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The Blue & Gold

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The Blue & Gold

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The Blue & Gold

My Love Letter to Rewards Systems

The joy of the rewards system established itself this summer, for me at least. From Chick-fil-A to Atlanta Vintage Books, every store I’ve popped into has seemed to develop its own rewards system, and I’m not complaining. 

If you’re not familiar, many shops, both local and conglomerate, have developed rewards and incentives to revisit the location. Usually, the incentive comes in the form of an app, with a scannable QR code to rack up points earned from purchases. But with more local shops around town, they do the classic punch cards to redeem rewards. From experimenting with a variety of rewards systems over the summer, including Dunkin Donuts, Souper Jenny, SoulCycle, Chick-Fil-A, Atlanta Vintage Books, Panera Bread, Starbucks, McDonald’s, Jersey Mikes, and Smoothie King, I’ve come up with the top tier ones to use this year (and a couple to avoid)

Starting strong, we have everyone’s Atlanta-local favorite home-style restaurant, Souper Jennys. Though I became a regular at my Brookhaven location this summer, it was only until the last few weeks I noticed the little card propped up on the cashier. The glorious Souper Jenny Guest Appreciation Card, consisting of 10 numbers to punch, with the end reward of $10 off your order. With each meal being about 11-12 dollars, you get a nearly free meal when you complete the 10 punches. Once I picked up the card and handed it to the employee cashing me out for my soup of the week, she gladly took the card proclaiming that I for sure came in before, earning myself four punches for what should have been one. Though this kind of customer service doesn’t come with all the reward systems I listed above, it just goes to show how using reward systems can let you reap more rewards than expected and making Souper Jennys the top-tier place to get the rewards card. 

Though Souper Jennys is hard to beat, McDonald’s comes at a super close second. Even though McDonald’s isn’t the most esteemed establishment for food, everyone can admit that it’s yummy at times. And free food is even yummier. With the app, users can get a free fry with any $1 spent, meaning that I urge you to download the app and never spend money on fries on your next meal ever again. As if the app couldn’t get better, each time the Braves hit a double (which is a lot), you can get a free drink AND fries if you have the app. Even without a special occasion or spending a dollar, the app just puts up rewards for grabs regardless of the amount of points you have. Users of the app can often choose from a Quarter Pounder, Big Mac, or 10-piece nuggets. I mean how much better can it get? It can’t. Nothing is better than free food. 

Transitioning from food, many exercise companies also have rewards programs (or offers). I love to visit places offering pilates, yoga, and cycling classes. But for a high school student, these $20-$30 classes can add up. But if you know your reward systems, you can beat the system. For SoulCycle, they have a policy that if you bring in a friend to a class, they will not only give you a whole free class but also a free class for your friend. Though this reward is in place to gain customers, when you bring in enough new friends you not only pay for the classes you previously signed up for but can also use the free classes in the future (only needing to pay four dollars for shoes). That sounds like a huge win to me. In addition, companies often partner with others to draw in profit. 

Though I’ve talked up some rewards programs around town, some of them just didn’t seem worth the time. Such as the Starbucks rewards program. Though I work at Starbucks (I promise I’m not in a union, corporate!) their rewards program honestly just isn’t as desirable nor rewardable as many make it seem. Talking to both customers and from personal experience, the app takes forever to rack up enough points for even an extra shot (25 points) in your latte. If you downloaded the app hoping to be able to get a free tumbler (400 points) or even a free drink (200 points), you’ll need to go to Starbucks twice a day ordering both a drink and a food item both times for three weeks. Just joking! It’ll probably take a couple of months. But be careful! Because, unlike the other online rewards programs, Starbucks Stars expire. To my surprise, one day as I was scrolling through my junk emails, as one does, I found that my points would expire soon. My whole 125 points that I had racked up for three years. 

Though I went into detail for a couple of the businesses I experimented with this summer, I also would like to recommend the Dunkin Donuts app and the Smoothie King app as they often give discounts for orders. But also suggest staying away from rewards programs at Panera Bread, Atlanta Vintage Books, and Jersey Mikes just because of their inefficiency. All in all, reward systems can be a tricky game to beat if you wish to get some of your hard-earned money back, go with my recommendations. Though of course if you’ve tried any rewards system around town, leave a comment recommending any for me to look out for!

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About the Contributor
Luiza Douglas
Luiza Douglas, Senior Editor
Luiza Douglas ('24) is a senior and the Senior Editor for the Blue & Gold. In five years, she hopes to be living in the big city (wherever it may be), or still in Mr. Avett's class. Her three favorite things are Lana Del Rey, Boston Clogs, and being vegetarian.
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