By Jim DresbachOctober 9, 2012
The Joint Base Myer Commissary has officially entered the digital coupon and computerized grocery-saving era.
As of the first week of October, the base commissary is a participant in the Commissary Rewards Card program. Like many electronically-based savings programs instituted by grocery retail chains, the Commissary Rewards Card concept can make a shopper a more intelligent and thriftier consumer by using a laptop or an on-the-go smart phone.
The Commissary Rewards Card is a money-saving tool which allows commissary shoppers the opportunities to reduce the number of paper coupons that need to be clipped and physically carried to the store. Now with a card registration, consumers can add digital coupons via their computers. "This should be in place at every commissary as of now," Commissary Store Director Nancy Mitchell said. "We're live with it right now. I had all the employees register a card just so they could see how it works, so they could better explain it to a customer."
Registration takes all of five minutes. After obtaining a card exclusively at a commissary, shoppers can visit commissaries.com/rewards/index.cfm to enroll, add digital coupons and start saving money. As an offer to those new to the program, customers can obtain a card at the joint base commissary with preloaded coupons for immediate use. This introductory offer expires Oct. 24.
"As we move forward, there are going to be more benefits. The vendors will start downloading [coupons and offers] onto the card," Mitchell said. "All you do is get online and click the coupons you want to use."
The coupon section gets updated every two weeks with old and new offers coming and expiring. Like paper coupons the electronic versions will also become null and void over time. When an added electronic coupon expires, it simply vanishes into cyber space and leaves no paper trail.
The Defense Commissary Agency's (DeCA) coupon policy limits coupons to one per purchase, so the digital coupons cannot be combined with manufacturer paper coupons and military or commissary coupons.
Commissaries hope the rewards card will assist in attracting young shoppers with Families who currently use big-box grocers and department stores for their grocery shopping needs. The goal is to show commissary shoppers that time, effort and money can be saved in this green initiative.
The rewards card has had a quick evolution toward activation. Testing of the card began Aug. 8 at the Fort Lee, Va. commissary and eventually moved to 30 stores by the end of the month. DeCA then began a gradual rollout of the card throughout September.
Customers also have the option of printing a list of their selected coupons, so they can follow the savings through the aisles of the commissary.
For additional information on the rewards card program, DeCA suggests that customers visit the commissary rewards card frequently asked questions page at www.commissaries.com. The customer service hotline at 855-829-6219 is also staffed to handle card questions.