Thursday, April 4, 2013

Are you loyal?

The battle of the loyalty cards... is definitely worth being caught in the middle of. I think the affinity mindset has been around for quite some time. But there was a time that only big establishments offer a way to entice their customers with perks and privileges. There were trips and big ticket items attached to point accumulation. I remember gawking at Citibank's and  BPI's reward catalogues. 

And then there's Rustan's Frequent Shopper card. Unlike today, the accumulation of points and its peso equivalent was easier to remember and more attractive, to me at least. Then, you get P600 for every P20,000 accumulated purchase. It was a good time. Today, I've given up on it. 

These days, the cards I faithfully carry around are the ones I find more useful and worth the membership fee. And to me the following is their hierarchy of value for money, accessibility and usefulness. 

Here it goes. 

1. Bench Loyalty Card
    Membership Fee: P100 (Lifetime)
I've had mine for almost a decade now. And I've bought many stuff from my points, even hair cuts.

Winning Features: 
> It's an all-in-one card for all Bench shops including salons -- Bench, Aldo, Charles & Keith, La Senza, PCX, First Aid, Celio, F&X, The Face Shop, Dimensione, Mothercare, Bench Salons and Bench Fix Studios
> For every P10,000 accumulated purchase = P200 peso points 

2. Rustan's Fresh
   Membership Fee: P200 (Lifetime)
                           FREE (for accumulated purchase of P5000 90 days prior to application) 
Winning Features:
> It can be used in either Rustan's Supermarket or Shopwise 
> For every P10,000 accumulated purchase = P100 peso points

  Membership Fee: FREE
I've flown so many FREE flights from my mileage. And even awarded it to family members. So awesome!
  Winning Feature:
> Miles earned can be exchanged for free flights

4. Fully Booked
   Membership Fee: 
   Option 1: Spend P10,000 on a single receipt, get it FREE
   Option 2: Spend P15,000 on accumulated purchase within the year, get it FREE
   Option 3: Pay P700 

An absolute must for bookworms!
 Winning Features:
> 10% discount on cash purchases
> 5% discount on card purchases
> exclusive perks to partner establishments

Winning Features: 
> point accumulation that can be used for free mani-pedi sessions or hand/foot massages
> birthday treat 

Winning Features: 
> Advantage points to be used for shopping in all SM stores including Watson's, Forever 21, Uniqlo, ACE Hardware

7. Marks & Spencer

Winning Features:
> You can always find nice giftables at Marks & Spencer especially during the holidays so it really come in handy 

Winning Features: 
> Free upgrades, priority booking, unlimited internet/wifi

There's also Mercury Drug's Suki Card, S&R Membership Shopping, Ayala Card, Healthy Options and a whole lot more. 

We live in a consumerist world. Loyalties are bound to be teased by perks and offers every player in the market can conjure. The question is how do we measure loyalty these days? 

Is it number of visits? Is it the average purchase of the consumer? 

Whatever the measure, my greatest question is when do we strike the balance between consuming (and being in debt) and saving? Where does the scale tips? According to the BSP, only 2 out of 10 Filipinos have savings account. 

In a country where retirement benefits aren't enough for the gray years, are we all perpetuating a culture of absolute consumerism? When did the concept of saving for the rainy days fade out from our consciousness? 



No comments:

Post a Comment