On February 17th, Barnes and Noble announced an overhaul of their yearly membership program, eliminating their old $25 membership program in exchange for a two-tier membership and rewards program.
With the old membership – a program that had been a part of the Barnes and Noble company since the nineties – customers paid $25 on a yearly basis to receive 10% off almost every item in store, free shipping online, 10% off discount in the café, 40% off Barnes and Noble Bestsellers, and coupons throughout the year in their email.
Barnes and Noble began rolling out their new membership store-by-store at the end of February, and by mid-April, every location will have switched to the new version of the membership program, which features a free tier and a paid tier.
The B&N Rewards Program is the free version of the membership and does not include any discounts or free shipping. Instead, readers who shop with the rewards program will earn stamps every time they spend ten dollars. When you reach ten stamps, you receive a $5 gift certificate in your email, which can be saved and stacked along with other gift certificates you may receive. For instance, if you spend $500, you will have $25 in rewards, which you can save and use at the same time.
The B&N Premium Membership is the new version of the $25 membership that shoppers are familiar with. The cost of the membership has increased to $39.99 and includes all the benefits shoppers were receiving with the old membership. In addition, premium members will now receive a tote bag each year with their renewal, 10% off online purchases, a free size upgrade on their drink in the café, and exclusive access to select titles and events.
If that wasn’t change enough, Barnes and Noble also eliminated the free Educator Program, which gave K-12 educators 20% off items for use in their classroom, along with other discounts. Educators with active accounts were invited to join the premium membership for one year at no cost to them but will need to pay the $39.99 renewal fee after the first year.
The changes to the Barnes and Noble Membership Program might be daunting, but at least there’s a tote bag.
For more information about the B&N Membership Program or to sign up, click here.