The rewards card era

Do you have any of these store “reward” cards?  Do you think we are living in an era of being inundated with them? I do.  Almost every store uses them.  When a salesperson asks me if I would like one, I want to decline, but then I accept and sign up for one, anyway.   What could it hurt to get another reward card?  Only to add to the stack of cards that I already carry around.   At the check-out, do you hastily search for the right store card to hand to the cashier.  I do. And for what purpose?  To save a dollar on detergent, or a few cents on an eight ounce block of cheese?  I guess all of the discounts add up, but keeping up with these reward cards are more trouble  than I care to deal with.   I barely use half of them.  Some I only use once or twice a year. When I want to throw one away, this nagging voice inside my head reminds me that I might need it someday.  UGH!

Recently, I upgraded my Borders Rewards card.  I didn’t want to upgrade it, but it was the second time the same salesperson questioned me about why I haven’t upgraded because I have spent X amount of dollars, and I would really benefit from the upgrade, blah, blah, blah… In addition, I would get a $10 gift card in my email (which I have yet to see), and the total upgrade would actually only be ten dollars.  Wow! I would also get a coupon booklet.  Ooooo!!  The thought of ALL the deals I would get reeled me in, but my gut told me no.  I did it anyway. I paid the extra twenty dollars, upgraded my card, saved several dollars on our purchases, and walked out feeling somewhat OK about what I did.  It has been over a month, and I have not returned to Borders. I am sure those coupons will expire soon, if they haven’t already.  Always my luck.  Besides, the only coupon I know I will use is the one for a free cup of coffee.  

There have been other missed benefits with using the reward cards:

  • I recycle my printer ink cartridges at Staples, and get a $2 rebate for each cartridge.  The rebate coupon always expires before I can buy new ones.
  • I applied for a Teacher’s Card at A.C. Moore for 10% off all my purchases, but realized I saved more when I made a purchase using their 50% off coupon.  
  • We went out our way to stay at a Best Western Hotel to participate in a promotion (stay 2 nights get 1 free), only to find out later that our stay didn’t qualify because the promotion ended three months ago!
  • I always forget my Big Lots! reward card, and I just give my phone number to the cashier to look it up.  I’ve done that so many times, she remembered my phone number.
  • I lost a grocery store reward card, and now I am concerned about identity theft.  It actually might turn out to be a good thing.  Whoever uses it will give me points on my account.  Hey! That isn’t so much of a miss!
  • My Ollie’s card gives my kid nightmares.  
  • And being a VIP Lego card holder isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Now that I’m looking at the photo above, I am missing my PetSmart card!  Good grief! 


What are your thoughts about store reward cards?

Do you use them, hate them, love them?

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Filed under blogging, humor, life, shopping, thoughts

6 responses to “The rewards card era

  1. ladyberrington

    well they play into our need to be part of a group…being part of a club makes us feel that we ___?
    they bug me
    I got rid of most of mine and carry maybe 3 with me, there are just too many.
    Them along with all of our PIN numbers and passwords are just a bit much!

    • Ladyberrington, thanks for the comment. I agree with you. I wish I could narrow mine down to 3.
      I forgot about PIN numbers and passwords. Yikes! Too much! Hope I don’t get amnesia anytime soon.

  2. Love this post Tammy!!

    I agree with everything you’ve said. Stores urge me at checkout to sign up for their card – if I don’t shop there more than a few times a year I always decline. At Staples, for instance, I just say Sorry, I hardly ever shop here. Same at AC Moore, etc. And as for paying for an upgrade — HAHHAHAHH!! These stores get me only if it’s FREE! Otherwise… LOL

    I am not a cheap person, but I am thrifty and economical. If the card will truly benefit me through savings, I am there. I use the card for a local supermarket (Shaw’s) all the time, also the one at the Kennel Shop (our pet food store) — and I do very well savings wise. But CVS? I used to have their card and got SO ANNOYED having meters long strips of receipts I tossed the blasted thing. I never shop there anymore anyway – only for prescriptions, and that’s only once every 3 months!

    Great post!!

    • Christy, I get annoyed with the long receipts, too. I kind of regret upgrading the Borders card. Thanks for rubbing it in. j/k LOL

      I like being thrifty and economical, but in the wrong eyes, I’m plain ‘ol cheap. I disagree. I don’t like to pay full price for anything, other than food items. If I can’t buy something at a reduced price, I will talk myself out of buying it.
      I feel so accomplished when I can buy a lot for a little. It’s sort of a high for me. Maybe it’s actually a shopper’s high validated b/c I saved money.

  3. I don’t use point cards, but I enjoy the free gyoza stamp card given out at a local ramen restaurant: for every 3 ramen sets bought I get free gyoza.
    I’ve probably had 100 stamp cards filled over the last 4 years, but I never use them: I give them to students.

    note: I’m sure the restaurant staff think I’m a nut … and wonder where all these 10-12 year old kids got their free gyoza tickets from.

    • planetross, some restaurants here do the same thing. The give out a card to punch each time you purchase a meal. After a number of meals, you get one free. I never eat at a restaurant enough times to benefit from it. Or I lose the card.

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