Restaurants, Coffee Shops, and Stores With the Best Rewards Programs

Posted on 03/11/2009

It feels good to be rewarded. Especially when you’ve handed over your hard earned money in exchange for food, beverages or products at the same store over and over and over. Since carrying around a wallet full of punch cards can be annoying, we’ve compiled a list of the best rewards programs at restaurants, coffee shops and stores.

Panera Bread
We love Panera Bread's Espresso and Coffee Club. Buy any eight espresso drinks or freshly brewed coffees and the next one is free! You can choose from frozen drinks, espresso, lattes, mochas and freshly brewed coffee. The cool thing is you could buy eight regular cups of joe and then use your free one on an extra-large super venti caramel latte with extra whip.

Regal Cinemas
Next time you go to see a flick at a Regal Cinema, United Artist Theater, or Edwards Theater, be sure to sign up for the Regal Crown Club. Every movie ticket you buy gives you points. When you’ve accrued 50 points you receive a voucher for a free popcorn, 100 gets you a free small drink and when you reach 150 points you’ll get a free movie ticket! Plus there are chances to earn extra credit. Every paid admission on Thursdays gets you five bonus credits. Your concession purchases also earn you credits.

Buy lots of office supplies? Then you may want to consider the Staples Rewards Program. Enroll and you’ll earn 10% back on all ink and toner, case and ream paper, and Copy & Print Center purchases. Plus they’ll send you exclusive coupons.

The ULTAmate Rewards program is perfect for anyone who buys lots of makeup, beauty supplies or cosmetics. The programs vary slightly depending on where you live so check out the Ulta website for specific details. But most shoppers will earn reward certificates four times a year based on how much you spent at Ulta during a specific time period. Those certificates are good for free beauty products and salon services. Plus you’ll get special offers just by being a member.

TGI Fridays
Just for signing up for the TGI Friday's "Give Me More Stripes" program you’ll get a free appetizer or dessert. Then, every time you accumulate $100 worth of food purchases you’ll get a coupon good for free food worth up to $8. Besides the coupon you’ll get special perks like free welcome tastings, beverage upgrades and preferred seating.

Grocery Stores
Just about every grocery store has some type of rewards program. Most give you a little plastic card with a bar code on the back that they scan when you check out. It enables you to secure the sale prices on the food you buy. According to a study completed last year by First Data Competitive Intelligence, 62% of consumers belong to rewards programs for grocery stores– more than any other retail category. So if you’re not a member of the rewards program at your grocery store, sign up. You may be surprised by how much money you save.

By Alison Storm

Eddie Bauer - Join the Eddie Bauer Friends program and get 20% off your purchase if you join by 03/15/2009. You'll accumulate reward points good for merchandise certificates, and get special program-only offers & coupons. - Use coupon code MENU to get 80% off gift certificates. A $25 gift certificate will be just $2 with this coupon! Offer ends 03/15/2009.

* Hot deals expire quickly. This deal may no longer be valid.

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