Coles recently changed the FlyBuys program and Woolworths is following suit by making changes to their Every Day Rewards program. It got me thinking about VIP clubs/loyalty cards and whether they are really worth it.
If you didn’t already know most of the loyalty programs are actually used to track your spending habits so they can target you for specific discounts and things. A great example was when Target knew a girl was pregnant before her family did. They use the information collected when you make purchases to tailor their marketing strategies.
Personally I am a member of quite a few loyalty/vip clubs and have been learning which ones are most beneficial to me and which ones are just not worth it. Some I joined because they had an initial joining bonus such as Rebel Sport, but I don’t shop there, so have not used it since. Other loyalty or VIP clubs give you discounts or freebies for your birthday as well as loyalty points and those are the ones I have found to be most beneficial to me.
I think VIP clubs or loyalty cards are only worth it if:
- They are for somewhere you shop regularly
- You will not change your shopping habits to chase points or rewards (as in you will not be sucked in and buy more than you planned or items you had not planned just to get points)
- You watch what you spend and when your points expire
- The rewards are for things you actually use. For example, with the changes in FlyBuys most of the rewards are of no interest to me, so I probably won’t use it much.
- You get real rewards such as discounts, freebies for your birthday or the points are worth more than 0.01cents.
There are numerous clubs out there you can be a member of, but it is so easy to be tempted to spend more when you sign up to them because you then get sent emails about sales/specials/discounts and bonuses. This is another part of the marketing ploy.
In my opinion VIP clubs and loyalty cards are great if you have self discipline, spend only within your budget for items you need and buy things at the best price, even if that means not shopping where you get points/are a VIP member.
If you don’t have self control and know you would chase points, spend more etc. You are better off finding a high interest saving account and shopping for the best deals. When you buy things on sale you can transfer the savings straight to the high interest account. For example if you saved $10 on groceries by shopping at the markets instead of Coles and Woolworths, while you didn’t get points if you put that $10 into a high interest saving account it will accumulate quicker than the points would and you can then choose your own rewards or keep saving!
And in case you were wondering, sadly yes they are ALL my cards and yes, I am a member of even more clubs that I don’t have cards for. I don’t chase points though and mainly use them for the freebies. There are a couple I need to just throw out.
So, do you have loyalty cards or are you a VIP club member? What are your thoughts?