Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The downside of Rewards Cards

I am a Smith's Rewards card member. (That's Kroger for those of you without Smith's)

For every 100 points we get .10 off per gallon.  So 1,000 points in a 3 month period gets us $1 off per gallon of gas.  My local Smith's is a five minute drive away so we are very loyal to Smith's and hoard our points to get the full $1 off per gallon of gas. ($35 max discount)

I check my points after every transaction.  I knew we were nearing the 1,000 points this period that ends on March 31.  So imagine my surprise when I got my receipt yesterday and it said I received 20 points in this transaction for a total point count of 57.

57!?!?!? What the.....!?!?!  I KNOW I was around 800 the last time I went to Smith's.

I immediately called the 800 number on the back of my card. I spoke to a nice lady in Ohio that told me my phone number had been used that day to purchase gas at another Smith's 40 minutes away!  I told her it wasn't us and that my husband was home sick and I worked all day and we didn't go to Smith's at all.

She told me she would put the points back on my card and then asked if I wanted to remove my phone number from our Smith's Reward account.  I didn't want to. It's convenient to punch in your phone number when you forgot your card.   Problem's also convenient for others to punch in your phone number. 

The nice lady told me "It happens quite a bit that people will put in phone numbers of others to get their reward points at the gas station.  I suggest not linking your rewards card to any phone numbers."

So after removing our phone number from our account and getting our 800 points back we are back on our way to earning $1 off per gallon of gas and I echo her advice.  DO NOT link your rewards cards to your phone number.  If you do, use a cell phone number or something that not many people have access to.  It's all too easy for someone to take your hard earned points.
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