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How can Swiss loyalty programmes help you save money?

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
How can Swiss loyalty programmes help you save money?
The more you shop, the more you save. Photo by Ina FASSBENDER / AFP

Switzerland is an expensive country and the cost of living just keeps rising. But there is a way to get more bang out of your franc.

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The already high costs of health insurance premiums, housing, and electricity are expected to go up further in 2024.

Add to this the continually rising price of food and other essential products, and you may find yourself cutting many more corners than before.

But even in a high-cost country like Switzerland, there are ways to cut at least some of the costs.  

READ ALSO: Six essential tips that will save you money in Switzerland

How can you increase the purchasing power of your francs?

A simple answer is: be Loyal.

Many Swiss retailers have their own customer Loyalty Programmes that reward shoppers with points which, ultimately, help save money.

For instance, the country’s largest chains, Migros and Coop, have their own well-established bonus schemes — Cumulus and Supercard, respectively. The more goods you purchase in one chain or another (as well as in many of their subsidiaries), the more points you accumulate, and the more benefits you will reap.

READ ALSO: Which Swiss supermarket has the best bonus point system?

The points can be collected not just in supermarkets themselves, but also at other businesses, such as  petrol stations and convenience shops owned by these chains. Coop also owns pharmacies across Switzerland, where any unreimbursed purchases (that is, excluding medications covered by heath insurance) will gather points.

However, the loyalty schemes are not just limited to Migros and Coop.

Moneyland consumer platform compiled a list of Swiss retailers that offer this programme.

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How can you get a membership?

It’s simple.

You can just fill out a form either in the physical store or online on the retailer’s website, and you will receive a loyalty card in the mail.

You can also, in some cases, download an app, which you can scan in the store every time you shop.

Your accumulated points will be displayed on the receipt.

This is by no means an ‘exclusive’ club; membership in the loyalty  programme is open to any resident of Switzerland aged 18 or over.

How do these Loyalty schemes work and how much can you save?

Here, too, Moneyland provides some answers.

At Coop, you will get one point per one franc of purchases.

You can redeem them for Coop gift cards via the app or at customer service centres.

You can also pay for certain purchases directly with your points.

At Migros, you will also get one point per one franc spent, but with one exception: you will receive one point for two francs spent at Migrolino subsidiaries, which are typically convenience shops at petrol stations.

Additionally, you will receive a five-franc voucher for every 500 points you collect.

If you are a member of Lidl’s scheme, you will receive vouchers for free products when you spend 75 francs at the store in one calendar month.

You will also receive a five-franc voucher when you spend 250 francs or more at Lidl in one calendar month.

You can see how other Swiss bonus programmes work here.

And by the way, you are not limited to just one retailer and one loyalty programme: you can sign up for as many as you want.

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Are there other money-saving schemes in Switzerland, not related to any retailers?

Yes, there are — for instance, Reka.

This voucher system is maintained by the Swiss Travel Fund cooperative. Each voucher (or unit, as it is called in the Reka-land) is worth one franc.

Reka checks are banknote-like vouchers issued in denominations of 10 and 50 francs — in other words, worth the equivalent of 10 or 50 francs, respectively. 

The main advantage of this system is that you will receive a discount every time you shop with the Reka card or vouchers, and can save up to 20 percent on purchases.

This article explains all the benefits of this system, and how you can join it:

READ ALSO: What is Switzerland’s Reka payment system and how do I use it?

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