Store rewards programs combine the perks of savings coupons, sales catalogs and money-back promotions all at once. While cashiers often recommend that consumers sign up for a rewards program, sometimes consumers are weary of giving out personal information and wonder what are the benefits. Here are examples of some of the most useful reasons to sign up.

Money-back programs

Depending on the program, a consumer may be entitled to receiving money back on purchase items. Credit card programs may issue funds back after spending items on eligible products or companies. While some consumers may feel like they’re getting their own money back, other store credit card programs give money back on top of money-off coupons, which is a double bonus for the consumer. And unlike credit card purchases for an exclusive eligible item, money-back programs in stores tend to have a larger selection.

Reward certificates

Depending on the store or online merchant, a certificate may give people the option of money off of an item while at the register or online. Regular consumers may be able to take the most advantage of reward certificates because they’re usually based off of points. For example, if every $10 is considered 100 points and consumers may get a $10 certificate for gaining 1,000 points, one large purchase can guarantee money off. The downside may be that the money-off certificate must be used on the next purchase. The upside is a careful consumer will calculate what other items may be needed, return to the store at a later date and buy the item for a cheaper rate as opposed to buying all items at once.

Percentage-off programs

For a consumer who regularly needs to buy certain items (example: groceries) a program that gives automatic percentages off no matter the day is a win-win for both the company and the consumer. If a consumer knows ahead of time that it will be a 5 percent or 10 percent savings just for shopping in that store, the consumer may be more likely to buy an item at that store as opposed to another location. For the careful consumer, price comparisons matter a great deal. There’s no point in getting a percentage-off price if it will still be more expensive than the regular price at another store, but for stores that honor competitor rates, this is an even better opportunity to get the biggest bank for the consumer’s buck.

Store perks: What’s the catch?

With the amount of news reports about debit card and credit card breaches, “Big Brother” checking personal e-mails and location monitoring, initially signing up for a rewards program may feel intrusive. It gives stores a better idea of their consumer demographic, what they spend money on, how they spend money and what items are in demand. With this information, stores are able to find out which items consumers actually want instead of guessing. While advertising dollars may be a more successful way to get consumers to purchase an item, it’s also a perk for consumers to see items they’re interested in.

Outside of bargain hungers, consumers want to find things that inspire them when they walk into a store. They also want great deals. By the store and the consumer partnering up to give each other the inside scoop, promo programs such as these help both parties at one time.