12 Retail Rewards Programs That Are Actually Worth It

published Mar 16, 2023
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(Image credit: Renee Bowen)

Rewards programs are an effective way to save money while shopping — especially if you tend to frequent the same stores over and over again. While they offer a range of benefits to savvy shoppers, they can sometimes feel like more hassle than they’re worth, especially when credit is involved. Not all rewards programs involve a credit card, though — in fact, most simply utilize a points system or extend fun perks to members in a no-risk, easy way. Of course, it’s important to remember that rewards programs are designed to get you to spend more money, so it’s good to be savvy about using them strategically, like during a move or room refresh. That said, if you’re not using loyalty programs, you might wind up spending more anyway. To make things easier, we rounded up 12 of the best rewards programs offered by home and lifestyle retailers, so you can finally start getting rewarded for those shopping splurges.

You don’t have to be a museum member to join MoMA Design Store’s free loyalty program (although you do get more perks, FYI). It’s split into three sections — base-level Enthusiast, followed by Connoisseur and Ambassador — categorized by annual spending amount ($500 or $1,000+, respectively). The higher the tier, the higher point conversion per dollar, which you’ll be able to redeem as a discount on future buys. Ambassadors even get an instant invite to exclusive museum and in-store events, too. Sign up before your birthday to secure a special bonus, or make four MoMA Design Store purchases to lock down 150 points. 

Credit: Photo: Getty Images; Design: Apartment Therapy

Choose your own shopping adventure via Macy’s Star Rewards, which feature both cardholder (Silver, Gold, or Platinum) and non-cardholder (Bronze) options. The latter caps at 1 point for every $1, whereas the more you spend with a Macy’s card, the more you can ultimately save — up to 5 points earned for each $1. Know that Gold and Platinum members can also count on free shipping 24/7 within the contiguous U.S. (minus some bulk items), but Bronze and Silver both require a $25 order minimum. Shopping tip: Look out for dedicated Star Money Days throughout the year to rack up even more bonus rewards. 

As part of Lulu & Georgia’s free rewards program, you not only earn points on every purchase, but can also accrue certain amounts simply for creating an account, writing a verified product review, referring a friend, and more. Each enrollee begins at Bronze level ($1 = 1 point), but spending $2,000+ positions you at Silver status ($1 = 1.25 points), or $4,000+ at Gold ($1 = 1.5 points). All three include access to members-only shopping offers, as well. 

While Vitruvi’s newly launched Take Care Club is another pay-with-points model, signing up for the loyalty program unlocks access to an exclusive sale, first look at new launches, customer support priority, and a $10 birthday gift, just to name a few complimentary benefits. Fans of the stylish diffuser brand can rack up points instantly — starting with 7,000 as a thank you for joining — to use toward any Vitruvi products (excluding subscription orders). Note that points do expire after two years, but you’ll get a reminder 30 days in advance. 

Credit: Sarah Crowley/Apartment Therapy

Bed Bath & Beyond and buybuy Baby offer two ways to earn (and save!) across both brands, either in stores or online: the free-to-join Welcome Rewards, or Welcome Rewards+ for $29 annually. The premium option’s worth considering if you’re a frequent BB&B shopper, as this guarantees free standard shipping and a 20 percent discount on every purchase — effectively paying for itself — plus five times the points. Applying for a company credit card also waives this fee for one full year. Otherwise, standard Welcome Rewards promises 10 points for every $1 spent, and purchases $39+ ship for free.

Wayfair has a couple of different methods for gathering Rewards Dollars, which can be used on purchases not only on Wayfair, but also Joss & Main, AllModern, and Birch Lane. If you have a Wayfair Card (the company’s credit card), you’ll earn 5 percent back in Rewards Dollars whenever you use it to make a purchase on any of the Wayfair sites. If you don’t have a Wayfair Card, fear not: You can also earn Dollars every time you write a review onsite, after which you’ll even be entered to win up to $500 in Rewards Dollars (or a gift card).

World Market has a casual Rewards Program with some major perks. Once you enroll, you’ll get a 15-percent-off coupon, plus access to members-only promotions and a birthday discount. If you’re a frequent shopper, you’ll be treated to a $5-off coupon for every $100 you spend, as well as 10 percent off all in-store pick up orders. Stay in-the-know on upcoming deals, coupons, and free gifts by subscribing to their SMS notifications, too.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Breaking from traditional loyalty programs, Urban Outfitters does not have a credit card — and its rewards program is more interactive and tech-savvy than its competitors. You’ll get 10 percent off your first purchase once you sign up, and can immediately start earning $5 Rewards to be redeemed online, in-store, or on the UO app. Rewards can be achieved 12 different ways, which is what really makes this program stand out. Options include downloading the UO app, opting in to email updates, and entering exclusive giveaways. 

If you love shopping at West Elm, you’ll definitely want to consider the Key Rewards program, which includes all the Williams Sonoma brands (including Williams Sonoma, West Elm, and Pottery Barn). There are two tiers: Cardholders have the Williams Sonoma credit card and earn 5 percent back in rewards, while Key Holders get 2 percent back in rewards by shopping at any of the brands, minus the credit card. Every time you earn at least $10, you’ll get a reward 30 days later that can be redeemed across the sites.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Target’s REDcard can be issued as either a credit, debit card, or reloadable account depending on your preference. All three work like you would expect — the debit card actually links to your existing checking account, and allows you to withdraw cash at checkout up to $40. There are plenty of benefits: Members get 5 percent off most purchases, free two-day shipping, and an extended return window. You’ll also get an additional 5 percent off when you use your REDcard at an in-store Starbucks.

Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack provide four tiers to their rewards system based on the amount you spend ($1 = 1 point for non-cardholders), but every member has access to the same exclusive perks — including free alterations and priority shopping access to certain online brands and products. Credit card members get even more benefits and earn more points per dollar spent, making inclusion in the highest tier (Ambassador) easier to reach. Take advantage of the company’s recently expanded home portfolio!

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

IKEA’s loyalty program doesn’t allow customers to earn points or dollars, but, as of last year, it now offers something even better — a 5 percent discount automatically applied to all furniture and decor. The caveat? It’s only for in-store shopping when you scan your IKEA Family card or enter the phone number attached to your account at checkout. But yes, it’s completely free to join, while also providing deals on certain delivery options, a 90-day price protection service, and special offers for select items (on top of the program discount). If there’s a location near you, consider this perfect if you live and breathe IKEA and want to save where you can — you’ll even get a free coffee or tea each visit!