15 Retail Rewards and Loyalty Programs Worth Joining | Family Finance

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Key Takeaways:

  • Retail rewards programs can be a smart way to save money at establishments you frequent.
  • If you collect points, don’t keep them indefinitely; they often expire.
  • Many businesses are offering paid memberships to customers that offer a wide range of discounts on services and products.

Retail rewards programs are valuable to businesses that want to encourage customer loyalty, and they’re worthwhile for consumers as well. Common membership benefits include cash back, coupons, members-only sales and other special promotions.

As long as you’re comfortable registering information with a company such as your name, address and email, it’s worth checking if the stores you frequent offer rewards programs.

Here’s a look at 15 popular retailer rewards programs that you may want to consider joining, with details on the benefits and perks they offer members. Programs are free to join unless noted.

1. Best Buy

Programs: My Best Buy (free), My Best Buy Plus ($49.99 a year) and My Best Buy Total ($179.99 a year)

How it works: For My Best Buy, you’ll receive free standard shipping with no minimum purchase. My Best Buy Plus gets you free 2-day shipping, exclusive member prices on thousands of items and exclusive access to sales, events and products, plus an extended return window on most products. My Best Buy Total gives you all of that plus protection plans, including AppleCare+, 24/7 tech support and 20% off repairs.

Also worth noting: Open to all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico residents. You can be as young as 13 and be a My Best Buy member, provided you have obtained permission from your parent or legal guardian before signing up.

2. Burger King

How it works: You’ll earn 10 crowns for each dollar spent on eligible items. You then can redeem your crowns for anything on the menu.

Also worth noting: During your birthday month, you’ll earn double crowns on all eligible transactions. As a member, you also get free upsizes. So, you can order a small fry or drink, for instance, but get a medium. If you download the app, you can access coupons and other deals non-app customers won’t get.

3. CVS

Program: CVS ExtraCare and CVS ExtraCare Plus ($5 a month or $48 for the year)

How it works: When you sign up, you’ll get an ExtraCare card you can scan at the register, or you can use the CVS app and create a scannable card.

When you shop and use your card, you’ll earn 2% back on every purchase (with some exceptions like alcohol, lottery, prescriptions and money orders). You’ll also get ExtraBucks Rewards for certain items, which means you can use them to lower your bill.

You can also earn up to $50 Pharmacy & Health ExtraBucks Rewards for things like filling prescriptions and getting vaccines.

If you do most of your pharmacy shopping at CVS you get everything above plus:

  • Free same-day delivery
  • Free shipping
  • Free same-day Rx delivery
  • 20% off CVS Health brand products
  • 24/7 pharmacist helpline
  • $10 monthly bonus reward

Also worth noting: The 2% cash back goes to your card to redeem on your next purchase, so when you’re shopping at CVS, remember to use your card or the app to get those savings. The $10 monthly bonus reward is a coupon, and you’d have to spend $10 to get it (so, no spending $3 on gum and then getting $7 in cash back).

4. GameStop

Program: GameStop Pro ($25 a year)

How it works: If you become a member of GameStop Pro, you’ll get:

  • A $5 welcome reward (so you could argue that the membership is $20 a year)
  • 12 monthly Pro Rewards worth $5 (essentially a $5 coupon)
  • Free shipping on orders of $54 or more
  • 2% back in rewards

If you drop by a GameStop every so often to buy your nephew a gift, this probably isn’t your scene. If you shop a lot at GameStop, it may easily be worth the $25 membership fee.
Worth noting: For every $1 you spend you get 20 points, and you can redeem them for coupons. You can redeem 1,000 points (you’ll spend $50 to earn them) for a $1 reward certificate.

5. JCPenney

Program: JCPenney Rewards

How it works: You’ll get a $10 CashPass Reward when you sign up. You’ll also get one point for every $1 you spend on qualifying purchases (but if you use a JCPenney credit card, you’ll get 1.5 points for every $1 you spend). You can get a $10 reward certificate for every 200 points you earn, and gain access to other offers, bonus points and perks throughout the year.

Worth noting: You’ll also receive a $10 CashPass Reward for your birthday.

6. Kohl’s

Program: Kohl’s Rewards

How it works: If you join the rewards program, you’ll earn 5% Kohl’s Rewards on every purchase. Kohl’s tracks your rewards and alerts you every time you’ve earned enough to receive $5 in Kohl’s Cash to spend. You’ll receive a Kohl’s Cash coupon on the first day of the following month, and it will be valid for 30 days.

If you use your Kohl’s credit card for purchases, you’ll earn 7.5% Kohl’s Rewards on every purchase. Your Kohl’s Cash, however, isn’t valid at Sephora in in the store.

Worth noting: Whether you’re a Kohl’s Rewards member or not, you’ll receive $10 Kohl’s Cash for every $50 you spend, which you can redeem during specific time periods.

7. McDonald’s

Program: MyMcDonald’s Rewards

How it works: You download the MyMcDonald’s Rewards app, and as long as you spend $1 on food, you’ll get a free order of large french fries. Then, every time you spend $1, you’ll earn 100 points you can redeem for free food. For example, a hash brown or a cheeseburger is 1,500 points. A Big Mac is 6,000 points.

Worth noting: You don’t get points if you spend money with a McDonald’s gift card.

8. Petco

Program: Vital Care Core (free), and Vital Care Premier ($239.88 a year or $24.99 a month)

How it works: Vital Care Core is similar to a lot of loyalty programs, providing customers with coupons and various deals. Vital Care Premier is a health and wellness membership program for pets. You get perks like unlimited routine exams at participating Petco vets and 20% off grooming services (the eighth groom is free) and two $30 coupons twice a year to use at Rover for dog walking, pet sitting and pet boarding services. You’ll also receive a monthly $15 Vital Care Reward, which can go toward pet health care like flea and tick prevention medicine.

Worth noting: The point system is a little confusing, and you have to stay on top of it. One dollar equals one Vital Care point. Once you earns 167 points, you’ll receive a $5 Vital Care Reward. You have to make a purchase every 90 days to keep your point balance active.

9. Pizza Hut

How it works: The program is free and you earn two points for every $1 you spend. You can put those points toward free food: 75 points for bread sticks, 125 points for cheese sticks, 175 points for eight boneless wings, 200 points for a medium two-topping pizza and 300 points for a large pizza. You’ll also get access to exclusive offers and discounts .

Worth noting: Like all of these rewards programs, the goal is to get you to go to Pizza Hut more often, and points expire after 6 months of inactivity.

10. REI

Program: REI Co-op Membership (one-time, lifetime membership fee of $30).

How it works: If you’re a fan of REI it’s a no-brainer to pay the membership fee. You’ll get 10% off all eligible purchases and other deals, like 20% off snow and bike shop services and up to 33% off rental services. REI Co-op members receive special discounts as well as free shipping.

Worth noting: If you get the REI Co-op Mastercard credit card, you’ll get even more savings – 5% on rewards on REI Co-op purchases.

11. Sephora

Program: Sephora’s Beauty Insider

How it works: Members spend money and earn points on beauty products, which they can redeem for rewards.

For every $1 you spend you’ll receive points. Sephora has three tiers: Insiders, VIB (Very Important Beauty Insider) and Rouge.

At the beginning, everybody is an Insider and gets 10% off products during seasonal savings events. Spend $350 in a calendar year to become a VIB and you get more perks like 15% off products at events and 3 points for every $1 you spend during point multiplier events. Spend $1,000 in a calendar year and your membership kicks up to Rouge, which gets you 20% off and 4 points for every $1 you spend at specific events.

For 500 points, you get $10 off a qualifying purchase. Rouge members can use 2,500 points to get $100 off.

Worth noting: The seasonal savings discounts and rewards multipliers are only available at Sephora at Khol’s retail stores or at Sephora online.

12. Starbucks

Program: Starbucks Rewards

Starbucks regulars can create an account on the website, app or in the store. With each purchase, you collect “stars.” (In other words, points.)

You’ll collect one star for every dollar you spend, or two stars for every dollar you spend if you use the Starbucks’ digital app.

As you would expect, you can redeem stars for rewards, such as free drinks and food.

Worth noting: If you have a Delta SkyMiles account, you can link that with Starbucks Rewards and earn 1 mile for every dollar you spend at Starbucks, and you’ll get double stars on Delta travel days. Eligible Bank of America cards can be linked to Starbucks Rewards, so you can earn 2% cash back and bonus stars on qualifying Starbucks in-app purchases.

13. Target

How it works: Sign up and you can:

  • Gain access to deals automatically applied at checkout.
  • Earn Target Circle Rewards and save with personalized deals.
  • Redeem free trials and link to other rewards programs.
  • Access your deals and Target Circle Rewards in-store or online. 

If you get the Target Circle card, which can work as store credit card or store debit card, you’ll get 5% off merchandise.
Worth noting: If you include your birthday in your Target Circle account, you’ll receive 5% off a future purchase on your special day, which is valid for 20 days.

14. Walgreens

How it works: If you join, you’ll receive these benefits:

  • Sales access
  • Unlimited 1% Walgreens Cash rewards storewide on eligible purchases, including the pharmacy
  • Unlimited 5% Walgreens Cash rewards on Walgreens branded products
  • Speedy curbside service

Worth noting: Walgreens Cash Rewards expire a year after you earn them or if your account has been inactive for six months.

15. Wendy’s

Program: Wendy’s Rewards

How it works: You can sign up with Wendy’s app or on the website. For every $1 you spend at Wendy’s, you’ll earn 10 points, which you can redeem for food.

Worth noting: Points expire 365 days from the day you earned them and rewards expire 30 days from the day they you claimed them, unless noted in the reward.

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