Is it worth it? How does the bonus card work?

Bonus programs like Payback are based on the fact that customers like to look for the right deals. There is a reduction in exchange for data. Is it worth it or is it better to stay away from the customer card?

More than one in three Germans have a Payback card in their wallet. This makes the largest rebate program in the country. More than 30 local partners and more than 600 online shops accept the bonus card.

But how useful is it for customers? Our overview shows how Payback works, if it’s really worth it, and how consumer advocates are evaluating the bonus program.

How does the reimbursement work?

Payback advertises to reward loyal customers for their purchases: you can collect money with the check card or the Payback app on your smartphone Bonus pointswhen you shop with partners like Aral, dm, Real or Rewe. You can then use the points against Discount at checkout, Vouchers or Bonus exchange or donate to charitable projects.

You will usually receive one point for every two euros spent. One point equals 1 cent. In addition, Payback partners issue coupons with which you can significantly increase your score.

How do you collect Payback points?

To do this, you first need a Reimbursement card. These are available at all participating stores or you can apply for the card online at the Payback website. However: the online application only works if you register for the Coupon mail To log in. It contains personalized advertising.

If you already have the Payback card, you will need it in the next step record. To do this, enter the card number on the bonus program website, which you can find on the back. Then Payback would want your email address and other personal data like your name and address.

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If your card is registered, you can scan it at the checkout every time you shop at one of the partners and receive it afterwards the points are automatically credited to your Payback account – usually one point for every two euros spent.

Whether you have your Payback card from Rewe, dm, Fressnapf or another partner, you can also use it at all other Payback acceptance points. If you buy from a participating online store, you must enter the Payback card number there and you will then also receive the corresponding points.

How to redeem your Payback points?

To redeem Payback points, you must first have reached a point balance of at least 200 points. Once you’ve done that, you have six options:

  1. Redeem at checkout: You can use redemption points to pay for other purchases if you cleared them at checkout. However, this does not work for all partners. It is possible at Aral, dm, Real, Burger King, Fressnapf, Apollo-Optik, Thalia and Depot. You can also pay through the app using the “Payback Pay” function.
  2. Convert to coupons: You can also redeem your points for vouchers. There are service terminals in the branches of Rewe, Penny, Real and Alnatura. You can print the voucher there and use it immediately or save it to use for another purchase.
  3. Withdraw from the account: To do this, you must connect to the Payback site and select the item “Redeem points for money” in your personal space. You can now see your points balance and choose how many points you want to redeem. Then confirm the transfer to the deposited bank account. The money will be credited to you in a few days.
  4. Get a bonus: In the rewards shop, you can redeem your points for goods from the kitchen, sports, multimedia or life categories. Most of the time you have to pay extra. You can also convert your points into gift certificates in the rewards store. At Aral, you receive rewards directly at gas stations.
  5. Award miles: If you have a “Miles & More” card, you can also convert your Payback points into award miles which will be credited to your miles account.
  6. Give points: If you prefer to do something good, you can donate your points to a regional, national or international aid project. Payback cooperates nationally, for example, with L’Arche, the DKMS or the German Children’s Fund.
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How long are Payback points valid for?

Redemption points are valid for 36 months from the time they are credited. After these three years, they expire on September 30 of the same calendar year. After that, you cannot redeem them. In your points account, under “Points at risk of expiration”, you can see if you need to act quickly.

Is it worth collecting points with Payback?

Barely. Let’s say you shop at Rewe for 30 euros. Then you will receive 15 points, which equals 15 cents. If it goes like this every week, you will arrive at 7.20 euros at the end of the year. But it was also necessary to pay 1,560 euros for this reduction (30 euros x 52 weeks).

7.20 euros isn’t it better than nothing? Yes, but this only applies to customers who would always buy from the same suppliers anyway. If, on the other hand, you shop here and there – depending on the cheapest offer available – you as a Payback customer might miss this in the future because you ignore stores that are not partners. . The consumer advice center therefore advises Remember to keep an eye out for the competition when collecting points.

iPhone in the Payback Rewards store 200 euros more

This is especially true when redeeming Payback points for rewards. Because here is one Example of the North Rhine-Westphalia consumer advice center between July and August 2019 show that there are many offers at other cheaper retailers. For example, Payback offered a price of 39.99 euros for a board game, while the same game was available elsewhere for 18.99 euros.

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According to consumer advocates, the biggest difference was with an iPhone X, which cost Payback $ 999. With an assumed stake of 1000 points (10 euros), the price difference with the cheapest dealer was more than 200 euros. The Consumers Council therefore recommends: Always compare offers with a price search engine – or instead of buying rewards, pay with points at checkout.

Payback dismissed the criticism as excessive. It is not possible to always offer the best price in the entire market, a spokeswoman said. In addition, a large number of users see their points compensated directly during their purchases.

What data does Payback collect?

However, it is important to Payback that the company does not trade in address and does not sell any data to third parties. The business can’t see any individual products among purchases booked through the card or app, but they can, what product groups or product categories you buy. In order to be able to redeem points, you must give Payback your name, date of birth and address.

If you cancel your participation in the bonus program, Payback must keep your data for another ten years (communication data for a maximum of six years), but is no longer authorized to use it. If you have authorized Payback to use your data in a certain way, you can revoke at any time. You can also ask Payback to disclose any information the company holds about you.

What are the alternatives?

Germany’s largest rebate program has had many competitors since its inception 20 years ago. The best known is the with around 20 million users Deutschlandcardwhich you can use at Edeka, Netto or Esso, for example. In addition, many dealers offer own customer cards sure. However, the functionality is quite similar – as are the discounts.

On the other hand, you will get bigger savings if you sign up for a Cashback portal log in as Shoop or Getmore. According to Stiftung Warentest, refunds on average between 3 and 6% are possible – much more than with traditional customer cards.

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