What You Should Know About Grocery Store Cards

Grocery Store Cards Aren’t Just A Perk

I am the first one to jump at the chance to get a great deal, and that includes the awesome savings I can sometimes find by using one of my many grocery store cards. You know -- the ones that grocery stores give out to “frequent customers” who apply for them. They go by a number of names -- preferred cards, perks cards, savers cards. They all have one thing in common, they offer huge savings – but at what price?

You’re Being Watched

Okay, it sounds a little paranoid, but it’s true. Whenever you use a grocery store card, you are building a permanent record – kind of like your permanent record in high school but this one has to do with your shopping and spending habits. Oh, and what is done with that permanent record of yours isn’t so standard. It really depends on the privacy policy of the grocery store you have the card with.

It’s not a secret that purchase histories have been looked into by the government and marketers of course would donate a kidney to get their hands on your data, but it’s also been rumored that insurance companies may start taking information from these programs to help determine your policy premiums. How can that be fair? If you buy too much alcohol, will your rates go up? What if you’re buying it for a party or a friend? Is it really any of the insurance companies business?

The Bottom Line

If you don’t want the government or marketing agencies knowing about each and every purchase you make and where you purchase your groceries from, maybe you should think twice before jumping into a grocery store card program. I’m not saying don’t get a grocery store card, I’m just saying do so under an anonymous name if the grocery store will allow you to do so. After all, if you’re an in-the-closet chocoholic, no one needs to know. Aren’t we entitled to at least that much privacy?

Comments

Don't you think, if we are so concerned about what "others" may think of what we purchase, purhaps we need to change our ways.

In other words, why be concered if "others" know what you are doing unless what you're doing is wrong. Then, perhaps, you should consider making a change to what we are doing.

I've been concerned about that as well, and figured that the main reason stores offer those cards is to sell aggregate data back to marketers.

I once registered a store card under the name "The Smith Family" for that very reason.

I think most shoppers know this already. It's not nearly as bad as some might think!!! If people understood that in order to make the items available..possibly specific areas, I feel it's important.

I think it's wise to use a fake name and address when filling out these card applications, but it is a good idea to use your correct zip code. Several store managers have told me that they decide which areas to send their weekly sale papers to according to what areas their shoppers are from. The newspapers in our rural area stopped carrying some ads. The same newspapers that were to be delivered in more populated areas still carried the ads. When I called to complain about not getting the sales ads, I was told that they track where the most shoppers are from. That is where they advertise. Soon after that, the closest stores to the rural areas closed.

The thing i do not like about the cards are this: aren't we all preferred customers. It just galls me to be told i am not a preffered customer unless i use their card.

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