Best Customer Rewards Programs

In this day and age, companies have to compete against each other to get the customer. More so, companies are competing for loyalty, ensuring that their customers are happy and satisfied so they’ll return  (and keep spending money). On the other side, as consumers, we’re constantly looking for ways to be rewarded for our loyalty to specific brands/stores.. by saving money or getting cool perks for spending with companies. Here are my favorite Reward Programs (all free), that you should sign up for if you haven’t yet!

Starbucks Rewards program offers great incentives to its loyal customers. Upon registering [your gift card], you’ll receive a free drink coupon in the mail for your birthday. Each time you use the card, which you can reload at any time, you receive a star. Once you reach 5 stars (equivalent to 5 transactions), you’re at the Green Level. Rewards here include: a free drink coupon for your birthday, 2 hours of free-wifi, free refills on brewed coffee, free flavored syrup, free soymilk, a free tall beverage with every pound of coffee purchased, and free trial offers.

After 30 stars/transactions, you reach the Gold Level. This is the highest level of Starbucks’ loyalty program, which gives customers the following benefits: everything included in the Green Level, PLUS a free drink coupon every 15 stars, tailored offers and coupons, and the big bonus– a personalized Gold Card and welcome packet. If you’re an iPhone or Android owner, make sure to download the Starbucks app, which allows you to track your star status, pay with your card’s generated barcode, locate the closest Starbucks and more.

Word to the wise- make sure you register each gift card under your account for Starbucks Rewards and add funds to the card to continue paying. Starbucks tracks your stars by each transaction with the cards registered to you.

Starbucks Gold Card & Welcome Packet

Upromise is a great rewards program to take part in if you’re looking to save some money up for college– whether it be for yourself, a friend, or family member, you can earn 1-25% back on purchases made through the Upromise program. Set up an account and add your debit/credit card numbers (yes, it’s safe). Once your account is set up, make your online purchases at participating retailers through the Upromise site and start saving! Track your savings (and money back) through the site. Once you’re ready to take action with the money earned, decide whether you want to invest the money in a tax-deferred 529 plan, want to pay off some of your existing student loans, or request a check for college or other expenses.

If you’re a current college student, Amazon Prime is an essential membership to have. Simply register using your college e-mail account (.edu), and you’re signed up for a year of FREE two-day shipping on most Amazon products– including same-day release delivery, and unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Prime instant videos.

Best Buy’s Reward Zone program is great for entertainment-related shoppers. Benefits of their program include: Receiving 1 point for every $1 spent, a $5 reward certificate to spend at Best Buy for every 250 points earned, and exclusive access to special Best Buy events. If you’re a high-spender, and make $2500 in purchases at Best Buy, your rewards account gets upgraded to Premier Silver Status. At this level, you not only receive the benefits of the basic Reward Zone membership, but you also receive: complimentary Geek Squad Home Theater consultation, access to a special helpline, personal shopper service, 25% increase in points (1.25 points for every $1 spent), free standard shipping, exclusive offers/discounts, and a 45-day extended return policy.



  1. January 24, 2012 / 9:08 PM

    I have a gold Starbucks card! It's both a point of pride and shame lol

  2. January 25, 2012 / 2:23 PM

    Haha you're lucky! I hadn't realized you need to use gift cards to track your stars.. I would've reached gold a long time ago. Now I'm scrambling to get 14 more stars in the next 2 weeks to get mine in time!