What Is Your Favorite Customer Loyalty Program?

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I have to admit, I’m not a loyal shopper whatsoever. I’ll buy what I want from whatever store will sell it to me for the cheapest (I’ll give other considerations like warranty, return policy, etc.) and generally the loyalty plan means very little to me because I don’t want to be tied down to any one store. It doesn’t matter to me that a store will give me 1% of my purchases in store credit or they will give me a purse if I spent $500 (I think Target’s reward plan involves a 20% coupon for every $1,000 spent, that’s crap!), ultimately I will save more by going for the cheapest price than by using a loyalty program. That’s why I didn’t really find the first part of Trent’s post on how to maximize customer loyalty programs all that useful personally. However, at the end of the post, he talks about the loyalty program he uses and it piqued my interest because I never paid attention to many loyalty programs (and because he mentioned that Borders “neutered” their program).

The only loyalty program I’m a part of is the Southwest Rapid Rewards program. I joined because I could fly from Baltimore Washington International to Islip on Long Island for around $70 and get a free ticket, worth approximately $300 each, after four round trip flights (I fly when they offer double bonus points, which is pretty often since they were trying to grow both airports). For those doing the math at home, that’s a cash positive deal for me. 🙂 That’s probably why I like it so much!

What’s your favorite customer loyalty program? And how good is it?

{ 5 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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5 Responses to “What Is Your Favorite Customer Loyalty Program?”

  1. I swipe my Best Buy card on the rare occasions that we shop there, but we usually forget to use the $5 coupons when they come (the only exception is after a big purchase when we get a sizable amount of “cash” back). The best part of their program is the % off coupons that they send, since they often give you 10-12% off anything in the store.

    Probably the biggest “affinity” programs that we use (other than our grocery store affinity card, which we pretty much have to use just to get regular pricing on things) are travel-related. Delta frequent flyer miles and Hilton Honors (we stay at Hampton Inn when on the road, and often at Embassy Suites when we reach our destination). We’ve gotten quite a few free Hampton nights by doing this.

  2. GeekMan says:

    The Amazon credit card. Wen you buy from Amazon (which is where I buy almost everything now) you earn 3 points for every dollar spent at Amazon and 1 point for every dollar otherwise spent. After 2,500 points you get a $25 coupon for your next Amazon purchase. Basically, I get 3% on my purchases, but since I always shop there, and they carry almost everything, it’s like free money.

  3. I second GeekMan’s comments on the Amazon credit card. It is by no means the most lucrative of these cards out there, but it has several advantages:

    1. You invest zero time in it. The rules are simple and you don’t have to think about it.
    2. The rewards come regularly and in small increments. This means that you can spend them quickly. Stacking up rewards that can’t be spent is like keeping cash in a savings account with zero interest. It’s important that you be able to spend rewards quickly.
    3. Amazon has everything so I shop there all the time. I use Amazon Prime ($80 per year and everything is shipped two-day with no minimum purchase). This means whenever I need something, I can order it off of Amazon in

  4. My comment got cut off. Basically I said that using Amazon saves more time than money – but time is more valuable.

  5. burn says:

    For those who like the Amazon Credit Card, do you realize that the market value of the gift cards you are getting is less than $25? Just check eBay, where $25 gift card codes regularly sell for $22-$24 (12%-4% discount). If you use Amazon regularly you are much better off buying gift codes and using those instead of your credit card.

    I prefer credit card rewards paid in cash.

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