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Asda slashes Blue Light discount – is it still worth it?

Asda slashes Blue Light discount – is it still worth it?
Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

Asda has changed the terms and conditions on its Rewards scheme, which impacts Blue Light discount card holders.

The Blue Light Card is a discount service for the emergency services, NHS, social care sector workforce and armed forces, providing members with discounts online and on the high street.

Up until 7.59am on 25 April (last Thursday), Blue Light Card holders got 10% back in their Asda Rewards Cashpot (up to a maximum of £100 per day) when they bought fresh products across Asda stores.

This included all fresh meat, fish, fruit and vegetables, ready meals, chilled and dairy, bakery and flowers. However, cheaper ‘Just Essentials’ products were omitted from the scheme.

But from 8am on 25 April, the discount was halved to 5% and limited to “selected fresh products” across Asda stores, with Just Essentials continuing to be omitted.

‘Tapered down to practically nothing’

Asda customers took to social media to express their anger and disappointment regarding the discount change.

One customer posted on X (formerly Twitter): “I had fully switched to Asda when the Blue Light deal originally started. It’s been tapered down to practically nothing, so I’ve gone back to Aldi; it’s a shame, because the 10% off was a big help.”

Another directed a tweet at Asda, saying: “Very sad to see that, despite your profits increasing by 24% and pass[ing] the £1bn mark, you decided to cut the support for Blue Light Card holders in half. I suspect your profits may not be quite as high next quarter with the amount of customers you’ll lose.”

It is the second time in a year Asda has reduced Blue Light discounts. Up until last summer, shoppers could get 10% paid into their Asda Rewards Cashpot when they bought homeware, health and beauty, baby items, outdoor goods, toys, laundry and pet products. But these products were ditched from the scheme – making it fresh food only – as of June 2023.

An Asda spokesperson said: “Asda has worked with Blue Light Card since 2022, and we have saved Blue Light workers millions on their shopping in that time. We’re now introducing new and exclusive ways for card holders to boost their Asda Rewards Cashpots, as well as offering 5% back in Cashpots on fresh food purchases.”

What is Blue Light?

You need to work in certain professions such as the emergency services, NHS, social care sector and armed forces to be eligible for a Blue Light card.

The card costs £4.99 for two years and gives members access to more than 15,000 discounts from large national retailers to local businesses across categories such as holidays, cars, days out, fashion, gifts, insurance, phones, and many more.

The best discounts are generally offered on eating out. For example, you can get 25% off food at Beefeater and a 25% discount at Bella Italia from Sunday to Thursday. There is also an up-to-50% discount at Domino’s Pizza and 20% off the food options at Welcome Break services.

What do the other supermarkets offer key workers?

Back in the pandemic, several supermarkets offered NHS staff and other key workers discounts, promotions and preferential shopping times. But these have been phased out since the end of the pandemic.

Currently, Iceland offers Blue Light Card holders £6 off if they spend £45 online – but you need to be new to Iceland. Existing customers get just £3 off a minimum spend of £60.

At Morrisons, key workers need a Morrisons More account and to join the relevant ‘club’, such as NHS or teachers. Different offers are then run at various times and will be shown on the Morrisons app.

Members of the NHS club are automatically issued with a free anytime delivery pass, valued at £65 and providing free delivery of up to one delivery per day.

Morrisons offered NHS workers a 10% discount during Covid, but this ended in January 2022.

None of the other supermarkets offer discounts to NHS or other key workers, with preferential treatment offered to these workers during the pandemic ending some time ago.

Which is the cheapest supermarket?

Even when the Asda 5% Blue Light discount is taken into account, budget supermarkets Aldi and Lidl tend to be the cheapest options. Analysis by Which? found that Aldi was a third cheaper than the most expensive option (Waitrose) earlier this month.

Related: Best of the British aisles: The freshest supermarket offers