Saving with Rewards Cards

12 Aug

As I was standing in line at our local CVS the other day, the cashier asked the man and woman in front of me for their Extra Care card. They didn’t have one. Did they want one? No thank you.

Then it was my turn. I handed the cashier my card along with a printout of the Extra Bucks I had earned just for filling my prescriptions at CVS. My total after the Extra Bucks: $.15. When I got back to the car, my husband asked me how I paid for it. I answered, “With a quarter. And I got change back.”

I used to decline every offer to sign up for stores’ rewards programs or mailing lists, thinking it was pointless if I didn’t shop there frequently enough, or that they would just inundate our mailbox with ads and catalogs. But I’ve changed my ways, and realized that there are real benefits to many of these programs. Especially in an economy like this one, when some (I say smarter) retailers are luring customers back to their stores with freebies and big discounts.

Examples: In the past year or so, I’ve received two “$10 off a purchase of $10 or more” cards from Kohl’s. I picked up some play clothes for my daughter and literally didn’t spend a dime. Sur la Table recently sent me a similar card, and I was able to “buy” a mini muffin pan for free. And as thanks for being a Sephora Beauty Insider, this year for my birthday I received a free sampler with a sample-sized mascara, eyeshadow and eyeliner. At Petco, I got $3 off our brand of cat food and was able to stack a 10% off coupon on top of it.

Now, when an employee asks me for my mailing address, I give it freely. And often they give back freely in return.


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