Five Reward Programs that Have Earned My Loyalty

When it comes to winning customer loyalty, every company’s got a gimmick, from free popcorn on Fridays to vacation giveaways. While there are plenty of reward programs that offer absolutely nothing worthwhile, there are a few cases where the enticements have worked – at least on me – and I will continue to be a happy and loyal customer. Here are some reward programs that are worth a closer look.

Subway Reward Points

In addition to being one of the healthiest fast food options, Subway is the only chain of its type (that I know of) that offers any sort of customer incentive program. Aside from that…I just like the sandwiches. Every dollar I spend earns one reward point, and points can be redeemed for free sides, drinks, or subs. Enrolling is absolutely free, so if it’s a place you frequent, consider signing up.

My Starbucks Rewards

All you have to do to earn rewards from Starbucks is pay with a registered gift card, and if you’re going to be spending money on their coffee, you might as well get something back. Customers earn a “star” for each time they pay with their card, and there are three reward levels, each with different perks. Everyone in the program gets free drink customization (free flavor shots, etc.) which is an immediate savings, and I get a free drink of my choice every 15 stars I earn.

DSW Rewards

When I go shoe shopping, I almost always go to DSW. Their rewards program offers a $10 gift certificate for every 1500 points earned, and I get 10 points for every $1 I spend in-store or online. They also send a $5 gift certificate on my birthday, regardless of my point balance. There are other perks as well, like free shipping on online orders and occasional coupons.

Macy’s Star Rewards

I generally don’t go for department store credit cards, but Macy’s is an exception. Anytime I pay with the card, I get a portion of the sale back on a gift card – 3% for Macy’s purchases and 1% for all others. Other program benefits include upfront discounts for paying with the card and the ability to return items with no receipt.

Carnival’s Past-Guest Program

Almost every cruise line has a loyalty program, and Carnival just happens to be my favorite. If you cruise often, it’s probably worth it to find one line you like and stick with it, since reward programs offer some nice perks. Carnival now has three past-guest levels offering things like priority reservations, free casino credits, and guaranteed dining times. Just having priority embarkation and debarkation alone is enough to keep me coming back.

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