We all know coupon collecting and deal searching can get a little time consuming. We recently had the pleasure of speaking with a bargain columnist at major publication in our region. She mentioned that the biggest challenge her readers write in about is the overwhelming amount of sites they have to navigate for deals and the fact that the deals are often expired or not what you first thought they were.
In further conversations our journalist friend we found a shared sentiment that one of the most overlooked ways to find great deals is through Loyalty Programs. This is a growing initiative that many big box stores and restaurants are starting to put into place. Basically, you get rewarded for frequenting the same Restaurants, Bookstores, Electronic Stores, Department Stores or Airlines.
Restaurants are a little slower to jump on the bandwagon as the major airlines have but we did all the research for you and below you will find my top picks for Customer Loyalty Programs. There is only one that has a cost but as we found the cost to be worth it. You will have to judge for yourself. Keep Couponing friends and join some Loyalty Clubs for nice rewards!
TGI Friday’s -Just for signing up you get a free appetizer or dessert along with one pass to jump to the front of the line. You earn points every time you come in that will result in award gift certificates. You will also receive periodic coupons and special events like being the first to sample new menu items
Red Robin – You will receive a free burger every year on your birthday, buy 9 items get the 10th free all the time(mix and match burgers, entrees, salads), visit 5 times in the first five weeks of membership and get $20 off the sixth visit, and special surprise offers all year long.
Panera – Earn Rewards points towards free baked goods based on your personal likes and get special invite events like baking with Panera Bakers.
Pizza Hut – Free Breadsticks or Cinnamon Sticks when you sign up and future coupons and exclusive offers emailed directly to you.
Benihana-Free $30 Gift Certificate in your Birthday month and subsequent deals and special offers. They also have a kid’s club which entitles your child to a free Kabuki mug during their birthday month.
Starbucks rewards -Just register a Starbucks card and earn rewards for what you spend. There are two levels where you can earn things such as free coffee on your birthday, free flavors, free refills, every 15th drink free, and special coupons via email.
Bloomingdales – Receive 10% off your next order and earn points without having to get a store credit card. You receive a $25 gift card for every 5,000 points earned.
Barnes and Noble -Paid membership but as a member I find it valuable. You get 40% off hardcover bestsellers, 10% off everything else, free express shipping, and currently when you sign up online you will get $50 worth of coupons sent to you. Members can also get $25 off a color Nook and you will periodically receive coupons like an additional 20% off a single item. I just received two of those coupons last week.
Best Buy – This is another good program if you are a frequent Best Buy Visitor. I am also a part of this loyalty program and have earned several certificates over the years. You get a $5 gift certificate for every $250 spent. This may not seem like a lot but if you have to make a big purchase like a computer or big screen you will be happy when you get that gift certificate in the mail. You also get information on special events and access to exclusive coupons.