Opinion Editorials

Why the IKEA Family Card is pretty much useless

ikea family card

(Editorial) The IKEA Family Card and other retailers’ discount cards are useless, despite your having to give up your personal identity to join a club that never benefits you.

ikea family card

IKEA Family Card: I’m not a fan

Know what really grinds my gears? The fact that every big box retailer under the sun wants to exchange your information for a few discounts here and there. It’s an age-old practice, but one that retailers are getting pretty aggressive about. “Download our app!” “Sign up for this discount card!” “Give us your email and first born, and you’ll get a free cookie!” “Download our other app!”

One of my least favorite of the bunch is the IKEA Family Card. Put aside the fact that it sounds like it excludes unmarried people without kids, it is a simple card that the brand is pimping pretty hard. We do an embarrassingly high amount of shopping at IKEA – it’s fun for us and the kids. The maze is a blast, and we love the inexpensive doodads you didn’t know you needed, the minimalist shelving, it’s all a win.

But the kiosks that sucker you in with promises of discounts and an instant orange card suck.

Read also: Coupon marketing methods that best boost business

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The problem with this card and many other big box cards is that it asks for all of your information (phone number, address, email, DNA sequences, and so forth), and the carrot is a discount. Sure, this particular card gives you a 90 day price guarantee, but of the last 10 trips I’ve taken, not once as the discount applied to anything I was actually buying.

Not once.

What should retailers be doing?

Tell you what, retailers. If you want to give me a useless card, that’s fine, but don’t ask me for so much information in exchange for 20 cents off of a random cup I’ll never buy, just ask me for an email address (that I’ll never check). If you want to give me a useful card that offers a discount up front (like Target’s amazing Red Card), I’m happy to give you all of my information (hell, I’ll throw in one of my cats).

The problem is that as a society, we’ve given up on guarding our personal information and because we filter out so much noise and blacklist emails from retailers we were forced to give our identity to, the quest for the retailer to connect with the consumer has been rendered pointless.

Offer something useful if you want my information or leave me alone. Enough with the dangling carrot that doesn’t impact my shopping experience.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. The Internet

    September 3, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Are you that fucking paranoid? This is the digital age, get with the program. And for what it’s worth, it’s not Ikea’s fault you haven’t purchased anything on sale. They offer a ton of stuff every month at 15% off for Family members, so your argument that nothing is discounted clearly has no base.

    Now how hypocritical is it that I have to provide my e-mail address just to leave a comment…

  2. Shmucky

    November 4, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    I get free coffee and tea, not to mention hot chocolate

    If you want other discounts go to the IKEA kitchen are and grab yourself a glass so you can drink from their wonderful soda refill machines

  3. Nicole

    June 19, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    I just saved 3 bucks on a bag of candy today, my husband got free coffee, we got 90 minutes of kid free shopping, and we saved a few dollars on our overall purchase. I think a cookie tray was on special. I’d say it was worth the info exchange. Especially since we rarely receive IKEA emails.

    • Lani Rosales

      June 20, 2016 at 10:42 am

      That’s awesome! Thanks for sharing, Nicole!

  4. Not feeling like FAMILY

    July 5, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    I signed up for this card in an effort to receive a discount on a particular item as stated online, but when I tried to add my new Family Membership Card to the purchase, it tells me that IKEA Family doesn’t work for IKEA-USA, wtf? So why state a discounted price on an item, with a membership that doesn’t even work from my location? Additionally, this items discount is also stated in our location’s physical store, so it’s clearly not a www issue. What a waste of time. And good luck to getting through on the phone for questions.

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