My kids were in that mood. You know, the one where if causing trouble was an Olympic sport, they’d be setting all time records. We were at the grocery store and they were careening down the aisles, knocking cereal off shelves in their wake—and sneaking giant bags of M&Ms into the cart when I wasn’t looking. I finally managed to wrangle my little wrecking crew up to the checkout line only to have further chaos ensue when the cashier asked if I wanted to use my rewards card.
Of course I wanted to use my frequent shopper card—if only I could track it down inside my giant handbag. I used to have a card for every store I frequented. Rewards were, and still are, a vital piece to my budget puzzle. The problem is, they seem next to impossible to organize (kind of like my kiddos).
While fumbling through coupons, credit cards, lipstick, hand sanitizer (and the collection of Matchbox cars my son must have added to the stash), I lost my hold on the purse, spilling the entire contents of my purse into a heap right there in the checkout line. My kids, eyes wide, watched silently as a blue truck rolled under the magazine rack. And that’s when I just had to laugh. Sitting proudly on top of the mess was the rewards card I been trying to hunt down.
I look back on that day now as my superhero origin story. My spilled purse was the lighting bolt I needed to go from a mild mannered mom into a super shopper. I had to take action, to simplify my multiple rewards program cards into a manageable shopping strategy. What I discovered that day was my own form of superhuman power. Now, regardless of which store I duck into for my weekly groceries, my kids’ school supplies, or my husband’s allergy meds, all of my rewards are in one easily accessible place—my smartphone—and yours should be too.
It’s no myth—it’s a free app. Here’s how you can also ditch multiple reward program cards for an easy (and fun) to use smartphone app.
Step #1: Ditch Rewards Program Cards You Never Use
I want you to start the process of freeing yourself from a jumble of rewards program cards by first opening up your purse or wallet. Go ahead and do it right now.
What do you see? If there are loyalty cards you don’t remember signing up for—let alone using in the past month—cluttering up your bag, then you have room for improvement, just like I did.
A valuable rewards program is one you remember to use. It’s one that’s easy to access when you visit your favorite stores and purchase your family’s trusted brands. More than that, though, it should encourage you to explore new products, new retailers, and new restaurants—and allow you to get paid for your adventurous shopping spirit. So, ditch the cards you don’t use. Make way for something new!
Step #2: Decide Which Rewards Program Features Are a Must Have
Take out your smartphone and open up the notepad, we’re going to make a list! Brainstorm the features that would make an all-in-one reward program app valuable for you. Here’s my own list to get you started:
- Free: A rewards program should be absolutely free of cost. Paying money when you’re trying to save money is something I would think long and hard about.
- Easy to use: Budgets are tough to stretch, but schedules can be even more inflexible. The less I have to do to use my rewards program, the more I love it.
- Works at your favorite stores: The best rewards programs are ones you can use at popular retail outlets like Target, Walmart, Whole Foods, and even the local grocery store around the corner—basically, the places you’re already going.
- Fun: Remember when shopping and fun used to be synonymous? With the right rewards program, finding deals can go from a necessity to a creative challenge, kind of like a scavenger hunt.
- All-in-one: One app should be all you need to start saving money like a superhero saves the planet!
Step #3: Download Your Shiny New Rewards Program App
Your smartphone is still out, right? Because it’s time to shop—the app store, that is.
There are a few different types of loyalty card apps to choose from, including apps that pay you for surveys, apps that give you coupons or discounts, and apps that reward points for the shopping you do anyway.
My personal app pick is Shopkick; it’s replaced nearly all of my old reward program cards. With Shopkick’s help, I accumulate and track rewards, then get paid for the shopping I already do when I trade in my points, called kicks, for gift cards to retailers like Target and Amazon—or the occasional mid-shopping spree treat at Starbucks (I think my supermom kryptonite is their Iced Caramel Macchiato).
Shopkick is always adding new gift card options to their lineup of stellar brands and retailers. Plus, it’s fun! It’s kind of like treasure hunting for gift cards for their users, affectionately known as Shopkickers. If shopping was starting to feel like a stressful day at work, Shopkick can make it feel like you’re at a game night with friends.
My Shopkick app is so much easier to find than that old stray rewards program card. Is it a universal truth that the one you need is always at the bottom of your bag, or what? I not only spilled out the contents of my purse that fateful day, I spilled out my shopping stress—and replaced it with Shopkick, my all-in-one shopping sidekick.
Ditch your collection of outdated rewards program cards and get your savings all in one place. Download Shopkick’s free app and join a community of loyal Shopkickers who’ve already discovered the rewards of shopping with a free, all-in-one smartphone app.