Do Loyalty Cards Track Me?

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Loyalty Cards

Loyalty Cards

You run to Walgreens for some shampoo and nail polish, you make sure to use your loyalty card.   Stop by Starbucks to pick up a mocha frappuccino with your Starbucks card to earn points towards a free future coffee.  Then on your way home, make a quick trip to your local grocery store for some milk, size 4 diapers and ground beef for dinner, being sure to swipe your store card to rack up points and take advantage of the member discounts and deals.

So what do these loyalty cards do besides earning points towards future savings?  The fact is these are businesses.  They would not be providing loyalty cards if it did not benefit them in some way (and of course it benefits you, the consumer, as well).

So do they use our information?  Do they keep track of everything?  Yes, they gather the data.  They know what you are purchasing, when you are purchasing it, where we are buying and at what frequency.  This is all in hopes to better target you when running marketing efforts.

Walgreens will know what brand of nail polish and shampoo to put in circulars mailed and displayed to you online. Starbucks better understands your coffee preferences and the time of day you are more likely to drink it.  Your local grocery store understands that you have a small child and may need other toddler related products.

Is This Good or Bad for Me?

Well, it depends.  Some people do not like the idea of companies collecting their purchasing behavior- which is fair. But in the end, the information they gather is used to market to you more clearly.  If you are a mom of four that has never had the desire to golf, why would you want to view golf related ads on your iPhone or see dating website ads, despite being happily married, on Facebook?

If companies know more about you, they can better speak to you.  In theory this means that you have a better view of products that you want, given you a better decision platform.

Loyalty Programs

Why sign up for loyalty program?  Quite simply, store cards usually tie to store savings.  Free items after a certain number of visits or purchases, member only discounts, and point systems for future savings.

Signing up for loyalty programs at your favorite stores is one of the best ways to save money at the check out line.  Save even more with coupons.  You can find the most current coupons from your stores at Grocery Coupon Network.  There is also a way to get these deals delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for our daily newsletter.

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