Published: December 12, 2018Compare money-saving options
Moonpig is an online greetings card and gift retailer (in the UK, USA & Australia) that allow you to customize and send cards or gifts to friends and family. There are a couple of schemes you can take advantage of, but which makes the most financial sense? Let’s look at what’s the best way to make a purchase and how it would affect the total cost. Let’s run through some figures and find out the best way to save money at Moonpig.
UPDATE: In August 2019 Moonpig announced that Prepay would no longer be available. No reason was given. So instead stick with getting cashback using Topcashback on every purchase. Or look for a voucher code if that works out to be a better saving. They also have a ‘reminder’ feature that allows you to set reminder dates for birthdays. Set 3 and receive a free card.
Original article below kept as an archive.
It can be good in your online shopping habits to always check whether a retailer is on Topcashback. And if they are, check what their current cashback rate is. It’s a good habit to have!
At the time of writing this article the current cashback rate was a special offer of 12%! See the screenshot below. However, it’s not eligible if you use the “Moonpig Prepay” service that the company offers. This leaves the question of whether it’s better to get the cashback or use the Prepay service. Let’s explore.
Please note that the rate was a special offer so you’d have to check their listing now to see what it currently is. Over time it changes.
What are the options and how does Prepay work?
There are two options. Let’s compare them.
- Click through via the Topcashback website and receive cashback after the order is placed.
- Go directly through the Moonpig website and buy Prepay credit at the checkout to receive extra cash to shop with.
Prepay credit works by giving you a bonus for pre-loading your account with a cash balance. You get 25% bonus cash. The minimum deposit is £5.
So Prepay is better than cashback surely!
Clearly then you would think it’s pretty obvious which one is better! With a 25% bonus, surely it makes sense to use the bonus every time as long as the cashback is below that. But let’s look into it a bit more.
What are you buying?
What you’re buying affects what’s the best route. According to the Moonpig FAQs, the Prepay scheme can’t be used if you’re purchasing personalised children’s books, or flowers and plants. If you’re shopping for any of those then it’s straightforward, go directly through Topcashback and get the cashback rate instead.
For everything else, you’ve got the choice of how to go about it in order to save the maximum amount of money. Let’s run through the maths and how it affected my purchase. At this stage you may think it’s now obvious to only use the Prepay scheme, but not necessarily.
Which method saves the most money?
A standard-sized card at Moonpig is £3.29. In this instance, the card needed to be delivered by Australia Post, which only costs £1.02. Giving a total of £4.31.
Let’s calculate things with the minimum of £5 prepay credit. Here’s how it looks when you pick your option and how it adjusts your basket.
The updated basket with the free £1.25 is now applied.
It means £5 will be paid at the checkout. But a really nice card will be sent to the recipient and a balance of £1.94 will be available in the account for the next purchase.
In comparison, if the cashback route had’ve been used here’s how the numbers add up.
- You don’t get cashback on the delivery charge meaning £3.29 would have been eligible for cashback, at a 12% rate (available at the time) that’s £0.39.
- £4.31 would have been the checkout total including postage, and received back £0.39, meaning a net cost of £3.92.
It means in this instance the steps taken will result in having had £5 charged, instead of £3.92. £1.08 more. But with a Moonpig account balance of £1.94. Meaning overall this decision has been beneficial by £0.86 in comparison to if the cashback method had been used.
It’s only a small amount of money. But it’s a very low-value purchase. If the numbers were calculated by someone buying chocolates and alcohol the cash saving would be different. The next part will look at an example of this showing the level of savings.
Making a one-off purchase or planning to be a regular shopper?
This is an important question with regards to what makes more sense to do. Although in the example above it was worthwhile, and for a regular card buyer every year, the savings will add up nicely over time. But, how do the numbers play out if you’re doing a one-off purchase?
Let’s use some hypothetical numbers now. Imagine you do want to send some alcohol and chocolates as a gift. Let’s put some in a basket to calculate the maths based on a one-off purchase.
One product is called, “Grand Truffle Collection” (sounds damn delicious!) and the other is, “Sipsmith Hot Gin & Tonic Sipping Set.”
The initial checkout value in this scenario is £66.30 including postage and packaging. Here’s a table of all the calculations done. The “Net Cost” is the amount of difference that would be made to your bank account.
|With Cashback||With £40 Moonpig Prepay||With £60 Moonpig Prepay|
|Leftover Moonpig Balance||£0.00||£0.00||£8.70|
*based on the cashback rate at the time of posting, which was 12%.
As the results show, the actual amount that will go out of the bank is quite similar. But if you’ve gone with the £60 prepay then you end up with £8.70 leftover in your account. That’s no good if you’re not planning to shop there again any time soon!
The initial basket value was £66.30 so I can see why some people would automatically try the £60 Prepay option (the increments are 5, 10, 20, 40, 60). In this case though it made more sense to do the £40 Prepay value, it would save money and avoid leftover cash.
Don’t leave excess cash in your account if it’s not going to be used
Currently, I only use Moonpig because I can send nice cards abroad easily. But if my relatives moved back to the UK I’d no longer use it. At that stage I’d use the cashback for my last purchase because it’s such a low value one and I wouldn’t want to leave a balance in my account for no reason.
In the FAQ’s it says after 2 years of inactivity the balance will expire. However, they will reinstate it for you if you ask them. But if it’s been two years you probably forgot you had the balance in your account anyway! Here’s a screenshot of what their official website says.
The FAQ’s do also say you can get refunded if you have excess money sitting in your account. However, it’s minus the bonus you received. Meaning effectively you’d have missed out on cashback by going the Prepay route and now you’ve missed out on the bonus because they’ll minus it from the amount of refund you get.
Overall what this highlights is it’s worth trying the different Prepay amounts and then you can see what the net cost will be and how much will be leftover and whether you want to leave some cash leftover or not.
How much does the average Moonpig card cost?
As well as the bonus scheme and cashback scheme they also give you rewards for shopping. Every time you buy a card you get a “stamp”. Once you’ve got 6 stamps they reward you with a free card. Which is decent! I’ve been using them for a long time now and so far have received 2 free cards. Here’s how mine currently looks, I’m on my way to another freebie.
Individual card prices stay roughly the same. For standard cards, they all seemed to be either £3.29 or £3.49. Let’s work it for every 7 cards purchased over time. In this example, we need to buy 6 cards to get to the free one. At an average price of £3.39, plus £0.67 P&P (for the UK, it’s slightly more expensive for delivery abroad), that will mean 6 x £4.06 = £24.36.
Let’s also say you use the Moonpig Prepay scheme each time. That’s a 25% saving meaning £24.36 becomes £18.27. Divided by 7 cards that gives an average of £2.61 including P&P. For personalised cards delivered directly to the recipient that’s fair value.
It gets even cheaper if you buy multiple cards at once and have them delivered directly to yourself to give to others in person. They combine postage. I tested adding 6 different cards to my checkout and the total P&P stayed at £0.67 for Royal Mail first class. This brings the average card price down to £2.25 for every 7 that you buy. That’s if you’re buying all at once and have them sent directly to yourself.
They also have other offers such as voucher codes, at the time of writing this review there was actually a banner that said: “50% off 5 Cards or More”. Combine that with using the Prepay scheme and the final price starts to work out incredibly cheap!
Hopefully, this guide and review of the pricing have helped you with shopping online at Moonpig. Prices are fair and the card quality is high. However, I’ve only ever purchased cards, never any of the gifts such as mugs or flowers so I can’t comment on the quality of those or if they’re any good.
But for the Birthday and Christmas cards, the prices they charge are fair and to also have the bonus scheme and free cashback as options is great. Cashback percentage varies so always check it and remember to consider the effective percentage you eventually receive may be higher depending on the Topcashback cashout method you use (discussed here).
When shopping at Moonpig be sure to always take advantage of one or the other, either cashback or Prepay, if you decide to buy from them then hopefully based on my experience you should get decent value for money and good service.