"Umm...I think so," I fumble in my wallet for a moment, rifle through a stack of cards, put it back and pull out another. I finally find it somewhere in the middle of the second stack. "Here it is."
He's got all of my purchases rung up and bagged and is picking at a cuticle when I hand it over.
It seems you can't buy something at a store without being asked about a rewards card. If you don't have it, there's some spiel about why you need it, like you'll get money-saving coupons e-mailed to you. If it's a store I'm likely to visit again, I'll bite. If not, I decline because I don't need that many cards bursting the zipper on my wallet.
|Some of my rewards cards!|
But, now, I'm wondering what the perks are, exactly. I'm thinking the perks are for the store and not so much for me. Sure, there are a few obvious ones that really have a benefit, like the Price Chopper card that's needed to get the weekly sales. But, I don't think I've seen an actual perk from Staples yet. Or Dicks. Or any number of other cards stuffed in my wallet.
There's more of an anti-perk in the form of clutter in my wallet and clutter in my inbox.
I got an e-mail from Staples today asking me to review the filler graph paper I bought last week.
I know there are no Staples big wigs reading this, but just in case, I have a bit of advice. It's not a perk to be asked to write a review on something I bought for a penny. Since you know my buying habits, perhaps you also know I like to write, so you thought I'd enjoy this special "reward". Umm...sorry. I'm not going to spend my writing time waxing poetic about graph paper.
Likable rewards cards tend to have something tangible as a reward. I buy honey from a local bee keeper at the farmers' market. He hands out a punch card that gets punched with every honey purchase. 10 punches equals one free 8-ounce jar of honey. The perk: he didn't ask for my e-mail address.
I think Subway claims something similar, though they got my info before they let me have their plastic. I believe the Subway worker (Subologist?) mentioned something about a free sub after I'd purchased so many, though I can't seem to find confirmation on-line.
Maybe it's time to save the cashiers of the world from my not-so-entertaining game of hide and seek with the plastic in my wallet. A little lightening up certainly couldn't hurt it anyway.