win the lottery. You either? Pfft. But today WAS a lucky day. I earned a free sandwich.
Take THAT, Friday the 13th!
(it’s the little things)
There's a lunch place near my office called Chop't, and every day no matter what time you go, the line is out the door. If you're not familiar, they're like the Cold Stone Creamery of salads. You pick your lettuce and your mix-ins, and a little dude behind the glass dumps it on the counter and dices it all up so there's dressing in every bite. Yum. You can have it in a bowl, or in a wrap.
I go for the Santa Fe. With bacon. And Russian. I'm sure there's a vegetable hidden in there somewhere.
Anyway, with every 9 you buy, the 10th is free. Nevermind that you've probably spent $100 bucks to get the free one. It's still a happy day when the Frequent Chop'r Card (no joke, that's the name) pays a dividend.
So Tax Day is almost upon us, and my hand is cramping from writing checks to Uncle Sam, the Big Apple, and Sal my accountant (surely it's not from stuffing free sammies down my gullet). For some reason I cannot explain, every single year I either break even or have to pay. Well, except for the ONE time this century that I got a refund and I stupidly used it on movers.
I would have rather given my $ to the government.
My depleted bank account and this sandwich-induced euphoria got me to thinking of the other loyalty programs I love...
Sephora Beauty Insider
What You Get: Discounts, free samples with every 100 pts, special gifts with 500 pts, and a treat on your bday
Why I Love It: I have earned VIB status, based on the sheer quantity of lip gloss I buy and my irrational desire to smell like Jennifer Aniston at all times.
Best Buy Reward Zone
What You Get: A $5 certificate for every 250 pts, a visit from the Geeks, and free shipping
Why I Love It: I earned Premier Silver status here. You'd be surprised how many points you get for buying the full series of Dawson's Creek on DVD. That's the gift that just keeps on giving.
CVS Extra Care
What You Get: ExtraBucks to spend in the store
Why I Love It: Because you can combine these discounts. So on my last visit, I got Easter cards for the fam, a Reese's Peanut Butter egg (next to Peeps, it is the best Easter candy in all the land), nail polish remover, and a roll of toilet paper for FREE.
American Express Membership Rewards
What You Get: Points for every dollar you spend, which can be used to buy more stuff
Why I Love It: You can use these points on Amazon, just like cash, which made me the world's greatest daughter when I got my Dad a free Kindle for Christmas a few years back. But then they came out with much cooler ones. And now he wants an upgrade to the Fire. Good thing I charge my rent (kidding, they don't take Amex -- just Visa).
Jet Blue True Blue
What You Get: Free flights with no blackout dates and points that never expire
Why I Love It: Since I'm now an honorary retiree with all my trips to Del Boca Vista, I get a free trip at least once a year. You get points for checking in online. Plus when they screw something up, they give you more points. I'm ok with that, but wonder how many points they doled out to the folks on the flight with Captain Crazypants?
Now, maybe you're thinking... why spend a couple grand to earn a sandwich, a perfume sample, $5 coupons, a lame-ass Kindle, and a ticket to sweaty Florida?
Simple: Because I like free things. Even if I'm paying for them.
Plus I've recently graduated from extreme couponing to hoarding, so this fits right in.
List YOUR favorite loyalty programs below (fair warning: if Dave & Busters or Hooters makes this list, I will judge you)...