A Subsidy for Your Summer Reading

Store loyalty cards usually provide access to special discounts and sales and/or allow customers to accumulate points.  In general, the main benefit of grocery and pharmacy cards lays in the former while other retail cards, such as the BananaCard or GapCard, tend to have a stronger rewards program, being a good deal mostly for customers who shop at the respective store frequently enough to redeem points before they expire.  Not so with the Borders Rewards card, which has an arguably skimpy rewards program but offers great discounts on books, CDs and DVDs at virtually any Borders or Waldenbooks store.

In short, the Borders Rewards program awards $5 for every $150 spent over a calendar year, or 3% for every $150 (if you have accumulated less than $150 over the year, your balance starts back at $0 in January).  While this isn’t a terrible deal, the coupons the program offers via email make it much stronger.  This morning, for example, I got a “Super Coupon” in my inbox, which is essentially a set of 18 different coupons ranging from $20 off Rosetta Stone software to $5 off a DVD and $2 off a magazine.  And last week I got one for 25% off an entire in-store purchase (even if I only bought a $10 book, I would already get $2.50 in savings).  These offers tend to last only a few days, but new ones are sent to your inbox every week.  All you need to redeem them is a print-out of the coupon and your Borders Rewards card – the coupons don’t scan unless you show your card. While most of their coupons can only be used in store, every so often there may be one that includes online purchases as well (a good deal considering the free shipping on orders over $25).

And unlike the Barnes & Noble membership, Borders Rewards is free.  You may want to sign up before you stock up on your summer reading.


One Response

  1. Borders really isn’t worth all that much. I spend hundreds of dollars there annually but the rewards are next to none unless you intend to purchase tons of books on a weekly basis. Still, the free Borders card is better than the Barnes & Nobles card which must be purchased.

    Personally, I think the rewards cards are primarily for the benefit of the merchant who uses the info to sell to 3rd parties. The cards are not really intended for the benefit of the consumer despite the marketing.

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