15 of the Best Retail Rewards and Loyalty Programs with Cash Back – 2018 Edition

If you don’t sign up for rewards and loyalty programs, you’re missing out on free money and gifts.  Several brands offer a compensation to loyal customers, which is a great way to get freebies and discounts.  I selected some of my favorite brands and focused on those, since rewards programs usually have a point system.  Over the years, I’ve earned some great perks from CVS, Sephora, and Express.  In this post I’m going to share all my secrets on how I’ve earned close to $300 worth of makeup, clothes, and office supplies last year.

1. Sephora – Sephora is my weak spot.  The more you spend at Sephora, the more makeup you get.  On my last purchase, I earned a mascara, perfume, and lipstick! Sephora’s beauty program offers a birthday gift (this year’s gift is a kit from Tarte and Caudalie), rewards bazaar (free makeup!), and free beauty classes to all members.  If you spend more than $350 you become a VIB (Very Important Beauty Insider) and become eligible to participate in a free custom makeover and earn gifts.  Once you spend over $1000 in a calendar year, you will get unlimited free custom makeovers, a private hotline, an invitation to exclusive events (they offer breakfast), and 2-day shipping on all orders*.  Sounds pretty sweet to me!  I always take advantage of Sephora’s annual sale, where they offer a percentage discount based on your statuts.

2.Best Buy – This is my favorite store for buying electronics.  Electronics purchases can add up, so I always make sure I don’t forget to pull up my rewards account.  Best Buy’s rewards program is categorized into three levels: my Best Buy, Elite, and Elite Plus.  It allows you to receive rewards with every dollar spent, free shipping, and exclusive member offers and sales.  Every 250 points at Best Buy is redeemable for a $5 reward certificate.  I’m saving my points to get new headphones.

3. Omaha Steaks –  You can get rewarded when you buy food too!  Omaha reward members can redeem their points for:

  • 100 Points. for (16 oz.) pkg. Omaha Steakhouse Fries • 3.1 oz. Steak Seasoning • 4 Potatoes au Gratin.
  • 200 Points for • 4 (3 oz.) Kielbasa Sausages • 4 Gourmet Jumbo Franks • 4 Caramel Applet Tartlets.
  • 300 Points for • 4 (4 oz.) Omaha Steaks Burgers

4. CVS – This is probably where I’ve gotten the best rewards.  CVS’ extra care card rewards members for purchases by offering coupons and offers.  Members also get Extra Bucks to spend on merchandise at CVS.  I stop by CVS on a weekly basis, so I always have Extra Bucks to spend!  On my last purchase I got $15 that I redeemed for supplies.  It was a great deal because these kinds of purchases add up!

5.Walgreens –  Walgreens’ reward program is also pretty sweet.  It has some things that are not offered at CVS, so it’s also a frequent stop for me.  Walgreens rewards program provide exclusive offers, points, and more!  Members exchange 40,000 points for $50 at Walgreens.

6. Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta, and GAP – I’ve been a GAP credit card holder for many years and I’ve gotten some great perks because of it.  I earn points every time I shop with my credit card.  I receive a $10 reward card after accumulating 1,000.  After making a few purchases I get a reward that I use for myself or pick something to give as a gift.

7.JC PenneyJC Penney offers a rewards program and a store card.  Through the rewards program you get 1 point for every $2 spent.  If you are a credit card holder, you earn 1 point for every $1.  If you sign up, you also get a birthday gift and invitations to events.

8.Ace Hardware – Ace Hardware is a great hardware store based in Illinois.  I always get everything from here when I’m renovating.  My latest purchase was a heater because ours broke.  They always send me rewards such as coupons, tips for my home, and sale reminders, which is great because I don’t miss any deals.  In addition, I earn 10 points for every dollar spent.  If you are not a member yet sign up to get a bonus of  1,000 points!

9.Kohl’s – Kohl’s Yes2You rewards program is all about you!  You get a point for every dollar spent.  In addition, new members get 50 points for signing up and downloading the app!

10. Saks Fifth Avenue Saks First is an exclusive rewards program that offers points for every dollar spent.  Points can be redeemed for a $25 gift card.  Members get access to exclusive events and sales.  In addition, members can shop early collections.

11. Moosejaw Moosejaw’s rewards programs offers access to perks, gifts, promotions, and free shipping.  The more you spend, the more you get.  You can apply rewards to your cart on almost everything on the site.  You have two years to take advantage of perks before they expire, so make sure to take advantage of them!

12. StaplesStaples’ rewards program has two tiers:

  • Staples’ rewards program offers rewards on 2% of purchases made in store (some exclusions apply).  Members also earn $2 in rewards per ink or toner cartridge (limit of 10 per month) returned to the store.  To get the reward you must spend $30 in ink toner or cartridge in the last 180 days.  Rewards can be used in store or online.
  • Premier rewards members earn 5% of rewards on purchases made in store (some exclusions apply).  Premier members may recycle up to 20 ink toner or cartridges per month.

13.Petco  Petco’s reward program offers one point for every dollar spent.  Members get a $5 reward after accumulating $5.  My puppy loves his new Star Wars Darth Vader Box Pet Bed from Petco!

  • Express –   I’m an Express NEXt member, so I get a lot of perks and gifts.  I got a really pretty white top from Express for my birthday last year.  I also get frequent discounts since I shop there so much.  I get points on all of my purchases, birthday gifts, and rewards.  Check out the perks:


  • When you create your account you earn $15 for completing your profile, a $5 bonus reward for signing up for mobile texts, 250 points when you connect your social media account.
  • As a rewards member you get a $10 reward for every 2500 points ($250 points).  A-list members earn a $15 gift card when they spend $250 points.
  • Members earn exclusive offers, birthday gifts, 20 points for every dollar spent, and credit card A-list members get free shipping.

They also have clothes for men, so all of my gifts to my brother are from Express.

15.Godiva – I’ve gotten a lot of free chocolate from Godiva.  I introduced my mom to this brand and she became obsessed too!  I already ordered her gift for Valentine’s Day from Godiva.

I’ve gotten some great discounts and gifts because of my saving skills over the years.  In addition to the perks listed above, I also get Cashback on every purchase.  Click here to sign up.

If you’re new to rewards programs, start with one or two and see which ones are your favorites.  Let me know your favorite rewards program in the comments below.