Moonpig is a retailer in the UK that allows you to pick, customize and send cards or gifts to friends and family. I recently wanted to make a purchase from them and was presented with a dilemma of the best way to make the purchase and how it would affect the total cost. Here I’ll run through the figures and what’s the best way to shop there to save the most amount of money.
UPDATE: In August 2019 Moonpig announced that Prepay would no longer be available. No reason was given, all we know is it’s been killed off with no details of if it will ever be back. So instead stick with getting cashback via Topcashback every purchase. Or look for a voucher code if that works out to be a better saving.
Original article below kept as an archive.
Every year I send birthday and Christmas cards to relatives who live a long distance away from me. Some of whom are in Australia. Thankfully Moonpig allows you to send cards to people located inside or outside the UK.
As per my usual shopping routine I always check whether a retailer I’m considering using is either; on Topcashback at all, or if I know they are I check to see what their current cashback rate is. That’s a good habit to have!
As I planned to make my purchases I looked to see the current cashback rate and it 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. Which leaves the question of whether it’s better to get the cashback or use the Prepay service. Let’s explore.
Please note that rate was a special offer so you’d have to check their listing now to see what it currently is. Over time it changes when they run special offers.
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 then cashback surely!
Clearly then you would think it’s pretty obvious which one is better! At a 25% bonus, as long as the cashback is below that it makes sense to use the bonus every time surely. But let’s look into it a bit more.
What are you buying?
I was shopping for a Christmas card only. But what you’re buying affects what’s the best route. According to the Moonpig FAQ’s 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?
I found the Christmas card I wanted to buy, personalized it, and headed to the checkout. It’s a standard-sized card at a price of £3.29. Delivery by Australia Post only costs £1.02. Giving me a total of £4.31.
I’m not planning to use Moonpig until towards the end of next year. No need to load my account then so the minimum of £5 prepay credit made sense. Here is how it looks when you pick your option and how it adjusts your basket.
The updated basket with the free £1.25 applied.
That looks decent! It means I’ll pay £5 when I check out. But I’ll have a really nice card sent to the recipient and still have a £1.94 balance for next year when I want to shop again.
In comparison, if I’d have gone the cashback route 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.
- I’d have paid £4.31 in total including postage, and received back £0.39, meaning a net cost of £3.92.
It means in this instance my steps taken will result in me having had £5 go out of from my bank account, instead of £3.92. So I’m paying £1.08 more. But I have a Moonpig account balance of £1.94. Meaning overall this decision has benefited me by £0.86 in comparison to if I’d have gone the cashback method.
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 a lot greater. 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 my shopping above showed it to be worthwhile, and for a regular card buyer every year, the savings will add up nicely over time, 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. I’ve put some in a basket to be able to calculate the maths based on it being a one-off purchase.
I’ve added two products, one 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 your bank account 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. I took a quick look and 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 averages out to £2.61 including P&P. For personalised cards delivered directly to the recipient that’s fair value I think.
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 would bring the average card price down even further to £2.25 for every 7 that you buy 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!
I hope this little guide and review of the pricing has helped you with shopping online at Moonpig. I’ve always had positive experiences when shopping with them. 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 I think the prices they charge are fair and to also have the bonus scheme and free cashback as options too 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.