As Chicagoans, we are lucky to be surrounded by world class shopping, dinning, and entertainment options. All of these opportunities for spending money can make saving hard! Fortunately, there are strategies for people who love to dine and shop to be smart about money and find ways to save.
If you are always on the lookout for a great deal, customer rewards programs are a good place to start. Rewards programs help you save money at your favorite restaurants and shopping locations by translating your loyalty into special perks and savings. To get you started, we’ve listed a few of our favorite programs in our local area.
Kinzie Chophouse is a women-owned and operated steakhouse in the River North area that offers a VIP program for customers who download their mobile app. This program gives you points every time you dine, which you can redeem for glasses of wine, gift certificates, and birthday rewards. They also offer private functions, guaranteed reservations, and other exclusive perks to their VIP members.
Old Town Pour House is an upscale bar and restaurant that combines a great beer selection with modern American cuisine. Their rewards program is simple: Every time you reach a spending total of $200, you receive a $10 credit. This program does require signing up, but it is free to join and easy to claim.
Restaurants operated by the same parent company often offer reward programs that include multiple locations and dining options. Lettuce Entertain You runs more than fifty different Chicago restaurants- including Aba at Fulton Market, Sushi-San in River North, and Ozzie’s Pops and Pretzels at Navy Pier. Their frequent diner club lets you accumulate points for every dollar you spend at any one of their restaurants. Points turn into dining credits that you can apply directly to your bill. An easy to use app helps you keep track of your rewards.
Levy Restaurants operates over a dozen dining experiences throughout the Chicago area, including the newly opened Maddon’s Post in Wrigleyville, and Spiaggia on the Magnificent Mile. Holders of Levy’s rewards card receive $25 for every 250 points earned. Rewards can also be redeemed for signed cookbooks, private parties, or even a weekend getaway!
Other Rewards Programs
Food lovers aren’t the only people who deserve a great deal. Here are a few other interesting rewards programs in our area:
If you are in need of a professional black car service, Legendary Private Car offers frequent customers free airport trips after completing 5 trips in a month, or once you refer 10 friends.
Hotel guests of the Ambassador Chicago can join their loyalty program and redeem points for cash-value reward certificates that can be used for free nights, dining, and spa services.
Ballroom Dance Chicago lets customers earn points by taking classes, attending events, writing reviews, or referring a friend. Points can be redeemed for swag, discounts, or even free classes or lessons.
The Fine Print
Smart consumers know to check the fine print when joining any rewards program. There are often restrictions for redeeming points (such as not being valid on Saturday nights or for combining with other offers), and it is important to understand how your personal information could be used or shared.
For most people, customer loyalty programs provide the opportunity to score great deals at places you already frequent. If you don’t know whether a reward program exists at your favorite haunts, don’t be afraid to ask. You have nothing to lose and only savings to gain!