E is for Effort: Are Customer Loyalty Programs Worth the Effort?



E is for Effort: Are Customer Loyalty Programs Worth the Effort?
Is your wallet or key chain exploding with customer loyalty cards?  If yes, you are not alone. Today’s shopping experiences includes being asked with each purchase, “Do you have a store discount or reward card?”

Many retailers today are offering Customer Loyalty Programs that claim to help the consumer save significant amounts of money. The question is, do these programs actually benefit the consumer? Let’s take a look at how they work:

  • First keep in mind, not all programs are created equal.  Each program is unique so be sure and read the fine print on the program contract. This will detail the reward offer and state whether there are any limitations.
  • Be aware of how each program rewards the consumer. Most customer loyalty programs reward by encouraging the customer to shop more often. Usually, the more you shop the higher the reward. This may come in coupons, discounts or cash rewards depending on the program.
  • Do keep in mind the previous tip when deciding whether to join a customer loyalty program. If you rarely shop at a particular store, it may not be worth the effort to sign up.
  • How much are you saving? This amount will depend on the store and how frequently you shop there. For instance, if the retailer offers a variety of savings and rewards with coupons for future purchases your continued loyalty will add to your awards.

Are Customer Loyalty cards worth the effort? If you sign up at a store you shop frequently, you should benefit especially when the program allows you to save money on your everyday, essential purchases. If you sign up at a store you rarely shop, it is more likely to be a waste of time and effort.

As a consumer, you must keep in mind that the largest benefit comes from saving on items you actually need. The extra effort that is put toward enrolling in Customer Loyalty Programs can help cut cost at your favorite retail stores.

Answers from AZ

About Ann Zuraw

Ann Zuraw, the voice behind "Chicks, Chat and Change", is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®), and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA™). If you have comments on this post contact Ann Zuraw

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