Buy McDonald’s at the Grocery Store. Sorta.

From Business Week:

” Supermarket operator Safeway Inc. said Tuesday its Blackhawk Network unit agreed with McDonald’s Corp. to sell the burger chain’s prepaid shopping cards.

Safeway said it will sell the Arch card in 1,500 U.S. locations, including its brand-name subsidiaries such as Dominick’s, Vons and Tom Thumb.”

The cards don’t have an expiration date and are refillable. Are people buying these as gifts? For their own personal use? Do you guys like these things? We can’t think of a way they benefit the consumer, but perhaps we are suffering from a lack of imagination this afternoon. —MEGHANN MARCO

Safeway to sell McDonald’s Arch cards
[Business Week]

Comments

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  1. GenXCub says:

    They need to be better than just gift cards. I actually use the Jack Cash cards for Jack In the Box out here because every time you refill the card with at least $10, you get 2 tacos.

  2. etinterrapax says:

    I’m amused by the marketing of gift cards as personal unitasking debit cards, honestly. As gift cards, I completely see the point, but when I once used up a Starbucks gift card that had been a gift and was asked whether I’d be refilling it, I had no idea why I’d do that. Tying up my cash in a gift card sounds like an awesome deal for the retailer, but not so much for me. I suppose that’s why they’re pushed the way they are.

    Offer me 6% interest on the balance, and then we’ll talk.

  3. Ben says:

    You can put some money on one and give it to your kids, so in theory they’ll be eating fried crap instead of spending the cash on cigs or booze or candy.

    Of course, your kids will probably take them and sell them at a discount so some other kid so they can still get their smokes.

    I cannot imagine giving McDonalds as a gift. Not to anyone I like. My boss, perhaps…

  4. caltonia says:

    I buy McDonald’s gift certificates regularly, to give to the homeless people I come across. I can give food rather money. I think the gift certificates are better than the gift card because they clearly show how much they’re worth and are recognizable as coupon=food. I’m not sure the gift card would be as good a replacement, in that respect.

  5. RandomHookup says:

    Damn, Ben, that explains why I got 4 of these at the company gift exchange.

  6. Ishmael says:

    Two words: corporate rewards. I work at home and my office is a 6-hour drive away. Since there are several people who work for this office in the same situation, gift cards are a favorite hand-out. We usually get Wal-Mart, Chevron, or McDonald’s cards.

  7. levenhopper says:

    I buy gift cards from Giant Eagle when I know I’ll be going to a restaurant. Or, for another example…when I bought my digital camera from Best Buy, the grocery store had a double points deal towards the grocery store’s reward program.

    My feeling is if I need to spend the money, I may as well get reward points. Plus, since I bought the gift cards at a grocery store, my Citi card gave me 5% back, like it does for all grocery store purchases.

  8. phrygian says:

    I saw the McDonald’s cards when I went grocery shopping the other day. It’s not a gift I would appreciate, but my grandparents would love them. They don’t like it when I give them actual things (i.e. sweaters, books, etc.) for presents, so I usually get them restaurant gift cards. Seeing as they are members of a seniors group that meets at a local McD’s every week, they’d actually get a bit of use out the card. And when it was empty my grandmother would probably mail it back to me to refill it in time for the next gift-giving holiday.