Rewards Programs are Usually Not Worth It

Myer sent me a $20 card as I am part of its rewards program.

I went to Myer one day and noticed that just about everything there was over $20, so no matter what I buy, I’d have to spend my own money.

This made me realize that a company can easily give away $20 vouchers to customers and fund it by lifting the prices of everything in the store by $20.

This demonstrates why most rewards programs are not worth it. Even if you are getting a discount, that discount cannot come out of nowhere. It is normally funded for by higher prices. Even if you are getting a free product from points accrued over many months, you have really paid for that product when you overspent numerous times earlier in order to accrue those points.

Rewards programs can be useful for products that are unique that you would have bought anyway. For example, there is a cafe near my work I usually use. I like this cafe because it is one of few Melbourne CBD cafes that give you the option of using almond milk in its coffee. The cafe also has friendly staff. Because I would go to this cafe anyway, I figure it makes sense to use their rewards or loyalty program to get “free” coffee every once in a while.

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