Organizing Blog

The Cost of a Bargain - Organizing Loyalty & Gift Cards


We all like to get a good deal on things - 10% off here, BOGO there. Almost every business has some kind of loyalty program or gift card to offer, but keeping track of all those cards can be a hassle. How many times have you gotten to the register only to find that you've forgotten the coupon or gift card you need? Two of the major impacts of disorganization are time and money wasted; in this case, time wasted in a trip to the store without the necessary card, and money wasted because oftentimes we’ll buy the item for full price to save making a return trip later.

The beauty of the Major Mom Method is that it can be applied to anything needing organization, even a small category of items, such as loyalty and gift cards.

Begin by gathering all your cards together in one place. Loyalty cards and gift cards have a tendency to wander, so make sure to look throughout your home, your car, your bag, and your mail tray. Next, sort cards by category, such as “fast food,” “coffee,” “sports,” “beauty and spa,” “movies.”

Now for the moment of truth: ask yourself to which places are you truly “loyal?”

Consider what these gift cards or loyalty programs are costing you in time spent looking for them and space in your bag, car or inbox tray. Are the savings great enough to warrant carting the card around? Is that unused gift card costing you emotionally in guilt?  If you have gift cards or loyalty cards to places that you infrequently visit, or plan to never return to again, give yourself permission to get rid of them. Cut up the loyalty cards. Pass gift cards along to friends or donate them to charity.

Next, establish a home for your cards in a place convenient to where you will use them. For example, keep “on-the-go” cards for groceries, fast food and coffee in your car, and designate a spot for online shopping cards with your computer.

There are a number of ways to contain and organize your cards. If you are a techie type, the Key Ring App allows you to scan and store your loyalty card information on your phone. You can also follow your favorite stores to get access to current coupons and weekly circulars. If you are more hands-on, try organizing your loyalty and gift cards alphabetically in a simple business card holder or on a dedicated key ring.  Don’t want to spend the money? Clear Ziploc bags work just as well.

Finally, be ruthless in allowing new loyalty and gift cards into your life. Everybody likes a bargain, but ask yourself if an organized wallet isn’t in fact the better deal.