‘Do you have our rewards card?’ ‘Would you like to sign up for one?’

Category:  News
Wednesday, September 13th, 2017 at 3:23 PM

If you’re a smart shopper, your wallet (or phone) is full of miniature rewards cards saving you a dollar or two each time you shop.

But, do those cards actually add up?

Walking into town, one can use an ExtraCare card at CVS to get a discount on the Oreos he or she has been craving. Or, if one is running low on gas, swipe a Giant Eagle Advantage Card at GetGo for a small discount.

According to a study done by Boston University in 2004, 86 percent of Americans use some sort of store loyalty store. According to a poll conducted by Access Development in 2016, 91 percent of global shoppers were now part of a loyalty program.

Sophomore Jacob Trinca said: “Typically, [I sign up] if it’s free because there’s always an opportunity to get discounts and sometimes even exclusive product offers. It’s also nice when they email you about sales going on.”

According to Access, 80 percent of rewards program members are “willing to sign up for loyalty cards in exchange for deals and discounts.”

Trinca uses rewards cards at Panera Bread, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Express, Giant Eagle and CVS, saying that Giant Eagle and Panera have been the biggest benefits so far.

“I always get coupons for free coffee and they even offer a free bagel every day for the month of August so that’s saving a good amount of money,” he said. “Giant Eagle saves me a lot of money on gas quite often. “

Consumer Affairs reported CVS Pharmacy’s ExtraCare program earned it an extra 30 million consumers and $12 billion a year.

In addition to using rewards cards, Trinca uses coupons at Express and uses Amazon Prime for online orders.

“I also meal prep, which helps save money for groceries because you can buy and cook in bulk,” he said.

Savannah Anderton, senior, said she signs up for rewards cards only if she is a frequent customer of the store.

“I shop at grocery stores most frequently, and I definitely feel that my rewards card saves me money” she said. “I try to use coupons when I can [and remember to]. I keep a budget, cook seasonally, and buy everything generic.”

Senior Letitia Cawley said she doesn’t normally sign up for rewards cards when cashiers ask if she wants to sign up for one “because usually I want to leave and typically I don’t shop at the particular store all that much.”

Cawley frequently uses rewards cards at Sheetz, Michael’s, Menchie’s and CVS.

She feels like she saves money by using rewards cards. “It’s never when I’m expecting it though.”

Cawley saves money by “making mass amounts of food.” She explains, “I try not to dine out too much, I buy my clothes at thrift stores, and I turn the lights off when I leave the room.”

In addition to using loyalty programs, there are many businesses that offer discounts with a valid student ID card or email address. For example, Forever 21 offers 10 percent off full price online orders, Apple Music and Spotify Premium are each only $5 a month, the Wall

Street Journal is $1 a week for print and delivery, Amazon offers six months free of Amazon Prime, and Sam’s Club offers various membership discounts.

So, the next time your cashier asks if you want to sign up for a rewards card — you might want to take that extra 30 seconds to save some money.

Dakota Palmer is the news editor for The Spectator. She can be reached at eupnews.spectator@gmail.com.

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