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Fort Lee Commissary shoppers can be the first to use the new Commissary Rewards Card when testing of the cards begins Aug. 8.
This test is the Defense Commissary Agency's first step toward introducing the world of digital couponing to its commissaries worldwide.
"This is something customers have been looking forward to, so it's great that they can come to our store to be among the very first to receive and test the card," said Fort Lee Store Director Nadine Johnson. "The card makes it so easy to save more money that I expect many customers will eagerly adopt it as part of their shopping routine."
If all goes well at Fort Lee, additional stores will initiate testing in the weeks that follow. Customers participating in the tests can only use their cards at these locations until the card is released for worldwide use, which is currently scheduled for the fall time frame.
"We are very excited about this new initiative," said DeCA Director and CEO Joseph H. Jeu. "These cards will allow our customers to maximize their commissary benefit by using technology to save time, effort and money."
As an introductory offer, customers who pick up their cards by Oct. 24 will receive preloaded digital coupons on their cards for use in the commissary that day.
"The preloaded coupons will allow customers to benefit from the card instantly and learn how it will work, even before they set up their online account," Johnson noted.
The cards, which will only be available at commissaries, are easy to use. Once customers get their cards in a store, they will need to visit DeCA's website to register the card and load digital coupons to their account. They will also be able to print a list of their coupons before making the trip to the commissary. Once the card is scanned at the register, the coupons will be matched to their purchases and the savings automatically deducted. New offers will typically be posted online every two to three weeks.
As an incentive, customers who register their card by Oct. 24 can enter the 2012 Commissary Rewards Card "Home for the Holidays Sweepstakes" sponsored by Dr Pepper/Snapple 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.
Digital coupons, just like their paper counterparts, have expiration dates and other terms and conditions that must be followed for redemption. However, digital coupons will not be accepted for up to six months after expiration overseas as paper coupons are. That's because the coupons are distributed digitally and are instantly available to all customers worldwide, so overseas customers won't need extra time to use the coupons. Once a coupon expires, it will disappear from the customer's account.
Also, DeCA's coupon policy limits coupons to one per purchase requirement, so these digital coupons cannot be combined with manufacturer coupons, including paper coupons and military or commissary coupons.
Future enhancements to the card are expected to enable DeCA's industry partners to target savings based on the customer's specific usage, alert patrons to available sales promotions at their local stores and reward consistent shoppers with specific incentives.
"Digital couponing is the first of many innovative programs that are part of our Commissary 2020 vision to deliver a 21st century benefit," Jeu said. "We are always working with our industry partners to negotiate the lowest possible prices and identify new ways for our customers to save even more."
For more information on this card, please visit the Commissary Rewards Card FAQ. Assistance is also available through the customer service hotline at (855) 829-6219 or through email at email@example.com.