Store loyalty programs — worth the hassle or waste of time? We compared over 50 free reward programs and separated the winners from the wasters.
TIP: You have to sign up for Drop. It’s like a loyalty program for shoppers who follow the deals and aren’t loyal to one or two stores. You’ll get points every time you make a purchase at most top stores (think: Target, Amazon, Gap, Starbucks, Coscto…). The best part is that you can rack up points that convert into gift cards through Drop at the same time you’re racking up points through the store’s loyalty program. It’s like stacking loyalty points.
Here are the 17 best loyalty cards to get this year:
1. Save up to 20% by shopping five times per year with AutoZone Rewards.
Shop at AutoZone five times in 12 months and earn up to 20% cash back with AutoZone Rewards. Spend just $20 on each trip, and after the fifth trip in one year, you’ll receive a $20 reward issued to your AutoZone Rewards card. $20 back on as little as $100 spent makes AutoZone potentially the best free loyalty program this year!
2. Get 10% savings with Office Depot Rewards when you buy paper, toner, or copy services.
Get 10% back when you buy paper, toner, ink or copy/print/ship services at Office Depot/Office Max. As a rewards member, you’ll also get coupons and a special offer for your birthday. Plus, you can earn 200 points per used printer cartridge when you make a $10 purchase in the same month. Once you earn 1,000 points, get a certificate good for $10 in the store.
3. Get 5% savings plus extra coupons with Kohl’s Yes2You Rewards.
Kohl’s Yes2You Rewards earns you $5 for every $100 you spend. Plus, get 8 extra rewards offers per calendar year, like $5 off coupons and bonus points. You’ll also get a birthday present (I got a $10 cash coupon). Don’t forget you can use Kohl’s Yes2You rewards in addition to coupons on sale and clearance items. Want more? Learn 27 more genius ways to save money at Kohl’s.
4. Earn 5% back when you join Petco Pals Rewards.
5. Get 5% off at the register when you use your Target REDcard debit card.
Sign up for a Target REDcard debit card, and every time you make a purchase with it, you’ll get an automatic 5% off. Plus, enjoy free shipping when you order from Target.com along with 30 extra days to return items.
6. Earn 3.3% back with your DICK’s ScoreCard.
Get one point per $1 spent at DICK’s Sporting Goods, Field and Stream, or Golf Galaxy when you use your DICK’s ScoreCard. Once you hit 300 points, you’ll receive a $10 reward to use on future purchases at DICK’s. Plus, as a ScoreCard member, you’ll get exclusive coupons via mail or email.
7. Score bonus cash on your birthday, plus get 3.3% savings with Shopko’s My Extra Savings.
Earn a $10 cash coupon for every $300 dollars you spend in-store or online. Plus, get a bonus $10 to spend on a $50 purchase on your birthday and on the anniversary of your sign-up.
8. Get 3% in savings at Ulta Beauty when you use your Ultamate Rewards card.
Ultamate Beauty members get one point per $1 spent at Ulta, a birthday gift (plus double points during your birthday month), and invitations to exclusive events. The best part? You can also get 2x, 3x, or 5x the points on special offers. Redeem your points for $3 once you hit 100 points.
9. Get 2.5% in savings with JCPenney Rewards.
Get 1 point for every $2 you spend with JCPenney Rewards. And once you reach 200 points, you’ll receive a $10 Rewards certificate to use on future purchases. Points don’t expire as long as you buy one thing every calendar year at JCPenney.
10. Earn up to 2.5% savings and free shipping on qualifying purchases with My Best Buy Rewards.
You’ll earn 0.5 point per $1 spent on qualifying purchases at Best Buy. Once you hit 250 points, you’ll get a $5 reward certificate which you can spend in-store or online.
If you spend $1,500 per calendar year at Best Buy, you qualify for Elite status, and you’ll get 1 full point per $1 you spend (2% savings), free shipping with no minimum purchase amount, plus 30 days (instead of 15) to return a purchase.
If you spend $3,500 per calendar year at Best Buy, you’ll be a member of Elite Plus Access, and you’ll get 1.25 points per $1 spent (2.5% savings), free shipping, plus 45 days to return items.
11. Get 2% back on purchases and get ExtraBucks at the register with CVS ExtraCare Rewards.
CVS ExtraCare Rewards members qualify for in-store sale prices and ExtraBucks promotions. Plus, as a rewards member, you’ll get 2% cash back on your total spent, issued four times per year.
12. Save 1%-2% so you can up your fashion factor with Nordstrom Notes.
Earn one point per $1 spent at Nordy’s, Rack or HauteLook. Shop on bonus point days and earn extra points. For every 2,000 points you earn, you’ll get $20 to spend at Nordstrom. Points don’t expire for 3 years!
Sign up for the Nordstrom debit card and earn 2 points per $1 dollar plus early access to the Anniversary Sale, and you choose your own Personal Triple Point days. You’ll get 1% savings for the basic loyalty program and 2% savings if you go with the Nordstrom debit card option.
13. Earn 1%-1.2% savings with Walgreens Balance Rewards for walking, running, or riding your bike.
Walgreens Balance Rewards offers 10 points per $1 spent, plus bonus points for featured items which change every week. In addition to earning points with in-store purchases, you’ll earn when you make healthy choices like walking, running, cycling, testing your blood pressure, and more. The more points you earn, the more each point is worth. For example, point redemption starts at $5 for 5,000 points (1% savings) and goes up to $50 for $40,000 points (1.2% savings).
14. Learn 4 different ways to save 1% with your Rite Aid wellness+Plenti card.
Earn Plenti points on purchases made at Macy’s, Exxon/Mobile, and AT&T. At Rite Aid, buy participating products and earn Plenti Points to redeem on a future order. 100 Plenti points equals $1 in savings. You can even buy body wash at Rite Aid and earn Plenti Points to spend on gas at Exxon/Mobile. Plus, get over $100 in coupons to use at Rite Aid with the Plenti Load2Card coupons.
Related: 12 Proven Ways to Save at Old Navy
15. Save 1% on fuel with your Kroger Rewards Card.
Earn 1 point per 1 gallon of gas when you gas up at a Kroger fuel center with your Kroger Rewards card. Each Kroger chain has its own version of the card, but the fuel rewards are the same at Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, Smith’s, QFC, and other Kroger family stores.
(If you happen to have a Fred Meyer in your area, cardholders get 1 point per $1 spent in-store too. If you earn 500 points in one quarter, you’ll get a $25 Rewards Rebate that you can use on your next purchase, just like cash. That’s 5% savings!)
16. Earn 1% savings and access digital coupons with Sears Shop Your Way Member Program.
Sears Shop Your Way members get 10 points for every $1 spent at Sears, K-Mart, or Lands’ End. Once you hit 1,000 points, you’ll get $1 in savings. Members also get access to exclusive digital coupons. Just load the offers you like to your phone, and the cashier will scan your phone at checkout.
17. Sephora Beauty Insiders earn 1% back in points to redeem for free beauty samples.
Sephora Beauty Insiders earn one point for every dollar spent at Sephora. Get a free gift on your birthday plus a selection of free samples to “purchase” with points. Once you reach 100 points, cash in on prizes like perfume, anti-aging cream, mascara, and more. Note that the more you spend at Sephora, the more opportunities for deals and savings.
Spend $350 in a year and become a VIB. Get more savings offers and one free custom makeover per year.
Spend $1,000 in a year and hit VIB Rouge status. Get free 2-day shipping on everything from Sephora.com, along with access to a private beauty hotline, and invitations to exclusive events.
Want more ways to save? Get all the insider hacks from a Sephora employee.
Bonus: 3 stores with loyalty programs where you pay a little but get a lot.
Because these aren’t free, they don’t make the list. But don’t be confused, because these rewards programs are awesome if you’re already spending money at these stores.
1. Get special member pricing on products with Sally’s Beauty Club Card.
For $5 per year, you’ll get special member pricing on products all year long at Sally’s. But, every year, you’ll get a $5 reward you can use as soon as the next day, essentially making the program free. Your reward is good for one month.
2. Become an REI member and receive up to 10% cash back on your yearly purchases.
Pay $20 once in your lifetime and get access to REI’s dividend program. Every March you’ll get a check totaling 10% of the total amount of your previous year’s eligible purchases.
3. Join Starbucks Rewards and get a free birthday drink, plus free refills in-store.
With the recently revamped Starbucks Rewards, you’ll get 2 “stars” for every $1 you spend, and when you earn 300 stars in a year, you’ll hit Gold Status. Get a free drink for every 125 stars you earn and another on your birthday. If you don’t hit 300 stars in a year, your points reset and you’ll start over again. You must put $5 on a Starbucks card before you can get started, but your free birthday drink alone might earn that money back.