How I Get My Dior (for Free)

by PJ on Thursday, November 29, 2007

in -Boots, -Dior, makeup, stash focus, What do you think? Beauty topics and thoughts

(My Boots Advantage Card…and what it got me.)

When it comes to shopping for cosmetics, living in the UK has crucial disadvantages. Things are more (or much more) expensive, and, once opened, they can’t usually be returned and refunded.

But there are a few positive things. One of them involves one of my favorite drugstores (which we call chemists in the UK), Boots.

Boots runs a loyalty card called Boots Advantage Card in the UK and some other countries. The customer reward system has often been accurately described as “generous” by the UK press.

Anyone can apply for the card for free. For every pound spent on anything in store, 4 points is earned on the card. Each point is worth 0.01 pound, so every 100 points is worth 1 pound (about 2 USD).

Customers can use their points to get anything sold in any Boots store for free (but not on and the points never expire. For example, 500 points are worth any 5-pound product in a Boots store.

I know this doesn’t sound very exciting. But it is all the extras that make the system more than generous:

1. There are usually 200 extra points for a transaction over 25 pounds, as long as I remember to print out the voucher at a kiosk in the store before paying for the items.

(or in this case…300 points)

I always try to do my Boots shopping either once or twice a month (instead of many small purchases). I make sure I go into the store knowing the amount I will be spending. If I plan to spend more than 50 pounds, I print out two vouchers and pay for them in two lots. (A calculator is always handy for a Boots visit.)

Extra points earned this way during a year: 3000

2. Both drugstore and premium brands sold in Boots stores do point giveaways. Each brand runs the giveaway several times a year. For example, Lancôme gives 1000 points for 2 skincare purchases, Clinique gives 1200 points for 3 skincare products, and Estee Lauder gives 750 points for 2 makeup products. (Dior, YSL, Clarins also run similar promotions.) Also, different promotions are run in store and on-line.

(a typical Boots promotion on premium brands)
(image from

I have noticed that each promotion is run at about the same time during the year, so I plan my purchases accordingly to get the maximal points. (Shopping for me is a highly-organized activity. I am like Monica in Friends. The more organized, the more fun…)

Extra points earned this way during a year: 2000

3. Several times a year, there are triple-point weekends. 12 points are given for each pound spent instead of the usual 4.

Extra points earned this way during a year: 250

4. There are Boots magazines in store and occasional mailed newsletters with extra-point vouchers.

(a Boots extra-point voucher,
from Boots Health & Beauty Magazine Nov/Dec 2007)

Extra points earned this way during a year: 250

5. My favorite is Boots Christmas Shopping Evening. They are run two to three times before Christmas. Each Boots store advertises its own dates, which are well advertised in advance. In these events, 1000 points are given for each transaction over 50 pounds. This is usually on top of all the other extra-point offers mentioned above.

Extra points earned this way during a year: 2000

Total extra points during a year: 7500
This plus 4 points for every pound spent: about 10000
Cash equivalent: 100 pounds (200 USD)

These points are usually more than enough for me to use on what I want to have from Dior during a year. What is left would just keep accumulating and would not expire.

I have always been an extremely loyal Boots customer. (Apart from the point scheme, they have great customer services.) Whatever I want (general toiletries, premium cosmetics, electronics, exercise equipments, cell phone credits, light snacks), if it is available in Boots, I won’t buy it anywhere else.

But one strict rule that I do have for myself is never to buy anything just for extra points. Otherwise it would just be a waste of money.

One negative point I have come across about the Boots Advantage Card system is that it is a way for Boots to analyze a customer’s purchasing habits. The system helps Boots come up with new products as well as take on or stop stocking a certain brand of products. Some people don’t like their shopping habits to be monitored, and I perfectly understand that. But their system is essentially like any other loyalty card system in any other store. (London’s high-end department store Harrods started a similar but much less generous one earlier this year.) Overall, systems like this work for or against customers, and it all depends on one’s point of view.

I do enjoy getting and using my points and the reward system is more generous than those of any other drugstore, supermarket and department store I know in the UK. I think this is why a Boots card is quite an usual thing to have for people living in the UK. As long as customers (like me) enjoy planning purchases ahead of time, points can roll in quite quickly and we can use them on virtually anything sold in store. I am sure there are many people who save up their points to get more pricey items like digital cameras or MP3 players.

I could be wrong, but, in the US, Boots’ own brand products are sold in stores like Target and Boots doesn’t have its own free-standing stores carrying other drugstore or premium cosmetics brands. So maybe this is why Boots is not running the same system in the US. But things might change. We’ll see!

Related Posts:
(Some of the items I got with my Boots points)

Dior Pretty Charms

Dior Detective Chic and Diorissime Palettes

DiorLight Jewelled Necklace

Dior Addict Ultra-Nude Lipstick in Undressed Mauve

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Gloria Friday, November 30, 2007

I’m more like Phoebe… unorganized, crazy, spunky, and just doing things for the sake of it. No planning, no thinking.. just “heyyy, that sounds like a good idea!!”


Ebontien Friday, November 30, 2007

In Canada, we have the points system in a variety of stores, both in the mainstream department store The Bay and in the drugstore Shoppers Drug Mart. Both stores also have their own credit cart which allows you to accumulate extra points. The points don’t directly equal a certain amount in cash. Rather you are supposed to hit a level of points and a voucher is issued to you of $10+ off.

While it’s not enough to always get items free (such as Dior products) you can combine points and a promotional offer. In Shoppers Drug Mart, there’s a 20% senior’s day every month and this includes cosmetics, in which my mother buys the cosmetics (such as Dior or Guerlain) and I pay her back so I will still be able to get that discount. Other times, there’s a promotional offer through one of the major counters where you sign up for a make-over. The deposit you pay will then be directed to which ever product you wish to buy during the event and usually at the same time there’s a free gift.

By the way, (and slightly unrelated), it’s only The Bay stores in Canada that sell the CK cosmetics. I have an ad of the items which show them in a clearer view. I was wondering if you would like me to email them to you?


nicola Friday, November 30, 2007

Ahh I see that your secret!! I’m a boots advantage card point collector too.. but I’m quite bad at collecting points, hehe..

Also the main boots in our shopping centre (bull ring in B’ham) is like small and dont sell premium beauty prods which sucks.. I’d have to have a good 5 mins walk (outside the shopping centre) to another boots which is massive.. so i guess most times im too lazy and just buy premium beauty products from debehams and selfridges.

But it’s good idea though!! it’s a nice way to treat yourself :-D


hightea_xx Friday, November 30, 2007

In Canada, we have a similar system at our leading drugstore chain Shoppers Drugmart (by whom I happen to be employed). They also carry some of the higher end brands (Lancome, Dior, Guerlain, Clarins, etc) and although their roster is always growing. Their points system, the “Optimum” program as they call it is similar as you can save money on your purchases if you accumulate points and reach certain levels that can be redeemed for cash. So, unlike Boots were you can spend right at any points level, you have to reach before you can redeem. For every dollar (.49 of a pound) you spend you get 10 points. The levels are divided as such: 3500 = $5, 7000 = $10, 15000 = $25, 30000 = $55, 40000 = 75$, 75000 = $150. Collecting is easy, especially now a days because once a month they will have a “20 times the Optimum points” event, usually with a minimum purchase of $50. Points accumulated at this time can be astronomical, and on top of that, about twice or three times a year they have a “redemption special” in which they make the top two levels worth even more (from $75 to $100 and $150 to $200!). I don’t know why i’m telling you all this, i just thought you’d like to know it’s happening in Canada too!


the Muse Friday, November 30, 2007

you’re an organizational diva PJ! I’m more like gloria said, a phoebe, fly by the seat of my pants type of girl!

I love how organized you have this!

It’s like art!

I’d totally screw up with the points and printing the voucher etc!

Our drugstores like CVS have a point system too but sadly drugstores here do not sell high end cosmetics only makeup like covergirl, Revlon, etc…


PJ Friday, November 30, 2007

Hello Gloria,

I see. It is great to be Phoebe actually! Always positive and optimistic, and gets along with everyone! :)


PJ Saturday, December 1, 2007

Hello Ebontien,

Thank you for commenting again!

Thank you also for taking the time to tell me about the reward systems in The Bay and Shoppers Drug Mart. I have not been to Canada myself and it is great to hear about and compare across the countries!

The 20%-off senior day every month sounds very good indeed. We occasionally have 10%-off days for cosmetics, but very rarely 20% off. The only one I know in the UK is a Christmas Shopping Evening for a high-end department store called Fenwick. I was there last year and it was nice to pick up some cosmetics goodies with 20% off.

We have makeover sessions with redeemable booking fees as well with various brands, which are quite popular.

As for the Calvin Klein ad, if you don’t mind, please do send it to me via e-mail. If I should think about posting it on my blog, I will ask for your permission.

Please find my e-mail address towards the top of my blog. Thank you so much!

Look forward to hearing from you again, and thank you again for commenting! :)


PJ Saturday, December 1, 2007

Hello Nicola,

Indeed, as you can see, it is not a big secret of any sort. Basically I just really enjoy picking up points while doing my shooing in Boots. (Okay…I am *slightly* obsessed with collecting the points…)

I was going to mention in my post that I used to use the points on daily toiletries like shampoos, but later I decided to use them on pricier items that I’d feel guilty of buying (as treats, like you said). :)

I have been to Birmingham once. I absolutely love the Bull Ring and I know exactly the large Boots you are talking about. That Boots is wonderfully huge, with many premium brands.

Love the Bull Ring as well, with both good high street brands and some nice designer labels. I enjoyed the quirky layout of Selfridges there too.

Thank you for commenting again! :)


PJ Saturday, December 1, 2007

Hello Hightea_xx,

Thank you very much for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment!

I really appreciate the fact that you took the time to give me the detail of the reward system in Shoppers Drugmart. I am actually really enjoy reading about it.

So, if I spend 100 dollars in the 20 times the Optimum points event, I would get 20000 points. If I do this a second time, I will have 40000 points. Then in the redemption special, 40000 points will worth 100 dollars. That’s really great actually, considering that it is from a 200-dollar spending.

Sounds like a good system to me!

Thank you again for sharing this with me and all the readers. I always love to hear what is happening across the globe! :)


Row @ Saturday, December 1, 2007

I Love my Boots Points. Because I did a lot of my Christmas shopping at Boots (with the 3 for 2), I accmulated 20000 – about two hundred pounds!

I considered spending it on something like a coffee machines or a new camera but since I already have both, make up one (I splashed out on YSL with my points).

I am saving them for any new Chanel range that catches my fancy. The Boots Advantage card is the only realistic and accesible collectors card in the UK to be honest. Even people like my boyfriend who barely use their card can have enough in a few months to get stuff like shower gel, toothpaste etc.

And there is barely no limit on what you can get, cosmetics wise anyway!


PJ Saturday, December 1, 2007

Hello The Muse,

Well, I have got to be organized if I want to get my next Dior! :)

So you are a Phoebe as well. I am always a Monica I guess. Quite compulsively neat and organized…

I see. So drugstores in the US don’t carry high-end brands. I am sure you know that both Boots and Superdrug here do. I don’t think Superdrug has a reward system. But they usually have high-end cosmetics items on discounted prices. But still, I almost always shop in Boots.

Thanks for commenting again! :)


PJ Saturday, December 1, 2007

Hello Row again,

That’s very impressive! But on the other hand, I am always sure I am definitely not the most heavyweight Boots point collector in the UK.

If I have a lot more points that I do now, I would consider getting a digital camera as well.

Interestingly, I too have my eyes on the Chanel spring 2008 collection. I am liking the lilac eyeshadow palette. But I will have to see what Dior’s spring 2008 limited-edition item looks like. Then I will make a decision…

I agree with you completely on the Boots Advantage Card being a very good rewarding system. I think it does have an impact on creating more repeating and loyal customers. Also, as you know, there are points on offer in the Boots on-line shop and I am sure many people would enjoy earning extra points without being in the shop with the crowds, especially during this time of the year.

Thank you very much for commenting, and keep picking up more points! :)


Sandy Saturday, December 1, 2007

Hi PJ!

Thanks for telling us your secret! I have been following your blog for a while now and it’s very informative and made me be more conscientious about makeup. I tend to spend more on skincare than I do on makeup because (I hope) it will keep my skin in good condition whereas I wasn’t quite convinced that expensive makeup was much better.

Thanks to you I have also been experimenting on premium end makeup like Dior (testers only) and I must say I like how smooth their eyeshadows are! Now I can see the difference! I am most interested in trying out the Japanese brands next, as I will soon be going home on holiday to Malaysia. Can you let me know if these Japanese brands that you feature are available in London?

I vow to be more organised with my Boots points from now on, since I realise it’s actually quite worthwhile!


Beauty Banter Sunday, December 2, 2007

I want to live in London!!!!
Not just cause of Boots… but that’s nice too!


PJ Sunday, December 2, 2007

Hello Sandy,

Thank you very much for the kind words about my blog!

I think your approach is sensible. It is more important to find skincare products that suit you and keep your skin in good conditions. When your skin looks great, you don’t really need a lot of makeup and whatever you do put on will look ten times better…

As for me, I am always fascinated with colors so I just love to play with makeup. :)

I personally think the quality of Dior’s eyeshadows is very good. If you do find a couple of shades that suit you, I think it is worth considering picking some up.

Actually, many of the Japanese cosmetics brands I talk about on my blog are not available in the UK. But, apart from Shiseido International and Kanebo International, SUQQU, RMK, and Paul & Joe are available in the UK

As far as I know, several budget/self-help Japanese cosmetics lines are available in Malaysia. One of my favorite Japanese premium brands, Lunasol, was launched in Malaysia earlier this year as well.

I usually buy my Japanese cosmetics items when I travel to Asia, and my friends in Asia help me buy them as well. Sometimes, I also buy from a website called Adam Beauty, which is based in Hong Kong.

I do think Boots points are worth collecting. You can always plan a couple of things you would like to treat yourself with when you have enough points.

Let me know in the future if you get any goodie with your Boots points. Also, if you have any question about Japanese brands in the UK or just in general, do please e-mail me. (You can find the address towards the top of my blog.)

Thank you again for your comment! :)


PJ Monday, December 3, 2007

Hello Beauty Banter,

London is one of my favorite places in the world. It is dynamic and constantly changing, but great essence of this city doesn’t seem to be washed out overtime.

And there are some nice Boots stores as well…:)

Thank you for your comment!


the Muse Monday, December 3, 2007

Hey sweetie!

Agreed! Organization is key in the UK as it’s so costly!

I guess I’m a bit of a Monica when it comes to being anally organized and tidy and neat! But when it comes to purchases and such I’m a bit of Phoebe ;)

Drugstores do not carry any highend brands at all. We have Walgreens, CVS, Duane Reade and quite a few others but these shops do carry high end.

If you want highend you have to go to larger department stores most times and seek out a counter! Macy’s, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Etc…

Or Sephora of course ;)

I wish we had a Boots or a Superdrug as I love both!

Btw I was looking into the Boots items and both the skincare and the makeup have “made in UK, made in germany” and yet they are still cheaper here!

Also says “imported from UK”..

very interesting!!!!!!!!!!!


PJ Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Hello The Muse,

Yes, you did mention before that you are very tiny and neat when it comes to storing and using your cosmetics goodies. (Who can forget your videos?)

Thank you for telling me about the Boots products sold in the US. I see, so they are not made in the US. It seems to me that they are made and bottled here in the UK and are shipped to the US. And they are still cheaper? Umm…not amused…:(

Thanks for commenting again! :)


Jazmin Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Yet again, I’m totally jealous that you have Boots over there…though I’m not complaining because I remember reading that you wish you still had Sephora :)

Big props for your “Free” Dior system…very cool :)


Iry Tuesday, December 4, 2007

We have similar system here ( in Malaysia ) as being mentioned by ebontien. Most of the time, I will use the point to exchange for voucher because it’s more practical instead of exchanging for items (e.g. household stuff). :p


PJ Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Hello Jazmin,

Exactly, we *still* haven’t got Sephora back…

I guess things like this even themselves out across the countries! But I will most definitely always try to get the best out of my Boots card!

Thank you for leaving your comment again! :)


PJ Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Hello Iry,

I see. The system described by you and Ebontien sounds very good. It sounds like a generous reward system and also a flexible one.

As for me, with Boots, I will probably still get pricey items that I want to treat myself with. :-D

Thank you for commenting again!


yummy411 Wednesday, December 5, 2007

thanks for sharing! great info!


PJ Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Hello Yummy411,

You are welcome. It is my pleasure!

Thank you for your comment again! :)


Emma Monday, July 14, 2008

oh my god! You can’t know how jalous I am! I’m an addict of every brand cosmetics or clothings, though my budget is a little under those prices… At least I can delect reading your posts! Great work, keep going :)


PJ Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hi Emma,

Thank you very much. :)

I am sure most of us are on budget these days, and I try to pick and choose (especially in the UK, where I can’t return used beauty items). I am glad you find my blog to be worth your time!

Thank you for your comment. Hope to hear from you again! :)


Anonymous Monday, October 6, 2008

ok this is a bit late but which boots do you go to that has dior?? i only notice dior is available online. and the only boots store that has chanel, YSL is the one at oxford street.

also any ideas roughly when the triple points systems occurr??



PJ Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I believe there is still a Dior counter in the Boots store just outside the High Street Kensington tube station. Also, I remember there is a Dior counter in a Boots store in Birmingham.

As for the triple-point weekends, they usually take place in summer months. I think coming up will be the Christmas Shopping Events, where, in past years, we could earn 1000 points with a spending of 50 pounds.

Hope it helps, and thank you for your questions! :)


Anita Louise Murray Sunday, November 21, 2010

I absolutely LOVE your new Holiday Collection Makeup Palettes.


PJ Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hi Anita,

Thank you very much for stopping by! :)


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Please note that information on purchasing Japanese cosmetics on-line can be found on my FAQ page.

Thank you very much!

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