Over the last few months, I’ve managed to collect a fair number of new loyalty cards from local businesses in DC.
Seems like the loyalty program concept is having a resurgence. Not that it ever really left per se, but more and more businesses, including restaurants and coffee shops, are using these to entice repeat business.
As annoying as it might be to have a ton of physical cards to carry around, I actually prefer that approach because it is something tangible. I can remember it and see the progress. I like the feeling of finally getting something you’ve earned over time.
Obviously sign-up for your local grocery store, so you can get the discounts. I mostly use Giant.
If you like concerts, one you should definitely get is the ‘Friends With Benefits’ card for the 9:30 Club. It’s also good at other venues they book, like the Lincoln Theatre and Merriweather Post Pavilion. Get points for attending shows and buying drinks/food and then redeem for more shows, merchandise or a gift card. Check it out here.
Then it just depends on where you like to go on a regular basis. Many of my local lunch spots use loyalty cards, so I’ve been taking advantage. For example, Nando’s Peri Peri and Micho’s Lebanese Grill have good ones, you get free things while you’re building up to a free entrée.
Most are free, but you can also consider paid memberships.
REI is like a drug addiction, but you absolutely cannot shop there without their $20 lifetime membership. You get a 10% refund at the end of each year! And remember the new 51,000-square-foot REI flagship store is coming to NoMa this year, so you’ll need it!
And although not technically a paid membership, Chick-fil-A has a Cow Calendar Card system. Buy the calendar, and every month you get free things with your card. Usually good stuff. There is even a website to track how you’ve done. It’s a good gift idea, and how I got mine. Eat mor chikin indeed.
What’s your current favorite loyalty card?