Sunday, November 9, 2008

Loyalty card 'zine'

I used to keep my grocery loyalty cards on my keyring. If I'd ever go to the store and didn't drive my car with my keys, I don't have my discount card which can save you a lot of money over the course of a year. There is usually a credit card sized duplicate card, but I needed a more compact solution and a way to keep then all in one place. Since I usually take my wallet, a paper solution would be just the ticket.

I came across this article to create a nice pocket sized 'zine'. There is a link on this page to a template in .doc format.

Next, you need to get your barcodes printed. Here is a site* to generate many different formats of barcodes.
Many loyalty card barcodes start with '4' (most coupons will start with a '5'). Common formats in the US are UPC A and EAN13.

The loyalty cards usually have a number on them. In the label generator site, select a barcode symbology, type in the number and click 'Create Preview Below'. Compare the output with your actual card. If it matches, you are good to go. Click 'Create Printable PDF' and you can cut-n-paste the resulting barcode into the zine (you might want to rotate it). If it does not match, use trial and error until it does. Sometimes you can look on a printed receipt for pre-or-ap pended numbers in addition to the ones on the card. I put one barcode on each page. When you are done, follow the instructions for cutting and folding the zine.

Oh, I also put my library card barcode in here, too. It took a bit more trial and error and turned out to be a CODABAR format with a prepended 4 and an appended 2.
Some other formats:
  • Lowes Foods -- UPC A
  • CVS/pharmacy -- EAN13
  • Kroger -- UPC A
  • Harris Teeter -- UPC A
  • Ace Hardware -- EAN13 (prepend with '04')
  • Dick's Sporting Goods -- UPC A
So here it is...

If the zine wears out or gets lost, you can always print another copy. If you come up with other ways to create a nice compact storage system for retail loyalty cards, I'd love to hear your ideas.

*Note: If you have trouble accessing this site, take a look at this blog entry. I tried the suggestion in response #4. It did not work, but gave me a clue. I run a web proxy on my ClarkConnect box in the basement. The solution was simply to add a proxy bypass entry for ''.

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