Upgrade your Retailer Reward Card

08/05/2010 12:03 PM

12/10/2010 11:23 AM

One would think you really don't need to embellish on the concept of saving money, but I know some people are not fans of those frequency/reward shopping cards that are hanging from their keychains. So I decided to do a little re-schooling about those little cards and perhaps find a better name for them in the process.

I will attest that I too HATE that my keychain is loaded (oh can you imagine) with around 10 of those cards.  I am not a big fan of this total cluster of plastic junk on my keychain, so I started really thinking if these cards were worth it to me. This is what I learned.

Coupons don't need clipping, but clicking
Oh technology has done it again and this time it is with coupons that go straight to your card. FINALLY someone who things like me matched up the process of couponing and the cards. Using websites like Shortcuts.com, Kroger.com and even your IPhone is getting in the act with apps like Cellfire. To make them work you just signup and load up your card with coupons you use that are stored on your card. When they scan the card at the store, all the coupons that apply to your purchase will pop up. (I don't think you can double these yet, but this is better than cutting coupons, then going to the store and realizing you forgot the coupon at home!)

Learning Lesson: The Internet is your friend. Use him wisely between all your Facebook time.

Cards = Free food
I received a nice envelope from Kroger the other day. When I opened it up, it was for some amazing coupons based on my spending habits and WHAT I BUY including some freebies like eggs, tomatoes and more. I know that these cards track my habits and use this knowledge to market to me. As far as I am concerned if I could completely quit clipping coupons (one of my dreaded, but necessary tasks) and just have a little envelope of perfectly suited coupons, then I invite it.

Learning Lesson: Keep using that card - get free stuff.

Get rid of the card, get an app
Another issue with those cards is of course keeping up with the cards - but by the magic of IPHONE, there's a new app that let's you load up your cards and then they scan your phone. I thought this was a little odd and not possible, so I loaded it up and headed to the store. Tom Thumb and I giggled at the thought when we tried it, but it worked great. Kroger didn't work out so great - but she was able to type in the number into her keypad so I didn't need the keys. I haven't tried it at my other card places like Toys R Us or CVS, but I will. I always have my IPHONE, not always my keychain.

Learning Lesson: Iphones are amazing.

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