How about companies that actually give you something in return to thank you for your loyalty or patronage? That's what I'm talking about! We don't have sponsors or anything like that, so I'm not plugging companies for any benefit except to pass some cost-saving tips on fun stuff for you. Here are some stores at which I have a rewards membership and thoroughly enjoy:
*Borders - I love books. I especially love new books (that new book smell gets me every time). I could spend hours in a bookstore just browsing the shelves, looking at travel guides, cookbooks, magazines...sounds like a little slice of heaven. With me cutting back on spending, I'm definitely utilizing the library more (or going to Goodwill, like some of you have suggested), so my book buying budget is practically nonexistent. However, Borders makes it more affordable if you have a new book addiction. Every 2-3 weeks, I get a coupon emailed for 20-30% off any item in the store. Oh yeah, and it's free to join (unlike Barnes and Noble's reward program).
*REI - if you like spending time in the outdoors, it is definitely a good idea to become an REI member (in my opinion). For $20 (for a lifetime membership), you get discounts on equipment rental, special member-only offers for gear or clothing AND an annual dividend from all eligible purchases, usually about 10%. Once you spend $200 (which is not hard to do when you buy a tent or a couple of sleeping bags), you've already earned back your lifetime membership fee. Plus, REI has fantastic customer service when it comes to returns and exchanges, but they extend this to everyone, not just members.
*Aveda - Pure Privilege is Aveda's point-based reward system. For every dollar spent, 10 points are awarded and they can be cashed in for anything from products to spa treatments to vacations...okay, I'll never spend enough at Aveda to pay for my luxury spa weekend in Vermont, but I did get a massage before my wedding last year with my points. Plus, they offer double point events every so often. It's $10 to sign up, but every year on your birthday, you get a FREE gift (up to a $20 value), coupons for products, and other great offers. It's definitely the most relaxing reward membership I have.
*Sephora - Frugal Femme told me about her love for Sephora's Beauty Insiders. Another point club, once you have a certain amount of points, you get a FREE gift. Also, you have access to special promotions and limited edition products.
*MAC - another Frugal Femme find, if you bring back 6 containers of any MAC product, they will recycle them and give you a FREE lipstick. Maybe not quite a reward program, but definitely a great incentive to recycle!
And one I'll sign up for soon...
*Godiva - FREE chocolate every month. FREE gift every month you spend $10 or more. FREE shipping on one online order. Any time I can get free chocolate, that is definitely something worth signing up for.
Have I missed any rewards clubs worth joining? What do you guys like and what companies give back to you?