She saves more than $600 yearly through memberships

Ms Macrina Lin, a relationship manager in the maritime industry, frequents Watsons for its dollar-to-point loyalty system.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

For avid shopper Macrina Lin, 23, loyalty programmes are all about getting "bang for your buck".

The beauty junkie, who is a relationship manager in the maritime industry, is a member of 10 such programmes - from department store Metro and South Korean cosmetics label Innisfree to personal care store Watsons and local shoe label Charles & Keith.

She says that these help her save $600 to $800 a year.

"I also love it when brands prepare something exclusive during my birthday month. It makes me feel more special and looked after," she says, adding that she uses her Sephora and Watsons cards most often. "I frequent Watsons because it sells my daily necessities, and with its dollar-to-point loyalty system, it is a better deal for my money, knowing that I save more in the long run."

Sephora members, she says, get exclusive promotions and invitations to members-only events throughout the year - including meet-and-greet sessions with cosmetic label founders and famous brand ambassadors. The bachelorette has also won cosmetic items from festive lucky draws for members.

She also attended an exclusive one-day sale at Metro Paragon a couple of years ago.

"The staff served drinks while we shopped," she says, adding that the number of customers allowed into the event was capped so it was not too crowded. "It was one of the more pleasant shopping experiences I have had as it felt great to walk into a store during after-work hours without so many people."

Bonuses like these, she says, draw her back.

"As I know I can get a discount or perhaps a free item, it's more comforting to shop and spend more. Psychologically, it becomes more acceptable to buy," she adds.

So strong is the pull that Ms Lin says she would gladly walk an extra 15 minutes to a store at which she has a membership, instead of buying an identical item at a store that is closer to her.

She says: "It's not that far and saving is still saving. I would go the distance."

Photo: The Straits Times

This article was first published on Feb 23, 2017.
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