I used to be absolutely mesmerized by VH1’s Celebrity Rehab and its companion program, Sober House. I found both shows’ real-life peek at celebrity addicts’ half-hearted attempts at recovery absolutely, well … addicting.
You can preach all you want from your high horse about the exploitative nature of such a show, but the fact remains the concept was brilliant: Confine Sean Young, Heidi Fleiss, Gary Busey, Rodney King, Tawny Kitaen, Daniel Baldwin and a host of other celebrity addicts in a small building for three or four consecutive weeks without the booze and/or drugs they normally use to get by on a daily basis and then watch the fireworks.
Why bother with the contrived scenarios of those Real Housewives shows, when both Celebrity Rehab and Sober House guaranteed genuinely compelling theatrics? Couple that with celebrity doctor Drew Pinsky’s dubious counseling and you had the equivalent of using gasoline to put out a house fire.
So what has this got to do with Coke Rewards, the loyalty program that rewards frequent Coca-Cola drinkers like me with the promise of lots of free merchandise and services?
Well, there was a time — more than a few years ago now — when I was addicted to Coke Rewards. Of course, my addiction was not as devastating as those who are dependent on drugs or alcohol, but it was a powerful addiction just the same. And just like any other addiction, nothing really good ever came from it.
The Story of a Coke Rewards Addict
My addiction to Coke Rewards started on October 5, 2007 with a ten-point deposit into my account from a 12-pack of Coke Classic. After that it was a long, ugly decent into the depths of Hades.
At first, my need to collect points was orderly and rational. I’d simply buy my 12-packs and dutifully enter the 12-digit codes printed on the inside of the cartons. I eagerly scanned the Coke Rewards website for items that I desired, and put them on my “wish” list.
Within a couple months, however, it was apparent that Coke Rewards wasn’t going to provide me with the nirvana I was expecting.
Items on my “wish” list were selling out before I could accrue enough points to get them and it became painfully apparent that, unless I was willing to settle for some sorry Coke key chains, or an occasional free 20-ounce bottle of Coke, I was never going to be able to get any of the truly big-ticket items being offered.
The first signs of trouble were subtle.
I found myself getting chummy with the guy who fills the Coke machine at work, hoping for handouts that never came.
I started asking friends and co-workers if they would be kind enough to save their bottle caps for me. At first it was just my close friends, but it eventually spread to anybody I was remotely acquainted with who I saw with a Coke in their hand.
Usually, to deflect suspicion, I would pitifully make up a story that I was saving points for my daughter. “She needs 2000 points for a giant stuffed Coca-Cola polar bear,” I’d say with a nervous laugh, hoping nobody knew I was selfishly gunning for the iHome Desk Lamp — complete with an iPod dock & speakers! — for 3700 points.
After a while, the bottle cap hand-outs from my friends and coworkers dried up. So I started shaking them down in the hallways.
Eventually I became paranoid. “Hey, Bob,” I’d say, barely able to control myself. “Where’s my bottle caps? I know Clarence down in 201 is collecting them too. You aren’t giving my caps to him, are you?”
Soon, I found myself unable to avoid sneaking a peek at every trash bin and office waste receptacle I passed during the day, hoping to see an empty Coke bottle or, better yet, 12-pack carton that would allow me to feed my relentless addiction.
I hit rock bottom after I caught myself early one morning shamelessly scouring every last inch of my colleagues’ office trash cans in search of discarded 20-ounce bottle caps. It was then that I made a pledge to come clean.
The Coke Rewards Program Is For Suckers
Of course, bottle cap collecting is not as big a problem as heroin- or alcohol-abuse — but it’s similar in one important aspect: over time, it takes more and more Coke Rewards points to get the same results. For example, in May 2008, I bought a Coke tee-shirt for 370 points. Five months later, thanks to chronic points inflation, that very same shirt required 760 points.
When the Coke Rewards program started in 2006, rewards points were valued at roughly ten cents each. Three years later, that same point was worth less than four cents, and by 2012 its value had plunged to 2.5 cents. It’s now 2016 and one Coke rewards point is worth exactly 1.45 cents. And you thought the dollar was a rotten store of value.
But points inflation isn’t the only problem.
As I noted earlier, there were too many instances where I’d put an expensive item on my “wish” list only to see it be removed from the site months later. This is Coke’s version of Lucy pulling the football from Charlie Brown when he tries to kick it.
One day, I finally came to my senses.
After all the effort I put in saving Coke Rewards, I’d only accrued a total of 1407 points and spent 753 of them — and all I had to show for it was two insulated Coca-Cola lunch coolers, and a bright red Coke tee-shirt.
The last time I checked, I had 654 points remaining in my account with 60 more still waiting to be deposited in the form of unopened 12-packs in my garage. If I’m lucky, that’s good enough to get me a Coca-Cola ball cap, a “vintage” Coke bottle opener, or a lousy $10 gift card from Amazon.
If anybody wants to take advantage of my unused Coke Rewards codes printed on the cartons, they’ll be in the trash can; feel free to take them.
After all, the first taste is always free.
Photo Credit: Coca-Cola South Africa
OMG, I’m dying from laughter right now. I have a coke rewards, I have never ever perused the points section. I just enter our 12 packs all the time. Yeah my DH is a huge coke fanatic. I would totally have given you my points if we worked together. Hmm..maybe I should check it out. I am going to guess you aren’t a hard core coke drinker yourself? We run through a 12 pack a week easily, mostly my DH. One for lunch, one for dinner and maybe one more. If only I could get him to cut back.
I know it’s a long shot, but I’m saving the codes for my son. I have a 5 month old little girl, & no money to buy my soon-to-be 13 yr old son birthday presents. I saw a couple things on the sweepstakes section & have been entering everyday to try winning something for him. Like I said, it’s a long shot, but I’m desperate. He’ll blame his baby sister for a “crappy” birthday. I’ve been asking everyone to save the codes for me too. I figure, they just throw them out, & I’m the one wasting my time on it…so who cares?
Hey you all you suppose to put the codes in immediately when you get home, not save them up for a month then put them in.
say you got a 12 pack today, you should go home remove the caps from each soda type the codes in, and screw them back on and put your sodas back in the fridge. problem solved. of course we now they may go flat in a few days but that’s okay fountain soda is flat, so we are aleady used to it. 😀
The Personal Finance Playbook says
That was hilarious.
David @ VapeHabitat says
Indeed! I laughed for an hour!
Len Penzo says
You’re in denial! Stop blaming your DH — I bet you two are co-dependents and in need of some serious help! I could see us all now, three Coke addicts pitifully huddled together against a brick wall on some skid row avenue, with our cups held out begging for bottle caps. Eventually we could save the 3150 points to get us a baby Weber grill that we could use to maintain a fire to keep us warm on those cold, rainy, winter nights! lol 🙂
Seriously, I love Coke. I avoid Pepsi like the plague — unless it is the only drink available, that is! I used to drink about a little over a quart a day, but I’ve cut back to between 12 and 20 oz daily.
Thanks for the love!
Touching story – I’m not a pop (or “soda” as you probably call it) drinker but I can certainly relate to getting sucked into rewards programs
3 words for what to do with Coke Rewards: DON’T DO IT! My first and only experience left me with nothing–a coupon code that was invalid for a fitness video from a company that just kept telling me to resubmit it. I’ve called so many Coke #’s I’m batty. And nobody there cares one hoot! I thought it would be fun and easy and it’s been anything but; and when I pointed this out to the supervisor she had no response. Coke rewards is a stupid, worthless marketing ploy and way more trouble than it’s worth!
I’d take Coke over Pepsi any day, but never did the rewards program. It would take me years to get even a tshirt anyways. Still, I can relate to the points program addiction as I’m married to an addict. From Air Miles to HBC Rewards, gas points, Aeroplan, Shoppers, Sears club, everything you could imagine, she has. Her purse has like 30 pounds of rewards cards, and its starting to give her a limp on one side… Its pretty bad!
Len Penzo says
You have my sympathy, Jamie. Maybe you can get your wife an appointment with Dr. Drew. LOL
If you are into points buy the 99¢ 12 oz bottles. Each cap is worth 3 points. Use promo code NCAATSHIRT before entering cap codes and you’ll get a free college t-shirt of your choice for only 6 codes and it doesn’t deduct any points. You can do this twice. Then do the same thing with promo code NCAAMYTEAM for 2 more t-shirts. Do coke! By the way, you can use cap codes from any size bottle of Coke products for this deal.
I do agree with you on how the items you want sometimes go away. But that doesn’t mean to stop saving your points just because you can’t get an item any more! You can get things in return from Coke. Does other soft drinks do that? No! All you do is buy their products, drink them, and get nothing in return. It’s also free to do my coke rewards all you have to do is sign up, so they don’t rip you off. You can also find free points on the road somewhere were people don’t keep them so you get those points for free! So all I’m saying is keep your points and go to my coke rewards and get free stuff.
Len Penzo says
Well, George – Coke doesn’t have a monopoly on rewards programs for drinking soda. Pepsi has a rewards program. Dr. Pepper used to, although I am not sure they still do. Oh, and if you are looking for orphan Coke rewards, not only can you find them on the side of the road, you can also find lots of them in my trash can. 🙂
If you’re not afraid of a little dumpster diving, Coke Rewards are awesome. My friends and I have gotten so many magazines that way.
b carpenter says
As well as hepatitis…
You know, I have to agree that the inflation sucks and the rewards never stay up long enough to save for. However, I finally just gave up on the big stuff and started using my points every 200-300. I’ve gotten several good magazine subscriptions and several songs from Napster as well as a three-month membership.
I’m addicted to Diet Coke so I don’t really have to go out of my way to collect the points, though. I do think that a lot of those awesome, massive-point prizes that were on the site for the first year or so were about this close to false advertising.
Len Penzo says
I’m a big Coke drinker myself, Sara. Still, I just got tired of collecting the codes for things I knew would never get either because of the price inflation or them removing the item before I could save up enough points. If I were still collecting today – which I am not – I would probably save my points for those coupons good for $1 off 12-paks. I think it was 35 points for a $1 off coupon. Do they still have those?
I agree about the borderline false advertising suggestion regarding those earlier big-point prizes. Totally unrealistic.
Randomly (like right now) you can get a coupon for a free 12pk for 30 points limit 2 that is all I ever use mine for.
Actually I knew someone who was a counselor at a sober residence for dozens of men. He shook down the men for their points. You know recovering alcoholics guzzle caffeine instead. Anyway, he got some of those awesome first year rewards before points inflation took over, prizes got cheaper,and point limits came into play.
I totally agree about the big point rewards- but if you go for the magazines (and drink lots of coke) it’s a pretty great deal. Of course, I’ve volunteered to help fill the Coke machine at work too, so there you go. 😉
I did the Coke rewards for awhile, but quit after the coupon I spent points on didn’t work at the grocery store. Big let-down.:(
I could use those Coke rewards for my husband. Where do you live?
Len Penzo says
Ha! Too late, Olivia. My father-in-law depends on us now to feed his own Coke Rewards addiction! Poor man. LOL
jamie davis says
its so funny how free stuff can be free but you have to spend so much to get it. its not really free if your spending hundreds of dollers on gift cards. it insane although i do it but i get the codes from my grandparents thats alll they do is drink it anyways.. yess this can get addicting just thinking that you could possibly have a chance at getting something for free. but why waste you money on something if you dont even drink it. five points and you get a free chance to win 500 doller visa card. their might be a chance at winning it. but its very unlikely. nobody i know does my coke rewards. it’s just insane and outrages. it is also addicting like he says.
Wow do I feel like a fool…..as of 08/02/2011 I have 10,230 my coke rewards points in my account……and not a damn thuing to show for it…………..but I’ll keep saving……..and keep hoping for some nice prizes….
Len Penzo says
That’s pretty awesome! So… What does 10,000 points get you nowadays? Hopefully you can get a nice Coke t-shirt and maybe have enough points left over to grab a ball cap too! 😉
Actually, I’ve gotten some pretty big things from MCR. I got a carousel spice rack, a (small) salad spinner/chopper, & digital binocular camera (great binoculars, sucky camera). I also got a free Restaurants.com coupon & am about to get a $10 Amazon gift card.
I’ve been collecting coke rewards since 2006, and I just made my first purchase. I managed to amass 4000 points in 5 years time. My landlord would drink a 12 pack a day, and I would pull the box out of the trash and plug the code into the website. (Most of the points were from her, I’m sure). The trouble now is, the largest rewards you can get are 2000 points, and most of them are nothing I’m interested in. Hope my ab roller is not a pos.
Len Penzo says
Let me tell you — it’s a relief not feeling the need to collect those points anymore, jeff. It’s really like kicking an addiction. (Um, not that I would truly know what that’s like.)
Heck I collect 4000 points in one year with my own Diet Coke addiction. I must say I look mighty sexy in my free Snuggie. Everyone is sexy on the internet anyway, right?
what about the fact that the 1000.00 Walmart card is offered up I think it is a scam it looks real enough. but it popped up as if I won something and looked the same as the scam that truly turned up to be a scam,
Len Penzo says
I’m not sure what you are referring to here, Pamela. Did Coke offer a bogus Walmart card in exchange for rewards points?
Travis Oakley says
You guys are crazy. I get tons of magazines every month for free, and I just enter all my 12 packs once or twice a month. Especially with an android app, it’s not hard at all. It takes maybe 5 minutes to enter 12 codes for 120 points, and a year of Entertainment Weekly is about 250 points or so. I mean, come on, it’s not like coke is gonna give out free cars! I just appreciate the fact that they throw me some magazines to read to thank me for my loyalty.
Never had a problem like you guys are claiming.
I agree i mean my family gives me the codes and ive gotten 16000 points in a month and it cost me about an hour and a half on the computer i mean i got free movie tickets coming in the mail and a miniture mini fridge yay
Len Penzo says
Come on now … really? 16000 points in a month!? That’s the equivalent of 1600 12-paks a month.
You must have a very large family — or a small family at significant risk of chronic diabetes. Just sayin’.
Interesting, soda is sugar water. I don’t think the rewards folks make money on the items they “give” away. It is simply to promote products and build brand loyalty. Anything you get and like is a bonus beyond sugar water you purchased. From Coke’s stand point, if you go to the store and have a choice of brands to chose from, they hope you will chose coke and using rewards is a way to provide an incentive to choose or stay with their brand. If you are a consumer, you goal should be to chose what you want to get after you have reached the points max. There will always be things being offered and things being removed. If there is nothing you like being offered, you can always join Pepsi rewards. I’m on both and as I can, I enter in points for both. I don’t let rewards points alter my choice for the best deal I come across. Relax and take it slow and steady.
Ray S says
Not anymore. Coke is killing the program and screwing their loyal customers.
Wow, GUILTY as charged! I work at UPS and while I don’t see many coke bottles I see a TON of Powerade bottles lying around. I literally POUNCE on them when I find them. When it’s on sale for .50 etc. they are common & I’m always telling guys I work with that I’ll take the caps when they’re done. The strategies that make the program pay off for me are 1. Save most Powerade caps when they offer “double points” 2. Enter the points while watching sports (lots of commercials) 3. Every Wednesday is a 1/2 off deal 4. Every now & then they have bargains such as DVD box sets for under 400 points & $5 subway gift cards for 140.
Since I get most of my points from work/friends it’s more of a time investment vs. money but I rarely just sit there and watch TV so this is yet another great “TV companion hobby”.
I didn’t really get this the first time you posted and I still don’t. I do realize it’s just for fun (to be funny), but why don’t you just get free Coke with your rewards points? That’s what I do. I have 4 free 12 packs coming my way right now. I have done a few magazines and also free blockbuster rentals, and it’s just nice to get a few free things for taking a few seconds to enter the codes. It’s better than a poke in the eye!
I’m curious to know, if you can’t stand to drink diet, if it is possible to get enough rewards to get something actually worth your time without getting morbidly obese from the massive amounts of sugar.
I am not a soda/pop drinker at all. I used to be a heavy coke drinker in late grade school (circa 1995-ish). But I did dabble in their other products like Sprite. I never did any Coke Reward programs because I quit drinking soda at the end of the century. Just didn’t like it anymore. My friend Sadie in grad school was collecting points and always had me help her “dumpster” dive for them. The movie theater was a great place to collect many because they sold bottles along with their overpriced cups. I’m not sure if she ever won anything though. I did win an NCAA Mountain Dew jersey from 1997. Upon ebaying said jersey, it is going for a cool $20 these days. I should dig that up.
Len Penzo says
Wow. Seth. If you told me about the movie dumpster diving idea at the height of my addiction, I bet I probably would have tried it out at least once to try and hit pay dirt.
Paula @ Afford Anything says
Wow, I’ve never joined Coke Rewards, but for years I had an addiction to filling out online surveys for “points” that could be redeemed for gift cards. Roughly 10 hours of surveys = $25 gift card. You don’t have to be a mathematical genius to see that they pay is less than what a 4-year-old would deem acceptable, but it was just so hard to say no!
That was totally totally me! I was a grad student when I found out about those, and it started with saving points from purchases to wandering round the lecture rooms while studying at night and rummaging through recycle bins. And all for what? A 1-year subscription to Wired Magazine and a $25 restaurant.com certificate so I could take my girlfriend to a nice new french restaurant – which she didn’t like anyway, and refused to go (topic for a very long argument). Anyway, I decided it wasn’t worth it. I’m sure the school security camera guy would be wondering who was this guy always going round the lecture halls at 2am and going through recycle bins.
Truly for suckers! I have been saving coke points for nearly 4 yrs only to have 1500 points. I refuse to buy any of the cheap dumb products and everyday I hope that MCR come to their senses and get prizes worth my time. Still hoping to this day!! After a while you realize that you spent nearly $800 on Coke Cola beverages in order to try and buy a Coca cola teddy bear that costs $5. I could’ve been saving for something cooler all these years. The sweepstakes should be called scamstakes. Who ever wins those. One day I’m gonna put all of my points in a iPad sweepstakes and press my luck. Best way to go out. MCR sucks indeed.
Do you realize that “Coke” is almost as expensive a gasoline, we are truly suckers.
That’s why to buy the store’s “Faux Coke” instead.. I’m sure that the History channel could do an interesting episode of Modern Marvels on the intricacies of the “branded-soft-drink/store-brand” economy – or better with “brand-name-snack-chip/store-brand-chip” economy. Assuming that the companies would let you do the filming that is.
They had am episode on a monster Lays Chips factory. But they conspicuously left out what happens to those “rejected chips” that are expertly blown out of the 45 mph conveyor belt by a high-precision air-jet)
lol i work at a grocery store i has like boxes full of unused caps laying around im not stressing over where im gonna get my next cap… your story was funny though and kind of sad
i HAVE SO MANY COKE CAPS i REACH THE 120 MAX EVERY WEEK, and I give away boxes of them.
steve palmer says
I tried to get things in a similar way but it was from KOOL cigarettes. when i was looking at the stuff they offered, it seemed impossible to get anything good because id have to buy 3 times the smokes i normally would smoke to get enough points for the good stuff. truly a scam designed to get you to buy more cigs LOL.
and i did change brands after that so they lost my business also.
Jean Robinson says
Well now…during college basketball NCAA tournament, Coke Rewards had a free game where you selected a player to shoot a basket… If he made it, you won. I played about once a day, and finally won a $50 gift certificate for Chili’s restaurant!
Len Penzo says
Good for you, Jean! (I love Chili’s too.)
and for all those who are MCR addicts – here is an iphone app that will make it easier for you to enter the codes and track your point balance!
Digidestined of Trust (Tim) says
I work at Chick-Fil-A, and last year I discovered the gold mine I had been missing for the past 3 years with the Dasini Water packs that we get. Under those packs are little, black and blue squares that have coke rewards on them. Each of them are worth about 20 points and if I were to consistently enter the codes in every week, we get about 5 a week (though this 4th of July week, it was 10) I’d gain about 500 a month.
It’s really funny, because if I see a bottle cap on the ground, I’ll pick it up and see what it is. Now that I know Powerade has those huge Coke promotions, I’m also going to do those as well.
I’ve accumulated points and have not drunk one sip of Coca Cola. I stopped drinking sodas in my early days of high school. I could never like dark sodas, and eventually even the clear ones bothered my sense of taste. My points come from discarded products; people too lazy to put plastic bottles in a trash can only a few feet away. However, there is nothing I desire from the Coke site, I am just collecting points just for the heck of it, and seeing if (at one time) I will have a drive to get something.
it works out great for us. I have gotten free mag subscriptions for years using points and we live an hour away from world of coke in atlanta…we get free tix to world of coke using points all the time…so I dont feel i’m too big of a sucker…and I don’t mooch points / caps off anyone either.
So dramatic.. Just like anything else, some people get carried away with it and regret it, and some people enjoy themselves and find ways to get a lot out of the program without overdoing it. You don’t have to save up for the big expensive things. If you spend them smart you’d be surprised how much you get with them. You can get a 20 page 8X11 photo book from shutterfly.com for 250 points (you’ll have to pay the shipping) which is what I spent mine on. I have 2 children and I have hundreds of thousands of pictures but never had the time or money to print out all the pictures and organize them into albums. It’s cheaper and easier for me to spend a little cash for shipping on a few books that showcase all my favorite pictures than spending an obscene amount of money printing out a bunch of 4X6’s, and then a good $5-10 on each photo album. The books are clean and organized and you can personalize them to be exactly what you want/need. My husband recently got 1,000 points from his work and I purchased 4 photo books with it. One about each of our children, one about my husband and I and all the pictures of us since we met, and another that shows our whole family. Since there’s free shipping right now on orders over $30 (and my total, including shipping, was almost $30 because I added a bunch of extra pages to one of the books) I added a personalized water bottle to the order to jack it up to $30 (before shipping), eliminated the shipping and got the water bottle technically free. I added a photo magnet to the order for only THIRTY reward points, and my total after everything I added to the order is $37 dollars. The website calculates for you how much you saved and I saved over $170. Beat that. There are ways to spend them where you get much more than 2.5 cents worth out of each point! The points don’t have a set price for how much they’re worth… you can get the photo magnet for 30 points that’s worth over $5 in cash. Even when you have to pay the shipping (which I don’t because my order is over 30) that works out to the points being worth MUCH MUCH more than 2.5 cents apiece.
You could accumulate 10 million points and still not have anything worth having from their selections. I wound up with a red Coke hoodie my wife won’t let me wear cause she said I was to “gansta”. I’m a 67 year old white guy!! TMI?
Haha! I currently have over 3,000 points. I’ve never redeemed any of them. I’m like George Clooney in that airline miles movie. I’m sure I’ll be sorely disappointed with my knock-off George Forman grill, kitchen apron, digital picture frame, etc…all emblazened with guady Coke logos.
I, too, solicited collections from friends. I also peresued the desk receptacles at the office…even collecting the points from all the cardboard packages in the two kitchens. That’s a real score!
Then, I began digging through recycle bins at the parks I visit…and developed a hawk-like eye for spotting green and red caps in the woods of the trails I hike. When will it end??
I just started collecting. Have 500 points, and a few unused codes, since I have reached the weekly limit. I actually don’t drink coke *that* much. But my uncle owns a store and gives me the cartons. Usually get 2-3 every 3 days. 🙂 I’m planning to get 1200 points and buy 4 bagsbuy gift certificats. That way I can buy a $60 purse for my iPad for free. Hope they really work, because according to this, it doesn’t always work. I don’t know. But I got free McChicken bites from MCR. It was exactly 0 points, and came in the mail a week later.
Hell, I save the max for myself and my wife every week. Got some decent stuff, cost me zip, nada, zero.
I stopped drinking all soda about five years ago. I did some research on aspartame, and realized I was poisoning myself. But I kept collecting Coke rewards when I’d find them in my recycling bins. I’ve collected about 2,000 points, and spent about 1,000. This inflation is crazy. I used to be able to get a $50 nike credit for 1000 points just less than two years ago, now it’s $25 for the same amount of points. What a rip. But i’m loving the fact that I dont’ support this company who makes money from a product that ultimately has no health benefits, and could very well be a contributing factor to obesity, diabetes, MS, and even worse.
I have just started using my coke rewards. Its coming together pretty well. I work at a redemption center and i asked the owner if caps matter and they said they dont. So i take ever coke cap i see and ive already got a couple this for xmas gifts. If anyone u know works at a redemption center get them to get caps. I get a few hundred caps a week
Devorese Petteway says
I have turned my points in three months ago and still haven’t recieved what I order. So can someone let me know what the is going on?
I feel the coke rewards program is worth the time. I get points from my wife and her parents. I don’t drink coke as much. but I will collect the points, just takes a few minutes when I have a good bit saved up. What I do though is wait until December, they start to have $50 gift cards for 1000 points. I currently have about 3500 points so that’ll be $150 in gift cards.
My daughters school is registered with Coke Rewards and I donate all of my points to her school. Why not donate your points to a school near you. Every little bit helps.
I agree with you on this! It took me 2 years to collect a little over 5,000 points and I finially got some free $100 nike shoes…come to find out they hurt my feet! You collect and collect and collect and then the high leaves once you spend your points 2 years later because who would want all the other crap they have listed under 2,000 points! I remember going to a golf tournament with my fiance and it was sponsored by coke. I had to walk by hundredes of thousands of coke caps all in the garbage cans. It made me sick but it was a professional course and cbs was filming the game too. I didn’t want to be the girl on the evening news who got kicked out of a PGA golf game for diving head first into a garbage can of coke point 🙁 I would have though ….
Nancy Guregian says
I must add to this hall of shame. I walk the dog early on garbage day and pull the coke boxes out of my neighbors’ recycling bins to get the codes. Also haunt the machine at work for refill day. I tell everyone that I’m donating the points to charity but really… last year’s Xmas gift to my daughter’s bf was blockbuster coupons redeemed with coke codes.
ya i would dig thru the trash too. now coke went up on the points. It is not worth it.
Art Paul Scvhlosser says
I’m sorry but I don’t drink the product because God cured me from caffeine addiction. I only save the points from boxes I find in the garbage or friends give me. Coke doesn’t have to give the points. Because they do, it’s up to you to decide to collect them. They would make just as much money on there sugar caffeine addicted product either way. How can you curse them for giving something back to the community by letting the people that drink the product save points up and get things from the points. It would be perhaps nicer if they didn’t raise how many points you need on somethings or if some items stayed up longer in their catalog but either you shouldn’t be drinking up the product for the points and when you get enough points you don’t have to spend them until you find something you really like. I say coke rewards is a win win situation for people that like the product because they already are drinking something they like and then if they save the points they get a free item as well.
Len Penzo says
Sorry, Art, but for potential liability concerns, I had to remove your address from this comment.
I just found out that MyPoints expired two weeks ago, 1800 of them and I’m down to the 183 I put in today. I really feel like a sucker and I’m going to dump the other hundred I have right in the trash.
What a idiot! We use our Coke rewards to get movies on a rent one get one free! We drink Coke and have friends that drink Coke give us their codes so it really saves us a lot of money! Now my Legion is helping ,me so I think while your story is funny you miss the point completely
Len Penzo says
If you say so, Jake.
The program is a complete rip off. I started about 1.5 years ago and I wanted the Nike $50.00 card for 2000 points. Now that I reached 2000 points after spending over 450.00 on Minute Maid Apple Juice bottles. I stopped drinking soda and now drink apple juice. Last month I went to claim my prize and now I see you have to have 3300 points for the same Nike prize. I wrote a letter to Coke and they said due to market conditions Coke has the right to change the program. You know what I made more money on the recycle fee I received for the plastic bottles than their stupid rip off program. It does take a long time to collect over 2000 points. My advise is do not waste your time with this totally stupid program. Coke wake up and treat your customers with respect.
I love CR. We don’t even drink it but lots of people save them for me at work and I am able to keep a stock pile up. Every Sunday morning I fill up for the week. I wait till I get at least a thousand points. Then I go shopping for free. You cant go wrong with free shipping to boot.
If what your saving for is OOS just keep saving up. Most of the time they restock. I wanted to get the spice rack for my wife, and by the time I got the points for it, the thing was OOS. It came back 3 weeks later and I ordered it. I never told my wife it was back in stock. What a grand surprise she got to come home from work and see the box on the counter. I love CR. We had a nice night that evening, if you know what I mean : ) Thanks CR.
William Squier says
I drink Coke Zero. A LOT! I go through about a 12 pack every few days. And I put in my codes.
However, I’m not saving up for the crap they offer for thousands of points, or to risk on the sweepstakes.
Every December, Coke Rewards runs a bunch of specials. The one I always stock up for is the coupon for free 12packs for 30 points.
Last December, I received 40 coupons for free 12 packs. Using those free coupons combined with the semi-frequent Buy2Get3Free sales that Safeway has, I feed my Coke Zero addiction for a cost that doesn’t make my wife push me to quit.
THAT is why My Coke Rewards works for me.
I found myself smiling and saying “guilty as charged” with a few of your scrounging techniques. I’ve taken advantage of a few nice personalized photo items for Christmas presents and other piddely items over the years.
As the emcee for a corporate meeting,I once made the announcement that I was a Coke Rewards saver.I still get intercompany mail envelopes with caps and carton ends from loving co-workers-haha.
And how about bike rides in the early AM of recycling day? All SORTS of 12 pack and case cardboards (Sprite green and Coke RED) ripe for the picking. Heck,I even took a small scissors so I didn’t tear a precious numeral off my pilfered codes.
A problem? Who…me?
I get the 12 packs for 250 points or magazines.. Those are the things I want. I don’t care about the big ticket stuff
I used my Coke Rewards points to enter their many sweepstakes and won a $1,000 Best Buy gift card in 2009. It paid off for me but I know it doesn’t pay off for many!
Christian Alberti says
I have coke rewards myself, but half of my points are’nt from me or my family money. What I do is collect bottles for donations. I keep the caps, but give the bottle money to a good cause. So I was wondering if you could say still why this is not good
I have over 17,000pts in my account even after spending countless 1000’s on stuff, but now the site got rid of all the good stuff to spend points on like dvds, giftcards, etc… looks like its all about sweepstakes an magazine subscriptions now, which i’m not gonna waste my points on with a slim chance that I might win a sweepstakes
When was the last post here?
MCR’s ultimate prize now is a scant 2,000 pts.
I’ve got just over 1,000 and now McDonald’s Monopoly game is giving them away, 1,000 can be won but it’s damn slim! (I only got 40 one time, the other value that can be obtained.)
I sometimes find them when I go around looking for cans. I won’t give Coca-Cola any of my money! I’ll just rely on everybody else hehehe!
I do Club Jarritos too (and did CokeZone in UK), and now that Xbox One is coming out, they may have to replace their 360 prize! xD
But it’s better to spend your time doing incentivised programs nowadays, I find. MCR is hardly on my radar. I just wish I knew how long it was til they dock points for inactivity!
X Lefty says
I know one neighbor who is good for a 12 pack every recycle day. Another is good for 2-3 Powerade Zero caps. I probably do a 12 pack a week myself. I’ll check the recycle at work but not much comes up; I’ve got competition.
The national zoo is loaded with coke caps because 1) people usually go when its sunny 2) only coke products are sold there and 3) they have separate recycle bins from the trash bins so it’s not as messy. You just have to be quick about rummaging through the recycle can and move onto the next one so as not to draw attention in a crowded park and get kicked out. But it’s quite a trek to get to the zoo every weekend, so I only go at most once a year.
Notice that these sources don’t total anywhere close to 120 points a week. The key to Coke Rewards is just focus on creating a backlog of points so that when double point days come around, you can pounce with all your ammunition and wait for the good prizes to come to you.
The best prize I got was during the 2012 summer olympics, there was a promotion that unlocked a small catalog of prizes at about 1/10 their normal point cost. I got an autographed Lebron James Jersey for 1500 points. No one knew at the time of ordering that the autograph would be authentic and it would come with an Upper Deck COA. I sold it for $600.
We drink diet coke like crazy at my house and buy it on sale normally. We don’t go out of our way just to get points or dig through trash for a bottle cap. I’ve gotten several cool things with my points. Yeah, you pay for them with the money you spend on pop, but if I’m going to be drinking that pop anyways, why not get stuff in the process? Lol.
My father-in-law has been drinking coke well before they started the rewards (about 1 12 pack a week; 2 if he goes traveling/doing yard work) and about over 2 years ago I found out about the coke rewards program and mentioned it to him. He had told me about how a co-worker of his did that and he would give the codes to him.
I told him to stop doing that and that I would make an account and use the codes for him so that he could get free coke.
I only put the codes in when it’s a double points day, and either wait til I get to about 1,000 to redeem or when they do a deal on the 12 pack coupons. As of this time I’ve gotten him at least 20 free 12 packs coupons and 8-12 $3 off a 12 pack coupon.
I do this because since he drinks so much he should get something out of it, and at most the few benefits I’ve allowed myself to have (since he doesn’t care) are a couple of free mcdonald’s burger coupons. 🙂
When did it change to only 100 points a week?? They say you can find points on Tab boxes. No you Can’t!
mary Gordon says
I agree with what Mari says: you change the point system. There was a time you could win more points, now there’s a cut off and you can only put them in on Monday. That sucks big time!
All Rewards/loyalty cards programs are crap! They give you a coupon for X , but know you are also gonna need to buy Y to go along with it . It’s all about generating extra sales, or online click revenue.
REFUSE RESIST !!
I work at a prison i get all the caps from the trash and all the 12 packs from our commissary. I have over 25000 pounts in 3 different coke accounts and have about 75000 in reserve.
Len Penzo says
Wow!!! So what do you plan on getting with all those points, Jessica?
You guys obviously don’t know how to use the site. I’ve gotten tons of free stuff. That is actually stuff I want. Not cheap openers or coolers. First off, never select rewards unless you absolutely want it. MP3, Headphones, gift card, etc. bad point ratio.
I do the instant win and sweepstakes. But I only do one entry unless under the rules it says 50 winners or more. Than my odds are better and I do a few more points. Why dump everything into a $5,000 gift card every tom dick and Jane is entering?
Using this method, I’ve won Universal Studios tickets at least twice, Knott’s Bery Farm tickets twice this year alone!, movie passes with drinks/popcorn, and gift cards like Southwest/AMC/Gas.
And don’t buy more coke or ask people for codes. Just enter what you usually get and store it. I only text my codes in and rarely check the balance. I usually have 1,500 to 2,000 at any given point. The key is to make sure you enter a code within the time frame and your points will never expire!!
Honestly, I don’t understand people that complain without thinking things through. Very easy, low time consumption, better than other sites rewards catalogues.
I don’t know what y’all are talking about. I get about 8-12 free 8×11 photo books every year from Shutterfly using coke rewards points. They are 250 points each… My parents give me there codes in addition to my own. To me it’s a great deal… I only end up paying a few bucks in shipping for a bunch of photo books that we give to all the grandparents. Without the codes, the photo books are $30-$40 each. I have also gotten $25 gift cards for Amazon, several magazine subscriptions and some children’s books and DVDs. Since we drink coke anyways, why not get something in return. I am not addicted as I would never even think to ask other people for codes… My mom just happens to bring theirs when they visit. If I have enough points to get photo books, great… If not, I will just buy a photo book. Lol.
I buy coke products anyway, so I see no harm in getting rewards for purchases I’d make anyway!
1 thing I hate about MCR, their ridiculous point limit. You now can only submit 75 points a week.
Len Penzo says
Yes, that is ridiculous, Reagan.
Sean Mina says
I didn’t think I had a problem. After reading your article, I know that you have nothing on me. I live in a huge apartment complex. There are large trash can sized recycling bins at various points in the community. I ransack those bitches nightly, so people can’t see how I am. I reach limits for how many code points you can enter in a day.
Len Penzo says
Wow. And I thought I was bad. You need help, dude.
I do love Coke and LOVE the Coke rewards program. I got 2 sets of movie tickets with drinks for me and my 2 girl friends! I also got an awesome SHUTTERFLY photo book (that took work for me to put together) for my better half and a couple fun t-shirts to knock around in, so I am happy! I hope it continues! I sent an e-mail to Coke to tell them I liked it and I hope they continue.
Well I have been a member since 2006 and I have done the same scouring and saving and bugging friends. But apparently I did it a lot better than you did. I have not bought more than $10 worth of product the whole time I have been doing this. The biggest bonanza for me was just before they changed the website. They had NCAA tournaments contests and I won 60 free bottles, free movie tickets, shirts, etc. etc. In 2010 I got over a $100 in Nike gift cards. Several times I have gotten $10 amazon cards and many free Shutterfly extras. Now fast forward to 2014/2015 and they have ruined the program. I think their are 8 gifts for us so called great customers who are gold status. Ridiculous.
Laura Vannoy says
You forgot to mention that you can only enter 75 points in codes per week. And you have to watch the math because caps are 3, but flaps are 10. So Do the math.
Len Penzo says
Good point, Laura!
I really don’t know if there’s ever a winner. I used to buy coke and collect caps, but I never even got close to being a winner. LOL
Currently it’s 175 points for a $3 off a 12-pack coupon and 275 points for coupon for a free 12-pack of Coke, Sprite, or whatever Coca Cola brand you please. I prefer to get several of the $3 off coupons because Target, Fry’s, Safeway and other retailers often have a “Buy 2 Get 2 Free” on Coke 12-pack products. Using the two $3 off coupons on the two 12-packs purchased usually makes them very cheap or often nothing which means all four 12-packs end up free when the B2G2 offer is going on. So your 714 points (654 plus the 60 sitting in the garage) would get you either two free Coca Cola brand 12-packs or four $3 off coupons. The $3 off coupons and free coupon have been around for several years; they did used to be 150 points and 250 points , respectively though. I have a feeling this blog story was written more than a few years ago before the great coupons were offered.
If you saved all your aluminum cans and took them to a scrap yard over the past 10 years… it would have been worthwhile 🙂
The value of the aluminum cans is worth more than the rewards points in a 12 pack of Coca-Cola.
They are more fun to recycle and cash in!
Yo you are right on….
Today it’s a waste of time and juz givin big bro our info…..So silly really. How many winners are there on visa… like ONE! They don’t stipulate but come on ….1 winner…500$ jeez coke makes that every second of every hour! HOW GENEROUS !!!
of a cavity a dentists dream. Conspiracy theory….dentist+ sugar rotting soda= $$$$
…. They suck. But are rich…gross rich
KU Alumn says
I have had a lot luck with the program, the exception being with Magazines – and that was because the fulfillment company delivered 1 or 2 magazines, then I never heard from them again. I tried using my points for magazines a number of times, now I know better. But I have used my points to receive a Tripod Telescope, Coke Baseball-Caps, a pair of digital binoculars w/Camera built in, Coke t-shirts, a basketball with my college Alma Mater logo on it, and Lunch Bags (I have 3 of them and really like them!). For me, the digital rewards have been less consistently successful. I have had more luck with physical rewards, like the caps, binoculars, telescope, basketball, and – particularly – AMC Gift Cards.
Found a better use for my codes. I trade them online for credits on an auction site. Just traded for my 10th Silver Eagle and loving it all the way to the bank. I guess I’m better at feeding others addictions.
Joe Smith says
I think this is the dumbest article I have ever read.
The Rewards program has been great for me – I used the codes from the products my office purchases.
I have received free Kings Island tickets (for 4), a great 8 piece bowl set for the kitchen, movie passes and free popcorn, free powerades.
It’s a great program – you just can’t over expect….and you can’t be lazy when it comes to entering your codes. Does everything in the world have to be instant gratification?
ham soh says
I am not sure how I got hooked up. In the first year I would collect some points and then get a free coupon for 12 pack of coke. At some point the 12 pack of coke became 100 points instead of 30. That was a bummer but probably a blessing in disguise for me. After that I set my eyes on $25 Nike gift card worth 500 points. I got couple of those which allowed me to buy a pair of Nike shoes which I wore to the ground until I lost one of the shoe in a rafting trip when my boat flipped. At some point the redemption price of $25 Nike card became 1750 point (instead of 1750). At this point I sort of lost interest in MCR. However, it was also due to me refraining from drinking soda as well.
Like Dave I would fish the recycle bins near vending machines on my University campus. Being a graduate student I would be on campus quite late and I would make it look like I was looking for some good cardboard boxes. I think I got quite a lot of points like this. I was quite satisfied with fishing a few locations and my point haul as MCR put a restriction on how much I could enter per week (this is the time when I opened two other accounts).
Anyway, I had quite a lot of points and I didn’t feel like redeeming $25 Nike gift card for 1750 so kept accumulating points when in the holiday season the price for these cards dropped back to 500 and I went berserk and redeemed all of my points for these gift cards. (I have about $300 worth of gift cards which I use from time to time to buy new Nike shoes).
Now that I am not on campus and work in a nice office, I am not able to accumulate many points but I had the caps and other stuff stashed when MCR again dropped the price of $10 Amazon and Nike gift cards. With three accounts I was able to redeem for $30 gift cards.
I don’t think MCR points are worthless as long as MCR drops the redemption cost once in a while and gives us these sweet holiday deals.
Len Penzo says
Good for you, Ham. If you can a good use for them, more power to you, sir.
Len, you are an idiot. Coke Rewards are totally free, so any reward you get is FREE. The time invested is incredibly short, and worthwhile.
My wife and I have gotten 10 – 11 AMC movie deals over the years – two gold passes – even work at “no pass” movies, two large Cokes, and a big bucket of popcorn. Totally worth the effort.
The rewards program is only bad if one is STUPID enough to think that big rewards are realistic. And that’s you.
Len Penzo says
Big rewards WERE realistic and worth the effort at one time, Biff. That point obviously went right over your head. So who’s the stupid one?
By the way, just how cheaply do you value your time anyway?
Haven’t BOUGHT a 12 pack in 5 years thanks to the cheap coupons during Christmas. Have gotten HUNDREDS of dollars of gift cards from the program.
Oh yeah…what a sucker I am!
Len Penzo says
Before anyone can overcome their affliction they must first go through an acceptance phase and recognize they have a problem.
I’m happy to know you’re on the road to recovery, Tom!
Now THATS funny.
I still save the caps from way back when it all started. I have over 5000 points, but when I had 4000 I tried to make a deal with Coke that I would relinquish all 4000 points for two Coke Zero 400 tickets at Daytona back in 2016. Well, I never got a reply back. Maybe they didn’t want to answer me, but if you figure at a buck a Coke that’s 4000 dollars! Figure that out you all! Makes no sense!
Well current day Coke rewards is VERY poorly handled. Over the past 6 months I have tracked my reward entries, the rules and winnings for each event. I have entered over 300 codes since around July of 2018, which is irrelevant fo this topic but wanted to demonstrate that my experiences is more than a few days or weeks long. None of the events post any winners at the locations that is listed in the rules. For example look at this: Here is the link to the rules for an event that has ended. At the bottom is a link to the “Winners List”, included also.
prize winners, visit http://bit.ly/2Q2gaLg (Editor’s note: This file is a pdf download.)
In fact I have never seen a winners list that isn’t empty (Editor’s note: These files are pdf downloads.) :
For a list of prize winners, visit http://bit.ly/2PN7Y1l
Win list: http://winlists.helloworld.com/245142.pdf
win list: http://winlists.helloworld.com/244982.pdf
Len Penzo says
Very interesting, Will. So why do you think Coke refuses to populate the winners’ lists?
DALBERT E BAILEY says
I now buy Sprite only for the drink. Then hand it off to a coworker who takes it to Oregon and cash it in. I tried the coke rewards, but felt it would take too long to get anything and now I see they ended it. Probably costing them profits. That ain’t tolerated…
Hey all you Coke Rewards complainers why don’t you donate your points to a charity or school of choice instead of thinking only about yourself. Do some real good with those points you earn. You will feel good about yourself. 😇
Oh, so did anyone else notice 5 months before this ended that you couldn’t find any points, but as soon as it ended the points all of a sudden started appearing again? And you can still find the points to this exact day…..
Len Penzo says
Yes. I noticed that too, Steve.