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With inflation doing its thing right now, it’s not a bad time to be a little more careful with your wallet in all aspects of your spending—including which pharmacies, grocery stores, and other places you shop at. Some stores offer impressive perks for customers who sign up for their free loyalty programs; the access you get to special deals, the coupons, and the earnings you get on purchases make downloading any of these apps a no-brainer, especially if you’ll be shopping at any of these places anyways.
Here are our top picks for loyalty programs worth signing up for.
Best pharmacy loyalty cards
If you’ve lived in America at all in the last sixty years, chances are you’ve shopped in one of CVS’s nearly 10,000 locations. But when you purchased that birthday card or bag of Doritos, did you scan your CVS ExtraCare card? If not, you’re missing out on some hefty perks. With their rewards program, CVS customers get 2% back in ExtraBucks for all purchases. Additionally, you get a $3 ExtraBucks reward every year on your birthday, as well as certain items as special discount prices (which change every week). Download their app and make sure to scan it at checkout, and you should save a few bucks here and there.
If you shopped at Walgreens (or if you live in the New York metropolitan area, Duane Reade), you can save a nice chunk of change by signing up for their loyalty program. With the MyWalgreens rewards program, customers get 1% cash rewards on purchases made storewide, including the pharmacy, and 5% rewards on Walgreens-branded products. You will also get discounted prices on specific sale items. Rewards expire twelve months after they were initially earned, though, so it’s important you don’t let your savings build up for too long.
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A decent amount of cash can be saved by signing up for this chain’s loyalty program, Rite Aid Rewards. Customers can earn points by making purchases (which shakes out to 2% rewards), getting prescriptions filled, or even getting certain immunizations at in-store locations (of which the COVID-19 vaccine sadly does not apply). Points can be converted for BonusCash, which can be redeemed at checkout. The Rite Aid Rewards program also lets you digitally clip coupons on your phone via the app, automatically applying discounts when you pay at checkout.
Best grocery store loyalty cards
If you’re a frequent shopper at Safeway, you should consider signing up for the Safeway for U rewards program. Shoppers get one point for every $1 spent on groceries, with 100 points culminating in a reward. Rewards can be redeemed in the form of discounted gas or free groceries items or cash discounts at time of purchase. Additionally, membership perks include a birthday freebie that can be worth up to $10 in value, as well as a free item every month.
If you do your grocery shopping at Publix, you stand to gain by signing up for their rewards program, Club Publix. Launched in 2020, Club Publix is a free program that gives rewards to shoppers in the form of digital coupons automatically applied at checkout, as well as a yearly free birthday treat. Club Publix members also get early access to information, such as future sale items and BOGO offers.
Stop & Shop/Giant
Two different brand names, one solid loyalty program. If you shop at either of the sister chains, you should sign up for their free rewards program. Shoppers earn one point for every dollar they spend, which can be cashed in for a discount at checkout, or gas savings (every 100 points can be redeemed for a discount of 10¢ per gallon, with a maximum of $1.50 off per gallon for up to 20 gallons). Additionally, when scanning your membership card at check out, you’ll get any sale deals or discounts automatically applied. It should be noted that points expire one month after being earned, so you have to stay on top of your game to make the most out of this loyalty program.
More store loyalty cards worth exploring
Your savings at one of America’s largest discount department stores can be even greater if you join the Target Circle rewards program. By signing up, customers can get 1% rewards on all purchases, as well as hundreds of deals on rotating eligible items. You can also claim a birthday gift of 5% off of a single purchase, valid 30 days from your birthday. Rewards can be earned on purchases in store and online, and rewards will only expire if you go a full calendar year without making any purchases.
As far as the department stores go, JCPenney’s rewards program has got to be near the top. Shoppers get a $10 reward for every 200 points they earn (at a one point per dollar ratio), as well as a yearly birthday gift. Additionally, you get access to special offers—the one running right now is a $10 bonus reward for every $50 you spend until July 4. Loyalty program members also get access to special prices on select items.
If you find yourself frequently in the office supply game, the Office Depot loyalty program is genuinely very good. Members of their rewards program get 2% rewards on purchases made in store or online, as well as special pricing for certain items. Additionally, rewards program members can get $2 off on purchases of at least $10 for every recycled cartridge they bring to the store, up to ten cartridges per month. Lastly, members can earn $2 for leaving a review, up to three reviews per month. If you spend $500 within your first year of membership, you get upgraded to their VIP rewards program, which includes 5% rewards on ink, toner, paper, and print services, as well as free two-day shipping on all orders (excluding holidays).