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Customer loyalty programs?
Old 01-27-2015, 12:15 PM   #1
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Customer loyalty programs?

CVS, Walgreens, Target, Kohls, Sears, Carsons/Bergners, and dozens of other companies offer "specials", cash backs, coupons, gasoline credits, and "doubles" of this or that... DW, Finally!... said "this is stupid!" We don't buy very much any more, and I agree.

But obviously not, as they all seem to court their (own) customers. Do customer loyalty programs work for you?
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Here's a disclaimer for one of the special customer $$$ off offers.
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Old 01-27-2015, 01:09 PM   #2
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The gasoline points we get from Giant are useful to us because it is the most convenient grocery store for us and the gas station is the closest one to our home, so also convenient. We also use the 5% pharmacy rewards from Target, also because of its convenience. We typically don't go out of the way for these loyalty programs though.

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Old 01-27-2015, 01:12 PM   #3
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It just depends....

I hate Staples.... you get a cash discount coupon but need to use it within a certain time.... which is short... I just throw away my old laser cartridge now.... why give it to them when their 'reward' is not worth it to me...

I do use the Kroger card since I get real money off food and gas.... but do not use Kroger that much.... we use a regional store called HEB which usually has lower prices and also does not require a card to get the specials...

SOOOO, anything that will get me money back when I buy is good... otherwise not so good...

Just remembered.... I do use Black Eyed Pea's VIP card... buy 6 meals and get the 7th free.... never expires...
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Old 01-27-2015, 01:29 PM   #4
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The only one we use much is the grocery store (Martins) and they have 10/gal off on gas for every $100 spent in the store. And some of the sales are good with the card. Other than that we don't use loyalty cards much. DW has a couple for competing grocery stores but 90% of groceries come from Martins.
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Old 01-27-2015, 01:29 PM   #5
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DW has a Kohl's card and has signed up for emails. We regularly get 35% off coupons from them, sometimes only 25% or 15% off. When it is 35% we go shopping. We usually find stuff on their 60-90% off sale racks. Saving an additional 35% off something that is already marked down that far is a tough deal to beat. Sometimes they additionally offer $10 in Kohl's cash for every $50 bucks spent. But the redemption time for that is very narrow window. We rarely ever get to use the Kohl's cash.

I use our local UPS Store's ship 10, get 1 free. Usually save them for shipping Christmas gifts 1/2 way across the country. I also use their 10% off coupons when available.

Can't think of any other loyalty program that has any value to us.
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Old 01-27-2015, 01:45 PM   #6
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Nintendo has a customer loyalty program called "Club Nintendo". Video games are my main hobby and I spend hundreds of dollars each year on Nintendo products, so I thought about joining. From what I remember, which may not be correct, Club Nintendo allows you to accumulate discounts on certain nearly-freebie games that really aren't worth wasting one's time on. Apparently you cannot get a break on any of the top games through Club Nintendo, though. I never joined because IIRC they wanted too much personal information for the quality of rewards offered.

This week, the news is that Club Nintendo is shutting down. So, all of the rewards earned must be spent by sometime in February. Nintendo plans to establish another rewards program. I will probably refrain from joining that one, too.

I love Nintendo products but in my humble opinion they don't have a clue about how to attract more customers and purchases. So, I don't expect much from the new rewards program. I hope I am wrong about i!

I used to use a grocery store card, but after Katrina those programs shut down at my store. Senior discount Wednesdays did, too.

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Old 01-27-2015, 01:46 PM   #7
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I use the CVS rewards program. I find it very easy to use, and they really can't tell much of anything about me (other than I get sale items). Last week using various coupons I got what was nominally priced at over $18 for a net of $0.08 . And the 8 cents was paid via a CVS gift card I got for free from credit card sign up bonuses. Deodorant (2), body wash, 2 liter soda, dish detergent (2), toothpaste, and a candy bar. Saving money like this is going to get me to ER sooner.

Other rewards programs... really don't bother, it just isn't worth it.
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Old 01-27-2015, 01:47 PM   #8
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I'm signed up for all of 'em: any airline we've used, 4 hotel chains, Coke Rewards, 2 grocery stores, I forget what else. We don't do a lot of non-food shopping so department store programs would be useless to us. We're also pretty careful about buying things we hadn't planned to buy/don't need just because of some deal. I'm clipping fewer and fewer coupons because they're mostly processed food we don't buy (Go-gurt? ) or are good for 50 cents off of 4 of something. Not worth it.

The airline shopping portals have been good for keeping miles from expiring. DH and I fly less and less because it's so miserable, which is also why we don't carry airline credit cards anymore. We've still got a nice stash of miles from previous travel and sign-up bonuses and I keep them from expiring by spending $30 on Sonicare brush heads through the airline shopping portal instead of at the drug store.

So, we use them but only to the extent they save us money on things we'd already planned to buy.
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Old 01-27-2015, 01:50 PM   #9
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We get cash back from Discover (1-5%), AmEx (1-3%) and Costco (0-2%). We also use rewards cards at Speedway (gas), Panera, Best Buy, CVS, HHonors and a few others (they're all on my smartphone KeyRing app, so I don't have to carry any actual cards). Why not?

BUT we still buy where we get the best prices, we don't let rewards misguide where we shop AT ALL, that's probably key to using rewards programs wisely?
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Old 01-27-2015, 02:02 PM   #10
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Master Card - 1.5% back on everything I buy with it.

Several of the casinos I frequent offer me some pretty good comps for being a loyal player. They give me hundreds of dollars each month in free table play, free rooms anytime at any of their casinos, all meals are free, enough free gas to cover my travel to and from the casinos, free gifts each month, free air fare to Vegas several times a year if I want it, etc. Now if they would just cover my losses at the tables, it would really be free and I'd be very loyal.
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Old 01-27-2015, 02:07 PM   #11
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We also use a Kroger loyalty card. We get the gas discount and usually around Christmas, you get 4x the points for gift card purchases. We will load up on those (for gifts or for us) and then get very steep discounts on gas for a couple of months. Also, even though we don't really clip coupons, they do send us some and some are pretty save $15 on $100 purchase or something along those lines.

I put everything I can on my Amex Preferred Cash card (6% back @ grocery stores, 3% gas stations and 1% on other purchases). Of course, every now and then there will be a special deal that I will use different cards purchases during the Xmas shopping season could get you 5% cash back on the Chase Freedom card.
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Old 01-27-2015, 03:21 PM   #12
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I use my Target charge for the instore discounts; the Safeway loyalty card and sometimes use the points off gas, but they now charge me .10 a gal when I use a credit card, so unless I have a lotta points, the local Bradley's is way cheaper. Kohl's sends me $10 off coupons, it' s the only way I go in the store.
In the summer, most of our groc come from the CSA. We don't spend a lot in stores.
Oh yeah, I do use my Petco card. Everything other than Taget purchases goes on my Discover Card.
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Old 01-27-2015, 03:42 PM   #13
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DW and I use all the major kickback programs involving hotel stays, % cash back etc. However every retailer has their own deal and it has gone too far. This morning we stopped at a Walgreens in Homestead FL to get a case of water. The clerk was quite surprised when we politely declined a sign up for a card. On top of that we wouldn't have even saved anything on our $5 purchase.
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Old 01-27-2015, 03:48 PM   #14
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I use credit card rewards.
I pay the grocery store with debit so that escrip (a program that funds the kids' school) gets some dough. They used to give escrip money when paying with credit cards - but they switched that a year ago.
I have airline and hotel loyalty accounts, but rarely accumulate enough to get anything before they expire.
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Old 01-27-2015, 03:55 PM   #15
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Mainly the Fidelity 2% Visa. A local grocery has the gas points or store discount cards. I paid 1.429 for gas last week.

I also figured out I have two of these cards, mine and an unknown person. I've been putting points on the unknown persons discount food points and they've been cashing them in. I gota fix that, you're name isn't on the card so I have no ideas what card is ours.

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Old 01-27-2015, 04:14 PM   #16
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I have a PNC Everyday Rewards card (formerly National City issued cc) that gives 4% cashback on gasoline/automotive, 3% for entertainment, 2% on groceries, and 1% on everything else once I spend $10,000 in a calendar year. I easily reach the 10K because I put everything purchased on this credit card and pay it off every month.
I get roughly $450 back in cashback rewards per year.

I do have a JC Penney rewards card. I don't purchase from them very often. I do receive coupons in the mailbox for different discounts. If I don't have a need for the coupons, I give them away.

I have 2 credit cards issued that are linked with Amazon points programs. I use the better one (3% in points rewards) for all of my Amazon purchases. I recently scored a $100 free gift card in December 2014 for applying and making just one purchase. I doubt I'll use that card again.

Other than that, I don't do any other reward programs.
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Old 01-27-2015, 05:24 PM   #17
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I currently have AMEX Blue Cash Preferred, but I've had some sort of dividend credit card for many years. I use a few loyalty cards - CVS, Panera, Sports Authority because I go to those stores anyway. Why not take "free money?"
No, I won't get rich from the rewards but if I was buying stuff there anyway, may as well save a few bucks.
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Old 01-27-2015, 05:51 PM   #18
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I sign up for customer loyalty cards anywhere I shop regularly. But I just throw them away. If I'm in the store and whatever I'm buying is on sale I'll enter my phone number when checking out to get the sale price. Other than that I don't bother. I do use my Discover card and get cash back points. Those add up quickly for us. Especially the quarterly 5% rewards.
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Old 01-27-2015, 05:56 PM   #19
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The only reward I want is cold hard cash. Coupons and various discounts are often for products I don't buy. My favorite CC gives me 2% in cash. Another is giving me 5% for groceries until April. I will take it out as a credit on the next bill

Oh, favorite airline will let me buy discounted tickets for my miles. I never can get a free ticket or a free upgrade to first class, but the ticket savings are nice.
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Old 01-27-2015, 06:44 PM   #20
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Grocery store rewards card programs only if the store charges more to customers without the loyalty card. Starbucks and Panera Restaurant programs because you get freebies after a certain number of purchases.

Costco Amex and Chase Freedom cards for the cash awards based on shopping.

Target credit card for the automatic 5% off when using the card, boosted to 10% off periodically after you fill 5 prescriptions - it pays for the sales tax on non-prescription drug purchases.

There is the AARP membership card which is supposed to provide all kinds of discounts, if one wants to take the time to look up who's got what and remember to ask for the discount. (Big hint: I don't -- too much trouble).

Alaska Airlines miles - gets you discounts for miles, and then lets you continue earning miles while flying on discounted tickets.

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