Yup, I'm talking store loyalty cards.
It seems that every store from Myer and Priceline to the local coffee shop now offers yet another loyalty card with some appealing reason to sign up.
After adding up my stash I have a total of 22 loyalty cards. And in my little wallet added to the credit cards, ATM cards, Medicare card, roadside assistance, drivers licence and all the bits and pieces I carry around it's a lot.
Why is it that if I don't agree to add another card to my bulging wallet each time I'm offered one at yet another store then I feel like I'm missing out on something or the potential to miss out. I love a bargain and love knowing my shopping might be adding up to a little reward in the future. However, I'm the first to admit that many of the loyalty cards choking up my wallet offer me little in return for collecting my shopping information and building a profile of me as a customer.
Sadly, after struggling to close my wallet, I decided the time had come to add a second wallet just for loyalty cards to my already mammoth handbag/baby bag. Crazy, uh huh!
Then, one day a kind saleswoman, obviously someone who had experienced the same frustration as me at carrying around so many cards and after watching hundreds of customers flick through said wallet and many other loyalty cards, suggested I use a smartphone app that I could just add the details to. Then I could just hand over the loyalty card numbers when making purchases or scan the membership number on my phone. Seriously, why had I never discovered this before? What rock had I been living under?
Well I downloaded Stocard app (I'm sure there are quite a few out there on the market) for my smart phone and while I have added all of my loyalty cards to the app, I must admit I'm still pulling out my cards when I shop (it might have had something to do with the 'are you serious look' when I pulled my phone out at my local supermarket to scan instead of my loyalty card - I promptly put my phone away and pulled out my card again). Argggh!
Note to self - try this app again next time I'm out shopping. Don't let one sales assistant deter you from ridding your wallet of loyalty cards.
I can definitely see some merit to having loyalty cards as long as you get some value as a customer and you limit the number you use and carry around with you.
From my experience the best loyalty cards on the market include:
MYER one - one of the most used loyalty cards in my wallet. I shop at Myer a lot for a range of different things and I like knowing my shopping points are adding up to a gift card. Often it's just a $20 gift card every few months, but every little bit helps.
Priceline - another of my more commonly used cards. I love Priceline for price, variety and location. I like knowing that my purchases will add up to a little reward every few months. A nice little surprise in the mail.
Fly buys - possibly THE most used of my loyalty cards. I shop at Bilo and Coles a couple of times a week, so it gets whipped out each time no matter how small the purchase. I also use it at Target and when filling up the car at Coles petrol stations. For me, this offers good value. Points can be used to use Fly Buys dollars, so at times I have converted a whole heap of points and taken $50 off my weekly shop.
Gloria Jeans - there paper cards rewarded you with a free coffee after purchasing 10 coffees. They now have a new system where you have a plastic card and you sign up online. Not sure what the reward is now? So jury's still out on whether this one will remain in my wallet.
Bakers Delight - paper card offering a free loaf of bread or six rolls after five visits and spending at least $6 on each visit. Not bad value and no shopping data collected by Bakers Delight.
Witchery - not the most used card in my wallet, but definitely one I have used a bit more lately and seems to be good value. It can also be used when shopping online at Witchery. I purchased some pants and a blazer recently online which came to about $200 and I received $15 to spend at one of their stores or online. I went into a store to use my $$ to avoid paying a shipping fee of $9.95 (it would have eaten up my reward money). I was also disappointed that the $15 reward had a use by date on it of about a month. Other loyalty cards that offer rewards don't usually have a limit on using the gift card which is always a big plus.
The final one I have in my every day wallet is for my local pharmacy. They offer gift vouchers once you have spent a certain amount of money on items in store excluding prescriptions. I find this handy as a mum as I'm usually stopping into the chemist at least once a week (I went through a period of a couple of weeks once where I was in there every day). So this one is good value.
These are the loyalty cards that sit in prime position in my everyday wallet. They're easily accessible, purely because I use them so much and I can see value to using them.
What's your take on loyalty cards, do you have any favourites and have they taken over your wallet?