Anyone up for free music, free food, free books, discount coupons, free movie vouchers, and free cash? As anyone using Spotify would know, the best things in life are free. But what does an app have to do with the rest of the abovementioned free stuff? I’ll get to that in a bit.

In the old world, merchants sussed out who were their loyal customers by providing them with actual membership cards they’d have to tote around if they wanted to enjoy discounts and collect rewards. They still do – I have a loyalty card wallet that’s about as thick as a Roget’s Thesaurus.

In the age of thesaurus.com, however, businesses are upping their ante by engaging and interacting with customers on their smartphones. And because they need to convince customers to go through the added step of downloading their app from Google Play or the App Store, they have to dangle more rewards.

We’ve sussed out seven apps and one microsite; so you can see if it’s true:

1) Burger King

This is probably the most generous F&B app out there: users get free food in the form of a daily login bonus. You’ll also see ongoing promotions and coupons that you can simply flash again and again at a Burger King counter. Locate the nearest outlet on the app, order your food on it, and arrange for pick-up. Need to provide feedback? Do it on the app. It sounds like it’s trying to do too much, but these functions are neatly arranged in a navigation-friendly user interface you’d appreciate.

 

2) UNIQLO

Betcha didn’t know that your favourite clothing store had a membership thing going on. Their staff almost always never ask if you have the app or tell you to download it, but you should. Here’s why: COUPONS! You get a $5 as a welcome gift (with a minimum spend of $60) after you’ve downloaded the app and created or linked it to your membership account.

That’s not all. Every $20 spent entitles you to one chance to play their Scan to Win game on the app. You shake your phone to “roll” the dice, and your token on the gameboard hops the number of steps the dice comes up with. If you’re lucky, you could win no-minimum spend vouchers valued at $2, $5 or $10.

But there’s one thing you must remember: Take the initiative to show the cashier your membership barcode on the app BEFORE checkout. Otherwise, if you remember only after the transaction has been completed, they’d have to void the purchase and redo everything all over again. You’d be stuck in the store for another 10 minutes.

 

3) 7Rewards

The 7Rewards app is for users to accumulate stamps and points with everyday purchases at 7-11. Every $4 spent gets you a stamp, and every seventh cup of beverage you buy is free. Just signing up alone gets you two stamps! Unfortunately, age-restricted items such as alcohol, tobacco and lottery are not included.

 

4) BreadTalk Rewards

The app welcomes you with a one-for-one deal on any bun lower than $2.10 in value from BreadTalk and any small hot beverage from Toast Box. During your birthday month, you’ll be plied with vouchers, and users can get exclusive bulk-purchase value deals on the app. If you’re into going cashless, there’s an e-wallet you can use to pay for your purchases.

 

5) Starbucks

If you can’t live without Starbucks, you need this rewards app. Every $1 spent earns you one Star, and you get a free drink when you accumulate 60 Stars. Their reward system has three tiers but you don’t need to get to Gold level (300+ Stars) to taste something sweet.

Upon registration, you get a one-for-one deal on your drink. During your birthday month, you also get a free drink upgrade.

 

6) Rewards apps at shopping malls – CapitaStar, ShopFarEast, Frasers Rewards, Suntec City

Saving your shopping receipts sounds like a terribly aunty thing to do, but trust me, aunties save the most pennies. When you spend more than $20 in a single transaction at a CapitaLand Mall, a Far East Organization mall, or at Suntec City, you can scan the receipt into the corresponding rewards app to accumulate points. Those points are then exchangeable for credit vouchers which can be used at the malls. Frasers members just need to show the cashier their app at checkout.

By the way, at Orchard Central, which is managed by Far East Organization, members get to redeem three hours of complimentary parking (on weekdays from 11am to 10pm), when you spend $50 in a single receipt.

 

7) National Library Board (NLB)

Yes, yes, we know that NLB is not a profit-making organisation, but this article isn’t about profits, it’s about rewards. Nerds Avid readers are finally being rewarded by getting free eMagazines, eNewspapers, and eBooks on the go. The quota for e-reads is separate from that of the items you can physically borrow from NLB. (The NLB app also has other functions, such as a catalogue to search for titles, make reservations, check your loans, and pay fines.)

Sadly but not unsurprisingly, Singapore’s own national newspapers like The Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao are not available for free reading on the app. You can get some local magazine titles, like Female, Singapore Tatler, and Harper’s Bazaar, but not Her World. The consolation is, however, that quality international publications such as The Washington Post, Forbes, and Vogue Australia are sponsored (i.e. paid for) by NLB. You can also kaypoh what’s happening next door in Malaysia by reading the New Straits Times here.

Be warned, though, that you do need a WiFi connection if you don’t want to bust your 4G subscription. You also need to download OverDrive to read eBooks and Press Reader for the eMags and eNewspapers. The publications load as PDF pages on the screen, so you might want to install these apps on your tablet for more comfortable viewing.

 

8) Golden Village Summer Campaign 2018: Pop It!

Do you want to win Golden Village movie vouchers, popcorn, drinks and food? Then you need to bookmark https://popit.gv.com.sg and religiously log in and play the microsite game every day until the game ends on August 8. The 30-second game involves clicking on falling popcorn kernels and avoiding the unpopped ones. GV Movie Club Members are allowed two game plays a day and non-members can only play once a day.

Participants stand to win instant prizes like a $38 movie gift card, a pair of Gemini passes, movie vouchers ($1, $2, and $2.50 vouchers), buy one-get-one-free Gold Class tickets, regular popcorn, free Coke, one-for-one cheesy hotdog, and $2 off food combo vouchers.

All participants are qualified for the grand prize: $1,000 cash each for four winners. If you do win something, anything, please tell us about it in the comments below, or crow about it on The Popping Post Facebook page and on Instagram!