Commissaries launch digital coupon initiative



by Kelly Deichert
Air University Public Affairs


9/28/2012 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -  -- The Maxwell and Gunter Commissaries launched the new rewards card this month, allowing customers to load digital coupons onto an account and access discounts with a swipe of the card at checkout.

"The rewards card is another way for our patrons to take advantage of digital coupon savings when shopping their commissary," said Beverly Montgomery, director of the Gunter store. "The website will continuously be updated with additional coupons and will keep up with the expiration dates so all you have to do is swipe your Commissary Rewards Card prior to ringing up your purchases."

Customers can pick up a card from cashiers at the commissary, create an account at www.commissaries.com and select paperless coupons to be accessed at the register.

Digital coupons can streamline savings for commissary customers, who use about 127 million manufacturer coupons annually, worth approximately $113 million, said Ami Hernandez, Maxwell store manager.

"Future enhancements to the card are expected to enable the Defense Commissary Agency's industry partners to target savings based on the customer's specific usage - how cool is that, providing savings based on our shoppers needs," she said.

Digital coupons, just like their paper counterparts, have expiration dates and other terms and conditions that must be followed for redemption. The Defense Commissary Agency's coupon policy limits coupons to one per purchase, so these digital coupons cannot be combined with manufacturer coupons, including paper coupons and military or commissary coupons.

Cards can only be used in stores where the card has been deployed. All stores should be able to accept the card by the end of autumn.

So far, customers have been receptive to the paperless coupon process.

"Our customers are really excited," Hernandez said. "I walked the store throughout the first day (Sept. 18) and personally spoke with many of our customers and the response was favorable."

As an incentive, customers who register their card by Oct. 24 can enter the 2012 Commissary Rewards Card Home for the Holidays Sweepstakes for a chance to win round-trip airline tickets for four to anywhere in the states, lodging in a hotel room that accommodates four for six days and five nights, and $1,000 spending money. The sweepstakes entry form will appear at the end of the registration process online.

"We are very excited about this new initiative," said DeCA Director and CEO Joseph H. Jeu. "These cards will allow our customers to reduce the number of paper coupons they have to clip and carry. That saves our customers time, effort and money."

The Defense Commissary Agency corporate communication
office contributed to this report.