Saturday, December 14, 2013

How Much Do Things Actually Cost?

It's a bit complicated.

You see, I went to the garage to fill up our little car. Sainsbury's for unleaded are charging £1.27.9 a litre, so it should be easy to know what it costs. I filled up and it came to 33.02 litres, so using my 10p a litre voucher from a £60 supermarket shop earlier in the week, I got £3.30 off. That gets us to £42.23 - £3.30 = £38.93.

Ah, but there are Nectar points earned on the petrol - 33 of them. If I save them and use them, they're effectively worth 0.5p each and I got a double Nectar points due to a special coupon from my last purchase in the supermarket. So I now have a potential 33p to spend in the future. Get excited!

But that's still not it, because I paid on my Nationwide credit card, which gives me 0.5% cash back on purchases each month, redeemable at the end of the year. So that's, er, about 19.5 pence.

So if I claim my Nectar points and allow for what gets docked off my december credit card bill, my petrol actually cost £38.93 - £0.33 - £0.19½. I make that £38.40½.

That's great, but am I the only one thinking it could be simpler?


Anonymous said...

Right. So,
(1) the margins are such that companies can afford effectively to discount, therefore stuff is overpriced to start with (though try telling that to the independent retailers); and
(b) someone, somewhere, is prepared to pay a lot to know what and where you buy said stuff, since the discounts are applied to cards (Nectar, credit) that can be linked to the information.
Welcome to 1984.

Anonymous said...

Apologies for the mixed "numbering" system in the above comment :/

Luc Rolland said...

We collect Air Miles on our credit card and then we can cut the airfare costs when we fly to Montreal next week which costs of fortune within Canada. In summer, the Montreal-London flights are the same as to St-John's.