That was the SINGLE reason I agreed to sign up for shopping cards. I knew that they would be tracking my usage and decided that the cost of privacy was an acceptable loss if it meant that I got the coupon prices without having to clip the coupons.
The next step for the various stores appeared to be that you would get some basic discounts when using your card, but that there were "special" discounts only offered through coupons (which somewhat negated the benefit of the carrying the shopping card).
Now it seems that Safeway is upping (or downing) the card to another level. Now you get the "honor" of signing up for their online discounts. This honor allows you to spend your precious time logging on to their system so that you can spend even more time going through their online coupons then and click on them to add to your card each week. WHY would I want to do that?? If I had time to do that, I would do it through a variety of pretty awesome sites. WHY can't they just give me the discounts since I've been a VERY loyal shopper for years and years! Why am I being forced to yet again, do a form of coupon clipping when the darned card was supposed to save me from that in the first place?!
And frankly, the only benefit of using the card at Safeway was the discounted/coupon prices (oh and occasional discounts on gas). Locally, Fred Meyer not only gives you some actual real-money back, but they also give discounts on gas. And in actuality, Albertsons has lower prices, TRUE coupons (like double-discount offers), and better prices (although not as big of a selection as Safeway). Even discount places like Grocery Outlet offers better values than Safeway (although I will admit, you do have to watch the quality at Grocery Outlet).
Isn't it ironic that each time they make their shopping card less user-friendly, they lose more of my business??
By the way, I looked at Safeway Shopping Card FAQs and wow is it a lovely combination of condescending AND uninformative! For instance, one of the questions was "Why don't you just give me these prices in the store?" Their answer was: "If every shopper were exactly like you, we could! But the reality is every Safeway customer is different. This program is personalized just for U!"
SO I am trying to figure out why I still should be shopping at Safeway - other than convenience. Frankly... I'm about done jumping through hoops that ONLY benefit big corporations. Enough of that!!