Tag Archives: rewards

FREE Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups & $1.36 Stationary!

I’m always trying to take advantage of as many freebies as I can, and this week was no exception as I scored a few great deals that I wanted to share with you. I was able to snag some free Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (a King Size nonetheless!), and some cheap stationary!

First off, let’s talk about the free Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Here on this blog before I have mentioned how I like to take advantage of my local gas station Sheetz’s loyalty reward card program, the MySheetz Card. They recently overhauled their program and made some changes. I didn’t know how I’d feel about it at first, but after getting to learn about it, I am enjoying the changes. It’s much like the Giant Food Stores program that I use, where you can load offers and deals on to your card. Before you would earn credits for certain items you purchased, and after so many you would earn a free one of that particular item. Now you earn points on everything you purchase, and you can use those points for a variety of rewards such as free hot dogs, free candy, free coffee, free drinks, free hoagies, and much more. It’s now all your choice what you use the rewards for.

Every so often, like they have always done, they also send you an email with a freebie that you can cash-in with no purchase necessary. This past week I received an email with a FREE King Size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup candy bar! One night this week after my girlfriend was done with work, we stopped by and picked up our free candy bar! Let me tell you, after putting it in the refrigerator for a few hours (you gotta put your chocolate in the fridge!) it was the perfect end to the night! If you live in the Northeastern United States you can get more information on the MySheetz Card here.

For many years I have also been a member of the Staples Rewards program offered by, of course, Staples. I often get a variety of discounts and offers in the mail, but every so often they send what I consider the “holy grail of Staples offers,” a $10-off-$10 coupon. As long as you purchase full-price items (nothing on sale counts) you can literally spend as little as you wish over $10 and basically get everything for free. On this trip I was able to score some stationary for me and my girlfriend and only had to spend $1.36 out-of-pocket. Sometimes I’ll go
in and spend much more than $10 and get some stuff I was already in need of anyway, but this time I just took advantage. It’s good to spend more sometimes so you can keep getting the coupons in the mail. If you would like some more information on the Staples Rewards program you can find it here.

I mentioned Giant earlier, which is one of my favorite grocery stores, and I’ve got some good freebies there for this week already loaded on my card. I will try and share those here soon, or at least post them on the Ninja Ghost Investments Facebook page, which you can find here.

Bottom line is take advantage of rewards programs which offer freebies. You can try some of these examples I mentioned if you have any of these stores in your area, or just do some research on some of the programs your local stores offer. You just may be surprised! Thanks for reading and I’ll be back with more soon! If you have any questions or comments PLEASE leave them below!

Brent Ott

How To NOT Treat Your Customers & Community: The Downfall of Coca-Cola’s MyCokeRewards

As I have shared with you, I like to take advantage of a variety of programs and memberships which allow me to get freebies for doing things I would have already done anyway. Doing so is how you can really stretch your budget and make the most of what you have. One of the very first such programs I was a member of was Coca-Cola’s MyCokeRewards. For a decade or so I was a member. It was similar to the Pepsi Stuff/Pepsi Points program from many years back, for some of you who may remember. On Coke products there were codes, you entered the codes online for points, and you could then cash in the points for various rewards.

Over the years I used MyCokeRewards and redeemed them for theme park tickets, Amazon gift cards, and a variety of other various, worthwhile prizes. It gave you a reason to look forward to drinking Coke, saving your caps and packaging, and even asking your friends and family to save them for you. It really helped to build brand loyalty.

I don’t drink a lot of soda, but I am very loyal to Coke when I do. I am a simple, original Coke type of guy. I actually have a hard time drinking a full-size 12-ounce Coke, and prefer only having an 8-oz can every so often. It’s the perfect size for someone like me! Coca-Cola is an iconic brand. Everything from their Christmas/Santa packaging and advertising, to their other artwork and classic advertising. Being a reseller I have grown to love Coke advertising and have sold many vintage signs, crates, bottles, you name it. My passion for Coke and their brand has also led me to holding a small investment in Coke, for many of the same reasons that Warren Buffett has held the stock for so many years. It’s just a small gesture, but I was so very proud when Stockpile, the company I use to hold Coke stock, sent me a stock certificate that I could display in my office last year. Simply put, I’m very loyal to Coke.

All of these reasons is why it truly hurt so much when Coke decided to “improve” their MyCokeRewards program, as they decided to call it. Make it “better.” Yeah, right. We’ve been down this road before. Over the years, they have changed the program many times. They have made it harder in different ways, made you earn status levels, changed it back, and I don’t fault them for any of that really. During all these changes over the years they still kept the basic truth of the program which was that you could use your points towards actual prizes and rewards. Things that made it worthwhile.

With this last and seemingly final update, all that changed. First off, they set a certain deadline in which you would no longer be able to enter the codes you had already collected. This deadline has passed. The program had a weekly 75-point limit in which you could not pass, which was understandable. What wasn’t is that they didn’t allow their loyal community to have an unlimited period in which they could catch up their stockpile of codes. Many people had to just simply throw away the rest of their codes. If you look at the community they built on their Facebook page, this is one huge complaint stemming from these changes. The people responding truly don’t even seem to care that they have angered everyone.

They are claiming that the program will be “better” now, and “easier.” It sort of reminds me of Donald Trump’s campaign for President. False promises and statements throughout. The new program which they are transitioning to seems to be nothing but entering your codes for sweepstakes entries. Who really wants to be loyal to a brand, save their codes, and enter them for a small chance at winning something? Saving them for something you would actually want like a theme park ticket, gift card, movie ticket, Coke t-shirt, etc.. is much more worthwhile. On top of destroying the program they built, they gave everyone a time period in which they have to use all their earned points by, or lose the rest. Even though the new program looks to be a joke, why wouldn’t they allow points to carry over?

The basic truth is as follows: I understand that business changes, society changes. Soda sales have slowed dramatically over the years, as more people now drink bottled water and other healthy alternatives. I’m no different. Myself and the rest of the Coke community probably would have understood more if Coke was just honest and stated that they had to change the program or get rid of it all together due to declining sales, profits, whatever the case. But claiming that they are making it “better” and “easier” and whatever other blanket statements they feel like using is a great way to lose the loyal community that you spent years building. Turning your own community against you really makes no sense.

Were you a member of the MyCokeRewards community? What are your personal thoughts on these changes? I’ve heard of some other programs that have recently done similar moves, including a local gas station/convenience store which has implemented similar changes. Have you experienced any similar situations? It’s a shame when you get used to something and it gets taken from you, but that is life I suppose. Is honesty too much to ask for in this day and age? That is really all I am asking here.

I usually always try to be positive, and I’m sure my next post will follow that path, but this is something that has been on my mind for a while that I just felt the need to share. It’s not the end of the World, my life is filled with many bigger problems. To wrap it up and be as honest as I can, I’m just really let down by the iconic, classic brand that is Coca-Cola. Drinking my 8-oz can just may never be the same again….

Thank you for reading, and leave your comments below! I promise that I will respond!

Brent Ott

Chevrolet / GM fan? Here’s A Credit Card I Recommend….

If you’ve read my blog a little you may know that I don’t recommend applying for more than one or two credit cards per year, sometimes not even a single one, but if you are in the market for a card right now I’ve got a recommendation for you. If you’re a fan of Chevy / General Motors cars, it’s even a more valuable suggestion.

Now first off I am well aware of the variety of regular, good old cash back credit cards that there are. There are actually a few I already recommend, and a few I am looking into this year. This blog post, however, is a different story. If you’re looking for a simple way to set aside extra cash to purchase a new car that you can earn simply from purchasing what you already would have anyway, then the Capital One BuyPower Card may be just what you are looking for.

I originally found the BuyPower Card through a mailing I received, at a time when I was ready to open a new account. I am a big fan of Chevy cars; over the years I have owned a Corsica, a Cavalier, a Cobalt, and the car I currently own which I bought brand new, a Cruze. Therefore I can pretty much guarantee you that my next car will also be a Chevy (likely another Cruze).

With the BuyPower Card you earn money off of every purchase that gets set aside for you when you are ready to get a new car at your local dealer. For the first $5,000 in purchases every year, you can earn 5% cash back towards a vehicle purchase, for a total of $250 a year you can possibly earn. After the first $5,000 in purchases, you can earn an unlimited 2% on everything else. Since I got my BuyPower card I have made sure to at least max out the first $5,000 in purchases every year. One of my favorite things to use it for is when I get service done at my local dealership. After spending the first $5,000 each year I will use the next card I have available, usually with the highest cash back, but not always depending on that month’s budget and goals. Never forget, the secret is ALWAYS paying off your credit card balance every month. Pay MOST of it BEFORE the cycle even ends to keep your utilization low!

Cards where you can earn a certain reward certainly aren’t new, as there is a Disney card out there and a bunch of others. This one, being that I am a big Chevy fan, to me was something that I just had to have in my wallet. Two more big selling points for me were that there is no annual fee, and the earnings you receive don’t expire. So for example you could cash in $200, if that is what you earned, next year. Or you could save for the next 15 years and cash in $6,000, if that is how much you are able to earn. I am planning on doing something similar to the second example, as it being just extra money I earn I’d love to use it for a “mostly free” car down the road (or at a big discount, nonetheless).

Capital One makes it easy to track your earnings, and the balance gets updated every month. If you are interested in checking out this card, head on over to https://www.buypowercard.com/.

Soon I’ll share some of the other cash back/reward cards I recommend. Some of which aren’t actually “credit cards.” I’ll share at least one of those soon. If you have any questions or comments PLEASE feel free to leave them below and I will respond!

THANKS again!

Brent Ott