Can’t live without your Fenty lip gloss? Fortunately loyalty often comes with perks. These are the easy-to-nav rewards programs and why taking the time to sign-up is often worth the confusion.
- Easy to get
- No charger
- Left handed use only
- Supports only Apple products
- Low storage
Even though I was raised by a woman who saved every box top and soup label, I’ve never been a coupon cutter. My mother is so dedicated to the cause that she insists on ringing items up separately if she can’t use more than one discount in a transaction. I, on the other hand, toss circulars into the recycling bin promptly upon receipt.
Rewards programs are a different matter. There’s literally thousands of retailers at our fingertips, and I make an effort to find the ones who value customer loyalty. If a company puts effort into creating a system that benefits returning shoppers, I subconsciously feel more satisfied with my purchase. But not all reward programs are created equal. Many brands, such as CVS, offer rewards in the form of discounts that either expire quickly or are difficult to track. (This brings me back to my coupon aversion: Who has the time and mental capacity to make sure they purchase a specific brand of toothpaste within a designated time frame?)
My personal favorites are rewards programs that are flexible and realistic. The frequency of which you shop, often has little to do with your worth—and retailers that recognize the different shopping habits of customers typically excel when it comes to engaging them. That means offering rewards that aren’t just functional and timely, but are also of value: they offer an emotional or monetary benefit that can’t be found anywhere else.
Going ‘Rogue’ at Sephora
True story: This past December, I almost dropped $247 on products I didn’t need to achieve Rogue status at Sephora. Its Beauty Insider program is free to join, and it’s easily one of my favorites. As a member, you can earn free or heavily discounted two-day shipping, custom makeovers, birthday gifts, and more. Plus, every purchase is converted into points that can be redeemed at a magical place called the Rewards Bazaar.
Ever notice all the cute sample-size products on display at check-out? You can use your points to snag as many—or as few—as you’d like. (Think mini Fenty Beauty lipsticks, Tarte cleansing oils, and Living Proof product sets.) Even if you don’t see a product or brand you’ve been wanting to try, the samples make excellent travel toiletries and stocking stuffers. And when you shop online, you can redeem your points for exclusive products (like an artist-designed palette) and experiences (such as a master class or professional beauty treatment).
Inside Scoop on Gilt Groupe
Although Gilt still refers to its customers as “members,” it’s no longer the exclusive shopping destination it was 10 years ago. Its rewards program, Gilt Insider, however, has brought a little bit of that members-only experience back to the site.
The membership levels build onto each other, with the introductory level offering exclusive access to curated sales and 30 days of unlimited shipping for less than $10. The most prestigious level, Noir, gives you access to preview—and shop—sales before anyone else, in addition to awarding you priority for waitlisted items. Regardless of your Insider status, every dollar spent earns you five points, which can be redeemed for a discount on the future purchase of your choosing. Bonus: Gilt City is also part of the Insider program, which means you can earn rewards for things like concert tickets, wine tastings, fitness classes, meal subscription services, and more.
Freebies at Madewell
Crew’s sister brand, Madewell, offers a stacked rewards program with statuses that are actually achievable. Plus, the benefits are so awesome that you’ll probably question your reading comprehension. (Answer: You read correctly.)
Madewell Insider is the most basic tier. If you spend less than $500 in a calendar year, you’ll still receive a birthday gift, access to special events, and complimentary services like monogramming, denim hemming, shipping, and returns. That’s right, free monogramming and hemming. And when you hit the $1,000 mark, you’ll get a collectable tote, semi-annual gifts, and a dedicated concierge phone line. While there aren’t any point-based perks, members also receive a little extra love in the form of sporadic discounts—although you’ll hardly need the incentive to shop.