How many reward cards do you carry and do you really use all of them?
It seems that more and more stores are handing out reward cards or tags so that you will continue to shop in that specific store. There are some stores that I have reward cards for and other stores I don't because I don't shop at the specific store enough. It is really interesting to sit back and figure out how many cards you have and which ones are used the most.
I did a bit of looking and I know there are about three cards that I use the most and that is because of where I shop. One is my grocery store card, one is my air miles card and then the other is for a speciality tea shop. See the air miles card is accepted at a number of stores so that is why it is part of the ones that I use the most.
It is interesting to see people's reactions when i say I don't need or want a specific rewards card. I don't normally get a card for a store that I don't visit very often and figure I would never get a reward from the store. At first the latest card we got was something that we thought about. Now this card is for a coffee shop that we go to sometimes. When we were first thinking about the card we didn't see the value for it until we actually sat down and did a bit of a calculation. The biggest thing is, we figured out that this is the one coffee shop where we go when we need a break from home and want to sit and write or read.
Reward cards can be really nice but when you have to carry all of them it gets a little much. I finally got a separate key chain for all the different reward tags that I have been carrying. In some ways it makes it easier to find just the tags and then I am not continually having over all the keys that I have.
A new thing that is happening is instead of a reward card the stores are starting to just use a phone number to assist you in collecting rewards. I think this is nice in a way because then it means I don't have to look for the card while standing in line to pay. Now, the only problem I see is when you don't remember which phone number you used for that specific store. I have some stores where we have used our home number and then others have been my cell or my husband's cell number. What I liked was one store actually put all three numbers down so no matter which one we give them it works.
Reward cards can be good if you do use some of the rewards that you collect. Simply just collecting points all over doesn't help you if you never redeem any of them. I got to the point now that once I have something to redeem, I will redeem it so that if that card is discontinued I won't lose lots.
Next time you are shopping, stop and think about which cards you use and which ones have never been used since you got them. Maybe those unused cards are the ones that should be either left at home or destroyed. Rewards are great only if the reward is something that you would use. I am now off to get some tea because I have earned enough points for that.