Monday, December 30, 2013

Loyalty Programs - Which Are Worth It?

This is kind of a random post since I haven't blogged in forever, but it's almost a new year - so why wait a couple more days to start working on my resolutions?
Anyway, as I was holiday shopping it got me thinking about all these apps, rewards, and loyalty programs. So I'll tell you what I'm a fan (and not a fan) of, and please let me know what I should sign up for in the comments! After all, it's time to spend our Christmas money: )

Love it!

Banana Republic Visa
I was actually pretty upset when I received my Banana card, first assuming that it was an in-store card and not a regular Visa that I could use anywhere. Then they began sending me so many offers! In the last couple months alone, I've earned about $70 in rewards that can be used at BR, Gap, Old Navy, Athleta, or Piperlime. Then I normally save my rewards for a trip to the Banana Republic Factory Outlet store and use my extra AAA 10% off for amazing deals. It's been so worth it - with no other credit card can you rack up that many rewards - that I know of. I will say I get way too many emails from Banana though.

I was super mad when Starbucks 'revamped' their program a while back, taking away the free soy milk and syrups. I'm still bummed about that, but I've noticed a whole lot more offers lately - it seems like once or twice a week I'll get an email for 50% off a drink or bogo food. If I can't have my soy milk for free, they made up for it with lots of deals!

Yes, the site is slightly iffy, but I have had so much success with MyPoints! If you shop online a lot (who doesn't?), you can earn points from most retailers just by getting to their website via MyPoints. Although not all retailers participate (most purchases from Amazon don't count), I'm always surprised how many do - Threadless was my biggest surprise this year. Anyway, the points add up and then you spend them on gift cards. It's definitely been worth it for me!

Meijer - mPerks
I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan where there's basically a Meijer on every corner. Since I shop there anyway, I'm so happy they have mPerks. When gas shot up, they were there with a 20 cent mPerks discount. They also often have a deal on avocados, and lots of times they will do 5% off your entire grocery purchase or $5 off $50 or more. What more can I ask for?

Leave it!

Panera Bread
I used to love Panera because I only got to go to one when I took a shopping trip out of town. Now that I have them at my convenience, I'm often disappointed with my order when I go to one, and definitely disappointed in their rewards program. You sign up and they say you will randomly get rewards, like a surprise. I got quite a few right away, and then it totally dropped off. I'd rather know I'm working towards something, I guess! Sorry Panera, you're not worth the slot in my wallet. Do any of you disagree?

Not sure of these!

What do you think? I just signed up for Ulta, so I don't know what to expect, I just know they have good coupons. Sephora's doesn't really seem worth it to me - but maybe I just don't shop there enough. I do love my little birthday surprise every year though! Walgreens is a place I'm trying to shop at a little more, but it seems to be taking forever to reach my first $5 reward. And I don't think Anthropologie signed me up right, I never get their emails and my card wasn't connected to my email. Hmm.

I don't want this post to be too long, so I'll follow up with another one soon - I have way more cards than I realized!!

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