It’s Time to Reward Yourself and Your Wallet!

I went into Walgreens yesterday to pick up some pictures that I had printed. “You have enough points to get $2 off your purchase today,” the clerk told me. My purchase was only $7 so $2 was 28% off – nice! I don’t do a lot of shopping at Walgreens. I do get my pictures printed there, though. It’s hard to find places to get pictures printed these days and they are so easy and so fast that I love their photo service. Plus, they have a rewards program. I still give them my rewards number every time and a little bit adds up over time. Think about it for a second – who is rewarding you for your loyalty?
Kroger has a great rewards program that gives me money off certain brands – I’ve saved $40-50 in a single trip (I do have teenage sons that I feed) plus I get fuel points that can be up to $1 off PER GALLON if I go to a Kroger fuel pump. The Office Depot rewards program gets a $25 coupon every now and then when we build up enough points. My Delta Frequent Flyer card plus my Gold or Platinum American Express has gotten me dozens of free airline tickets over the years and I don’t fly much. Hotel rewards programs earn you points for every stay so if you travel for business, never check-in without being a member of their loyalty program. If you like to book online, check out the hotels.com program as you get a free night after so many booked nights.
If you have a children or think you might someday, sign up for Upromise. You register all of your credit cards and get points for using them which can be transferred to a 529 Plan Account or used to pay down a student loan. Even if you don’t have a child, you can transfer that to another child – doesn’t have to be a family member. Check out the details at Upromise.com. They also have a browser plug-in so that you can see what rewards any website will give you by using that browser link. Upromise also has a dining app that can connect to a Upromise restaurant near you. You can go to their site first and link to a buyer site and get 2-9% cash back. It can add up to big dollars over time. Fatwallet.com has a similar program which gives you cash back – sign up, go to their site first and then search for the product or service you want.
My Wells Fargo Visa has a rewards program so I can get “stuff,” gift cards, or cash paid against my Visa balance. I always elect for the cash back and I recommend that you do too.
So, consider the stores that you frequent. Do they have a rewards program? If they do, join. It is usually free. Then, figure out how it works and what you get. Do the same with every credit card that you have – what do you get and how does it work? If your store doesn’t have a rewards program, check and see if there is one close by that does. You should be a frequent flyer member of every airline that you ever use as well as a member for every hotel that you stay in. Check out Upromise.com and/or fatwallet.com if you do a lot of online shopping or you eat out frequently.
Using these programs takes a little time and a little thought (neither of which I particularly enjoy when it comes to shopping) but the rewards over time will be well worth your time and effort. Get out there and make sure you are rewarded for every dollar you spend!
To your financial success!