PLASTIC REWARDS

I just realized something—plastic is the 21st Century mode of monetary exchange and rewards. I have my credit cards from the major department stores, the debit card from my bank and my Visa card. I also have each of my vendors” “Reward” cards, of which I counted at least six.

Reward cards are rather annoying, but does have its positive side too. For my “Air-miles” card, it’s good because this is flashed each and every time I head to my favourite grocery store. I actually do accumulate points which eventually gets me a minimum of $10 off my grocery bill. Often, certain products in the store will give you 2, 5, or 10 extra points just for purchasing—and, of course, the store’s wily marketing expert makes sure it’s a product that needs to be tossed in the shopping cart. With the extra points collected, the total needed for the discount gets accumulated faster.

I  have a reward card for another grocery competitor. It, too, works in much the same way, but instead of actual money being deducted off your bill, “cashing” in some of your points will net you “free” merchandise such as breads, milk, eggs, butter, veggies, etc. including travel tickets. Since I don’t have teenagers to boost my food bill, it takes longer for my Hubby and I to build up enough points for any  travel tickets. A number of my friends, who have growing teenage grandkids, have had enough points accumulated for several airline trips.

I also have reward cards to two pharmacies. One is a national chain and it doesn’t take long to accumulate enough points to take $10 or $20 off your bill. It helps if you have to purchase your meds there. The other pharmacy is also a chain but with individual owners, so my reward card is for one location only. Needless to say, this pharmacy, plus the others in the chain, is much more than a drugstore. One has to traverse through half the store before you actually reach the serious pharmacy stuff. BUT, it is always an adventure to slowly traverse through the fun stuff like unique pieces of frivolous, costume jewelry, fun magnets, funny mugs, unusual decorative knick-knacks, colourful silk scarves and so much more to stop you in your tracks—definitely a distraction from the serious stuff.

I have a plastic rewards card from my Esso station. Points are accumulated each time I fill my gas tank and eventually sufficient points gets me a free tank of gas. That one took me a year to achieve. In the meantime, one can cash in the lesser points for free cups of caffeine, lottery tickets or snack foods.

I also have a reward card for my favourite stationery store. It gives a discount each time I purchase my paper, pens, ink cartridge for my printer and so much more.

Besides the plastic cards, I do have a cardboard reward card from one of my bakeries.. You have to purchase 20 large loaves of any of their breads and when the card is filled, you get one large loaf of your choice free. And, I do have a flower card that is punched each time you purchase a $20 bouquet. When this card is filled, you get back a free $20 bouquet.

In case you think I’m a push-over for reward cards, I did refuse a few reward cards that are entered into the computer, eliminating the need for you to carry the card with you. I figured these computerized cards will track your sale preferences, where you are and so much more. Those marketing Pooh-Bahs definitely know how to do their jobs!  However, even though my other reward cards probably do the same thing, it’s much more rewarding, don’t you think?

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