Using different co-op membership cards in different Co-op food stores

A co-operative is owned by its members and other co-operatives, not investors like a traditional business. Members can have a say in how a co-operative runs and members receive a share of the profits (a dividend, or divi) when the co-operative turns a profit, as well as other rewards and offers.

When shopping in co-operative food stores, you can use different co-operative membership cards. But, you’ll receive different rewards in different co-operative food stores. You can be a member of more than one co-op at once.


There are two types of co-operative food store:

  • Co-op Group stores
  • Independent co-operative stores

Find out if your local co-operative is part of the Co-op Group. If the store belongs to an independent co-operative, it will be listed on the store page.

There are two types of co-operative membership card:

If you have a blue card, you’re a member of our Co-op, the Co-op Group.

If you have a honeycomb card, you could be a member of our Co-op or an independent co-operative. If your card says The Co-operative Group on it, you’re part of our Co-op. You can update it to a blue card by requesting a replacement card on your online Co-op Membership account.

If your honeycomb card says something else, you’re a member of one of these independent co-operatives:


Can I use my independent co-operative membership card in Co-op Group stores?

Yes. If you’re a member of one of the independent co-operatives listed above you can use your membership card in Co-op Group stores.

You earn dividend (divi) points on your purchases using your independent co-operative membership card.  If the Co-op Group pay a divi this will be paid by the independent co-operative.  The Co-op Group does not currently pay a divi.

What about the 5% and 1% reward?

To earn 5% back for you and 1% back for your community when you buy Co-op products in Co-op Group stores, you’ll need to join our Co-op.

What about having a say in how a co-operative runs?

To earn democratic points (enabling you to vote and have a say in how a co-operative runs) you need to use the respective membership card in the respective food store. E.g. Your blue Co-op Group card in a Co-op Group store.


Can I use my blue membership card in independent co-operative food stores?

Yes. As a Co-op Group member, you can use your blue card in the independent co-operatives listed above.

You earn dividend (divi) points when shopping at the independent co-operative food stores listed above. You receive a divi if the independent co-operative society pays a divi that year.

What about the 5% and 1% reward?

You won’t earn 5% back for you and 1% back for your community when you buy Co-op products in independent co-operative stores. You only earn the 5% and 1% when using your card in Co-op Group stores.

What about having a say in how a co-operative runs?

To earn democratic points (enabling you to vote and have a say in how a co-operative runs) you need to use the respective membership card in the respective food store.


I belong to another independent co-operative, not listed above

Some other independent co-operatives use The Co-operative branding on stores, but have their own membership scheme.

You cannot use a Co-op Group blue card in their stores or use their card in our stores. Some of these independent co-operative societies are:


What about student discount?

You can only get student discount with a valid NUS extra card at Co-op Group, Midcounties and Southern Co-operative food stores.

Adam Taylor
Co-operative Young Members’ Board