How to make the most of your Old Mutual Rewards when money is tight

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With nearly three out of five of households bringing in less income than at the start of the lockdown, more and more consumers are turning to loyalty memberships to stretch their budgets further. Brett Cameron, Head of Old Mutual Rewards, explains how to make the most strategic use of rewards when money is tight.

As Covid-19 continues to send shockwaves through the country’s economy, 54% of South Africans now depend on customer rewards programmes to deal with severe budget strain. That’s according to the Old Mutual Savings and Investment Monitor Covid-19 Special Report (OMSIM), released last month.

“Loyalty programmes offer more than just added value,” explains Brett Cameron, Head of Old Mutual Rewards. “The financial impact of the lockdown has made them an increasingly essential tool to help households make ends meet.”

The OMSIM report revealed that 57% of earners are bringing home less than at the start of the lockdown. Mounting financial challenges mean many will be faced with one of two options: (1) to save as much as possible for an uncertain future, or (2) to make the money they have go considerably further.

“Customer loyalty programmes can help in both cases. You can use the savings you make from rewards to boost your emergency fund – more important now than ever before – or even to invest. You can also use rewards membership to cover day-to-day essentials such as fuel and data,” Cameron suggests.

How to earn points

By rewarding South Africans for taking small but critical steps to reach their financial goals – such as using a free budgeting tool or watching informative videos online – Old Mutual Rewards, a digital rewards programme, offers not only real day-to-day savings, but also valuable financial education resources and the ongoing encouragement to use your available income in the smartest possible ways.

“The top changes we’ve seen our members make in response to this year’s tough economic climate include identifying and prioritising core expenses, revising their monthly budgets, and finding more ways to save.”

Among Old Mutual Rewards Members, savings and investment products are currently the third most-popular online purchase, which suggests their money habits are indeed paying off.

For those looking to make the most strategic use of their rewards programme when money is tight, Cameron suggests three ways to make rewards points count.

Where to spend points

Pay less for fuel:

For many households, fuel ranks high on the list of monthly expenses. It can eat a large chunk out of your income but, since you do have to get around, it’s a grudge cost that’s very difficult to cut back.

Spending your rewards points on petrol can go a long way to ease the sting, advises Cameron.

Old Mutual Rewards Members can use their points to buy fuel at participating Total service stations countrywide.

Buy airtime to connect with family and friends:

In the time of social distancing, it’s vital to stay connected to the people we love. But since we’re doing less of that in person, we’re spending more on airtime and data.

Using rewards points to offset the costs of staying in touch can make a noticeable difference to your monthly spend, Cameron says.

Old Mutual Rewards Members can use their points to buy airtime, data and SMS bundles.

Afford an occasional treat:

Under lockdown, families have much fewer options for entertainment. And while home-cooked meals will stretch your budget further, an occasional takeaway treat can be a great family spoil, especially if it’s on the house with your rewards points.

Old Mutual Rewards members can spend their points at a wide range of restaurants and food outlets, including: Wimpy, Steers, KFC, Nando’s, Krispy Kreme, Kauai, Bootlegger Coffee Company, and Uber Eats.

About Old Mutual Rewards

Old Mutual Rewards is a fully digital rewards programme that is open to everyone – even if you're not an Old Mutual customer. It is free and easy to join. Members earn points for making smart financial choices. Every 10 points earned equals R1 – real money you can spend at one of more than 20 retail partners, donate to a charity or invest in an Old Mutual product.

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