Reloadable Cards - available in the UK only - offer users an easy way of saving money with their favourite retailer each time they shop with them in-store.
Here's a step-by-step view of how employees can use this method as a great way of saving money on their shopping.
Step 1: Ordering the card
Users simply order a card for their chosen retailer through their SmartSpending™ employee discounts account, and the card will be dispatched via Royal Mail 1st Class - for free - the same day, if ordered by 5pm.
When they order the card, they also need to purchase credit for it, which they pay for at the advertised discounted rate. For example, with Debenhams, users get a 10% discount, meaning they could order £100 credit to load onto the card and, but only pay £90. The amount they can spend in-store is £100, but they have only paid £90.
Users can use a credit or debit card for payment, or they can use any Cashback they have saved on their account to pay or part-pay for their Reloadable Card credit.
Some retailers have a minimum and/or maximum limits on the order amount.
Once ordered, the card is sent to the user without credit loaded on to it. This safeguards any losses in the post and ensures that the user's money is still stored and safe until the card is received and activated.
Step 2: Activation
When the card is received, it needs to be activated before it can be used. Once activated, the credit amount purchased by the employee at the time of ordering their card will be available to spend.
To activate the card, the user simply needs to go to the 'My Reloadable Cards' section of their SmartSpending™ account, click on the green Activate button for the relevant card and then enter the details on the back of the card received.
User can also choose to activate their card by text, adding an extra layer of convenience for employees. Text activation instructions are in the letter enclosed with the card, and the user must answer a security question in order to use this method, to safeguard against unwanted interception of the card.
Activations (and subsequent top-ups) placed before 11am Monday-Friday will be ready for use by the next working day.
With Instant Reloadable Cards, this is, well, instant. As soon as it's been activated by the user, or the top-up credit has been purchased, it's available to use straight away. Our main Instant Reloadable Cards are Costa, EasySaver Card, Debenhams, Wickes, Ernest Jones, Greene King, H.Samuel, Halfords, Mitchells & Butlers Dining Out Card, Primark, Sainsbury's (2h loading time), Tesco and The Restaurant Card.
Step 3: Using the card
The user simply needs to present their card to the cashier, like they would with a bank card, when they purchase their goods in-store. The cashier will deduct the spend from the balance on the card. If shopping online, there will be an option on the retailer's checkout page to pay with a 'Gift Card' and enter the card details requested.
Any card credit not spent will remain available for future use, and top-ups will be added to the balance.
The really great thing about using these cards is that they can be used on top of sale prices and in-store promotional offers, meaning users can get a double-discount!
They can also be used in conjunction with retailers' own loyalty programmes to save even more. Some of the retailers with their own loyalty programmes are: Sainsbury's (Nectar), Boots, Debenhams and House of Fraser.
A great example of this combined saving is if we look at the Sainsbury's Reloadable Card combined with their Nectar loyalty card. If an employee uses only a Nectar card for their shopping, they might make an annual saving of £52. By using their Reloadable Card PLUS their Nectar card, they can save £312 on the same annual shopping spend - that's five times more savings!
Step 4: Topping up
They're not called "reloadable" for nothing!
The user keeps the card and tops it up with more credit (at the discounted rate each time) as and when they wish. They can either do this manually each time through My Account or by using the Top-up by Text option, or they can choose to enable Auto Top-up.
Top-up by Text
Top-up by Text provides a quick and convenient way to top up an activated Reloadable Card. It enables users to add credit to any of their Reloadable Cards by simply sending us an SMS message rather than having to log in to the website. To set up this option, the user needs to go to My Account and then the Top-up by Text menu option. They'll then be taken through the steps to link their mobile phone number with any of their debit/credit cards saved on their account. Whenever they want to top up, they simply need to text TOPUP followed by the last 4 digits of their Reloadable Card number, and the amount in £s.
For example, to top up their card with £100 of credit, they would send "TOPUP 1234 100" to our dedicated number, 020 3322 9065.
Auto Top-up allows users to pre-arrange regular or one-off top-ups for their Reloadable Card when it suits them. That could be weekly, monthly, or on certain dates. When this option is selected, and the user has chosen when they would like us to top up their card, we will automatically process the payment using the details they have provided. We have PCI security and SSL encryption to ensure their details are safe and never compromised.
Good to know...
Users can have up to 4 Reloadable Cards for one retailer. For example, they might want to have 4 Sainsbury's cards, one for each family member. They can also name their reloadable cards, which is a practical feature when each family member has a card. However, it's worth noting that all the cards will be stored under one account, meaning the employee user will need to manage any activations and top-ups.