Stamps of authority

green shield

I tried to get money out of an ATM the other day by mistakenly using my Kidney Donor Card; I had far too many loyalty cards in my wallet. I either needed to shed a few or buy a bigger wallet, a small travel bag or basket-on-wheels like my mum had.

There are very few shops these days where you’re not brandishing two cards – one to pay with and one to collect points. (Three, if you’re trying to break into the till).

Unlike in the 60s and 70s when you’d collect Green Shield Stamps or cigarette coupons, you knew exactly how much you had – eight and a half books or half a hundredweight of Embassy coupons. I wrote about this previously:

Because of this lack of knowledge of the worth on your loyalty card, I’m always hearing (predominantly in coffee shops): “Have I got enough points on this card?”, “No, you have 2p”. An ignominious silence descends.  In recovery mode, the question to the barista is: “Oh, where’s that flag from?” “Tuvalu.”  More silence.

But it is (no pun intended) rewarding redeeming points, even when you’ve paid over several hundred pounds to earn a couple of free Ginger Nuts in Costa.

Don’t get me wrong, these cards are useful; the alternative would be carrying around several bulging (freshly-licked) Green Shield Stamp books or several million Embassy coupons – you’d certainly need a bigger wallet – or a very strong elastic band.

I wonder, if I sold one of my kidneys, could I get the points put onto my Boot’s card?

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