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British shoppers could be missing out on more than £45billion of loyalty points a year, according to research.

Researchers found a fifth – around 10.5 million people – either have no loyalty cards or simply haven’t used them in over the past 12 months.

During a typical week the average Brit spends £86.57 on fuel and groceries – around £4,500 a year in total.

Taking into account the millions not taking advantage of loyalty cards this corresponds to a whopping £46.8 billion worth of points.

This is the equivalent of 100 billion pints of milk, 45 billion loaves of bread or eight billion gallons of unleaded fuel.

Commissioned by Esso, which offers its customers Nectar points when they fill up their vehicles, the research of 2,500 adults found 60 per cent always collect loyalty points when shopping.

David Chilton, Esso global loyalty strategy manager, said: “The research shows we’re a nation of savvy shoppers who have been using loyalty cards for almost eight years on average and love getting something back on household spends.

“We are pleased to be able to increase the ways in which we can reward our customers through our new loyalty programme with Nectar.

“But with a significant proportion of people missing out on points, we want to remind drivers not to forget to swipe at the till and collect their valuable points for some great offers.”

The research also found the typical Brit person has three or more loyalty cards.

And they estimate they are sitting on around £47.19 of unused loyalty points and gift vouchers.

Almost a fifth has in excess of £100 of loyalty points they are yet to redeem.

And more than a quarter admit they have rediscovered loyalty cards and vouchers they had completely forgotten about.

For those who do have loyalty cards, it is the more senior members of society who are likely to remember to use them.

More than three quarters of those aged 65 and over said they never forget to use their loyalty cards each month.

In contrast almost half of 18-24 year old’s forget at least once a month.

It also emerged the drive to collect points can cause friction amongst couples – eight in 10 women revealed they have fallen out with their partner over who gets to keep the loyalty points.

The Esso research carried out through OnePoll also found 72 per cent of those polled consider themselves to be loyal.

And more women (76 per cent) than men (67 per cent) feel this way.

Further to this, a fifth of men even admitted outright they aren’t ‘loyal’.

Our friends, partner and wider family top the list of what we’re most loyal to.

Loyalty cards came fourth – ahead of our favourite sports team, TV show and smartphone brand.

James Moir, managing director of Nectar, added: “As the nation’s leading loyalty scheme, we know that our customers love to turn their points into rewards.

“We’re delighted to be partnering with Esso to offer our customers the chance to turn their fuel purchases into savings on a huge range of products and services, in addition to hundreds of other personalised offers.”

Esso is offering the chance for one customer to win up to 100,000 extra Nectar points – for further information click here [] ENDS

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