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The Times: Be loyal to none

March 02, 2007

Letters to the Editor

Sir, Why do we stupidly waste money, petrol and time on affinity cards, loyalty cards and air miles?

I had a Sheraton card with many points on it, which I recently tried to use, unsuccesfully, at its Tel Aviv hotel. I have never saved one penny with a hotel affinity card in more than 20 years in the travel industry.

Recently I used £600 of air miles to reduce the cost of a holiday in Taba, Egypt. On arrival, other guests and our travel rep advised us that we could have paid £600 less, without using the air miles. The ones I had just cashed in had been collected over seven years, mainly buying Shell petrol and using a NatWest Visa card. The exclusive use of Shell petrol caused me much extra travelling and a few jams.

Two years ago I realised I had achieved about £17 in vouchers for Tesco, collected over ten years. I decided to use them for petrol (spending £5 on petrol to get to my branch in Pulborough), but once there the garage refused to accept them as I had forgotten to bring my loyalty card too.

W Sussex and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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