Maximising rewards: Over half of people turn to rewards to help with cost-of-living crunch

  • 56% of people have been making more use of reward points as a direct result of the cost-of-living increase
  • While 37% of people are sticking with favoured brands, 32% have cut back how often they purchase them
  • People are more likely to shop where they are rewarded for loyalty, rather than the cheapest store


Well over half (56%) of UK consumers have been turning to reward and loyalty points, in a bid to combat the rising cost of living, according to new research from Tesco Bank.

The desire to make the most of rewards is highest in younger age groups looking to snap up a deal. 66% of young adults, those aged 18 to 34, have been using rewards points more to help with their day to day shopping, compared to 43% in the over 55 age group.

This need to maximise points is also translating into how people spend at the tills. Just under half (49%) of the 3,000 people surveyed by Tesco Bank, say the cost-of-living crunch means they are increasingly using loyalty points or rewards to pay for goods and services. Again, this rises in the younger age groups, with 66% of 18 – 34-year-olds paying for more with points, compared to 33% of over 55s. 

And people are also changing their shopping habits, across a range of goods they buy. Nearly a third (32%) of people still head home with their favourite brands but have been forced to cut down how often they buy them, 29% search for the cheapest brand available and 27% only buy their favourite brands when they are on offer. And nearly a tenth (9%) simply can’t afford to buy the brands they used to anymore.

Looking at where people shop, value for money (53%) and being on the doorstep (44%) rank highly, but interestingly those retailers that offer loyalty and reward programmes are more popular (35%) than the stores that offer the cheapest prices (33%). Highlighting that while value for money is still key, shoppers also prioritise being rewarded for their ongoing loyalty to a specific retailer. 

Gail Goldie, Chief Banking Officer, Tesco Bank commented: “Right now, it’s all about how we make our money stretch a little further at the tills. And for lots of shoppers, particularly those in younger age groups, that means making the most of the rewards and loyalty points they have built up over time. These points can help to buy experiences, meals out or simply cut the cost of the weekly shop.

“And while we are seeing some people still head home with their favourite brands, there has been a clear shift in buying habits, across a real range of goods. People have an eagle eye on the deals and are looking for ways to cut down the cost of any shopping they do. This just shows how important personalised and tailored offers, rewards, points and loyalty schemes are. Shoppers are looking for value for money but also, for retailers that recognise loyalty and will help them make the most of rewards.”



Research was conducted by Opinium on behalf of Tesco Bank. Research carried out between 22nd and 28th June 2022. 3,000 UK adults aged 18+ were surveyed and results have been weighted to be nationally representative.

About Tesco Bank

Tesco Bank’s goal is to make banking and insurance easier and better value for people who shop at Tesco. We’ve been around since 1997 and today we help more than 5 million customers manage their money every day. Our colleagues serve our customers seven days a week from our three main centres in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle, and we are also available through online and mobile banking 24/7. Tesco Bank participates in the Chartered Banker Professional Standards Board.


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