While many loyalty programs don’t cost anything to join or maintain, there are still a few rules that you should follow to ensure that they are not indirectly costing you money.
It’s only a bargain if you would have bought it anyway!
Yes, we all like to occasionally tell ourselves how much we “saved” by buying that fantastic TV/couch/bike/pair of shoes while they were on special. But we all know the truth – it’s only a bargain if you needed it in the first place. The same is true for your loyalty programs – if you are buying something simply to boost your rewards points then it’s not a bargain!
It’s only worthwhile if you can’t get a better deal
If you can buy the same item at a different store for a cheaper price, then that may well outweigh the loyalty points you accrue via your program.
Ensure you won’t incur a surcharge
If your loyalty program is attached to a credit card payment method, ensure that it’s not costing you a payment surcharge. Chances are, this surcharge would outweigh the rewards points benefits!
So what are loyalty programs worth anyway? CANSTAR has crunched the numbers on a few of the more common free programs, as follows:
|Loyalty Cards||Average Points Earned per Dollar Spent||Minimum Spend||No. of Partners||Average Points Spent per Dollar Redeemed||Real Money value per Dollar Spent|
|David Jones Store Card||1||–||2||133||0.75¢|
|Woolworths (Everyday Rewards)||0.88||$30||6||150||0.59¢|
*Uses Qantas’ Dinner Programme. This data only takes into account points earned on dollar spends, not on flyer miles. Value rounded to nearest cent.