really worthwhile?
What stores get out of loyalty cards
Most loyalty cards offer to give you rewards such as discounts, freebies or perks in return for you spending your money in a specific store.
In an ideal world, retailers hope that by giving you rewards you’ll keep coming back and spending money.
As well as your custom, retailers also ask you for a lot of personal information. This includes basic things such as your name and where you live, but they can also keep more niche data including how often you shop online and whether you’re pregnant,
This data is incredibly valuable to brands. It helps them design everything from their marketing and offers to how stores are laid out and how much semi-skimmed milk they stock.
How to find out what brands are doing with your data
BECAUSE of GDPR, every brand has to tell you what data it has and how it is using that information.
If you look through the terms and conditions of any loyalty schemes, they will detail what kinds of data the retailer has, what it plans to use it for, who it might be shared with and how long it will be held.
For instance, on the Co-op’s membership terms and conditions it says it keeps data:
– To improve services – For statistical analysis – To personalise offers – To prevent and detect crime – For dealing with legal claims – To send direct marketing – if you have given consent
This information is generic, but under GDPR laws you have a right to ask what specific data a company has about you as well as how they have obtained it.
You also have the right to ask for your data to be deleted
But it’s not without its risk for consumers. One worry is that if a store is hacked, fraudsters could get access to your personal information.
Many people are also worried about privacy and feel uncomfortable with the idea of retailers knowing so much about them.
The good news is that GDPR means there are very strict rules about what a brand can and can’t do with your data. If they’ve obtained it through a loyalty scheme, they can use it for “legitimate business interest” but they have to be very careful about how they store it and how long they keep it for.
Businesses that are found to be sharing data they shouldn’t with other organisations or not keeping it securely can be charged enormous fines, so companies should be being very careful with your information.
They may share it with third-parties, particularly regulators, government, credit reference agencies, other companies they own and advertising partners.
When loyalty cards might be worthwhile
If you’re worried about sharing information with big brands, then loyalty cards are probably not for you.
But many of us are happy to trade some information in return for offers, freebies and discounts.
The trick to making sure that a loyalty card is a good bargain, is to make sure you ignore the loyalty part.
If you’re deciding where to shop because of the points – you’re almost certainly not getting the best deal.
Shopping around almost always saves you more money than deals do.
Which supermarket loyalty cards are worth keeping
Most of the supermarket loyalty schemes are worth keeping as you’ll often get vouchers or money off your shop.
They tend to be free so having a card for all the stores you use regularly means you’ll soon start to see the benefits rolling in.
That said, many of the major supermarkets have made changes to their schemes recently, making them less valuable than they used to be.
This may make you question whether you’re getting enough benefits in return for your data. It’s also another reason why shopping around is your best bet.
How loyalty programmes have got less valuable over time
MANY supermarket loyalty schemes are less valuable than they used to be.
When Sainsbury’s first announced its partnership with Nectar back in 2002, you earned two points for every pound you spent. Now you only get one point per pound spent.
Points are generally worth half a penny (though you can usually get a better deal if you swap them for rewards).
This means for every £500 you spend, you get £2.50 now when you would have got £5 in the past.
Tesco has always offered one point per pound you spend. Each point is worth a penny, so you get £5 every time you spend £500.
You get more value if you swap the points for rewards, but Tesco has made the deals less good over time.
The supermarket also annouced is severing ties with 57 of its Clubcard partners including Halfords, HMS Belfast, Cutty Sark and Leger Travel.
Waitrose launched the MyWaitrose scheme in 2011. This gives members a free tea and coffee in store as well as access to 20 per cent off offers. The scheme used to let you pick ten items to always get 20 per cent off, but this was scrapped this year as Waitrose said shoppers found it too confusing.
Morrisons pays five points for every £1 spend in store. Each point is worth 0.1p, so you get half a penny for every pound you pay. That means if you spent £500 you’d get £2.50.
The value of the points hasn’t changed since launch, but the supermarket did drop its price match guarantee which meant you got extra points if you could have got your shopping cheaper elsewhere.
It has also recently slashed the number of points customers can collect when buying gift cards by 80 per cent.
Hannah Maundrell, editor-in-chief of money.co.uk commented: “We’ve seen so many loyalty scheme shake ups this year it’s hard for anyone to really know what they’re getting anymore.
“Loyal customers have been up in arms as most of the schemes have changed for the worse – [such as] Waitrose removing their pick your own offers and Tesco [getting rid of its] brand guarantee.”
The best and worst supermarket loyalty cards
Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Tesco are all useful cards to own. You accumulate points which give you vouchers or money off.
The Waitrose card is also handy if you’re a regular shopper as it gives you access to 20 per cent off deals.
The Co-op scheme costs £1 to join but you’ll earn five per cent cashback on own brand products. You also get access to deals from other Co-operative Group companies.
The M&S card probably isn’t worth keeping if you only shop there for food, since most of the offers and deals available are for clothes and furniture.
Think carefully about the Iceland card, as you have to load money in advance onto a card that can only be used in store. You’ll get bonuses, but you don’t want to get caught out of pocket if you transfer cash onto the card and then need it for the weekly shop elsewhere.
Make sure you’re not tempted away from less costly retailers because of loyalty cards. Aldi and Lidl don’t offer loyalty programmes, but often they’re the cheapest way to shop.
Here’s how to cut the cost of your grocery shop
SAVING on your shop can make a big difference to your wallet. Here are some tips on how you can cut the cost of your shopping bills:
Write yourself a list – Only buy items that you need. If it isn’t on your list, don’t put it in the trolley
Create a budget – Work out a weekly budget for your food shopping
Never shop hungry – you are far more likely to buy food you don’t need if your tummy is rumbling
Don’t buy pre-chopped veggies or fruit – The cost loads extra
Use social media – follow your favourite retailers to find out about the latest deals
Be disloyal – You may want to go to different stores to find the best bargains
Check the small print – It’s always worth checking the price per kg/lb/litre when comparing offers – a bigger box doesn’t always mean better value
When it’s worth joining a flying reward programme
Some airlines or credit cards offer airmiles when you book flights or spend money. You can use the miles to get money off future travel, though there are usually limitations on which flights you can book.
If you’re using an airline’s rewards programme, you may also get other bonuses like early check-ins, early seat allocation and even access to lounges – if you spend enough.
They’re good for people who use their credit card a lot or travel frequently (although only if you favour one airline), but usually you’ll end up spending more than you get back in points.
Is it worth picking a credit card which gets airmiles?
FOR most people, credit cards that accumulate airmiles are not the best choice.
That’s because they usually have higher interest rates.
Most people would be far better off with a card that has a 0 per cent balance transfer or 0 per cent purchase offer.
If you do decide to pick a credit card for its airmiles, make sure you pay off the balance each month, otherwise you’ll pay more in interest than you get back in rewards.
Which airline cards are worth keeping?
Generally speaking, it’s worth keeping all of the airline cards that are free, as you’ll accumulate points as you spend. It will take a long time, but eventually you’ll be able to treat yourself to a free (or heavily discounted) trip.
But if you’re booking a flight through an airline you’re unlikely to use again, it’s probably not worth the hassle.
Even where you do join a programme, you should never book a more expensive flight just for the extra airmiles – you won’t make back what you spend.
Three schemes worth joining are the British Airways Executive Club (which is absorbing Avios), the Virgin Miles reward scheme and Norwegian Air’s new loyalty scheme.
Both BA and Virgin have extra benefits because you can also book reward flights with their partner airlines.
Which coffee chains and restaurant reward schemes are worth keeping
There are plenty of reward schemes for those that eat and drink out a lot.
Generally speaking, you have to spend a lot of money to get anything free with one of these cards. For instance, with Costa you have to spend £35 just to get a free tea.
At Subway, you’ll have to spend £100 to get a free six-inch sub worth £5.50.
And even with the hugely popular Nando’s card you need to spend £70 to get a free ‘red’ reward, which will get you a whole chicken or a large main meal.
But even though it takes a long time to build rewards, it’s often still worth joining up because the cards are free.
After all, a free chicken burger is still a free chicken burger, even if it’s only once a year.
There are two main things that should determine whether a scheme is right for you.
The best cards will be for restaurants or chains that you tend to visit regularly or schemes which offer rewards for the lowest spend.
We’d recommend the McCafe loyalty scheme where you get a free coffee for every six you buy and the Papa John’s one where you tend to accumulate a few points each time you order, meaning rewards come round quickly.
It’s also worth getting cards where you can get points from lots of different retailers, such as the ICE scheme. You can earn these points on top of other loyalty programmes, so you might end up with double rewards.
A better way to get restaurant rewards
Consider signing up to newsletters from your favourite restaurants. Byron Burger regularly offers its fans freebies and both Pizza Express and Strada will give you a free bottle of Prosecco on your birthday.
Often, the deals and freebies you get will be even better than those with a traditional loyalty scheme.
If you’re planning to sign up to a few, it might be worth setting up a separate email address so your regular one isn’t filled with promotional mail.
Apps are another great way to get freebies. KFC and Gourmet Burger King both offer rewards for fans who have the app on their smartphone.
If you want to de-clutter your purse, there’s a free app that will store all of your loyalty cards in one place.
Whether you have a Tesco Clubcard, Sainsbury’s Nectar card, Costa Coffee Club card or myWaitrose card, the free Stocard app will hold them all in a virtual wallet.
What you need to know before signing up to any reward scheme
THERE are thousands of different loyalty schemes and reward cards available – so you need to make sure you know what you’re signing up for
By signing up for a loyalty card, a retailer will get a lot of information about you and your shopping habits. The data might be shared within its group of companies to target you with offers and advertising.
If a firm goes bust, you will lose your points, which have no cash value. Hoarding points also means you risk losing them if a retailer or restaurant shuts your account after a long period of inaction.
Read the terms and conditions carefullly some retailers and restaurant will have expiration dates on certain offers (for example you might have limited amount of time to spend your extra points).
Don’t choose where to shop or where to eat based on a store’s loyalty scheme. If there is a particular item you want, shop around rather than head straight for the retailer where you have a loyalty card. In a restaurant check some of the special deals or menus – they might be better value than the loyalty scheme.
Beware of spending more simply because you have a loyalty card and don’t buy something just for any bonus points you may earn.
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