SHOPPERS have blasted Morrisons for encouraging them to spend up to £1,000 in just five weeks in order to get a cash bonus for Christmas.
The retail giant has changed its loyalty card bonus scheme this year, meaning customers must spend a certain amount in its stores during the festive season to get the cash.
In previous years, the rewards and amount you needed to spend were the same for all customers.
For example, in 2014, all customers with a Morrisons Match & More loyalty card were given £25 off their Christmas shop if they spent £40 for six weeks.
But this year, the bonuses and required amount of spending are personalised for each customer - and some have said they have been set "ridiculous" targets.
The offers have been posted out to some customers over the last week.
Blogger Emma Downey, a mum-of-two from Weston Super Mare, said she would have to spend £125 in Morrisons every week for five weeks - £625 in total - for just £44 back.
She told The Sun: “Considering last year it was £40 each week, I think it’s ridiculously high.
“In the past I have made an effort to shop at Morrisons to get the bonus but this year I won’t bother. I really don’t want to spend over £600 quid.”
Business owner Claire Lukins, who runs a zero-waste food business in Caerphilly, South Wales, said: "Our offer in the post was to to spend £160 for five weeks to get £60 of vouchers before Christmas!
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"To be able to spend £160 in one shop alone is a ridiculous amount!
"It leaves no room in people's budgets for local produce from the butchers, bakers, farmers markets and local crafters in the run up to Christmas, at the very time that small businesses count on customer support."
One customer, Darran Musgrave, said he needed to spend £200 in five out of six weeks for his bonus.
He tweeted: "How many people can afford to spend £1,000 over 5 weeks - great way to alienate customers."
d their saving stamps book, or saved all they want, they hand the book to a Co-op cashier and the amount saved will be deducted from their shopping bill. If a customer redeems a completed book containing £48 worth of saving stamps in December, the Co-op will deduct £50 from their shopping bill. There's no limit on how many lots of £48 you can save and be paid a bonus on.
When is my bonus paid? Any day in December.
Iceland's Bonus Card - earn 5 per cent
How much can I earn? Iceland’s Bonus Card offers money off coupons and savings throughout the year, but you can use it to help you save for Christmas. You save directly onto your card by telling the cashier how much you’d like to save, adding money either by cash or debit or credit card.
When is my bonus paid? This will be put on your Bonus Card for whenever you want to spend it, either online or in store. It’s normally £1 for every £20 saved (5 per cent) up to a maximum of £1,000. But at the moment Bonus Card holders can receive £2 for every £20 saved November 18, to help with Christmas.
Morrisons’ Christmas Savers – earn up to 3 per cent
How much can I earn? Morrisons also has a digital savings stamps scheme where you buy stamps for £1 a time. It pays a £1 bonus if you buy between £49 and £96 of stamps, a £3 bonus for between £97 to £145, a £4 bonus for between £146 and £193 and those with £194 get a £6 bonus. The scheme is closed for the year as shoppers had until October 31 2018 to get the bonus, which they can spend between November 5 and December 31. The balance is given in the form of vouchers, which you can spend in-store or on the Morrisons grocery website.
When was my bonus paid? Just before midnight on October 31.
Tesco Christmas Saver – earn up to 6 per cent
How much can I earn? Tesco's Christmas Saver scheme is part of the Clubcard scheme, where you can choose to save up all your Clubcard vouchers for the year and get a bonus in your November statement if you top-up your savings. If you save between £25 and £49.50 and you’ll earn £1.50, you’ll get £3 on savings of £50 to £99.50, £6 on £100 to £199.50 saved, and £12 on £200 to £360 saved.
When was my bonus paid? October 16.
The Christmas Collector bonus initiative by Morrisons runs in just the two months before Christmas and is designed to ensure customers do all their festive shopping with the store.
Consumer campaign groups said the targets were too excessive.
Jasmine Birtles, founder of the Money Magpie website, said: “I’m very surprised that Morrisons has set such high targets for people to get a cash bonus.
“If it were spread across the year then it would be possible for most families but to try to make people spend even more in the run-up to Christmas is unrealistic and really hard on people who are already stretched.
“I know that supermarkets have a very tight profit margin but they can offer smaller rewards for lower spending levels. If they did that they would create the feel-good factor in their customers which would benefit them throughout the year.”
And Martyn James, from the complaints handling website Resolver, said: “You don't get anything for being loyal these days. Even leaving aside all the data you're sharing with Morrisons when you use your loyalty card, encouraging people to send excessively when times are hard for millions is irresponsible and unnecessary..”
A Morrisons spokeswoman said: “For each customer, their Christmas bonus is based on their spending with us over the last three Christmases and is a way of thanking them for shopping with us."