From an early age, we are taught that if we are patient and behave well, we will get rewarded. Back in my early days of elementary school, I remember teachers using the points system in order to reward good behavior. Little Johnny or Jane would get a star every time she helped out or was quiet during story time. Eventually Johnny/Jane would accumulate enough stars to get some sort of reward such as a certificate or candy.
You can consider this to be either good or bad, but points can indicate who is better, which team is better. I remember playing all kinds of learning games during class, where the class was split into two. Whoever accumulated the most points within a certain amount of time was the winner. Kids would get competitive and argue to the death if the receiving of a point was questionable. Who doesn’t remember writing those ticks on the chalkboard?
Points are present in sports in the form of goals, baskets, and touchdowns. Athletes are required to score points within a limited amount of time. They are used to evaluate the artistic and technical merit of figure skaters.
The good – They are also used by consumers to get a discount on purchases.
The bad– Depending on the points program, which varies between stores, they can take FOREVER to accumulate.
The ugly– You may end buying a lot of things you don’t necessarily need just to get those points and boost you to the next reward level.
What’s even worse is that sometimes the points can be pointless in my opinion. I’m quite disappointed to say that my beloved beauty care store, Sephora has a below par rewards system. Sure, they have a ton of freebies, but their points system sucks. It’s a point for every dollar you spend, with 100 points being the minimum amount in which you can get a featured product. It’s not too hard to accumulate that amount, considering a lot of products can start at $30 and up. Not to mention the fact that there is one product that does one thing, but you also need this product that does this ONE thing and this other product that only does ONE THING. I was told that you can’t accumulate points to get money off your purchases (which sucks and was the ONE THING I loved about rewards systems).
To me, it almost seemed pointless to rack up points (haha), because none of the products featured were products I wanted in the first place. In my honest opinion, some of the products seemed like they were too generic and didn’t apply to me.
For someone who has almost next to no patience (I think Daisy from addvodka could relate), rewards programs that make it seem like you have to go through a ton of purchases are a pain the you know what just to get a measly $10 off. Yes, I’m talking to you Shopper’s Drug Mart.
I’m pretty sure when Shopper’s first rolled out their Optimum points program awhile back, the first points level was 5000 (correct me if I’m wrong). Then, for whatever reason, the points system has changed and it now sits at 8000. So now I have to wait even longer or make even more purchases to get to the first level.
I know they have a lot of products where you can score 2x or 3x the points or get a ton of points for purchasing a certain product. From time to time they’ll boost the point accumulate even more over the weekend or if you spend $75 or more. I don’t recall the spending amount ever being less than $75. While Shopper’s has made itself more competitive by offering grocery items and other non-drug store items, I still find their prices a bit in the higher range, thus I rarely shop there. Since I rarely shop there, it will delay my point accumulation even more.
Petro Canada’s accumulation of points is also a long, slow journey. Aside from the odd car wash, I don’t purchase anything else from the gas station, except, well, gas. You get 5 points for every litre of gas you purchase. I have a 50 L tank. In order to get that fuel savings reward card, in which you get 5 cents off/litre, you need to rack up 12,000 points. I buy gas 2-3 times a month. If you do the math, you’ll realize that in my case, it’ll take almost 1.5 years (16 months) to get those 5 cents off.
Not all points systems are painfully slow.
My absolute favourite is PC Plus. On top of receiving points with my PC Financial MasterCard, which I use on a regular basis, I am a PC Plus member. I’ll admit that they do have a ton of products which can be impulse buys just to get the points, but they also send you a weekly email with offers tailored to you. You can get points on certain products that you actually purchase on a regular basis. I have personally found this one to be the best rewards program thus far.