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‘Pret Perks’ launches today – how does it work?

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A couple of weeks ago we had the exclusive news about the launch of ‘Pret Perks’, the new Pret A Manger loyalty scheme.

The programme finally goes live today. However, it will be in beta for a few weeks and can only be accessed by people with a Pret coffee subscription and an iPhone.

You will earn one ‘star’ for every purchase and stars can be redeemed for ‘perks’. You will require 10 stars to receive a free product from a rotating list of rewards. You do not get your choice of any item in the store.

Once you have hit 10 ‘stars’, you will have 30 days to claim your free product. Your free gift will expire at this point.

You will NOT earn ‘stars’ when claiming a free coffee from your subscription unless something else is bought at the same time. All Pret coffee subscribers will receive a nominal one star per month as part of their subscription. You need to scan a QR card in the Pret app to receive your stars.

One attempt at gaming the system is already blocked in the rules. Any purchases made in quick succession will be amalgamated together, so you cannot buy a coffee and a sandwich in two transactions and earn two ‘stars’.

Full details should be on this web page from this morning.

Comments (399)

  • jjh4yb says:

    I’m not able to make the correspondence link work.

    Is it me?

  • Peggerz says:

    Hi Rob, re the Curve/Creation item. I’m clicking the link and getting a blank pdf page. Is it just me?

  • Charlie says:

    The correspondence link sends me to a site called pdf host with some dubious links to adult material ! No sign of said emails

    • Charlie says:

      Ok got to read them … they magically appeared after a minute or so, thanks for advice above. Just be wary of clicking the site logo … or not !
      Interesting read

  • Crafty says:

    Rob, it sounds like this is a “blog” after all!

    • Crafty says:

      Please can you confirm which of the parties have contacted you/HfP directly on this issue? It would seem extremely odd if they haven’t tried, given the implicit revelation that they read your website!

      • ChrisC says:

        There are other blogs out there that have covered this form of activity not just this one and with far higher readership as well!

      • Rhys says:

        I don’t think any of us have been contacted.

        It’s not surprising that they read HfP though!

    • ChrisC says:

      Blog – a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.

      Definitely sounds like HfP!

      • Rob says:

        It’s not a word we like to use, given that (for example) our annual page views are 3x Business Travel News and we have a pile of journalism awards.

        • S says:

          What proportion of those views are from chat page Vs the ‘journalistic’ content? 😉

          • Rob says:

            Very few. If you treat the 25,000 opened emailed articles each day as page views, which we don’t but which you should for this sort of analysis, it is only 10% or so.

      • S says:

        In that case, bravo! I had assumed the chat page was just a way to juice up stats.

  • Cranzle says:

    My comments:
    1) There’s a supergrass
    2) They are definitely reading HfP comments
    3) Its ridiculous that they didn’t just block Curve payments instead of going through all this.
    4) Why do NS&I care about points ‘gaming’ when you can still pay into them from an account that is not yours and Paul still wouldn’t really care!!
    5) The Pret Perks offer is Pants

    • Ls says:

      They say in the emails they read the ‘blogosphere’ and ‘point sites’ themselves. Everything was discussed at such length here they wouldn’t need a supergrass.

      • Cranzle says:

        I agree they wouldn’t, but the opening email suggests a supergrass has reported the issue of points gaming.

        • Yorkieflyer says:

          Quite likely someone we know

          • Rob says:

            I have been told exactly which HfP comment sent NSI into panic mode. I will save the person the embarrassment but it was boasting of a six figure monthly spend on premium bonds.

          • Doug M says:

            It’s pathetic that NS&I have to read comments here to know about recycling of Premium Bonds, they have no data capability of their own. With a 50K max even across a few accounts it takes a lot of in and out to generate six figures/month.

          • Spurs drive me mad says:

            Well i know who Rob is referring to, person in question was full of themselves. I can’t be the only one who worked it out so now you know who to blame for your cards being shut down.

          • Track says:

            The fact that NS&I risk management is driven by web forum comment is no less embarrassing.

            Anyone can claim anything on the web. That too.

    • ChrisC says:

      Re 2 a few of us for a long time said we knew they reading HfP and other sites and we were told we were being silly.

      Yet a good number of people said they weren’t and that’s why they needed to keep using those ridiculous code words to stop the likes of curve from knowing what was going on!

      It’s quite clear the likes of curve and creation and revolute knew this was happening and have been monitoring it themselves for sometime.

      • SteveJ says:

        ChrisC, no you were told that the code words were to stop this from becoming too widespread, not to stop Curve etc knowing about it. Literally the last sentence in the whole FOI email thread confirms that NS&I wouldn’t care if this became “low level background noise”. That is what you were told all along, that is what you even until this day refused to acknowledge.

        • ChrisC says:

          This became widespread anyway.

          This was not just mentioned on HfP but other blogs and sites as well. There will be people doing MS like this who aren’t even aware of HfP!

          That’s what people failed to recognise. It was a lot wider than HfP!

    • Rui N. says:

      Please note they only care about “excessive” gaming 🤣

  • Crafty says:

    The pertinent facts for me are:
    1) NS&I are most focused on stopping “the most grievous offenders”
    2) Curve is actively running manual data pulls to assist both NS&I and Creation, including but not limited to “top 50s”
    3) Discussion of potential criminal sanctions is still on the table (!) – despite no identification of any crimes committed

  • Adam says:

    Be a white noise not an anomaly…

    Still does not explain why accounts were closed that used Creation—>Curve for genuine transactions, may be to send a signal?

    • Crafty says:

      I think the indication that NS&I sees “absolute numbers” as a yard stick gives a possible clue.

      • Simon says:

        Are you suggesting that Creation closed the “top 50” and then added on a random selection of “normal” Curve users to increase the absolute number they were reporting to NS&I?

    • Adam says:

      Technically Curve is responsible for closure of your Creation account. Not Creation by itself.

      This could soon mean more under table dealing of Curve and other card providers…

  • Ian M says:

    Surprised at how keen Curve were to crack down on people using the card to earn points, when targeting that exact demographic has been one of their key marketing plans.

    • QFFlyer says:

      Agree, I really don’t know where they see their market if it’s not MSers, because using one card to sub for all of them, which is achievable with Apple Pay etc., doesn’t seem worth the bother. They do link to Diners Club, so maybe someone can make that work.

      • Chris says:

        Not having to have a seperate low fee international card is why i used curve …

        • Rui N. says:

          That and having a card that allows me to pay online with much less hassle than others (both Creation and Virgin suck).
          I couldn’t be bothered with Google Pay, nor do I see any value in having “just one card in your wallet”.

        • Robert says:

          Or get a Halifax Clarity?

          • John says:

            No points

          • Rui N. says:

            I have a 0.5% CB Aqua that has no fees as well. But with Curve I’m not limited to that one, I can get points on all cards used abroad with no fee.
            And yes, the MS was nice. But I actually got Curve because of the no FX fee (the “works much better online” part came afterwards).

        • Nick says:

          It’s also paradoxically the highest fee international card in the UK, charging 3.5% in fees at times.

    • Crafty says:

      NS&I became suspicious Curve is in fact not cracking down. Hence the request for “absolute numbers”.

    • Simon says:

      My first thought too.

      (Also if anyone else is thinking of an FoI then I recommend whatdotheyknow as this allows anonymity and is better as a hosting platform for responses.)

    • Rui N. says:

      They have to pretend to care about anything that might be against other companies T&Cs so that they don’t get in trouble with them or, eventually, regulators.

    • Yorkieflyer says:

      Curious how Curve have been trying to save their own skin by pretending they haven’t condoned the exact behaviour we all know they encourage with their dodgy business model that lets users circumvent the T&Cs of the underlying credit cards.
      I’ve been binned as a white card user despite having never been near NS&I

      • Char Char says:

        So Curve can reply instantly to them but takes months to customers interesting

        • Rui N. says:

          I hope it’s not their customer service people that are dealing with this type of relationships…

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