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Monday, September 12, 2005

Spend, Earn, Redeem....

Nowadays, everyday transaction of mine, has some reward points attached to it... Most of the service oriented organisations and retailers have issued loyalty cards, allowing me to accumulate reward points for the loyalty being shown towards them.

Sometimes, I find it difficult to keep track of the expiry date of those reward points - issued by my Telecom operator, Internet Service Provider, Credit Card Company etc. A year back some huge points in my credit card account were forfeited, since I didn't notice it in time.

This distribution of loyalty points has not stopped with these big orgns alone. The small retailer near my house has also started adopting a system, for the last few months. I have been issued with a card. For every 10$ of purchase, the card will be stamped with a Chop. Once I get 10 Chops, I will be entitled to a 5$ discount voucher, which I can encash in the subsequent purchases.

Looks so simple, isn't it....? That's what I thought, when I intially got it. Every month, I tried to keep it as a target to get that voucher... But unable to accomplish it everytime. The reasons...

1) I don't end up buying exactly for $10. Sometimes, I may buy for $14 or $16. Based on the basic scheme, I get only one chop. So, I try to optimise the no. of items which I need to buy, to get the next chop (by crossing $20). Sometimes, I find it hard, to add more items.

2) The card is valid only for one month. Sometimes, I don't get 10 chops within that period.. so, the attempts I put to gain points turn futile, irrespective of the fact that certain prices are little bit on the higher side in that retail shop.

3) Finally, I end up spending $120-$140 for the period from that shop, without getting that additional catch - the 5% discount.

This has made me to decide that 'Earning reward points & Redeeming' scheme is a better option than this 'stamping' scheme.

So, I had given it up from this week. (I mean searching for the card, before going out for shopping.. )
186th post


Anonymous gp said...

Sounded very familiar, Ram.. I was searching for the Best Buy Reward Zone coupon mailed by me to redeem my points. Whenever I buy, they scan the card. They can as well say, you have crossed 1000 points, so now you are eligible for some x$, NO. They would mail that discount, which will get lost or kept too carefully at some place at home or you would forget to take it to the shop when you visit or you visit that shop unplanned manner.

The same thing with 'cash back' offer too.. Many dont know what to do to get cash back, some miss some info and some write the looong serial number wrong, some just postpone the hassle of sending it this weekend, next weekend, .. so on and miss it. These are 'clever' marketing tactics.

Monday, September 12, 2005 6:10:00 PM  
Blogger Vinesh said...

(to be read in lighter vein)Chinna vayasulendhe free-a kedaicha phenoil-a kooda kudikkravanaache thamizhan :-)

Same pinch to you! :-)

Monday, September 12, 2005 8:17:00 PM  
Blogger vee-jay said...

Oh no!!! I also have to redeem those reward points i have been accumulating for the past 4 years :-) hope i do it before it expires.

Monday, September 12, 2005 9:12:00 PM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

GP.. Due to heavy competition nowadays, they need to resort to these sort of ideas to keep loyal customers. Even in this area, they need to come out with unique / novel ideas to make it interesting.

Vinesh.. good joke (or is it the fact!!).. but I thought, it is not worth the pain.

VJ.. better chk out, as to how many points are forfeited.. 4 years is too long a period, to accumulate.

Monday, September 12, 2005 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger Kaps said...

I'm not a fan of these reward points , redemptions and other stuff. The fact that you tried to round up your purchase to a multiple of 10 shows that you are trying to spend more than what is desired. to me this is a trap....better to stay away.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 1:26:00 AM  
Blogger KARY said...

Interesting Ram. This doesnt work great in Chennai. No big reward points and if one misses it also they dont care much abt it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 2:42:00 AM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

Kaps.. U r right. Sometimes it happens, that we end up buying some avoidable things.

Kary.. Chennai may get this habit soon, once competition heats up between biggies. Till then, no problem for the existing players.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 4:42:00 AM  
Anonymous GP said...

Ram, you have been tagged by me. Pl. check my recent post for 7.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 8:40:00 AM  
Blogger tt_giant said...

yea. i started to take note of the rewards and stuff initially. aparam, it was too much to remember. free utten.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 7:49:00 PM  
Blogger visithra said...

ill second that

even redeeming is a headache - the amount u spent and the points u get dont really tally n u end up wondering what to redeem with the points that are about to expire!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 8:32:00 PM  
Blogger Chakra Sampath said...

In UK we don't have any expiry date for the reward points.. Couple of yrs back, they started a reward card called Nectar that brought together lot of shops - 1 supermarket chain, a huge garments chain, British Petroleum outlets and now a phone company.. you just have to take the card and if you see to it that you make the purchases in the businesses that are affiliated with Nectar, you get your points and once you cross 500, you get some vouchers that you can spend in any of the shops.

there are probs in this as well.. like there are some supermarket chains that are cheaper and they have nothing to do with this Nectar.. but then, i don't care much for these points.

Better to shop in the way you normally do than get dictated by these schemes.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 1:14:00 AM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

Deepak.. this sort of things happen. Initially, we take care of these issues.. then we let them go free in the air.

Visithra..U r right. They may not worth the effort, sometimes.

Chakra.. Here too, we have a common card for certain organisations. Sometimes, I find them helpful.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 2:21:00 AM  
Blogger TJ said...

As Chakra said, the Nectar card is a good concept, only that i am lazy enough to maintain loyalty and hence donot posses any of those cards.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 4:19:00 AM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

TJ... sometimes all-in-one cards like your Nectar cards are good.. they are handy at times. The only thing is that we should n't be lazy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 4:09:00 PM  

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