#369 Finally getting something free off your loyalty card

I have a fat wallet.

Stuffed to the gills with plastic cards and old receipts it sort of looks like a messy paper sandwich. I barely squeeze it into my jeans and when I sit down it sharply jabs my leg, cutting off all blood supply from my femoral artery.

Every couple of months I get frustrated with the extra baggage and my dead, black leg so I sit down to perform emergency surgery on the kitchen counter. I furrow my brows and snap on some rubber gloves before cracking open its rib cage and digging in with both hands. Tiny folded pockets and little plastic card holders are combed through and shredded receipt guts fly … before I eventually collapse from exhaustion.

The sad part comes next when I try and close the cage back up and realize… it didn’t work. My wallet is still fat. It’s stuffed. It’s packed and I can barely close the thing.

Peering down with sad eyes I’m forced to slowly come to terms the root of my problems: that thick wad of loyalty cards. Hot salty tears drip onto my coffee punchcards and movie theater popcorn passes as I realize I always fall victim to their seductive ways.

I am an extremely cheap person so I sign up for every loyalty card offered to me. Drug store points, gas pump cards, grocery store deals — yes, yes, yes, I say, smiling eagerly and nodding my head with my tongue out like a Cocker Spaniel before stuffing another laminated card into my paper sandwich.

So! Stuffed-purse-and-fat-wallet penny pinchers of the world, heed my call: baggage, back pain, and blocked arteries are no laughing matter so when we finally glance at the cashier with a satisfied smile and toss a card full of stamps on the counter to score a free bran muffin… well just tell me that isn’t all worth it… and just tell me that isn’t all


Photos from: here, here, here, and here

42 thoughts on “#369 Finally getting something free off your loyalty card

  1. I, too, am a victim of the overstuffed wallet. Luckily I have a purse in which to stow the lofty piece, but it’s so irritating to dig through all my receipts and cards and checkbook and change and LOYALTY CARDS just to find a dollar. And, like you, every so often I just dump it out and sort through it. I can’t ever make myself get rid of the loyalty cards, unless they’ve expired. I even still have one from the Blimpie on campus (I don’t even live in the same town anymore), but I’m holding on to it just incase I ever decide to eat there again … you just never know!

    The only place I ever consistently cashed in on the “Buy 9, get the 10th free!” scene was the coffee shop on campus. Those were the days.

  2. I never seem to find those cards when I need them, so I end up getting multiple cards from the same place, all with one stamp on each.. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten enough stamps! Haha.

    I’ve got a suggestion for an awesome thing: When you’re walking in the streets and you walk by a bakery or restaurant – and suddenly an overpowering and delicious cloud of warm scent hits your face. That totally makes my day! Especially on a really cold winter’s day :)
    Sorry if it’s already on the list!

        1. Don’t be Enea.. it happens to all of us..

          It’s not our fault that Neil has already thought of everything!

          1. Freddo… Did Neil already do “Unexpected 2ply Toilet paper”>…… This is truely awesome! if not hes prob waiting for the top 100.

  3. Do Coke Rewards count? Because I have enough to actually get Family Guy/American Dad DVDs off of there. That cost 275 points each. Each Coke bottle cap gives you 3 points. Think about that. And I’ve been collecting them for 4 years and I just got around to redeeming the large pile of caps I had stashed in my closet for the last 2 years.

    THAT is awesome. Well, dying from a heart attack won’t be, but awesome nonetheless!

    1. and all for a dvd….
      The hilariousness of your situation is AWESOME!
      Oh, and you probably won’t have a heart attack, you’ll proabably just lose your teeth.

  4. My place of work (a bakery) has a punch card for when you reach 10 5inch pies on your card, you get the 11th one free. And when someone finally redeems them, I try and steer them to the most expensive one. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it’s awesome.

    1. I always did that when I worked at Bath and Body Works … like if they had a coupon for “free product up to $12” or whatever, and they’d choose something for $1.50 I’d be like … “Not trying to pressure you, but did you know that coupon could get you this, this or even THIS??”

  5. I am a victim aswell. Along with those cards, there’s the gift cards with 2$ left on them and pictures everywhere. And the punch cards that are passed the date that they can be redeemed. Luckily, my excuse can be, “I’m a woman.”

    P.S: the picture looks more like an English springer spaniel than a cocker spaniel. I only know this because I have a springer.

    1. Hi
      I can confirm positively, with pedigree certification, that the dog in question is a cocker. That’s because she’s mine! Google Reader gave me a link to this blog and I was really surprised to find Meg at the bottom of the post. Cockers come in two types, Show and Working. Meg is a working cocker. Typically, working cockers are bred for shooting and field trials but as Meg lives with a vegetarian, she doesn’t do any of that. You aren’t the first to say she looks like a springer. We get that a lot, especially as she’s liver and white. I had to train the children to smile politely and grit their teeth everytime another walker says “What a lovely little Springer !”

      Great blog, btw!

  6. There really aren’t many places around where I live that do that anymore. Some stores have the coffee cards and I get those, even though I hardly ever get coffee anywhere but work anymore. There use to be a few clothing stores that punched a card everytime you spent like $10 or something and then you’d get 10% off your 10 purchase, but those are long gone. I do however have some store cards that give me so many cents off gas. And I do have another gas station card to save up points for free stuff later. I’m aiming for the $200 in free gas with an extra $.10 off a gallon!

    And whatever WordPress did to the layout…..I’m kinda sad….. my tiny smiley face is gone now. :-(

      1. That is sad, it is detracting from the awesomeness of the page, but it is awesome that a bunch of us found it before.

    1. Uhh… your face is getting worse??

      hmmm.. that didn’t really do it.. I’m off my game today.

      How about: “The only thing getting worse around here is my mood after I read mean-spirited comments like yours!”

      Yeah – that’ll have to do for now. I don’t have anything better..

  7. I just found some old “Tim Cards” in my winter coat pocket. I can’t throw them out because there might be some $$ still on them, but I can’t use them because there might not be any $$ left on them.

    1. The other day I went through my wallet and produced four Starbucks gift cards … same thing — can’t throw them out, but don’t know if I can use them. So I sat right down and had a little calling party to find the balance of each … for a grand total of $0.62. *shrug* I’m totally gonna use them, too. Sorry baristas.

  8. I just empty them into my purse and start with an empty purse. Then when I need one, I remember that it’s in the other purse and I curse my former self for being so lazy.

  9. I have a seperate wallet that has all my loyalty cards in it, and I store it in my vehicle. That way when I get out to go shopping, I can just grab that specific card out of it, or just grab the whole bundle to cart along. Keeps my pockets less bulky.

  10. I recently went to Menchie’s for Frozen Yogurt and the girl workign the counter gave me one of those cards for buy 10 get 1 free. She was only supposed to hole punch it once, but since we had such a good convo at the checkout, when she punched mine she did it like this:
    “I like your shoes *hole punch*. I like your shirt *hole punch*. I like your jeans *hole punch*. I LOVE your necklace *double hole punch*. OKA COME AGAIN!”
    And that is why I love Menchie’s. That girl was Awesome :D

  11. There is a great store in my hometown that hangs onto the card for you! They store boxes of customer loyalty cards under the counter (or at least they used to) and on it they noted each pair of pants (usually levis jeans) you purchased, with the 11th pair free. I was always so excited to fill a card and pick my free pair! Think I’ll check it out next time I’m in town.

    Miss the smile when it disappears for a short while at the change of banner. I like that others notice and miss it, too!

      1. Sorry – need to clarify one more point..

        When do you get the prizes? Is it later? Because I’m not sure I want free prizes later. I may sign up if I can get my free prizes NOW (for free).

        Free, free, free!


        (and now!)

  12. OOooooo I always get freebies, REAL freebies, it’s coz everybody lurrrrrrrrrrrrrves me :D :P

    Funny, considering I really dislike people in general. LOL

  13. You should move to London! There is this great smartphone app called Stampfeet the mobile loyalty card, which is basically an app that holds lots of loyalty cards on your phone.
    No need to carry tons of cards around anymore. I think they currently only operate over here, but they do have some great partners on board and I’ve already enjoyed free pasta and frozen yoghurt !

  14. Our pharmacy has a loyalty card, if you buy “anything” with their name brand 10x, you get a $15 item, on the house! It can be tricky sometimes, but fun at the same time:)

  15. This is why I love Starbucks. It’s all online. I just have to use my card. Then they came out with an app to make it more convenient. I get a free drink for every 15 that I buy. I usually get 5 or 6 a year. I can go online to see the progress. It’s a great system. I love technology!

  16. I try my best to stay with just 3 or 4 hotel chains, and have done so for the last 25 years of travelling all over the world. Never kept track of loyalty points! Till this summer when I found myself ‘discovering” I could stay in Manhattan at a 5 star hotel for 4 nights by using just a third of the points I had accumulated at just this one hotel chain. And we did! AWESOME!

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