The Lowdown on Grocery Store Club Cards

Are Grocery Store Club Cards a Wise Choice?

By now you’ve heard the reports about grocery and discount stores selling the their members’ personal purchasing history to telemarketing firms and even insurance companies. I know many people who live in fear that they’ll be denied life insurance based on the 10 dozen eggs and 10 pounds of sugar they bought to make a mountain of baked goods for their son’s bake sale at school. Are they right to be concerned that grocery store club cards can affect access to health care and affordable life insurance?

The Facts

The fact of the matter is that no one has been able to pinpoint any concrete, documented evidence that a consumer has been denied life insurance because of their late-night grocery store run for munchies or their large purchases for the local food pantry. It is, however, realistic to worry about such a scenario happening.

In today's digital world, our private information is becoming less and less private. Some consumers refuse to sign up for a grocery store club card no matter how much money they can save, and a small part of me really can't blame them. There are, however, clever ways around the privacy issue.

Warehouse Markets Are Your New Best Friend

One option is to shop at grocery stores that offer the same price to all customers. Warehouse markets are a good choice. The prices are low and no grocery store club card is required to take advantage of those savings. Just make sure you avoid the markets that require memberships -- then you're back to square one.

Oops, I Did It Again...

If you do shop at a grocery store that requires a grocery store club card to take advantage of special savings, you can always do what absent-minded individuals do -- simply say you forgot your card. This option is slightly inconvenient because in many stores managers are required to come over and override the transaction after they scan their own card, but it can save you cash without compromising your privacy.

Mr. Alias

I'm not one to condone lying. I never have been. However, some of the privacy-concerned consumers I've talked to have mentioned that they fill out the applications for grocery store club cards with "made up" information.

Hey, if your last name becomes your first and your first becomes your last and you live on 123 Fairytale Lane, who are they to argue? It is a way to access the grocery store club cards that can save you money without compromising your privacy.

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