View Full Version : Shopping around or consolidating purchase for bennies?

07-10-2006, 11:07 AM
The Target thread got me thinking about the various benefits of shopping around vs. using just a handful of companies to take advantage of their "special shopper" programs. I think there are great arguments for both strategies.

I posted on the other thread about my Talbot's charge. I love it and love the benefits I get for buying my clothes at Talbot's - combined, they bring my clothing costs down to the price to much lower levels.

And we've had a Citibank card for years and years, occasionally (ever so) carrying a balance. When I call Citibank, the phone barely rings and there's someone on the line and pretty much whatever I ask for is done almost immediately. It's wonderful.

But...there's is the shopping around approach, too, which has a lot to recommend it.

What are your thoughts?

07-10-2006, 12:09 PM
I shop around, up to a point. Since the rewards cards I use are Amex and Visa, I do not have to stick with a particular store. There are stores I'm loyal to, and I'm familiar with their clearance sales so I feel I am getting a good bargain (Children's Place comes quickly to mind). The increase in gas $ over the past year combined with living in rural VT has made me more of an internet shopper. Free shipping and competitive prices, plus going through MyPoints or ebates or Upromise, are my deciding factors.

07-10-2006, 12:24 PM
Our only credit cards are Visa and Discover, so we can shop anywhere. I mainly use our Marriott Visa. I use Discover only to take advantage of whatever their current 5% bonus is.

So I am not all that store loyal, though I do tend to shop at certain places out of habit, price and selection.

Now I will say that we've become pretty brand-loyal to Marriott properties when we travel due to the Rewards club and the Visa card. I will sometimes check around but when I factor in the value of the rewards I'll earn, the Marriott is usually as good or better of a deal. We get 17 points for every dollar we spend at Marriott so that adds up pretty quickly toward free stays.