A lot of establishments nowadays offer discount cards for loyal customers and I’ve learned to love and take advantage of these promos to save money. Out of all the various local stores that have these membership loyalty programs, I have been able to accumulate the most points from Shoemart’s SM Advantage Card, Mercury Drug’s Suki Card and National Bookstore’s Laking National Card.
The mechanics of these loyalty cards are straightforward. Simply present them whenever you buy something and you earn points based from the amount of your purchase. For these three cards I mentioned above, it’s one point for every peso. The accumulated points can later be used as currency the next time you visit the store. Furthermore, your membership card can likewise be used to avail discounts and exclusive privileges in various establishments.
For example, you get free gift wrapping service during special occasions in National Bookstore if you have their Laking National Card. For SM Advantage, members can enjoy discounts and freebies from their various partner establishments such as Jollibee and Air Philippines. Recently, they’ve collaborated with Philam Insurance and members now automatically enjoy personal accident insurance benefits.
Applying for these discount cards are usually simple and easy. Just look for a customer service representative in the store and inquire on how you can become a member. Most of them will require you to pay a minimal fee while others will ask you to present accumulated receipts of a certain amount to prove that you are a loyal customer. Personally, I suggest that you simply make an outright payment for the card so you could immediately earn points. Besides, after doing some computation, the necessary amount of accumulated receipts you need to present to get a free membership is almost always equivalent to the cash rebate you could have gotten if that amount was converted to points. 😀
For those who go to stores other than than the three above and specially those living outside the Philippines, try to ask the establishments you frequently visit in your area if they have their own membership loyalty program. Furthermore, here are some quick tips on how to properly use and maximize your discount card:
- Always remember to bring them whenever you go out. Take care of it as if it’s your ATM or credit card and keep it in your wallet if possible to prevent you from misplacing them.
- Use it naturally. This means you don’t go out and shop for the sake of being able to use your card. Avoid impulse buying.
- When in line at the cashier and the shopper before you doesn’t have a loyalty card, depending on the situation, you can try to politely ask if you can use your card. Most of the time, they’d be glad to give you the points for their purchase.
- Be aware of the card’s benefits and remember the partner establishments where you can get discounts and special privileges.
- Buy in bulk if possible. You get to save more money while accumulating points faster.
For more information about the three membership loyalty programs I mentioned in this article, you can visit the following websites:
- Shoemart – SM Advantage Card
- Mercury Drug – Suki Card
- National Bookstore – Laking National Card
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