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Diary of a Loyalty Card Addict

Yesterday I was searching through my handbag for a receipt and was amazed at how many little coffee cards I had amassed. I have enough ‘Buy Four get One Free’ cards to provide a small town with a year’s supply of coffee. Whoever coined the phrase “nothing is free” obviously hasn’t discovered the joys of loyalty cards. I do fear, however, that my loyalty to loyalty cards is getting a little out of control. Let me run you through an average week for me: The Diary of a Loyalty Card Addict.

Monday mornings are a struggle for any normal human being. After a weekend of lazing around and enjoying yourself, it’s always a horror to wake up on Monday morning to the sound of an alarm reminding you it’s time to go back to work. For me, Monday’s are usually extra terrible as I’m still recovering from the effects of Saturday night’s alcohol. So, the first thing I do on Monday mornings is get a coffee. There’s a little coffee shop directly across the road from the office and they have a great loyalty scheme – buy four coffees, get one free. I have got a LOT of free coffees from that little café.

Monday’s are also grocery shopping day. I’ve generally been too lazy to get groceries during the weekend, so after work on Monday I fight the aisles with all the other lazy city-goers. Supermarket shopping is a great way to earn loyalty points. I shop at Foodtown and use my onecard, so for each $2000 I spend; I get a $20 voucher. (Never mind the fact that Foodtown is the most expensive supermarket, and therefore my 1% saving via voucher isn’t much of a discount!) I’m not completely loyal to Foodtown though – I also collect Flybuys, so if I find a great Flybuys special in my New World mailer, I’ll pop in there on the way home too.

Not surprisingly, the morning usually starts off with a coffee from the little coffee shop across the road. After an exhausting Monday, I need a kick start to my Tuesday morning.

Lunch on Tuesdays is always spent at Subway. Our local subway does a GREAT deal where you get double the amount of loyalty stamps on Tuesdays and Sundays. This basically means that my conscience won’t let me buy Subway on any other day except Tuesday or Sunday! I find that every month or so, I get a free 6-inch Subway sandwich.

Every Wednesday night I stay in Hamilton for business. Early on Wednesday morning as I leave for Hamilton, without fail, I realize that I need to fill up on petrol in order to get there. Luckily for me, there is a Shell station right around the corner from home. I always go there because I use my Flybuys and pay for the petrol on my company American Express credit card. I also have a personal Amex card, so that I can double-up on my membership rewards points. I have earned enough points in 18 months for a free return trip to Sydney!

Since I leave so early on Wednesday mornings, I find that I’m in desperate need for a coffee. Luckily there is a BP service station not too far from the Shell...so I’ll usually stop off there to get my Wild Bean coffee (and use my buy four get one free card!) I’m sure the attendants think it’s strange that I’m there every Wednesday morning without fail, just to get a coffee and not petrol!

I stay at the same Motel in Hamilton every Wednesday night. You’d think that I’d get bored staying in the same place every week. Well, I do, but I can’t resist – after 10 nights of staying there, I get one night free! So while I use the company credit card to pay for the 10 nights, I stock up on my free nights so I can go away for a weekend!

On Thursday afternoons I drive back to Auckland. I always stop off at the mall first though, to get a Tank smoothie. Fruit smoothies are all the rage here at the moment – and my loyalty card means that I get a free smoothie on every 11th visit!

Thursday is also late night shopping at St Lukes mall. So after a hard days drive back from Hamilton, I always stop off at St Lukes for a spot of shopping. I’m a loyal shopper of many stores there…just about any that has a loyalty card! I shop at Jeans West mostly because they give me a discount on every purchase. I once found out that Principals gives a 10% off loyalty card to their faithful shoppers. So after going in there every day for a week, I was offered the card…I’m afraid to say that I haven’t shopped there since though! Perhaps the fun is in the chase?

Friday is sushi day! St Pierre’s sushi is just a quick drive from the office and they do a great ‘Buy 10 sushi packs get one free’ deal. So every Friday I get some sushi – and usually try to drag a workmate along so I can get a stamp for their sushi pack too!

Ahhh, the weekend! Saturday is brunch day. We always walk down the road to our local café to get Eggs Benedict and a Cappaccino. The loyalty card there isn’t too great – you have to buy FIVE coffees before you get a free one…but it’s better than nothing.

Last Saturday I realized that my warrant was due, so off I went to the Shell station. I filled up on petrol and chose the carwash that will take me up to the next Flybuys point. With a sparkling clean car, I drove to the VTNZ to get my warrant check. I was thrilled when the nice secretary asked me if I wanted a loyalty card – get 7 warrant tests, get one free! (Never mind that it will take 3 years before I get my 7th warrant!)

I’ll usually end up going to a BYO restaurant with friends on Saturday, so I often go to Liquor King to buy a bottle of wine or two…must utilize those flybuys points! I think I’m nearly up to getting a free waffle maker or something...!

Sunday is my day off. The day is usually spent curled up in bed with a headache so there’s no time to use my loyalty cards. I need to store up the energy for the week ahead. If I have the energy, I might go to Subway since its double-stamp day...or maybe to my Local to get a coffee...

Has anyone heard of Loyalty Cards Anonymous? I think I need to join!

By pink 11-Feb-2006
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