Financial Advice

4 Awesome Retailer Loyalty Programs

Are there certain retailers you frequent more often than you’d like to admit? Many retailers have loyalty programs that can be pretty rewarding, especially for those who shop on a regular basis.

First, a quick explainer on loyalty programs vs. store credit cards. There are retailer-specific rewards credit cards that can help shoppers earn bonuses for brand loyalty as well, but they may carry higher interest rates than the average credit card and they’ll likely require a credit check. Loyalty programs are mostly free (though some on our list do charge a fee) and they’re not a line of credit, even though they will reward you for shopping at the store.

A word of caution, though: While it’s good to get discounts and perks for what you do spend, be careful not to overspend for the sake of getting rewards. If you get into debt, what you end up paying in finance charges may outweigh the goodies you get for being such a good customer. (And if you get into a lot of debt, it can also have a negative impact on your credit – you can get your credit scores for free on to see how your debt is already impacting you.)

That said, membership does have its rewards. Here are four awesome loyalty programs that can really pay.

1. Starbucks

My Starbucks Rewards

How it works: Coffee addicts earn Stars by paying with their registered Starbucks, Teavana, or La Boulange Card or by using the mobile app. Select Starbucks products sold at grocery stores can also earn Stars.

What you get: Free drinks, free food, custom offers on items and early peeks at new products.

Bonus: App users receive a free featured iTunes song weekly.

2. Regal Entertainment Group

Regal Crown Club

How it works: Film buffs earn credits for tickets and concession purchases.

What you get: Free popcorn, free drinks and, of course, movie tickets.

Bonus: Members-only sneak previews of upcoming films.

3. Bloomingdale’s

Bloomingdale’s Loyallist

How it works: Members earn points for every dollar they spend, be it online, in-store or at outlets. Cosmetics and fragrances earn double points.

What you get: Free shipping every day—no minimum purchase required.

Bonus: A $25 gift card every time you reach 5,000 points.

4. Sephora

Sephora Beauty Insider

How it works: Every dollar spent is a point toward rewards.

What you get: Beauty swag worth 100 and 500 points, seasonal promotions and free beauty classes. Spend $350 to unlock VIB status, and $1,000 for VIB Rouge.

Bonus: Free birthday gifts that you’ll actually love, such as Satin Lip Pencils from Nars.

What other great loyalty programs are out there? Click here to see more…

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This article by Kali Geldis was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.