1. Customer loyalty2. Selling Demographic Data3. Distracting the Consumer from the Basic Bargain4. Most Consumers Never Take Advantage of the Schemes
Staples "Rewards" program is limited to paper and toner, and as I discovered, it is cheaper and less hassle to just order these things online anyway. But that's the point of the program - to get you to stop shopping on price.
 The term "bargain" is used in Contract Law to define an agreement between two parties. I pay you $5, you sell me your old hat. We have a bargain. To most "consumers" the term "bargain" implies some sort of discount or sale or freebie. I am not using the term in that manner, anywhere in this blog, unless I describe something as a "good bargain" or "bad bargain." A "bargain" by itself is value-neutral.
 The Good Sam club owns Camping World, and if you are a Good Sam member, you are automatically a President's club member now.
 When I stopped flying, my airline miles were slated to expire. US Air sent me a letter saying they would keep my miles in effect, if I sent them about $100 or so. The amount of miles I had were equal to one flight, which was about worth $100. So I would have had to pay $100 for this "free" flight, that I supposedly "earned" with airline miles. Having expiration dates on airline miles is the biggest scam around. It means that the average traveler will likely never get a free trip to Hawaii in his lifetime. It also means the "pudding guy" likely has lost all his miles by now....