If you live in the UK and can join Nectar you should do so. It is free and fairly enjoyable even though it has the potential to waste a great deal of time- like Facebook I suppose. So what is it? In industry jargon it is a 'cross platform, multi retailer loyalty scheme'. In normal language this translates as a loyalty card that may be used in many different shops.
There are many such schemes in the UK but nectar grew to be by far the largest by inventing clever ways to sell more and more products to their existing client base. Once you have a card you will be bombarded with offers that seem tempting but are rarely the cheapest available. Like any incentive scheme it is possible to game the system provided one knows that it is a game.
I visited the site today and came away with �71 in points and cash- which is not bad for an hour of browsing.
I visited the site to find free ways to accumulate nectar points. These are unusually useful for loyalty points because it is actually possible to spend them. There are some retailers who will simply accept your loyalty card as if it were a credit card and give you the value of your points right then.
I found to my surprise that points were being offered simply for downloading a version of the yahoo toolbar. This flags up companies that offered nectar points but does not distort the results. You must use yahoo search but this is a pretty decent search engine.
Thompson local is offering nectar members 150 points simply for phoning certain merchants. I am sure their is a catch but this amounts to 75p a call.
I have also changed my electricity supplier- very easy to do- and this accounts for the �71.
I have also been given 100 points for joining 'team green Britain' which is a sort of corporate green crusade cum publicity campaign. This cannot do any harm and may even do some good. It is free and is an interesting alternative to the official green movement that favours greater regulation of private life and amounts to a kind of socialism.
I feel pretty pleased with myself.
NB. I never received the promised Nectar points for switching suppliers. This is because it is not possible to receive the �50 welcome credit to my bill as well as the points. Never mind. Cash is better.