You’ve seen the little lock icon on the left-hand side of your SnipSnap screen, but how do you know when to use it? What’s the standard for marking a coupon private or choosing to share it with thousands of other SnipSnappers across the country? Coupon-sharing is at the heart of SnipSnap; it’s what makes impromptu mobile couponing possible. Find an unexpected must-have at the mall? You can snip a coupon on the spot from the SnipSnap user database, even if you’ve never uploaded a coupon yourself. Of course, you’ll want to have SnipSnap success at the register, so you’ll want to make sure that what you snip is meant to be shared. Likewise, when uploading your own offers, you’ll only want to share deals designed to be redeemed many times by many people.
In order to make it a cinch to tell the difference between coupons that should be shared from coupons that should be privatized, here is Mo’ Money’s handy guide to the top 5 types of coupons you should mark private (if they’re yours) and avoid snipping (if they’re not).
Mark Them Private!
- Gift Certificates: Gift certificate are different from coupons because, instead of being funded by a restaurant or retailer, they’re funded by friends or family. You may be able to redeem your own gift certificates via SnipSnap (although many stores treat gift cards like cash, which must be surrendered). If you do choose to upload your gift certificates to SnipSnap, you must mark them private. Depending on the method a store uses to keep track of gift cards, you might lose your savings if someone else snips your gift card and uses it before you do.
- Rewards Dollars: Rewards dollars are different than coupons, because they’re dollars off future purchases, based on purchases you have already made. For example: Old Navy and Kohl’s are two stores that occasionally run rewards dollars promotions. If you spend a certain about during the promotional period (say, $50), you’ll receive store “cash” (say, $20) with your receipt and you can redeem that store cash during the set redemption period. You earn store cash because you spent cash, therefor your savings are unique to you and should not be shared.
- Single Use Coupons: There are a few different kind of coupons you’ll encounter, which are intended to be redeemed only one time by only one person. Sometimes, you’ll receive single use coupons in the mail if you’ve ordered from a retailer online or joined its loyalty club. Sometimes, you’ll receive single use coupons with your receipt (also called catalina coupons) at stores like Target. Not all Target catalina coupons are one-time use only (in fact, most aren’t), so make sure you read the fine print.
- Coupons with Your Name (Address, Account #, Email, Etc.) on Them: In order to keep your personal information private, make sure you properly crop it out during the snipping process. If your name and address are on the actual coupon itself and can’t be cropped out of the photograph, you should mark that coupon private.
- Coupons Connected to your Loyalty Card Accounts: Coupons that are linked to your loyalty or rewards accounts should be marked private, because they are linked to your personal information and also because they are very likely to be single-use coupons that others will/should not be able to use. An example of loyalty card coupons that should be marked private are ExtraBucks catalina coupons from CVS. In order to redeem these coupons, you must present the card to which they’re linked. (Want to find out how you can score your own CVS card and ExtraBucks coupons? Check out the Mo’ Money CVS store guide.)
There you have it! The more conscious you are of which coupons should be public and which should be marked private, the more successful you’ll be, and the higher we’ll see our success rates climb!