Reward Programs

Not All Store Rewards Programs Are Created Equally

rewards program tips, rewards program advice,

I’m a fan of rewards programs, taking advantage of them as often as I can. Not all rewards programs are created equal, however. It’s critical that consumers know exactly how a rewards program works before diving head first to earn points and redeem rewards. I didn’t do that with the Old Navy rewards program recently, which made me give a second thought to whether I really wanted to participate.

I was purchasing some new jeans at Old Navy, and had brought along a rewards coupon earned from a previous purchase.  As the cashier was ringing up my purchase, I handed her the rewards coupon and proceeded to pay with my debit card. The cashier made a strange face, then looked at the card I was holding in my hand. She stated that to redeem my rewards certificate, I had to pay with my Old Navy card. This was a surprise to me, and I didn’t have my card with me. Luckily, they were able to look up my account and use it as my method of payment so I could get the discount from my rewards certificate.

It had been a long time since I had used rewards certificates at Old Navy, and I didn’t remember this being the case. In fact, this policy differs from other rewards programs that I commonly use.

Retailer : Best Buy

  • Store Credit Card Needed To Earn Rewards? NO
  • Store Credit Card Needed To Use Rewards? NO

Retailer : Victoria’s Secret

  • Store Credit Card Needed To Earn Rewards? YES
  • Store Credit Card Needed To Use Rewards? NO

Retailer : Kohl’s

  • Store Credit Card Needed To Earn Rewards (Kohl’s Cash) : NO
  • Store Credit Card Needed To Use Rewards (Kohl’s Cash) : NO

Retailer : Old Navy

  • Store Credit Card Needed To Earn Rewards : YES
  • Store Credit Card Needed To Use Rewards: YES

There are obviously many more retailers that have rewards programs, but of the ones that I am most familiar with, Old Navy is the only one that requires customers to use their store credit card to both earn AND use rewards. This isn’t necessarily bad nor good, just information that consumers should be aware of before deciding on their shopping methodology.

How about you, Clever Friends? Do you take advantage of rewards programs from retailers? Do any of them require the use of a store credit card for both earning AND using rewards points?

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

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About the author

Brock Kernin


  • Hey Brock! I never really looked too in depth into Reward Programs before, but considering I’ve gone to Old Navy a few times this is some good information. It seems I need to keep an eye out in the future for these programs and their guidelines. Thanks for the heads up.

  • Kohl’s is a mixed bag. Sometimes you’ll get coupons for a percentage off on top of all their other discounts, and there are times when you need to use your Kohl’s credit card, and other times you don’t. I’m sure they do it knowing that a certain percentage of people won’t pay off the card and they’ll end up making money on the interest charges.

  • Dude!

    First, you need to get your Twitter handle into your share buttons so you’ll know when we share your stuff there. 🙂

    Second, I know what you mean about these store rewards cards. I refuse to use my Staples card because even though they’ll give you a percentage off for the next month, you have to spend a certain amount to get the discount, and I don’t go there often enough to use it. I tend to like places that build points up as you go along without a time limit to use them.

    • I’ll have to look into adding the Twitter handle to the social share buttons, Mitch – thanks for the tip! I didn’t know the Staple’s card worked that way….good info!

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