Tag Archives: Best Buy

Best Buy changes its rewards program

There’s good news for those of you who shop frequently at Best Buy. The company announced this week that your Reward Zone points will no longer expire at the end of each calendar year.

In a previous post, I pointed out that Best Buy’s expiration policy could mean that your points would expire a few days after you earned them. Now, the company says as long as you have activity in your account once every 12 months, your points will never expire.

Kudos to Best Buy for making this positive change! The company also announced that:

  • Purchases made on your Reward Zone credit card with a promotional financing offer will no longer qualify for Reward Zone points.
  • Purchases made with promotional financing will continue to count toward the program’s Premier Silver status level.

To learn more about Best Buy Reward Zone, visit this Web page.

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Dick’s Sporting Goods, Best Buy rewards programs need improvement

Rewards are a way for companies to show they care about customers. Acknowledging your patrons’ loyalty with the lure of a bonus can prompt them to choose your store over a competitor’s. Many companies offer bonus points you collect each time you make a purchase, then allow you to pool those points for discounts on a future purchase.

I try to save money everywhere possible, so I gladly enrolled in the free rewards programs offered by Dick’s Sporting Goods and Best Buy. I was surprised by a recent email indicating I had no points in my Dick’s “Scorecard” account, because I know I purchased more than one item at Dick’s last year. When I asked a sales representative at the local store if points expire, she said “no” and advised me to log into my account at mydickssportinggoods.com. I did just that when I returned home but found no record of my 2012 purchases. I went to the site’s FAQ page and found the following:

  • Will my points ever expire?

    Yes, all points balances will be reset to 0 on the Sunday closest to January 31st of each year.”

So, it turns out the sales rep was incorrect. Not only that, but the way I read this policy, your points could expire within a few days of your purchase if you buy something in the month of January.

Another company I make occasional purchase from is Best Buy, which offers a program called “Reward Zone.” The program’s website indicates a practice similar to the Scorecard program:

  • “At the beginning of every calendar year, the points in your account (except Premier Silver members and Reward Zone Gamers Club Unlocked members) will be issued as reward certificates down to the $5 level, and any remaining points will be forfeited. You will begin getting points for the new calendar year on January 1. For example, if you have 300 points, you will receive a $5 reward certificate (250 points) and you will forfeit 50 points.”

If these and other companies want to show customers they truly value them, they should not apply 12-month expiration policies to their rewards programs. I can see the wisdom of expiring points every 3-5 years to save the company the expense of recordkeeping on inactive customers. But every 12 months (or less, in the case of Dick’s Sporting Goods)?

If you have points in a store’s rewards program, be sure to check the expiration policy so you can make an informed decision on the timing of your next purchase and not miss out on savings opportunities.

Do you participate in a rewards program that doesn’t allow points to expire? What retailer rewards programs do you find most valuable?

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Filed under Customer service, Rewards programs, Saving money, Shopping tips

Quadruple fuel points are back at Kroger

Now through April 7, you can earn quadruple fuel points at Kroger on the gift cards you purchase. Your total points earned will be four times the card’s value. So, a $25 gift card earns you 100 fuel points, and those 100 points entitle you to 10 cents off each gallon of gas you purchase in a single fill-up at a Kroger fuel center. A $100 gift card would net you a 40-cent fuel discount.

There are some important exclusions to keep in mind. You’ll find details in this previous post, along with the reason I stock up on gift cards for myself during these types of promotions.

Available cards at my local Kroger store include Lowe’s, Home Depot, Barnes & Noble, McDonald’s, Best Buy, Shell fuel stations and many more.

Kroger last ran this promotion at Christmas time, so it might be a while before you see it again. Consider what spring and summer birthdays are on your shopping list, and you could cash in on the extra points for those purchases now.

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Save money by buying online and picking up items in the store

Whether you want a movie on DVD, a new vacuum cleaner, a replacement water heater or an Apple iPad2, your first inclination may be to run down to your local store and buy one. But taking this approach can lead you to miss out on savings you’d get by prepaying for the item online.

As I mentioned in a previous post, you can get cash back for transactions you conduct with many major retailers by starting your shopping at the Ebates website. By going to Ebates and purchasing your item online, you can get the cash back and still pick up the item at your local store. For example, this week I had to buy a new water heater. I went through Ebates to access the Lowe’s website, then purchased the item and elected “store pickup” at checkout. By doing so, I got $7.29 back that I wouldn’t have received if I’d simply driven to Lowe’s and bought the item off the shelf. If I’d preferred to earn miles for my purchase instead, I could have used the Delta Skymiles Shopping or a similar website to complete the same purchase.

Lowe’s isn’t the only company allowing you to buy items online and pick them up in the store the same day. You can also do this at Home Depot, AutoZone, ToysRUs, Finish Line, J&R and Walmart. Sears promises to have your item ready for you within five minutes. Best Buy says your order may be ready within 45 minutes. When possible, order early in the day or the night before you want to get the item so you can minimize your waiting time at the store.

Most stores send you an email confirmation of your purchase that you take with you when picking up the item, and they may send an additional email to tell you when the item is ready for pickup. Have your driver’s license handy in case the store wants to confirm your identity. Some websites give you the option of specifying other people who are authorized to pick up your order for you.

In addition to the cash back or frequent flyer miles you can earn for shopping online, you may also be able to apply Web-only discount coupons to your order.

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