Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Too Many Cards

by Sara Rosett

A few years ago the constant question at the checkout was, “Would you like to open a ___ account?” (Fill in the blank with the store name.)

Stores wanted customers to open charge accounts. My standard answer was always, “No, thanks. I have too many cards as it is.”

I’ve noticed that the would-you-like-to-open-a-charge-account question is passé. The newest thing is the loyalty card. Now the cashier asks, “Would you like to join our club?”

You might think that the economic downturn is the reason for the switch, but it’s not. Long before we stopped charging and started saving, companies were beginning to realize that having information about customer purchasing habits could be just as valuable as being able to charge interest on unpaid credit card balances.

At first, I didn't join the loyalty clubs at the grocery store—I didn’t really want some corporate drone tracking my purchases, but I’ll admit it was the milk that got me to fill out one of those applications. Milk for less than three dollars? I couldn’t resist.

So anyway, I now have a ton of those cards. I filled out the applications to get the initial discounts and frequent military moves have insured that I have just about every card you can think of:  Safeway, Giant, CVS, Borders, Barnes & Noble, Eddie Bower, R.E.I., Winn Dixie, Wegmen's, Vons, Kroger, Staples and Office Depot, PetCo, and even Ace Hardware.

I’ve got so many cards that checking out is beginning to feel like a game of Go Fish as I shift through the plastic that fills my wallet.

But I now shop at a grocery store that doesn’t have a loyalty card. Everything is the same price—so nice!

What about you? How loyal are you? Is your wallet bulging with customer cards?


Sara writes mystery (Ellie Avery series) and suspense (On the Run series). As a military spouse Sara has moved around the country (frequently!) and traveled internationally, which inspired her latest travel suspense books. Publishers Weekly called Sara’s books, "satisfying," "well-executed," and "sparkling."

Visit for more information, or connect with Sara on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads.


  1. Yes! My wallet WAS bulging, but now I have an app called Key Ring which stores all of your loyalty cards. My wallet is now back to regular size.

  2. LOL, Sara! I'm the opposite! Loyalty cards would be lost on me! I think it's great if you can take advantage of those things, but I've accepted the fact that it's just not part of my consumer DNA!

  3. Don't laugh Sara, I don't carry the cards, I use the small ones and have a ring attached to my key ring with all of them and the 20 or so keys that I have to carry. I use them all the time and even go online to my supermarket web site for unadvertised specials.. you click the link, and when you swipe the card at the store you get that special also.

    Yes it's a pain to have so many, but I shop at over half the ones I own on a regular basis.

  4. Vons and Ralphs. Staples and Petco.

    As for loyalty, I have the perseverance of Sisyphus and the loyalty of Lassie--if you know how long I have toyed with some of my manuscripts?! Talk about a boulder uphill.


  5. LOL, Sara!!
    Yes, I have a ton of those cards, too, and know what you mean about that game of "Go Fish" :).
    The only one I keep on my keychain, though, is the quick scan card we need to enter our local gym. If I had to hunt for it every time, I know I'd totally use that as another reason not to work out!

  6. I agree, the keychain option is a great way to go, but it doesn't work out very well if you pick up the wrong set of keys. :(