We live in the age of loyalty. Companies offer various loyalty programs to incentivize you to become their number one customer. They lure you in with double points, cashback, money for referrals, and a plethora of other things that appeal to your six senses. It can be tough to discern from all of the intense loyalty programs that promise so much but may give you so little. I am going to share with you 5 shocking ways to boost your income using loyalty programs.
Double Dipping with Gas and Groceries
In the last 5-10 years, grocery stores have started adding fuel stations to their repertoire. If you have not noticed this, that is okay because for the last 5-10 years I have not paid attention to the Gas Stations next to these big brand grocery stores and stuck to my typical gas station like QT. I shopped like normal but depending on the time of day and when my wife and I were available we normally shopped at Walmart on Saturdays. To make a long story short the very first way to maximize your money using loyalty programs is to shop at a big brand grocery store and get your gas at their gas station. To bring my point home let me share with you how I am taking advantage of this trick. This year Kroger made an awesome decision and opened up a brand new store 2 minutes away from my apartment complex along with their gas station. The added convenience and because we love Kroger my wife and I started to shop weekly at Kroger. Even though my wife is amazing at managing money and helping us stay on budget I wanted to test the waters and see how it would benefit us if we used their rewards program double by, buying at their grocery store every single week and using their gas station anytime we needed to get gas. This past week due to our combination of being loyal customers and being a part of their rewards program we were able to get gas for $2.17 a gallon instead of $2.47 a gallon. That allowed us to get more gallons for our same budget which we try to keep at $25 a week. Gas prices are of course going to fluctuate and that can be expected but because we shop consistently every week at Kroger and get gas every week those points add up quickly. More importantly, this reward program is free and the only cost you are spending is money you are already needing to spend which is on groceries and gas. Kroger of course is not the only one with a rewards program. However, in my personal opinion it is the best one out there.
Loyalty Referral Programs
There are a ton of great companies out there that will pay you for every friend that signs up for their free program and then continue to pay you a percentage for all their continuing purchases.
Loyalty Retail Programs
This one is probably going to be obvious but I want to go over it anyway because I am all about covering the bases. Whether you are out with your friends or a significant other you can take advantage of free loyalty programs for eating out and shopping. Depending on the program you will earn so many points for every dollar spent. If your family is not a fan of being a part of these simple rewards program tell them they can use your number when they are shopping or eating out at your favorite places so you can earn the points even quicker. Free meals and significant discounts on clothing can be quite a lifesaver. The money that you would have spent on that free meal you can turn right around and put into a savings account for a rainy day or even do some investing with it. My wife and I take advantage of programs with Kohls, Cicis Pizza, Texas Roadhouse, PF Changs. Since she is a teacher she utilizes Teachers Pay Teachers. There are so many retailers adding loyalty programs. Take advantage of these simple free loyalty programs. You shop there anyway so you may as well get rewarded for your loyalty as their customer. They want you to.
Loyalty Travel Programs
For those of you that are on the road all the time have you ever considered being a part of the rewards programs for all the travel companies like the hotel’s chains, rental car companies, airlines, etc.? Even better if you are working for a company right now that does reimbursement for your travel expenses you can use your rewards account and earn those points. However, with that being said for those of you who don’t travel for work but rather travel more for vacation purposes to get away for some relaxation this is also good for you to consider. Aimee and I took a trip this summer to upstate New York to visit family and because of previous nights stays at this hotel chain we had points saved up. When we got to the hotel that night our name was up as Loyalty Member of the Day. I have to admit it was pretty cool seeing our name upon a sign that was out of state but at a hotel chain, we loved to stay at. It was a blessing to be able to also save money and visit our family because we had taken advantage of being a part of their loyalty program. This also helped us be able to get a rental car for the week. These simple travel loyalty programs are also free to sign up and in the long run, are going to help for your long vacations.
Loyalty Cash-Back Programs
This last trick ties into the first trick which was doubling up on a program where you can earn points getting both gas and groceries allowing you to save some money on gas and help keep your gas budget in check and your bank account with more dollars. In this case, I am referring to simple cashback reward programs that you can use to get cashback on your grocery shopping. This can be done by using apps such as Ibotta and Checkout 51. The way that these Apps work is quite simple. They have weekly and daily deals on certain products at certain grocery stores. You can add these to your shopping list and when you buy them you are going to select them in the App and Upload a copy of the receipt in the app for verification that you did purchase the item. Once you reach a certain threshold you can then cash that back out to get that money back. Typically the money will be sent to a Paypal account. There are also other Apps such as Dosh and Drop that when you shop through the App you can cash back from shopping at your favorite stores.