Why you should be disloyal with your loyalty cards

Why you should be disloyal with your loyalty cards


Why you should be disloyal with your loyalty cards might seem like a bit of a contradictory heading.  After all, isn’t the purpose of loyalty cards to reward loyalty?  It turns out that you will be rewarded much more by being disloyal.  Here’s how.


What kinds of loyalty programs reward disloyalty?


We are not talking about the types of loyalty programs that involve a loyalty card with the little squares to be stamped with each purchase.  This involves the loyalty programs where you scan a barcode on your loyalty card with each purchase, the type that are tracking your spending habits and collecting huge amounts of data; namely Everyday Rewards from Woolworths and FlyBuys from Coles.  These loyalty cards are taking note of each shopping trip you make, how much you spend, and what you spend it on.  While the idea of the big supermarkets collecting so much information about your shopping habits may seem a little daunting, there are actually ways you can work their system to your advantage.


Loyalty cards encouraging you to spend more


The big supermarkets hand out these loyalty cards in the hope that you will keep heading back to their stores and will spend up big, and in return be rewarded with a few reward points.  In the last few years, the big supermarkets have been trying to entice their reward members to spend even more than they usually do, by offering spend and save type promotions.  The idea is that you spend a certain amount each shopping trip, set at a level higher than you would normally spend, and you are rewarded with a discount to be used on a future shopping trip.  These promotions are completely tailored to your spending habits, so the amount you need to spend and the return you get will be completely different to other peoples, it’s all worked out off your usual spending habits.  The biggest rewards from loyalty programs are not in the points, but in the bonus offers.


How can you work the system to your advantage?


Now that you know the little trick that the supermarkets use to get you to spend more, you can turn it around and make it work for your benefit.  The best way to do this is to not scan your rewards card in any given weeks shopping.  The loyalty program will take note that you haven’t shopped with that particular shop in a certain week, and this will often trigger a special offer to be emailed to you, to encourage you to head back to that shop. It’s that simple.  For example, you might usually spend $100 a week in your local Woolworths.  If you scan your Everyday Rewards Card this week, Woolworths will think you haven’t shopped with them this week, and it will often trigger and offer to be offered, such as spend $100 and get a $20 gift card for your next shop.  You might miss out on a few points when you don’t scan your card, but you have gained much more value from the gift card reward.  So basically, the less you spend, the more you are rewarded.

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