By Ruby Lizon-Walker


Loyalty cards have risen in popularity dramatically in light of the cost of living crisis, with shoppers signing up to a variety of brand schemes to help their money go as far as possible. This is also the case amongst students and others searching for discount codes and student deals.

For this campaign, we have analysed 50 of the biggest retail brands in the UK looking at a variety of metrics to determine the most popular loyalty card schemes, the most popular supermarket loyalty card schemes, and the most in-demand loyalty cards for clothing retailers in the UK.

The study also explores which shops give the best student discounts and the most in-demand brands for students.

The most in-demand retailer loyalty schemes in the UK are Tesco, O2 and National Rail

the top 10 searched for loyalty schemes in the UK

To determine the most popular retailer loyalty schemes, our study looked at the number of Google searches for the terms ‘loyalty cards’ and ‘loyalty programmes’ for key retailers in the UK.

Our research revealed that Tesco takes the top spot for most in-demand loyalty schemes. Their Tesco Clubcard is so popular it has a search volume total of over 6.6 million a year.

Next up is the mobile phone provider, O2, who offer O2 priority rewards as a form of a ‘loyalty card’ to their customers. This gives their customers unique offers from pre-sale tickets to popular concerts, offers on days out with the family, and even the odd free coffee. Searches for O2’s loyalty scheme stand at just under two million a year.

Below are the top 10 most searched for retailers when it comes to loyalty schemes:

Rank Retailer Name of loyalty card used for this retailer Student discount provided? (Y/N) Overall search volume total for each retailer YEARLY
1 Tesco Tesco Clubcard No 6,611,400
2 O2 O2 Priority Yes 1,980,360
3 National Rail Railcard Yes 1,980,000
4 Sainsbury's Nectar No 1,332,120
5 New Look Nectar Yes 1,320,600
6 Homebase Nectar No 1,320,600
7 Argos Nectar No 1,320,360
8 Lastminute Nectar No 1,320,000
9 Asda Asda Rewards No 761,160
10 Marks and Spencer Sparks Card Yes 594,600

National Rail also appears in our top three in-demand retailers for loyalty schemes, with just under two million searches per year. Their railcard scheme allows numerous groups of people in the UK to travel around on trains and public transport for less - 33% less in many cases, saving consumers who rely on public transport to get about their lives.

Sammie Ellard-King, founder at Up the Gains, says:

“Loyalty cards not only provide direct savings through points or cashback, but they also give access to exclusive promotions, offers, and events. BUT it's essential to use them wisely. Please don't be lured into buying things you don't need just to earn points.

“Carrying cards can get annoying, but these days most retailers have an app where you can download the card. I have a folder on my phone with the apps in so I can quickly access it. My tip would be to use the cards for every purchase no matter how small and monitor your accounts once a month to see if you have earned extra rewards or discounts. Sometimes there are even some freebies knocking around!"

The 10 most in-demand clothing retailer's discount and loyalty cards

The top 10 searched for clothing store loyalty schemes in the UK

Our study shows that, of the 30 clothing retailers we analysed, searches for a New Look loyalty scheme is the most in-demand with over 1.3 million searches per year.

Following closely behind is Tu Clothing, which is part of Sainsbury’s brand and therefore comes under the Nectar scheme, which garners around 110,000 searches every month.

Rank Shop name Overall monthly search volume Overall yearly search volume
1 New Look 110,050 1,320,600
2 TU Clothing 110,000 1,320,000
3 TK Maxx 18,500 222,000
4 RayBan 6,600 79,200
5 PUMA 4,410 52,920
6 Nike 2,930 35,160
7 H&M 2,000 24,000
8 George 1,600 19,200
9 Vans 1,600 19,200
10 Schuh 650 7,800

TK Maxx comes in third place for most in-demand clothing retailer's loyalty discounts, with 222,000 searches per year. Their loyalty program is called ‘Treasure’ and allows customers to collect ‘keys’ with purchases online and in-store in return for rewards that can range from homeware items to experiences.

The five most in-demand supermarkets store discount and loyalty cards based on our data

The top 5 searched for supermarket loyalty schemes in the UK

Tesco takes the top spot again for most in-demand supermarket store discounts. Like many supermarket chains, Tesco also offers student discount offers which can vary, as long as you have a valid student beans account.

Next up is Sainsbury’s Nectar card. With over 1.3 million searches for the Nectar card per year, Sainsbury’s multifaceted loyalty card has over 18 million subscribers and the company’s loyalty scheme has now partnered with numerous shops, such as Argos and Homebase, to offer discounts through their Nectar app.

Rank Retailer Name of Loyalty Card Overall monthly search volume Overall yearly search volume
1 Tesco Tesco Clubcard 551,070 6,612,840
2 Sainsbury's Nectar 111,010 1,332,120
3 Asda Asda Rewards 64,130 769,560
4 Marks and Spencer Sparks Card 50,220 602,640
5 The Co-Operative Co-op Membership 18,100 217,200

Though Asda comes in third place with their Asda rewards loyalty scheme, searches for Asda rewards is almost half of that of Sainsbury’s. Their loyalty scheme sees 800,000 searches per year. Whilst more limited than the Clubcard and Nectar card, Asda’s reward scheme is good for regular Asda shoppers, giving them the opportunity to use their points straight away toward a smaller treat or wait and save their points for a larger voucher eventually to cover a full shop.

Students seeking discounts at ASOS and Boohoo with a combined ‘student discount’ search of over 60,000 per month in the UK

The top 10 searched for student discount schemes in the UK

As part of our loyalty scheme index, we also analysed which of the 50 retailers in our study accept student discounts, and which shops have the highest demand for student discounts, based on search volume data for ‘student discount’ and ‘discount code’.

ASOS comes out in top place for the most in-demand retailer for student discounts with over 2 million searches per year for ASOS student discount in the UK alone. The retail website does offer a 10% student discount as standard but this can change from time to time with bigger discounts appearing for ASOS premier members.

Rank Retailer Monthly search volume for brand's student discount (UK) Yearly search volume for brand's student discount (UK)
1 Asos 198,100 2,377,200
1 Boohoo 116,600 1,399,200
1 Argos 83,900 1,006,800
1 Boots 82,700 992,400
1 Nike 70,400 844,800
1 New Look 67,100 805,200
1 Matalan 62,900 754,800
1 Very 62,900 754,800
1 Curry's 55,300 663,600
1 Amazon 53,900 646,800

* Answers correct at time this data was collected

Boohoo comes in second place for the most in-demand retailer for student discounts, with 1.4 million searches per year. Boohoo offers students year-round discounts, with multiple different ways to save money, but usually with a 10% discount as standard.

Argos comes in third with over 1 million searches for Argos student discount per year. The homeware retailer doesn’t currently offer a specific student discount, but does have great deals throughout the year, including a current promotion for 25% off back to school supplies.

Ed Fleming, Managing Director at Savoo, adds:

“Loyalty cards allow businesses to give returning customers benefits as a way of saying ‘thanks for coming back’. Loyalty cards are becoming more advanced with some offering benefits across a range of stores (such as the Nectar card), and some giving exclusive discounts to members only, such as Tesco’s Clubcard. With the cost of living, consumers are looking for discounts more than ever before so it is definitely worth looking into the loyalty schemes available for stores you shop in frequently.

“Where loyalty schemes aren’t available, it is still worth looking online to try see if a store has a discount code or offer on at the time of purchase."

To find more discounts across thousands of UK retailers please visit the Savoo home page.

Methodology and sources

Taking a seedlist of 50 of the top retailers in the UK, 12 of the top supermarkets and 30 clothing retailers, we have analysed the search volumes around these brands loyalty schemes to find out which brands have the most in-demand loyalty schemes across the sectors. We also looked at which stores have the most in-demand student discounts. Where no results available for SV, 0 has been put down in data.