I love it when I finally discover that I’ve earned $350(!) back from using my Visa credit card.
I hate it when I think about all the times I’ve used my Staples rewards card to end up earning nothing. (As a result of this apparent road-to-nowhere program, I only whip out my Staples card when I know I’ll save on a particular item.)
I love it when I use my Wegman’s grocery card for my weekly purchases; I usually accumulate up to $10 in “savings” every trip.
I hate it when the bookseller cashier looks at me incredulously when I reply that I don’t have a Border’s/Barnes and Nobles card. Am I the only one who refuses to take advantage of the bookstores’ rewards program?!?!? (For some reason, knowing that a list is being kept of of all the books I buy creeps me out.)
My ambivalence about rewards programs was stirred up yesterday when my trash hauler launched a new program to encourage recycling, RecycleBank. We can earn points through the amount of refuse recycled each week and redeem them for fabulous prizes. (Well, maybe not fabulous prizes, but certainly more than I’m getting now, which is simply the satisfaction of being green).
But that means someone/somewhere will be tracking my trash. Yuck! That privacy-invading thought definitely gives me pause. However, after realizing that RecycleBank points can go to an Amazon.com giftcard to feed my Kindle habit, my privacy need has diminished. I sign up for the program!
A quick inventory of my participation in rewards programs reveals:
Wegman’s card (always used)
Staples, CVS, Safeway, Giant cards (only used when purchasing sale items) Food Lion card (only used during my beach vacation six years ago; time to throw that one out) Smoothie King punch card (never remember to use) Hair Cuttery card (recently thrust into my hands by my stylist: I’ll probably toss that one, too.)
What do you carry in your wallet?
And how do you balance .. privacy … ease of use … and actual rewards given the effort … when deciding whether to participate in a rewards program?