Health & Rewards Programs

Recently, I went to Walgreens to get the usually odd mix of things (milk and mouthwash this time). As I was shopping, I kept seeing all these little caveats under the a lot of the sale items: *with card and *Get 2000 points with this item. I was intrigued because there were actually a few good deals that required this so-called card. I’m always wary of store cards though especially the ones that are like credit cards because my friend in retail explained that  getting denied for those kinds of cards (as a student without a steady income will undoubtedly be) will actually decrease your credit score. While picking out my mouthwash, I managed to overhear the cashier giving an elderly man the spiel on the card. Turns out, it’s not a credit card, it’s free, you get points for buying certain things, points eventually lead to in store reward money. When I checked out I double checked that the card was in fact free and there wouldn’t be anything I’d have to pay for. It was true so I decided to go crazy and get one.

Now, when I got home I looked over my receipt and the little brochure on the program. I was disappointed when I saw that none of my purchases had transferred over into points. Great, another card that’s just going to fill my wallet and another program that’s just going to spam my email. And then I saw this program in the brochure: Walk with Walgreens. The concept is simple: for every mile you walk, you earn 10 points. I thought I’m a healthy person. I do lots of walking and running. Maybe this won’t be completely worthless.

I went on over to the program’s website to sign up. With prominent AARP ads and banners speckled throughout the site, I’m suspicious that I am not exactly their target market, but I checked through their FAQ and runners/joggers are welcome. They track miles through the number of steps you take or there is also the option of mapping out your walk/run. The map option is pretty janky and I think Walgreens would do well to consider a tie-in with someone like MapMyRun. They also estimate about 2000 steps per mile, which I think I will go ahead and do henceforth rather than map out my path.

So now, two days in, I have a grand total of 40 points. That’s a pretty long way to 5000 pints ($5 reward) but I figure for as often as I go to Walgreens (not often) and as frequently as I run (very often), I can only benefit from the program, albeit very slowly.

PS Mr. Man in the picture is just a bit too happy about these reward points.

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