Are you as sick of rewards cards as I am? Do you think they really get people to stay more loyal to a store? I'm so over rewards cards that they barely even register with me... I shop where I want to shop, and I'd rather not carry one more card, thank you.

But businesses are convinced that rewards cards get people to come back more often. It has gotten to the point that airlines got with frequent flier miles... they had have them if they wanted to compete. Now a store that doesn't offer a rewards card is the oddball. (Frankly, I've become partial to stores that don't pester me about their stupid card!)

And now... for a completely unexpected rewards card... one from a bar. That's right. Drink to your heart's content and earn prizes and rewards while you do so. The Pacific Standard bar in New York is offering a rewards card that gives drinker things like novelty beer and airline tickets. Drinkers earn points for the dollars they spend, which can be cashed in for prizes, some silly and some serious. The airline tickets to California go for 7,000 points. (And at that point you'll need to fly west for some serious rehab...)

The owner says that the rewards card was done to help the bar stand out from the competition, and that it's not intended to promote heavy drinking. Of course not. Bars would never want their customers to drink heavily. Who's first in line for the card?

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

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