• The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many South African families to stretch their money for the foreseeable future while lockdown prolongs.  
  • Rewards programmes can be utilised to extend disposable incomes through discounts, coupons or cash back rewards.  
  • We took a closer look at Absa’s Rewards Programme which allows consumers to earn real cash back which they can spend the way they choose. 

Humankind has seen many plagues, pandemics and planet-shaking events over the centuries. While there have been some very real threats of war and virus outbreaks, there have also been a few sensational scares like Y2K and the end of the Mayan Calendar. But a consistency in them all seems to be that when panic goes up, the economy goes down. 

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy is no different, if not worse, according to experts like the Nobel laureate economist Joseph E. Stiglitz. “The fundamental threat to the global economy is the spread of the coronavirus. Yet the means of containing its spread entails worsening the economic pain by keeping workers home, limiting travel and disrupting commerce,” he told the New Tork Times

In South Africa, 8,1% of respondents in a recent survey by Stats SA reported that they lost their jobs or had to close their businesses due to COVID-19. The survey also found that less South Africans are deriving their income from salaries and wages and are instead turning to their savings and borrowing to make end meets. 

While more and more families are feeling the need to stretch their money for the foreseeable future, practical ways of saving and budgeting should not be overlooked. Rewards programmes, for example, can really help you cut away expenses during lockdown.  Although they are usually perceived as an added perk for treats and spoils, they can give you the ability to extend your disposable income. 

From real cash back on fuel and groceries to getting rewarded for using your card, a rewards programme can give you that extra bang for your buck when you really need it. We looked at Absa’s Rewards Programme to see how it can carry you through the panic period of COVID-19. 

What is the Absa Rewards Programme?

Absa Rewards is a rewards programme that rewards you for banking with Absa. It does so by literally putting cash back in your pocket. If you are a South African citizen or resident and you have an active Absa Transactional Account, you can become a member of the Absa Rewards Programme at any time. 

What’s in it for you?

With Absa’s Rewards Programme, you will earn real cash back for purchases made with your Absa card and you are free to spend it any way you like. Unlike many other rewards programmes, there are no further behavioural hurdles that you need to overcome before you can start earning. You will continue to enjoy the benefits as long as you have at least one transactional account with Absa, your account is in good standing and your membership fee is paid every month.

How can a rewards programme benefit you during COVID-19?

Through Absa’s Rewards Programme, you can earn up to 30% cash back at Food Lover's Market, Pick n Pay, SPAR and Woolworths; up to 30% cash back when you fill up or shop at Sasol; up to 30% cash back on selected health and beauty purchases at Dis-Chem; and up to 15% cash back at Rewards partners. 

You can then redeem rewards on your banking app into cash, airtime or even the Solidarity Fund for those who want to help others during the pandemic. By looking into the benefits of your rewards programme, you can make your money work for you, and those around you, during these trying times. 

This post was sponsored by Absa and produced by BrandStudio24.