Photo (cc) by Seth W.
You’d be hard pressed these days to find a retailer that doesn’t offer a customer rewards or loyalty program. Just think about how often cashiers ask you if you’re a member of their rewards club. If you say no, the cashiers typically urge you to sign up by touting the savings and perks you’ll receive as a rewards member.
Retailers benefit from the programs because they’re able to use them to collect valuable data, including your personal information and shopping and spending habits.
But not all rewards programs are created equal. To help you decide which programs may be worthwhile for you, check out these six stores, which have some of the best customer rewards and loyalty programs:
- Starbucks: If you are a Starbucks coffee lover and you frequently make a stop at the popular coffee chain to grab a caffeine fix, you could benefit from the My Starbucks Rewards program, which can be accessed online or via a smartphone app. The three-tiered reward program allows you to accumulate reward points called “stars” each time you visit a Starbucks, which you can use for free drinks and food items. Rewards members also receive exclusive deals and discounts each month.
- CVS: The CVS ExtraCare Rewards program offers its members exclusive special sale prices at check-out. It tracks users’ purchases and rewards them quarterly with “ExtraBucks,” which total 2 percent of that quarter’s purchases. The “ExtraBucks” can be used like cash. “The CVS rewards program takes some getting used to, but once you’ve mastered it, you’ll be able to plan completely free shopping trips using your amassed rewards,” writes coupon destination site RetailMeNot.
- Bloomingdale’s: The retailer’s Loyallist rewards program allows you to earn points on all Bloomingdale’s purchases — online, in store and at outlets — regardless of how you pay for your purchases. If you use a Bloomingdale’s credit card, you earn triple or quadruple points, depending on which type of Bloomingdale’s card you have. Once your earn 5,000 points, you’ll receive a $25 gift card. “A simple and hassle-free program, Loyallist gives you exactly what you want from a rewards program: the ability to earn points every time you shop, then turn them around and easily use them to save money no matter what you buy,” says Brad’s Deals.
- Amazon: If you’re a frequent Amazon shopper, it could pay off — literally — to check out the Amazon.com Rewards Visa. Although it requires credit card sign up and approval, the Amazon rewards card gives you 3 percent back on Amazon purchases, 2 percent on drugstore, gas and restaurant purchases, and 1 percent back on all other buys. You can use the rewards points on Amazon purchases or cash them in on other perks. You also get a $30 Amazon gift card when you sign up for the Amazon Rewards Visa. Just make sure you pay off the card at the end of each month.
- Century 21: The discount retailer’s C21 Status is great three-tier rewards program for frequent shoppers. Depending on which rewards level you’ve earned (silver, red or black), C21 Status offers cash back rewards and points, exclusive discounts and even access to express checkout lines.
- Sephora: If you’re a makeup maven, you may want to look into Sephora’s Beauty Insider rewards. It’s a multi-level rewards program that allows you to earn a point for every dollar spent in the beauty store. You can also earn sample product sets once you amass 100 points and again at 500 points. “As a member, you also enjoy free Sephora University beauty classes, seasonal promotions, a birthday gift and access to exclusive curated product sets available only to Beauty Insiders,” RetailMeNot explains.
What are your favorite store loyalty programs? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.