Saving stamps: cheaper than saving at the bank

If you would like to save something unnoticed, it seems obvious to do this through the bank, i.e. in a savings account. But the interest given on such a savings account is very low. Another way to save is through the supermarket, with sales stamps. This provides a higher return than the savings account at the bank. Those who are smart save stamps and have a higher return on their investment.

Stick stamps to save?

It seems like something from the past: collecting stamps and sticking them in a book to have some extra money on hand every now and then. There is almost no interest on a regular savings account at the bank. This is a lot higher at supermarkets that work with a savings system: at least 4%, often 6% and sometimes even more. Sticking on stamps to get an extra amount of money straight away is not a bad idea at all. Although of course you have to be willing to put some time into it.

Do you want purchase stamps?

In a number of supermarkets, this question is asked to the customer when paying for the groceries. In addition to the temporary promotions, where the customer always leaves the cash register with a handful of cardboard coins, plastic figures, monkeys, Artis stamps and the like, many supermarkets have a system of stamps or points that can be purchased. These are (usually) not free, but cost an amount per stamp or point that varies from one to ten cents. In this way they bind customers to their store, which is of course something supermarkets like to see. However, a number of other supermarkets do not participate in this: they say that this system costs money, that this is passed on in the prices and that they prefer to benefit their customers in the form of lower prices for their products. This concerns Aldi, Lidl, Dirk van de Broek, C1000, Nettorama and Deen.

The savings system of a number of supermarkets

It was the country’s major retailer Albert Heijn who started the system of paid savings stamps in 1955. You pay 10 euro cents for each stamp, and after saving 490 stamps you get 52 back for the amount of 49 euros saved. This results in an interest rate of 6.1%, which is the same as in 1955. At supermarket Plus, the interest you can earn by saving sales stamps has been the highest since its introduction in 1992: 50%. For every euro worth of groceries you can pay 2 euro cents extra for a stamp. After collecting 200 stamps, an amount of 6 euros can be collected for the 4 euros invested. Hoogvliet does not work with stamp books but with points that are added to a customer card. Moreover, this savings system is flexible: the saved credit can be redeemed whenever the customer chooses. The return is 6%. The supermarket in the north of the country, Poiesz , even gives savings stamps as a gift to customers: one stamp for every 2.50 euros worth of groceries. After collecting one hundred stamps, the savings card can be redeemed for cash or gifts. Jumbo is checking whether the customer still appreciates a savings system with purchase stamps. Since March 2010, stamps have no longer been sold in a few branches of this chain on a trial basis, although customers can still buy them at the service desk.

Benefits of saving stamps/points at the supermarket

In addition to the fact that a high return can be achieved at a number of supermarkets, the benefit can be even higher if you hand in more than one full savings card or booklet per year (The interest you receive when saving at the bank is based on the calculation per year). To do this, you often have to do your shopping at the same supermarket. But no tax (1.2%) has to be paid on it.

Disadvantages of saving stamps/points at the supermarket

The disadvantages for the customer of this system are to the advantage of the supermarket. Stamps may be lost or the savings card may not be full. So if you shop at a number of different supermarkets, it will take longer to collect the necessary stamps. At a bank you are charged interest on interest, which after a few years yields more money than it initially seems.

Overview of savings systems of well-known supermarkets

Supermarket

Stamp/point per amount of groceries (euros)

Price per stamp/point (euro)

Return from

Value (euros)

Extra money (euros)

Efficiency (%)

Amount of groceries required for this (euro)

Albert Heijn

1

0.10

490 stamps

52

3

6.1

490

Coop

0.50

0.05

500 stamps

25

1

4

250

Hoogvliet

0.10

0.01

1 point

n/a

n/a

6

n/a

Jumbo

1

0.10

25 stamps

2.60

0.10

4

25

Plus

1

0.02

200 points

6

2

50

400

Poiesz

2.50

free

100 stamps

2.50

2.50

n/a

250

Great de Boer

1

0.05

470 stamps

25

1.50

6.4

235

Vomar

0.10

0.01

1 point

n/a

n/a

4

n/a

Money box

Collecting stamps or points through the supermarket is a simple, concrete and direct way of saving for the people who do this. It goes unnoticed through relatively small amounts, they still do their shopping and the amount saved increases nicely in the meantime, given the return. Often a number of full stamp booklets are saved to pay for something extra, such as expenses for the festive month of December or the holidays.