No, Starbucks, I’m not falling for your new loyalty program. Here’s why.

It’s true, I participate in a loyalty program. Make that participated.

It’s Starbucks Rewards, and I bought into it because I go to Starbucks a lot and it seemed like a good idea.

Not anymore.
Read more “No, Starbucks, I’m not falling for your new loyalty program. Here’s why.”

Burned by her loyalty program, but can I put out this fire?

Catherine Wilbur says she was duped by Frontier Airlines, specifically its EarlyReturns loyalty program, which promises you can earn an award flight “for as little as 20,000 miles,” and says the fastest way to get there is through its $69-a-year affinity card.
Read more “Burned by her loyalty program, but can I put out this fire?”

Are loyalty programs a fool’s game?

Today is Frequent Flier Appreciation Day, better known as April Fool’s Day.

At least that’s the way hundreds of thousands of disillusioned United Airlines Mileage Plus members see it after their program was unceremoniously devalued last month. One of them is Ben Lawrance, who, for more than a decade flew on United or one of its Star Alliance partners “almost exclusively” to build and maintain his elite status.
Read more “Are loyalty programs a fool’s game?”

Are loyalty programs worth “nothing”?

I’ve been biting my tongue for the last three months, trying to avoid loyalty program questions from readers. But after hearing from William Howard, I had to break my silence.
Read more “Are loyalty programs worth “nothing”?”

Is it time to shut down the “shills” who are paid to endorse credit card companies?

Credit cards are morally ambiguous financial instruments. They can be used for good, to pay for something when you don’t have enough money. And they can be used for evil, to pay for something when you don’t have enough money.
Read more “Is it time to shut down the “shills” who are paid to endorse credit card companies?”