Yes, I saved $5!

Why do stores have discount cards? Is it because they want to be nice? Hook you up with some great deals?

Not really. You might think that you are winning because you are saving two dollars on a loaf of bread or three dollars because you bought two boxes of cereal instead of one. However, you are not the real champion; the store is.

By using a store discount card, you are giving away very valuable information. Information about you, what you buy, when you buy it and how often you do so. The store is now able to track your purchases and your spending’s, something that is in their favor. If they can see what you buy and how often, they can specifically target you. When you swipe your loyalty card, the store obtains valued information that they can use to get you back in their store to spend more money.

Of course, the stores won’t tell you this. They want you to think that you are being rewarded for being a loyal customer, and sure, you are, since the word loyal translates to profit in their ears. Because the cost of obtaining a new customer is around five times as high, stores always try to find ways to get you back in the door.


Just think about it, by looking at what you are buying stores know that you prefer a certain brand of soy milk over another, or a certain kind of chips for example. It is not a coincidence that you are getting coupons and offers for items that you frequently purchase. Once you swipe that “loyalty” card your purchase history goes straight into the stores computer system and they can start analyzing it. Your buying habits are being compared to other customers to figure out patterns, trends and other valuable information that can benefit the store.

I do have a Harris Teeter Vic (Yes, I’m a very important customer) card myself and I do get excited when I save 4 dollars on ice-cream. However, I do understand the idea behind a store card and that every time I swipe that Vic card my shopping spree is being analyzed into a statistic that is used to target shoppers.

How do you feel about store cards? Do you have a Harris Teeter card, or any other customer loyalty card?

–  Olivia Nilsson

4 thoughts on “Yes, I saved $5!

  1. I have commented on your post before Olivia, I find this one so interesting. Dr. Persuit had mentioned this in class about the store cards and I was so surprised at the real reason stores actually have them and encourage customers to sign up for them. I’m all about saving money or finding a deal, and that’s how they get you!

  2. I noticed whenever I purchase something online, I will see that company advertising other sales or promotions going on, which makes me think that they as well track what your interest are and what you like to purchase. I like how Harris Teeter sends me specific coupons of items that I have purchased in the past because I love saving money and it makes me want to purchase that item again since I will be saving money.

  3. To me I love store cards because regardless if the store is winning or not I am happy that I saved 2 dollars on ice cream. So to me they are great. I do not have a Harris Teeter card but I do have a Sam’s Club card and a Food Lion card.

  4. I’m guilty to having a store card to Harris Teeter, CVS, and Lowes Foods, but even though they may track what I buy and don’t buy I still feel as if I am still saving more money than someone who doesn’t have a card. I know they track what we buy, but I don’t feel as if it is to gyp us out, I feel as if they need the information to see what they should supply more of and how popular the products are for future references.

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