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Old 01-27-2015, 07:40 PM   #21
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,126
I don't shop at too many different stores but I have gotten some decent discounts on my purchases there over the years.

Ben's Deli has a "Ben's Friend's" card which gives me a $7.50 discount on a meal after I have built up enough points. A few times a year I can get a free soup or side although those are limited to a one-month period. Then there is the discount for my birthday.

I had one of those frequent customer cards for Cartridge World because I had an inkjet printer for a while. I would also bring my ladyfriend's inkjet cartridges to get refilled. But when I bought a laserjet printer in 2010, I rarely went to the place (she didn't go through inkjet cartridges as quickly as I did). It took me nearly 10 years to get all the spots on the card punched but when I went to redeem it for a free cartridge refill, the place had closed. Thankfully, another Cartridge World store accepted the card even though it seemed like the card was good only at the defunct place.

I had a similar frequent customer card at Omaha Steaks. I actually went through a few of those cards in the late 1990s and early 2000s. But Omaha Steaks ended the program around 2003 but still allowed customers to redeem any outstanding cards.

RiteAid pharmacy has a Rewards program which gives me discounts on many of the items I buy there. I don't buy too many items there so getting discounts on those few items is a pretty good deal.

The Stapes rewards program was pretty worthless because there is short time period you can use the reward and I hardly ever shop there, something I didn't know when I brought some empty toner cartridges there.

I recently got a BofA cashback credit card whose cashback rises an extra 10% when I take the cash into my BofA checking account. I stopped using an awful rewards card from Citibank. The Citibank card had this worthless "points" card whose points were impractical or impossible to redeem. The points could be used to buy a few items or services at a small discount, or as part of an auction which only one person out of hundreds or thousands could win. Or for a few products or services at local merchants I never shopped at. Overall, it was worthless and I stopped wasting my time and stopped using the card except for a small, annual purchase to keep this card, now relegated to backup use, open.

Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
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Old 01-28-2015, 01:42 AM   #22
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 4,500
I sign up for many free loyalty and reward programs, do products reviews, enter contests, use cash back credit cards, apply for sign up bonuses, sign up for birthday freebies, review slickdeals and fatwallet for ideas, get Bing rewards, use Entertainment books and coupons, and whatever else I can think of. I view it as a fun way to make a little more side income, besides my main hobby job, that I can work on from home when I want, and most of the earnings are after tax money. I keep a spreadsheet of all my little freebies, winnings and deep discounts and it is usually well over $1K each month, most of it nontaxable. My January total is at $1,322 so far.

Even clouds seem bright and breezy, 'Cause the livin' is free and easy, See the rat race in a new way, Like you're wakin' up to a new day (Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether lyrics, Alan Parsons Project, based on an EA Poe story)
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Old 01-28-2015, 02:55 AM   #23
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,707
In many cases these programs are the only way to get what is offered at the lowest possible price, in the medium term. There is a cost to giving these companies so much information, but the effect of that is over the long-term, and will occur whether or not any one person participates, since most other people are participating. Unless it is part of an effort by millions to boycott all such programs, sustained over a large number of years, eschewing such programs is spiting only one's self.

I just paid $1.69/gallon for gasoline, using points earned by shopping at a specific grocery store. I purchase coffee just about every month using points earned from purchases at, and often have enough left over for gift cards for the kids for birthdays and holidays. Those are the main programs we use.

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