Shoppers club cards, also called frequent buyer club cards or loyalty cards, seem like a good deal, until you are digging through a stack of them at the register. Or maybe you’ve gotten to the checkout line, and then thought, “Shoot, I ‘m missing out on goodies or points because I left my club card at home!”
I have loyalty club cards for everything from office supplies to my favorite frozen yogurt spot.
There are two ways to make sure you get the goods when it comes to store loyalty cards. The first is by using an app, like KeyRing and CardStar. They let you enter your loyalty card information into an app, where a barcode is stored that looks just like the one on your physical card. KeyRing also let’s you take a picture of your physical card, which is handy if there is a phone number or any information you’ve written on it. The apps also let you interact with your favorite brands, such as checking for special offers. Most store laser scanners still have trouble scanning the barcode on your smartphone screen, but the clerks usually just key the card number into their system, which still allows you to get the goods.
However, some stores still have punch cards, with no barcode. You collect a certain number of purchases to get a loyalty reward, like buy 10 to get one free. For those stores, keep a card organizer in my purse or car. This little gadget has plastic pockets to hold cards that need to be punched or initialed by store staff. I try very hard not to carry many of these types, but the hassle is worth it for a handful of my favorite stores. This little card organizer is similar to photo sleeves we all used to carry in our wallets, before digital pictures and smartphones. The difference is that the sleeves fan out like a paint deck.
With technology’s help, you can be rewarded for shopping at your favorite national chain, even if you are in a different city, as long as you have your loyalty account number in your smartphone or tablet.
Have you tried any of the loyalty card apps yet?