The joys of being a loyal to your brand.

Shopping these days has become a little more interesting over the past decade with many opting large businesses opting to get more for bang for their buck – from you that is.

It doesn’t matter if it’s shoes, flying or petrol – the big players are getting smart.

Let’s look at some big things that have come up:

  • Petrol vouchers – so Coles and Woolworth got onto the right idea. Reward customers by shopping, then give them a small discount at the petrol bowser on mark up prices set by the so called ‘market.’ Money goes to them anyway. Recently Coles expanded the discount to 8 cents, Woolies caught up. 
  • Costco – Pay a membership fee, and get exclusive access and fund the profit of Costco. You’ll need to buy in bulk. Pretty straight forward, limited accessibility. Though it works.
  • Flybuys (very 90’s) – losing it’s edge. Woolworths Everyday rewards cards became king with it’s tie up with Qantas Frequent Flyers. Too easy, Virgin could have a stake but their own Velocity Rewards program is remarkable in itself.
  • Myriad of membership companies. Off the top of my head, a lot were with retail shopping fashion brands, Hoyts, Village,.
  • Crown Signature Club – Considering that you get points for a night out, you get $5 in chips, and access to lockers and parking, it’s an easy choice while you are there.

But essentially, all the players are there to try and get your money. I think take advantage of it. But how so; wouldn’t that mean you’d need to shop at the places all the time to reap the rewards. Not really. As I have discovered.

  1. Sign up to free offers. Be suspicious if you have to pay; do the calculations. Are you going to spend an amount that warrants the savings by being a member/possible reward. Opportunity costs are everywhere.
  2. You don’t have to change your shopping habits. Use the card to your advantage.

Example, fly Qantas. Don’t want to buy a membership – join up with Everyday Rewards where you can join free. 

Village Movie Membership, I have a Hoyts, because my friends can never decide where. Offers usually accumulate.

Velocity Rewards, I got points from flying and using Virgin Mobile.

Rivers – member offers crop up, with some very worthwhile markdowns.

Frequent flying is a similar story. There are numerous stories of being upgraded before other passengers if a flight is overbooked. The complimentary upgrade, and other shenanigans. But I think it’s useful to maintain track of your flights and such.