A lot of people don’t like to sign up for reward’s cards! Trust me, I know. I worked at Dick’s Sporting Goods for about a year. I had a lot of customers refuse to sign up for the Dick’s Reward’s Card (a.k.a the Score Card). I can understand not signing up for a store credit card. After all, lots of the time store credit cards don’t give you a huge benefit, and they don’t offer as much cash back as regular ones. But not getting a Reward’s Card is just stupid (pardon the language). A Reward’s Card is not a credit card, you can’t pay for your merchandise with it. Reward’s Cards offer you something for nothing. Yeah, stores hope you’ll spend more money because you have a Reward’s card, but I’ve never seen anyone spend more just because of a card. In fact the only time I ever saw people (at Dick’s) spend more then they intended to was because they wanted to use a coupon (those coupons were available to reward cards’ members and non-reward cards’ members).
Let me explain to you how Dick’s Sporting Goods’ Reward Card works. For every dollar you spend you get a point; when you reach 300 points, you get a $10 dollar gift card in the mail. You also get coupons in the mail, and some of those coupons are for free points, so you don’t have to spend 300 dollars to get your rewards. Simple enough system, right? That’s how most stores’ rewards’ cards work (the exception being Kmart and Sears). I remember on numerous occasions having customers (at Dick’s) who would spend over $300, but they refused to sign up for a Score card. I never understood that. Why would you refuse to sign up for a card that would get you a free $10 gift certificate? I know it’s not instant gratification, but hey, in a few months you can stop back by the store you use the card you received in the mail. What’s not to like about that?
The reason why reward cards are so beneficial is that customers earn points for every dollar spent. Stores like K-Mart and Sears offer free points to spend. Every so often Kmart and Sears will give you free 5,000 points to spend over a weekend: that translates into $5 free dollars! Restaurants like Panera will give you something free on your birthday, so even if you don’t earn anything else with your card, at least you get a free birthday treat! So Reward Cards don’t just reward you for spending money, but sometimes they reward you for just having a card.
There is a downside to Reward Cards. The points will expire after a year, so if you don’t earn your certificate before the year is up you will lose your points. I don’t like it, but that’s the way most of these cards work. You ask, how do I benefit from that? You benefit because when you do have to buy things at those stores, you usually have a coupon. Also, you know when the stores are having special sales. I shop infrequently at A.C. Moore. I’ll probably never earn their reward’s certificate, but when I did have to shop there I had a coupon. I had a 40% off coupon, which really helped because I was buying fake flowers (priced around $4-5 a bloom). I’ll probably never spend $300 at Dicks, but I have been alerted of their sales via e-mail. If I need to go in there, I know when to go in and shop. Kmart and Sears rewards program works a little differently. You don’t get rewards’ certificates. Instead, you just get points that instantly translate into money. The next time I go shopping (and there will be a next time), I can use that money towards my purchase. So no matter how many times you shop at a store a year, you’ll still benefit from having a card.