The most-rewarding retailer loyalty programs

Discussion in 'Other Loyalty Programs' started by sobore, Oct 30, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/10/retailer-loyalty-rewards-programs/index.htm

    Who wouldn’t want to sign up for a store loyalty program? They reward you for shopping. Not surprisingly, a recent survey found that Americans average about 22 loyalty program memberships per household.

    We reviewed programs from nine national retailers to figure out which are best for what benefits—plus the fine print you need to know.

    (Some programs require you to sign up for a credit or debit card; those are noted with an asterisk.)

    Target REDcard*

    Best perk: 5 percent off in-store and online purchases
    How it works: Just shop and pay with your card.
    Why join: In addition to 5 percent discounts on just about everything, you get free shipping on online purchases, plus 30 extra days for returns. The debit card gives you all the perks and none of the interest payments that come with the credit options. And Target donates up to 1 percent of your spending total to an eligible school of your choice. Enroll in Target Pharmacy Rewards and get a 5 percent off coupon for every five prescriptions filled.
    The fine print: Credit cards carry a 22.9 percent APR. Also, gift cards, online-gift wrapping services, prescriptions, and some medical services are excluded from the 5 percent discount.
    How to sign up: Apply in store, using a mail-in form, or at target.com/redcard for a Target Debit Card, Target

    JCPenney’s JCP Rewards

    Best perk: Monthly discounts
    How it works: You earn a $10 reward any time you spend $100 in a calendar month at JCPenney stores or jcp.com.
    Why join: There’s no pressure to shop frequently, but when you do spend, you get a discount on a future purchase. You also get access to exclusive sales. Sign up for a store credit card to enjoy the most perks: up to $100 in rewards per month, fraud protection, a birthday gift, and special financing for some purchases, including decorating services, furniture, jewelry, and window treatments.
    The fine print: Your point total resets to zero each month, and you get a maximum of one reward a month regardless of your purchase amount, unless you’re a JCP credit-card holder. Transactions made through PayPal don’t count toward your monthly spending.
    How to sign up: Enroll in JCPenney stores or at jcprewards.com. All JCP credit-card holders
    are automatically enrolled.

    Gilt Insider

    Best perks: Early access to sales
    How it works: Early access and other perks cost you points. You get one point every time you go to the site, five points for every dollar you spend, 25 points for referring friends, 35 points for “liking” the brand on Facebook, and 100 points if you sign in five weekdays in a row.
    Why join: The benefits are always changing, but they’re good ones. Early sale access—a huge advantage at a flash-sale site—starts at 250 points, free shipping at 3,500 points, and discounts up to 30 percent require 20,000 points. Members start out at the General tier. Collect 5,000 points to become a Select member, 10,000 to become a Premier member, and 25,000 to gain Noir status. Premier members get a 1-hour sale preview window; Noir folks get waitlist priority and access to a VIP customer-service line.
    The fine print: You can redeem only one reward per order.
    How to sign up: Go online at https://www.gilt.com/register.


    Read More: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/10/retailer-loyalty-rewards-programs/index.htm
     
  2. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    I have the Target debit card. In a addition to the 5% off, you can get $.05 off for every reuseable/recyclable bag you use. There's also free shipping when using the debit or credit card, which, is great!
     
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  3. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

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    We have the Target Credit Card and Lowes Credit Card for the 5% off. When you dont carry a balance, its a great discount!
     
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  4. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    I think that Vickers hit upon the secret of travel/points/rewards/rebates using any kind of credit card: Never carry a balance! Can't stress this enough, if you carry a balance, you get charged interest rates, most often at ridiculous amounts. When you pay off those high interest rates, and maintain a balance, most often, you gain nothing with your credit card "rewards", and in fact would have saved $$ by only paying cash for what you could afford. And you don't need to be Clark Howard or a financial guru to figure that out! :)
     
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  5. icurhere2
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    icurhere2 Gold Member

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    The "article" does hop between loyalty programs and credit programs with awards; as far as pure retailer loyalty programs are concerned, the Sears/KMart ShopYourWay Rewards program is remarkably valuable and even includes two $4.99 oil changes a year for those with status.

    I do abuse the company with discounted gift cards, their own coupons, and have a home near one of the few KMarts with a gas station ;)
     
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  6. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    We do a lot of our household shopping at Costco. Their Executive Membership is pricey at $110/year, but the 2% annual rebate (up to $750/year) handily covers that and more. Plus, we save a bundle on our grocery and gas purchases at Costco!
     
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  7. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Several department store cards have recurrent excellent deals, with tiering for spend a common feature, as well as early sale access. Skipping the details, the ones my household uses very regularly are:

    1. Macy's- It is a rare day when we do not end out with clothing at 50% or more discount.
    https://www.macys.com/service/credit/macys.jsp
    2. Bloomingdales- same company as Macy's, same American Express provider, similar but not identical benefits. regular tiered discounts make us bulk purchases, especially for designer women's apparel. Purchases aggregate to make cash discounts of about 5% .
    https://www.bloomingdales.com/service/credit/club.ognc
    3. Saks- oddly, they usually offer little but periodically have spectacular offers. Opportunistically Saks charge can save a ton of money, assuming you want designer things. The store card only is the way to go, IMHO.
    http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/SaksFirst
    4. Nieman Marcus- as Saks, except from CapitalOne. The deep discounts are less frequent than are Saks, but they still can be interesting. Store Card is still the better option IMHO.
    http://www.neimanmarcus.com/NM/NM-Credit-Card/cat18480743/c.cat

    Unlike many of the co-brands all of these have the benefits heavily oriented to high spend online or in-store. All of them also accept returns of online purchases in-store and IME all four allow in-store purchases without physically having the card. All accept ID with same address as billing address in lieu of an actual card, although they almost always ask security questions also. As a result I rarely carry the cards but make in-store purchases with zero problems. My most frequent Bloomies and Saks locations seem to maintain records with individual sellers also, so in both of those our regular sellers show up soon after we arrive to induce us to buy more.
     
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