January 26, 2018
If you shop at Mercator, or even if you just get the junk mail, then you’re probably aware of the Pika system, which offers certain discounts and lets you collect points with your purchases. But how can you can get one of these cards and enjoy the savings? Read on and all will be revealed…
While a Pika card opens up a world of offers, including, at the time of writing, discounts at gas stations, fitness centres, ski passes and white-water rafting on Soča, most will just use it when buying groceries, unlocking certain deals and getting one point for every euro they spend, to be redeemed at a later date. At present 250 points can get you 5 EUR credit, 1,250 points 50 EUR, and 3,500 points 210 EUR, with multiples of these numbers of points also effective (and thus 500 points gets you 10 EUR credit).
A temporary card (začasna kartica) – which is in fact just a number that you get on a piece of paper – can be obtained for free in store and used while waiting for your long-term Pika card to arrive, in either blue or green editions. To get a temporary card you need to complete a form and give it to one of the sales staff, and this also serves as your application for a permanent card.
With a temporary card you, or the clerk, manually enter the number at the checkout, so getting the discounts and collecting points, with the latter transferred to the permeant card when you have it.
The blue card is a smart card, one with all the discounts and point-collecting benefits of the temporary card, plus access to more offers. You can apply online and have it mailed to your home, and it stays valid for six years.
Next is the green card, where things start getting serious. These have all the benefits offered by the two cards above, with the added draw of being able to pay your grocery bill once a month. The cards can be applied for online, and come without membership fees or operating costs, although there are some charges for being sent payment reminders, replacing a lost card and so on (as detailed, in Slovene, here). There’s a limit with regard to how much you can put on the card each month, and while this can eventually be negotiated, the initial figure is not stated on the website.
Finally, at the top of the Pika tree we find the coveted gold card. This cannot be directly applied for, and you can try and get one if you’ve had one of the other cards for at least a year, have spent at least 3,500 EUR in the last completed credit rating period, and have settled your account on a regular basis. Aside from the colour, this card has additional benefits such as free parking, a shopping assistant, discount medical care, and more, with new offers announced in the website and in stores.
Of course, Mercator isn’t the only supermarket chain offering a discount card, so in a future posts we’ll look at the offers from some other retailers.