We get pulled in to a lot of marketing strategies used by the large supermarket companies and sometimes it’s hard to know whether it is worth it or not. Don’t get me wrong, they make it sound GREAT! But is it really?

I think that most reward systems are pretty good. I don’t care that they can see what I buy and when because they email me when the products I buy regularly are on special.  I have two major supermarket rewards cards. The trick to making the rewards work for you is to simply present the card when you shop at participating stores and NOT go out and buy products just because they have told you that you will earn triple points for that item. The only way that is a cost effective thing to do is if you were already going to buy that item anyway.

Some rewards cards offer you frequent flyer points but ALSO have a cash back option.  You need to call them up to change your rewards over to cashback (usually in the form of a Gift Card) instead of frequent flyer points.

I never look at the points you can earn each week on certain products. I just do my shop and my points add up where they add up. Nothing changes. After about 3 months I have approximately $50 in rewards dollars that I can then flick over to my card and use at the register as cash.  It is instantly transferred online.

So the message here is happily join your rewards programs but just get into the habit of flashing the card at the checkout instead of going to that shop just for the products with the most points. That’s what they want you to do and you’ll end up paying more!

Oh and one more thing……check your emails regularly as a few of the larger retailers send out offers that you “activate”. All you have to do is click one button and it opens your browser to say it is activated. That’s it! Who cares whether you actually take advantage of that offer – it’s activated just in case. I never think about it again. For instance, my last email was: “Triple points on your biggest shop between Thursday and Sunday this week”.  I don’t even know what my biggest shop will be but you can bet I’ll probably be at the supermarket on one of those days. Even if I wasn’t, at least I activated it just in case.