No matter where you shop these days, it seems like every store has a loyalty program. Be wary, though. If you don't know what to look for, some rewards cards will have you spending more than you need. Here are some important tips to help you find the best program for you.
When choosing a rewards program, always read the terms and conditions closely and avoid the ones with red flags, including: fees, points that expire quicker than you'll be able to use them, and promotions and coupons for things you don't buy on a regular basis. Remember, many of these programs require you to spend a decent amount to earn any money back, so don't be swayed by incentives for products you don't need.
Of course, loyalty programs can work in your favor. If you typically have medication to refill, look into offers like the Balance Rewards program at Walgreens. For each prescription you fill, you'll be earning points toward store credit. These points don't expire for three years, so you'll definitely have time to use them.
If department stores are where you do most of your shopping, Macy's Star Rewards program could be worth your while. Rewards include exclusive in-store coupons and special discounts. Best of all, the points you get will never expire.
So, when it comes to rewards, choose a program that lines up with your shopping habits and you'll essentially be saving for things you would be buying anyway.