How to ensure you are using your loyalty program benefits

You heard the pitch at CVS, a grocery store, or elsewhere “Sign up for our loyalty program today and you can save 10%.” Sound familiar? It does to me. So, like a lot of others, you fill out the form at the store or online, wait for your card, stick it in your wallet, and then forget about it. What good is that?

Several friends of mine report that they probably aren’t taking full advantage of a loyalty program either due to some complexity involved or forgetting to bring their card with them to the store. Here’s a trick: register and associate your phone number with the program’s card and that way you will never have to worry about forgetting the card. You do have to remember to use it, though. I can’t help there. A bonus tip is to register your cards with an app like Key Ring, which I have discussed before, so you can have all of your cards on your phone.

Another pitfall that loyalty program users may fall into, especially at places like CVS, is not reading your receipts. As shown in the photo below, you may receive something like this. I recently discussed the multiple $4 off $20 coupons I received (sometimes twice on the same receipt), so don’t just throw this away. In CVS’ case, you may also get ExtraBucks attached at the bottom which are as good as free money. Just present them to the cashier when checking out, or scan them yourself at self-checkout (which is totally awesome).

CVS ExtraCare loyalty program
ExtraBucks loyalty program photo courtesy of

In the end, loyalty programs can be quite lucrative and easy to use, you just need to ensure you are doing your part to make them work.

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