Store Loyalty Cards and Register Receipt Coupons

Posted by Mrs Money on December 3rd, 2009

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A few years ago, when we worked on the miniature horse ranch, we were talking with the ranch owner about grocery shopping. She told us that she didn’t use store loyalty cards because the government tracks your grocery purchases so they know what you’re buying and if you’re stockpiling. That ridiculousness aside, the past week I realized what exactly they are tracking with the store loyalty cards. She was right in the aspect that your purchases are being tracked, but it’s not by the government, it’s by the store.

The other day I went to our local Kroger store to pick up some basic grocery items. After I checked out and paid, a ton of those checkout printer coupons printed. I started looking at some of the things it gave me coupons for, and I was surprised to see what items that they gave me coupons for. I got a $1 off Danactive probiotic yogurt drinks (I had just purchased them), a coupon for Duraflame firelogs (I bought those last year when our electricity went out from the ice storm), a coupon for $5 of $20 or more in the produce area, and some other ones for items that I have purchased throughout the past year or so. It kind of freaked me out to see that the store knew what I had bought!

I think it’s a great marketing idea for the stores. I will definitely use some of the coupons it gave me.

Do you use a store loyalty card when you shop? Have you noticed coupons printing for items you bought in the past?

image from LVCHEN

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9 Responses to “Store Loyalty Cards and Register Receipt Coupons”


  1. Corrie says:

    I don’t use store loyalty cards, but one supermarket I go to prints out coupons after checkout. It’s silly and I never use them, because they are for products that are similar to what I bought, but always another brand that is more expensive or that I don’t want to buy.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Hmm- that is interesting! There is someone else that has had that happen too! :)

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  2. Catherine says:

    For me, it seems that competitor coupons will print. If I buy Kraft Cheese, I’ll get a coupon for Sargentos or something like that. It’s still good for me because I’m not very brand loyal – I buy whatever I have a coupon for!

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Me too! I am not brand loyal either. There are very few things that I have to buy specific brands for. I love when I find things on sale and get the coupon! Bonus!

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  3. Kevin says:

    My family (which is rather large and extended) shares one card. This is done because we always claim to not have the card and have the people look it up by the phone number. The phone number we all use is my mom’s from 20 years ago — which isn’t hers anymore but that doesn’t matter.

    So when I shop, I get coupons for essentially random things. My immediate and extended family buy too many different items for there to be a real pattern. That is part of why I don’t mind using that card. My purchases get lost in the “noise” of all the others. When 20+ people share a number, it becomes nearly impossible to know who buys what.

    I also avoid stores that require the cards as often as possible. So when I go in there to get something, it is usually on sale or something I wouldn’t normally buy… which skews the data even more. All my regular shopping is done at a store that doesn’t use this system.

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  4. Kevin says:

    As a postscript, these cards are nearly functionally useless now that most people shop with plastic. They are a dinosaur from times past when people paid primarily with cash and the store was seeking a way to link different purchases with the same person or household.

    These days, the store can just use the information it collects from your card. It doesn’t even need the complete card number (although it could use that) to get the information. A simple combination of Name-LastFour (e.g. DoeJohn4231) would work to key each purchase in and make them trackable.

    Will such a system be perfect? Nope, there will always be people who switch cards or use cash one day. But the stores had the same problem with the loyalty cards since people didn’t always use them.

    I’ve also heart the paranoid out there claim that the government wants us all to use credit/debit cards so they can track all our purchases and know what we are buying. And we should use cash because of that. This is the same paranoia but just with store loyalty cards.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Wow, I love that your whole family uses the same number. It’s funny- one time my hubby and I were in the store checking out, neither of us had our cards and I typed in his mom’s phone number. He was very surprised you can do that.

    I don’t care if they track my stuff or not. I like getting coupons for things I’m going to buy anyway. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  5. Vee says:

    I have store loyalty cards, and I do notice that, at least at the grocery store, I get some pretty good coupons. Back in my Alex-Jones-“OMG the gov’t is watching us” days, this would have tripped me out. But now, I’m just like, “HEY, good coupon!” I would much rather get a coupon for something I use than for something I would never, ever buy.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    I’m the exact same way- I’m so glad when I get coupons! It’s interesting to hear everyone’s experience with the print out coupons!

    [Reply]



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