Do you remember when our keychains only had keys on them? Now my keychain is so full of store loyalty cards that it looks more like a ring of mini-credit cards than a ring of keys. At last count, I had 14 store loyalty cards on my keychain alone and probably another half dozen in my wallet. Annoying as these cards may be, they are a “key” to saving money.
Gone are the days of just needing a loyalty card for your grocery store, now you need them at drugstores, restaurants and retail stores. They’re nearly everywhere, but still many people are resistant to signing up. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard a cashier offer a loyalty card to shoppers only for them to turn it down because it is too much trouble, or they don’t want to share their information. Even when it means they will save money on their current purchase!
Unless you’re living completely off the grid, it is time to start signing up for loyalty cards at the stores and restaurants you frequent. Most stores only require your name and email, and let’s be real here, have you Googled yourself lately? In about 10 minutes, I could probably find out the names and ages of all your relatives and see a picture of your house online. If someone wants your information for nefarious reasons, they probably will get with a key logging virus, not through your CVS Extra Care Card.
If my cynicism has already worked its magic to win you over, here are 6 more reasons you should sign up for store loyalty cards:
1. They are FREE! If they aren’t, then it’s not really a loyalty card, it’s a membership.
2. Access to Sales – Many stores will only give you the sale price with a loyalty card. This is particularly true of drug and grocery stores.
3. Exclusive Coupons and Deals – Nearly every loyalty card gives random or earned coupons and discounts to their loyal shoppers.
4. Electronic Coupons - These coupons are loaded directly to your store loyalty cards, and provide you additional savings without ever having to clip a coupon. (Get a full list of electronic coupon sites in Where to Find Coupons.)
5. Fuel Perks - Some grocery stores, like Winn Dixie, now offer fuel perks through their loyalty card.
6. Easier Returns - Stores that track your purchases, like Toys R Us and Best Buy, can often use your loyalty card to look up your purchase if you can’t find your receipt.
Don’t want all those cards on your keychain? Search for a Rewards Card app on your phone, and store all your cards right on the app! Droid has several FREE Reward Card Apps other phone platforms likely do too!
Lesson One: Be Your Own Expert – Creating a Price List
Lesson Two: Where to Find Coupons
Lesson Three: Coupon Organization
Lesson Four: Coupon Acronyms, Abbreviations and Lingo