Catharsis: So, what exactly is the anthro card for?

photo courtesy of taste duds

Ah, the anthro card. That little yellow card that sits up near cash registers. This slight piece of plastic has inspired more questions than last night’s LOST. The most common question I get? What is the card for? Well, I used to know. But lately things have become a bit muddled.

Let’s start with this: the anthro card is not a credit card. It’s like the loyalty card from your local grocery store…an extra piece of plastic that gets scanned before you pay. Everyone gets an individual number (printed on the back of the card).

Consistently the biggest benefit for USA residents has been occasional free shipping. There’s no promotion at the moment but once a quarter Anthropologie will turn on free online shipping for domestic orders. Sometimes there is a minimum — which is incredibly lame — but usually there’s not. In order to qualify for free shipping you need to make sure your anthro card is linked to your online account. To do so, sign into your account and go here.

But what of birthday discounts, receipt-less returns and “early bird” specials? For a long time I was under the impression that having an anthro card meant you automatically got the birthday discount. However as I’ve learned recently that’s not the case. The birthday discount is not a guaranteed perk; having an anthro card simply enters you into the lottery for one. Update: in 2012 Anthropologie made the birthday discount a perk for every anthro members, no more lottery. You can read the Birthday Discount FAQ here.

And then there are receipt-less returns. Perhaps it’s because my purchase rate has gone back up recently at Anthropologie but the process has not been smooth lately. Twice now in the past 2 months I’ve been turned away at stores because the sales associates couldn’t find the proper transaction in my history. And not to pick on any one SA but one time I had instruct her on how to log into my anthro account. I should point out I’ve never worked for Anthropologie and I don’t now. I’m just more familiar with online CRMs than she was. My anthro card is a replacement so I don’t know if that’s part of the issue here. But it’s annoying being told something is a perk and then being unable to utilize it.

And finally we have the mysterious non-existent perks. Go to and you’re told of “early-bird specials” which is described thusly: See it first, buy it early. Soon, you’ll be able to preview our newest collections and shop them before they’re available in stores or online. I’ve been waiting 3 or 4 years for anything like this to manifest! I want magical preview books! Or emails. Or something. I mention this not because I want Anthro to remove that line but because I’d love for it to happen.

So what is the real purpose of the anthro card? For Anthropologie it’s a marketing tool. They’re tracking our purchases to build customer profiles. I don’t mind one bit. I’m happy to help them create a profile on me if it helps them come up with better products and incentives. If it means certain items hit my NYC stores first because someone like me will buy them I am in, even as my wallet cries.

I hate to sound greedy but I do expect something in exchange. And yes, the birthday discount and occasional free shipping are nice. I have a few other ideas about things Anthropologie could incentivize anthro card members with….

Free shipping on charge-sends.
A charge send is when you call a store and ask them to mail you an item after you’ve paid over the phone. Most stores don’t charge me shipping. But a few (I’m looking at you, State St in Chicago!) insist on doing so. I understand this is Anthropologie’s policy but it’s dumb. It’s like with J.Crew. There’s smart J.Crew, which holds after-hours events for small groups during which I get 20% off my purchase. That’s smart. Then there’s dumb J.Crew, which runs a Free Shipping on $150 that’s actually a Free Shipping on $189 promo. That’s DUMB. Don’t be dumb Anthropologie. Usually I just sigh and eat it but a couple of times when the SA tells me they’re going to charge shipping, I have stopped the transaction. Both times the SA reversed themselves and said they could do free shipping. So which is it?? I WANT TO BUY SOMETHING. Don’t make it harder for me. Friction is bad.

Free shipping on online orders over x amount, all the time.
I know Anthropologie probably would not do free shipping just for being an anthro member so this is my compromise. If I’m going to spend $250 or more online I think it would be nice not to pay an additional $18 just for the convenience of home delivery. Home items above a certain size could be excluded but for clothing this should be easy. I know you mark up your items. I don’t care. But don’t mark up the shipping too. Then I feel bitter when an item doesn’t work out and I just paid $18 to try something on and return it. Do you want to breed bitterness in me? No. You don’t.

An invite to one after-hours store party a year.
I’m totally going out on a limb here. Oh wait, no I’m not. The following chains have invited me to an after-hours shopping party this year: Saks 5th Ave, Henri Bendel, Bergdorf, Bloomingdales, J.Crew, Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor LOFT…do you sense a pattern here? (Besides that I spend entirely too much money on clothing?) Granted, I did have the pleasure of attending a party at the Chelsea Anthro. Which was awesome and I’m so thankful for the invite! But I didn’t get invited because I’m an anthro member. It would be very cool to hang out at an event after-hours with other shoppers and some wine. It’s expensive to put on I’m sure. Think about it, anthro. It’s a cool treat. And you’re falling a bit behind in that department.

Something, anything, for Canada.
Our lovely neighbors to the north recently got their first brick and mortar Anthropologies. Unfortunately though the few promotions that are available to US anthro members are not extending northward. No free shipping. Different prices. Inconsistent sale items. It’s a bummer to say the least.

Anthro’s counter-argument to all this is of course: uh, roxy, you say you demand these things but you just spent $$$ with us last month, and you’re on-track to do the same this month. So why should we feel compelled to do this again? And did you notice we’re not exactly the promotions store? To which I say: point taken. Still, I’m hopeful and hopefully speaking on behalf of others here.

What other questions do you have about the anthro card? What other ideas do you have for perks?


  1. May 12, 2010 / 12:24 pm

    Hahaha! Hysterical that you created this post, because I kid you not- I was just thinking about this yesterday.You see, I have two Anthro cards. And it always seems like when I'm shopping at an Anthropologie I don't have any of my cards on me.And even though I've registered them online (and used them online!), Anthro can NEVER FIND MY ACCOUNT. They search high and low under my name, and nada.So then I think to myself, "Well. No biggie. It's not like I get anything with the card." and the sales clerk says something about keeping my receipt (because…maybe they can put my purchases on my card if I bring my receipt and card in together? no one has ever explained it to me) I pay for my purchases, and out the door I go, no tracking on me. You know why? Because no one really knows the perks of having such a card! My card is hooked up online, so if I need to get the free ship promo I have no issues; but for anything else? No motivation.I agree Roxy, it'd be nice if more perks were offered. They don't have to be big perks, either- just something to provide a bit more motivation. I'm pretty sure I spend over a couple thousand dollars a year at Anthro, and only half of that is probably tracked for my customer profile for them.*shrugs* *sighs*

  2. May 12, 2010 / 12:35 pm

    Isn't it nice to imagine that the stores we love might love us back? I totally agree that a few perks to go with the card would be great.

  3. May 12, 2010 / 12:35 pm

    Is it weird of me that I keep my Anthro card in the little pouch that it came in, along with the little slip of paper that came with it?I am planning to return a few items today and I definitely am bringing along invoices and packing slips just in case these purchases don't show up on my Anthro card. I've heard too many "horror" stories of people having problems with returns and their Anthro card.

  4. Sarah
    May 12, 2010 / 12:45 pm

    Oh man, I finally got an anthro card so I could get free shipping in March. I was happy, too, because I thought that meant I would get a birthday discount. Well, my birthday was last week and NO DICE. Major sad.

  5. Anonymous
    May 12, 2010 / 12:52 pm

    Like you, I haven't seen the advantage of the Anthro card from a customer's standpoint. I don't ever bother to use my card now, since it seems to just add waiting time during my checkout. Just the other day, I waited at the counter while the SA contemplated how to add my purchase to my profile, since I'd forgotten to give her the card right at first. Too much trouble! I'd rather move along than spend an extra 5 minutes while the employee clicks away looking for my account! I haven't had a problem with receipt-less returns, even without the card, but I've only returned something w/out a receipt if I want to exchange an item for something else.If the card doesn't do anything for me, I have no incentive to use it!Melissa

  6. May 12, 2010 / 12:55 pm

    But … but … aren't you thrilled when your birthday is coming up and Anthro sends you a little cloth bag with a sewing kit, or a piece of fabric with some random buttons on it?Pfft! Such ingratitude.

  7. May 12, 2010 / 1:40 pm

    The best thing about my Anthro card is that I use the little cloth bag it came in to store my iPod. Now the screen doesn't get scratched while it's tumbling around in my purse.

  8. May 12, 2010 / 1:44 pm

    OMG I love this post. Can you also add something for your Canadian readers? Because there is even less of a point for us to have these cards! We get no free shipping during the promo time (Martin & Osa do it, American Eagle does it, Esprit does it, JCrew does it, Nordstrom only charges an $8 flat rate, etc.)I can't even correctly link up my anthro card to my shipping account since they do not have provinces to select, only states.I'm not sure if we get birthday discounts, but I haven't heard so from any of my friends and colleagues (which is bad considering I work a half a block from one of the Toronto stores and I always run into someone there). I hope at some point in the future they do something about this, but in the mean time I will continue to scan my card to send the analysts my style & size so they can stock enough for me!

  9. May 12, 2010 / 1:49 pm

    I have a Talbots loyalty card. (I know, it seems counter intuitive to have Talbots and Anthro-different end of the spectrum as far as clothes go!) For every 500 points, they give you an appreciation reward of $25 good on your next purchase. You get between .5 and 2 points for every dollar spent based on your level (credit card or loyalty card). The loyalty card is free. They just send you vouchers. They have double points days. You get 20% your birthday month – no lottery – everyone gets it. We also do get previews of new items before others. I snagged a great pair of shoes that sold out within the first three days after regular release. I love Talbots! Anthro should follow suit! I spend several hundreds per month (way more during free shipping) so that really should be offered all the time. Just my two cents.

  10. May 12, 2010 / 1:53 pm

    Hi Roxy! I recently got an email, assuming that everyone with an Anthro card got one, regarding preordering items in the most recent catalog before it was revealed to the rest of the public. It gave me the opportunity to shop the new catalog a few days before they put the items up on the website for all to see. Hope that helps some.

  11. May 12, 2010 / 1:55 pm

    I just wish the card meant something. Aside from free shipping every once in a blue moon, I don't know what it's for. I didn't get a birthday discount which made me sad because I thought that was one of the few real perks about the card. If they aren't going to use it what is the point? It's just another annoying piece of plastic for me to carry around. I've also had problems getting a SA to look up my account in store. So annoying.

  12. May 12, 2010 / 2:02 pm

    Good points. When I first got the card a few years ago, I was excited thinking there would be perks. Most of the time stores offer perks with a card like this, but obviously there aren't really perks with this card. I think they should at least have free shipping all the time and make sure to send the birthday discounts to all members as well.

  13. May 12, 2010 / 2:07 pm

    Roxy..I love this. Yes I buy a lot from Anthropologie and I think I should get some sort of perk for it! I did call when it was my birthday and ask for my dicount card and they immediately mailed me out one. I really think they need to do something about the shipping. I get really bugged when I am spending a ton in clothes and there is some crazy shipping charge! It really limits what I end up getting. Also the receipt free returns are a pain! Luckily I have very patient SAs who will dig through my card to find an item for me but sometimes it takes a good 45 minutes for me to check out. I would love to see some of your items come about!

  14. May 12, 2010 / 2:09 pm

    Also I am always more inclined to spend when I get a discount. Even if it was just a once a year event I can see my purchase amount being higher with the thought of "how much I am saing" with the discount.

  15. May 12, 2010 / 2:13 pm

    I've had horrible problems with my anthro card and I finally got an associate who helped me out. I used the anthro card every single time I shopped at the store (multiple times a week) and then one time, the sales associate forgot to hand it back with my credit card and I didn't notice until I had gotten home-by this time the store had already lost it. Unfortunately they couldn't find me in the system either when I called…and do you know why this is??? Well it's because apparently often times when you sign up for an account-the sales associate won't input any of your information in, just activate the card!Chloe- this is probably what happened to you!This means that everytime they tried to search by email, last name, phone number, etc. they could never find me because they never input my information. So is this the reason I never got offered a birthday discount? Maybe it's not a lottery? Maybe it's because some associates are just too lazy to put in your address, phone number, email and birthday and that's why a lot of people don't get discounts?The only work around I found is going through old receipts, finding my customer number, going to the store and standing there while I ensure that the sales associate input my information so that they can look me up!Another complaint I have is that my account only works on one computer. I linked my card with my email address/account on one computer, tried to access it from another computer and it was no longer linked. I linked it again and now I have two accounts (under the exact same email and password with the same anthro card number) on two different computers and neither one lists all my orders-only those that I've placed from the computer, it's a mess! How does that even happen?!?I never try returning anything without a receipt anymore because they've had so much trouble with my card and frankly, I feel there is no incentive other than free shipping once in a blue moon. I've certainly never gotten any discounts. I'm to the point where I'd rather just not use the card at all, if they want to build a profile on me and track my data then I think they should give much better incentives to do so, otherwise I'll just hang onto my receipts! I easily spend several thousand there a year…but that's certainly not going to be showing up in my customer profile anymore!

  16. May 12, 2010 / 2:16 pm

    First, thanks for this. Hopefully, it'll get noticed and Anthro will do a better job of keeping the card benefits consistent, while also considering adding a few perks. I'd also like to say that I've personally had good luck overall with the Anthro card. I just did a receipt-less return the other day, and it was super smooth. That said, there was a point six months ago when for whatever reason my card information disappeared from the computer and they had to re-enter it. That hasn't happened since (maybe because I've spent more in the last six months than the previous six months before that), but it made me a little nervous at the time.Also, if I don't get that b-day discount, I WILL be calling CS, lol. Finally, I see your point in the last paragraph. I think that companies (I'm looking at you, J Crew!) who are doing extremely well sometimes decide they don't need to give their customers incentives to shop. But the thing is, incentives not only a) make good shoppers spend even MORE money but also b) create great word of mouth in that current customers will tell their friends about this "great Anthro card savings program" and those friends will then also be more likely to spend money.So I hope Anthro listens to you. Honestly, consistent on-line and charge-send FS is very little to ask, imo. And it'd be fun to get a card once or twice a year–not necessarily tied to b-days–where you can save 20% off one item or something.

  17. May 12, 2010 / 2:25 pm

    roxy what a great post. i have thought the same exact things. i dont even use it in the store as it seems to be a hassle for the sa, and a few times i have tried to return things and it hasnt been in the system. I keep the receipts anyway, but isnt the pint of the card is that you dont need to/ I have had Sa ask me to sign up and they have told me, you get discounts with it…lol all i ever got was the bday discount, which i supose is better than nothing.Also i dont know if i like the idea of companies tracking my purchases, just my 2 cents..

  18. May 12, 2010 / 2:30 pm

    Roxy I am so glad you posted this. Ive had my anthro card forever, used it forever, registered it online— and all of a sudden when I want to make a return (w/o a receipt) they cant find my name linked to my card. Had I needed my $70+ dollars back I would have been S.O.L.You are so right about the events. They should have events for Anthro members afterhours. They should have free shipping on amounts that are signigicant. They should not have a "lottery" to see who gets a birthday discount. Youre right, I dont mind HELPING them track purchases either, but come on, Anthro. We spend too much there and budget our checks to buy something from them as opposed to another store. We should reap the benefits!!! Go Roxy! This is an awesome post.

  19. May 12, 2010 / 2:33 pm

    AMEN!!!! I always wonder what that card is for! Especially since getting a birthday coupon is not guaranteed!

  20. Anonymous
    May 12, 2010 / 2:34 pm

    Awesome post. I hope someone in Corporate reads it. I use my Anthro card for all of my purchases just so they know how much money I spend there. In the hopes that some day, it will get noticed and get me something besides free shipping. Lucky for Anthro, I haven't returned anything yet so I haven't run into any problems. But I have a Banana Republic Luxe card which gets me free shipping ALL THE TIME. And I get all sorts of great promos. This would be my dream for the Anthro card. Maybe some day….

  21. Anonymous
    May 12, 2010 / 2:44 pm

    Agreed! I see no point to this card. I am a loyal Anthro customer and I feel like the store should offer more perks to us. As an aside, have you seen the Circle the Globe Skirt in any of the nyc stores?

  22. May 12, 2010 / 2:45 pm

    Very well said Roxy. I think Anthro banks on items selling out at full price and with the royal customer base they don't necessarily have to provide incentives to shop. Maybe if we curbed our spending with Anthro, maybe they will send us more offers? Just saying…

  23. May 12, 2010 / 2:46 pm

    I wish they offered free shipping, even with a minimum. There are always so many things I want to purchase but I hold back because of the shipping costs. It is a roll of the dice if things will work/fit and if I return I hate losing the initial shipping cost. My local store is very small and has limited product amd sizes, no shoes, so I do almost all of my purchasing online. In fact, when I do a return at the store the SAs often get excited to see what I've brought in, since the store may never stock the item. They have told me they are too low volume to get as much product and over a certain price point.Today I would have purchased a lot of the new arrivals (great stuff posted today!) but the shipping cost scared me off.

  24. May 12, 2010 / 2:53 pm

    I was thinking about the use of the card just yesterday – timely post!I'm disappointed to hear that the b-day discount is not guaranteed and I don't always get catalogs either.

  25. May 12, 2010 / 3:03 pm

    Love this post! I thought about this last week when I ordered something over the phone. I said, "Can I give you my Anthro card number?" And the rep said "No, there are no f/s promos right now." Which annoyed me b/c then I had to go into billing and shipping details when i thought, why can't they just pull up my card number and use the info on there! Same thing happened when I called a store for a sold out item and had them ship it to me. It's like they have all these different arms of the company that don't communicate with each other. Frustrating customer service tactic for the amount of money we spend!

  26. May 12, 2010 / 3:04 pm

    The Anthropologie card is for spying on customers, plain and simple.I realized this when doing a routine price adjustment and the associate INSISTED on using my anthro card because she told me "We like to keep track of these things."Think about it. There are hardly ANY perks. It isn't even a credit card!

  27. May 12, 2010 / 3:07 pm

    LOTTERY for a birthday discount!?!?!? Geez, please tell me this isn't the case, b/c that is super lame and stingy Anthro! I agree the card is completely useless and is for THEIR benefit, not ours. And, damn, thanks for letting me know I need to save my receipts anyway….have never had a problem, but now, I do not trust the system.

  28. May 12, 2010 / 3:11 pm

    I'd like to register another complaint. I NEVER get the emails anymore. For some reason they just stopped sending them to me. I've called and re-registered my email address and also tried again with a new email account and NADA. Does anyone else have this problem?

  29. May 12, 2010 / 3:12 pm

    I agree with so much of this! You should ALWAYS get a birthday discount for having the card, and ideally you should get points for your purchases the way MOST places do it, and then redeem them after you've hit 1000 points or 1500 or whatever.Anthro, I would spend SO MUCH MORE MONEY if you did these things! If you just had a friggin BUY STUFF -> GET POINTS system I would buy half my wardrobe from you, rather than just the occasional thing I can't live without.I don't care about after hours parties, but I do care about FREE/REASONABLE SHIPPING. Anthropologie is the only on-line retailer I buy things from that charges such ridiculous shipping rates. It's not the late 90s anymore Anthro! All of your competitors offer either free shipping or flat rate shipping. I wish you would wake up and do the same, because your tiered shipping is completely ridiculous! It does not cost you twice as much to ship a $180 dress as it does a $90 dress. And I don't care about the tissue paper. If you're charging me $18 so that you can wrap my stuff in tissue paper, I'll pass!

  30. May 12, 2010 / 3:17 pm

    I spent well over $xxxx in Nov and Dec and all I got was a hand written thank you card. I turned it over and back and front again, thinking where is the discount card for being a good customer . I've had my Anthro card from the day it came out, and it's battered and worn, but I hope one day, as someone swipes it, they will say, "Wow, you've been a very good customer, here, have a box of cookies."

  31. May 12, 2010 / 3:19 pm

    I totally agree Roxy. I thought signing up for my Anthro card was going to be a benefit, but I have yet to see any. The free shipping was nice and I brought more stuff online than ever before, but after it ended I started to question why I was paying double digits for shipping. Especially, when I received some of my packages and it was obvious it didn't cost that much to ship. Also, it is super annoying that the b-day discount isn't guaranteed. And you actually have to practically beg Anthropologie to send one to you after missing your b-day. I haven't had to return anything without a receipt, but I've heard the stories about the difficulties of doing so. I hope Anthro realizes they should appreciate their customers and offer some type of incentives, besides the limited free shipping and a possible b-day card.

  32. May 12, 2010 / 3:40 pm

    I was thinking about this too. For the first time in my long yellow card membership, I received the bday discount this year. And I am still sort of confused about the function or purpose of this card (beyond the obvious benefit of tracking store purchases, visits, and online usage of customers).

  33. Sophie from FL
    May 12, 2010 / 3:41 pm

    Love this post Roxy! I really hope someone from Anthro reads it and gets the hint (we'll buy more if you give us just a little extra incentive!)I consider myself a very loyal customer (I've been shopping there since I was a freshman in high school – almost nine years now!) and would love to be able to justify my big splurges by thinking "at least there's free shipping" or "i'm getting points for this". I also really agree with your point about making their customers bitter with shipping charges on more expensive purchases. I bought a $350 pair of shoes in February that didn't fit and I was so angry about the $20 shipping I wouldn't get back that I didn't buy anything for the rest of the month.I do hope they decide to take action and make some changes. I've tried making recommendations to customer service (I really want to be able to prioritize my wishlist!) that have unfortunately fallen on deaf ears.I guess I don't have much bargaining power. I'll still spend way too much money there each month anyway.

  34. May 12, 2010 / 3:42 pm

    I think at the very least for all the market research information they are getting free from all of us with the card, they could offer Anthro card members free shipping, no minimum purchase ALL THE TIME. and they should totally do some sort of "Anthro rewards" system where you get like a $25 gift card or a 20% discount or some thing for spending X amount at anthro per quarter…

  35. May 12, 2010 / 3:43 pm

    Chloe – We must have had our psychic twins moment. 🙂 Which I guess would actually be psychic triplets given that you already have a twin…wait, were you eating Cookie Dough ice cream last night too?!?Julia – haha, I do feel a bit like the unloved child. We keep writing and buying and writing and buying. Victoria – not weird at all. 🙂 My ATM card (yes, I still have one that is not a debit card) is still in its little pouch too.Sarah – bummer! You should write to If you politely explain to them that you did not get the discount they are usually able to help you out. And Happy Birthday! (Belatedly.)Melissa – I am glad to hear that you have not had an issue with receiptless returns. I always ask the SA to scan my card, even if it seems like a pain. Force of habit I suppose.Poppy Buxom – hee! I am thrilled by the little presents Anthropologie sends. I think that's one thing they do very well. I guess I am just greedy. ;)Chelsea – so funny, I am going to have a post on this very topic tomorrow. (Suggested by a community member.) 🙂 I will be sure to include your solution.Andrea – absolutely, I'll add a little something in for Canada.Jessica – Ann Taylor does something similar, and even Bloomingdales does too. I can't see Anthropologie ever going quite that far towards rewards, though I'd welcome it if they did. :)…

  36. May 12, 2010 / 3:45 pm

    Great post Roxy. I really hope the Anthro folks WAKE up and get with the times….we are loyal customers and should be rewarded!!! Throw us a bone! Or free shipping! Please!

  37. May 12, 2010 / 3:50 pm

    Cha Lynn – seriously? When you did you get the email? Were the items on the website or only accessible through the catalogue?Tracy D – yes, exactly. I want meaning in my little yellow card!Maureen M – With free shipping all the time, I would order something every month. Without fail.Jinii – Amen. I also am more inclined to spend when there is a discount. In March is when I started to ramp up again, inspired by…Free Shipping!Mrs.LifeAccounts – this also happened to me where none of my info was stored in the anthro account. I don't think it affects the birthday discount as I still got mine but is annoying when they try to look you up.Lauren S. – I hope they take note. I don't care — they could run a promotion called "that damn roxy is whining again so here's free shipping to shut her the hell up." I'm cool with it.ali – EVERY company tracks your purchases, unless you pay cash every time. There is no way around it. (Not that I like it either. I'm just used to it.)…

  38. May 12, 2010 / 3:51 pm

    Ladies, hearing all these different stories, I think there's a greater issue at hand – profound information disorganization within the company! As a consumer, this is NOT confidence inspiring! Policies that are inconsistently enforced, promos & privileges that are mysterious or truly non existent, information linkage failures, etc., lead me to this question: Can I trust them to keep my personal information secure? It also creates some more practical problems for the company – if I, as a consumer, have figured out that they are essentially internally disorganized, I'm more likely to be a bother and keep calling around until I get the answer I want (how many of us have gotten 4 different answers about a something from 4 (or even 3!) SAs?)And perhaps more importantly – my (consumer) perception of your (Antho's) disorganization, breeds FRUSTRATION. And frustration is an intuitive barrier to sales.Contrast all of this with Banana Republic/Gap Inc. brands. I'm a Luxe card holder – I don't hear about other Luxe members getting things I don't; I presume we're all invited/promo'd the same. Returns, purchases, exchanges, promo usage is almost always seamless, and consistent across stores. Perhaps they have more incentive to run a tighter ship with the program because it's also a credit card – if that is the case, I would welcome an Anthro store card, if it meant better consistency, better treatment, better promos, and better info tracking.Oh, and some free shipping. I'm a sucker for free shipping.<>

  39. Anonymous
    May 12, 2010 / 3:52 pm

    I didn't receive a birthday discount for my May birthday and emailed CS, who said they would send one promptly.

  40. May 12, 2010 / 3:57 pm

    I totally agree. Anthro places so much emphasis on the shopping experience that I'm surprised they haven't figured out a way to make a loyal customer feel appreciated. I don't care if they track my purchases but can't they at least pretend to care about me by offering some type of incentive to shop? Isn't love a two way street? We show Anthro love and they show us some love in return? Or maybe they just don't care since they did so well last quarter. 🙁

  41. May 12, 2010 / 4:01 pm

    Natalye – yes, exactly! You summed it up nicely. :)triciathomas – it's one of the great mysteries in life. How they built the pyramids, where is jimmy hoffa buried, what is the anthro card for.Anonymous @ 10:34 – too true, I hate BR's CS (and their social media firm which spams my blog) but their perks are quite nice.jcrewphd – showing them with your wallet is the best way. I must admit that my wallet will continue to open for Anthro. I am powerless against the flowy!!jacquelyn – interesting info about your local store. I feel the same way. I need long pants and Anthro doesn't seem to carry them in-store anymore. But I won't order them because I REFUSE TO PAY TALL TAX.Lisa – it's not, but as I mentioned above the community team ( is very helpful in advocating on your behalf for the bday discount.Katie K. – wow that is really weird. I would have been head-scratching over that one too.lleila – LOL. I love that you just come right out with it! It's not spying to me though. We sign up for the card, we give our info out. But I am with you on the bigger point. Reward me!!renaissancegirl – hmm, I would contact customer service about the emails. Are the boxes still checked off in your account? That does seem odd…Thomson's Gazelle – well said.Tien – I'm with you, though I think the card was a nice gesture on the store's part. And I remember being really excited for you. 🙂 Next time, Tien discount with letter please.Mal – yes! Right on. :)Jesspgh – well, I am glad you got it this year. 🙂 But I agree, some insight please. Sophie from FL – hee, I am in a similar point. It doesn't invalidate the point though.Sharon – I would love it if Anthro did that. No minimum free shipping would be awesome for my closet (and deadly for my budget).GinaBean – Heh. Between a bone and free shipping, I choose free shipping. ;)Thanks for all the comments so far!!! Great discussion. Please keep them coming.

  42. May 12, 2010 / 4:09 pm

    Roxy lol yes exactly…all I'm saying is that if they are keeping track, then they BETTER give me my bday discount. My birthday is next month and you can bet I will be checkin my mailbox

  43. May 12, 2010 / 4:09 pm

    Anon @ 10:44 – I have not been to any of the NYC stores since Saturday but I did not see the Circle the Globe Skirt yet. I will keep my eyes open for it though. 🙂

  44. May 12, 2010 / 4:09 pm

    Thanks for writing this! I've definitely been feeling annoyed lately that the Anthro card isn't worth a thing. I wasn't able to use it for receipt-less returns lately so I am extra bitter. The first thing is the dumb birthday discount lottery. I've had an Anthro card as long as its been around, and I have yet to receive it which pisses me off! If they are going to insist on a lottery for that, I honestly think it should be for more than a paltry 15%! The lottery should honestly be for how much your discount is going to be rather than to get it at all. Everyone should -at least- get a 10% one and then it should be a lottery to get up to 30% or whatever. Then that card would be worth the room it takes up in my wallet. I mean Anthro basically never offers discounts so I think it's not too much to ask that -every card holder- get a small birthday discount card.The other change is definitely what you ranted about with this mysterious "first access" claim. Anthro card holders should definitely get first crack at the sales each week (or bimonthly, whatever the schedule is now). A full day of only Anthro holders being able to buy the online mark-downs. I also don't think this is too much to ask. The other side is first access to new catalogue items. What baffles me about Anthropologie not providing this is that Urban Outfitters did just this a few months ago to subscribers of their web newsletter! You got to pre-order from their whole spring catalogue for a week before it was shown anywhere else.

  45. May 12, 2010 / 4:11 pm

    All I know is that if they can keep track of my purchases, then they can keep track of my bday, simple really =) Last year I scored some good things with my discount.

  46. Anonymous
    May 12, 2010 / 4:28 pm

    Somewhat related, I don't understand why Urban Outfitters is a part of the ebates rebate program but Anthro is not. Urban Outfitters is currently offering 2.5% cash back – not a huge %, but it adds up. I would definitely purchase more at if there was a cash back incentive.

  47. Jane
    May 12, 2010 / 4:41 pm

    I've stopped carrying my Anthro card for that reason, there's no benefit to it. I always keep my receipts, so I don't even need it for returns. Every so often I'll get a clerk that insists on adding my card to my purchase, but they can't even look it up by phone number like every other retailer! Ridiculous.

  48. May 12, 2010 / 4:46 pm

    AWESOME post and my thoughts are RIGHT on target with yours. I don't shop Anthro much, I wish their pieces worked out better for me, but I think that this post is applicable to retail in general. I especially agree with the free charge sends from store to store or from store to home. I will certainly opt to shop stores that offer that service over ones that don't.

  49. May 12, 2010 / 4:48 pm

    This is a hot topic. Thankfully I have never had issues with my card; I get my b-day % every year and my returns without receipts are never an issue. The DC area associates are all really good about asking to scan my card or otherwise I would always forget to do it. But I would welcome more perks; especially free shipping, I rarely purchase online because of the high shipping rates. I figure with 4 anthros within 30 minutes I can find the item locally.

  50. Anonymous
    May 12, 2010 / 5:05 pm

    I think Anthro should do a rewards program on a points system like Neiman Marcus. It's a good idea for them too — it encourages people to make purchases they are on the fence about and it's the only way of motivating people to purchase items (Leifsdottir, shoes etc) that are available elsewhere for less. Speaking of appreciation — thanks for all the work you put into the blog. You might have a blog event and all the New York readers can buy you drinks to show our appreciation. 🙂

  51. Anonymous
    May 12, 2010 / 5:11 pm

    I completely agree with your post regarding the anthro card but I have to say, I was truly delighted to see your reference to LOST in the post. 🙂

  52. May 12, 2010 / 5:12 pm

    Great post Roxy! As someone who doesn't even have an Anthro in my state (the horror!), but makes an obscene amount of purchases from them online. I finally got an Anthro card in the hopes they will run more free shipping promotions. I spend so much money a month on shipping charges alone! I was really looking forward to the birthday discount,and sad to hear this is a lottery situation. Bummer.Throw us a bone here, Anthro. Even the tiny perk goes a long way!!!

  53. May 12, 2010 / 5:20 pm

    I agree with Katie K's post about CS not using the card to pull up info. There is little continuity and it is frustrating.I won't comment on the shipping charges because so many have already made EXCELLENT points!Regarding the previews, I will say with this May catalogue I received an email with a link to the catalog like on Friday and it was posted to the site on Monday so I had the weekend to pre-shop. But again, with the crazy shipping fees I didn't even bother because I'd rather go to my brick & mortar and try things on & purchase.Also, when I signed up for the Anthro card the SA had said they would track our shopping and when they saw we preferred a certain label (let's say C.Keer, for instance) they would send us more information and insight targeting that particular label. Well, obviously that never happened.So it sounds like some mastermind put together this Anthro card, pitched it in a marketing meeting, it was approved, they launched it, and now no one is steering that ship. Bummer, because there really are a lot of cool things they could do for the loyal customers that wouldn't cost much. As we know, it cost a company a lot more to get NEW customers as it does to keep the good ones.Thanks Roxy, great topic!

  54. May 12, 2010 / 5:24 pm

    Oh and P.S. A confession: I am sure I am not the only one who buys their Anthro shoes from other sites that offer free shipping/returns.Maybe that would be a nice place to start; Anthro card holders get free shipping on shoes?

  55. May 12, 2010 / 5:27 pm

    Thanks for this post Roxy! I think you make some excellent points and I hope that Anthro is paying attention. I don't even want to think about I much money I've spent on shipping in the past year–but I bet its enough money to buy the Anna Sui for Anthro dress I'm dying for but can't afford. Free shipping on over $250 purchases would be fantastic–or at least flat-rate shipping! And even with my Anthro card, I always keep my receipts. I'm sure mine is a long list a purchases, and there are SAs who never seem to find what they're looking for. Missing out on a significant price adjustment taught me the hard way not to trust the Anthro card.Maybe this is asking too much, but would it be so hard for the birthday discount to apply online? For my birthday last January, I made a wishlist of items I would like to buy with the discount and tried to find the store with the most on that list. I was able to find a store with about half of the list, but it would have been so much nicer just to do one big order online.

  56. May 12, 2010 / 5:40 pm

    Lack of actual perks and benefits aside, it just seems the program itself is poorly run. Why are anthro emails so sporadic? Why are some people getting preview links and others not? Why is there no consistent way of handling how the card is used in various shopping situations? Given that the card has very little real function other than storing our order history, the least Anthro can do is make sure our information is linked properly in the system. As a customer I expect that once I get my card and link it with my online account, I don't have to check on it frequently or be concerned that the SAs aren't able to find my orders or information. These are very simple, practical things that need to be addressed in their system. B/c if they consistently mess up their only two noticeable perks (birthday discount and receipt-free returns), then I would be skeptical as to how they'd even begin to smoothly implement great ideas like a rewards point system.It also strikes me that Anthro is really throwing away a great opportunity here to market towards a captive audience and really build brand equity. If Anthropologie is supposed to be all about the experience, they have SO. MANY. WAYS. to build some incredible brand experiences for cardholders that would inspire some crazy brand loyalty. I love the ideas others have brought up like after hours sales or just any kind of member appreciation event for Anthro card holders. In store previews of upcoming lines I think would be more effective than sending a link that obviously does not reach out to enough of your customer base. It takes very little to make a shopper feel special and I really hope Anthropologie takes some of our feedback into consideration if and when they ever decide to improve the Anthro card program.

  57. May 12, 2010 / 6:02 pm

    hey i just skimmed the comments so forgive me if my thoughts have already been mentioned.1) i agree that receipt-less returns are kind of a myth, especially with online purchases. i have had saleswomen be downright rude to me when i didn't have the bag the item came in with the barcode, along with the order slip, on top of the card.2)i asked about a birthday discount at my local anthro and was basically told it's for people who spend a certain minimum each year. i'm a fairly loyal customer, so i was bummed that the amount i spend isn't enough.

  58. May 12, 2010 / 6:05 pm

    oh and another thing…with no free shipping at a certain purchase cap, shipping charges just rack up and rack up, basically meaning you're being punished for buying more.

  59. May 12, 2010 / 6:19 pm

    Tien – Wow, at least you got a thank-you card… I spent a 4-digit amount in both November and December and I didn't get anything. Every time I call CS with a question, the reps say things like "wow, you have quite an order history!" or "thank you for all of your business!" It would be nice if customer loyalty produced more tangible perks.

  60. Anonymous
    May 12, 2010 / 6:22 pm

    I don't think the birthday discount is a lottery; I'm a Anthro Facebook fan and ppl comment constantly about not receiving their bday discount. Anthro ALWAYS replies to each and everyone, (unless a fan beats them to it) and says to email to get their belated bday discount.My birthday was in December and I didn't receive the discount so I emailed Anthro at the end of March and got a discount for April. The CS was also SUPER nice, and emailed me to ensure they had my correct address and then emailed me again to inform me they had shipped the card out and I should be expecting it in a few days!!! So definitely DON'T hesitate to email for your discount!!!

  61. May 12, 2010 / 6:23 pm

    Also, why can't we use our Anthro cards to link our online wishlists to our in-store purchases? I find it irritating that items aren't deducted from wishlists when you (or someone else) purchases them in-store. My mom sometimes buys me items off of my wishlist (for birthday presents and whatnot) and she has to always check with me first to make sure that I haven't already purchased the item.

  62. May 12, 2010 / 6:34 pm

    I couldn't agree more. Other than the occasional free-shipping perks, there is no incentive to having an Anthro card. You've hit the nail on the head – the Anthro card was created for Anthro's convenience, in order to create and review customer profiles. Like you, I'm fine with this, but some actual incentives, such as the ones you posted, would be nice.I belong to a lot of loyalty programs, and though they vary in their level of rewards, Anthro is woefully lackluster in comparison to any of them.I have other Anthro rewards ideas – a quarterly (or whatever time period) 10% coupon to be used on one item; the opportunity to shop markdowns a day before the general public (I know that one would be a logistical nightmare and would probably only be feasible online); and some sort of "register rewards" where for every $x spent you get a $x coupon or a small gift card. The last one could be a little tacky, but there are other high-end retailers who do it!

  63. Sarah
    May 12, 2010 / 6:39 pm

    My thoughts:1. Anthro needs an information/knowledge manager. I'm a librarian and I know information disorganization when I see it! Like someone else mentioned, it is obvious that different "arms" of the company are not speaking to each other. They need to share info and it needs to be organized! There is simply no excuse for a company like Anthro to be so out of it about something like this.2. Someone else mentioned the packaging in regards to the shipping rates. I so agree! I live in an Anthro-less state, so all of my purchases are online unless I make the once a year or so trip down to Dallas. Recently I ordered the Claudine tee on sale. It was the only thing I ordered this time because I'm broke (hah, yes I am a librarian). When it arrived, I think there was more packaging by volume than the shirt! It seemed so wasteful to me. Why is Anthro sending me gobs of tissue paper with ONE little tee, and charging me an arm and a leg for shipping on a $30 purchase? How about going "green"!? Or how about letting customers select the option of packaging or not when we order online. There could be a box you could check that would say something like, "Please use minimal packaging in my order," and the shipping could be cheaper! This is the 21st century, Anthro! Give your customers options, make us feel appreciated, and we will be beyond loyal!3. I am glad to know the birthday discount is spotty at best. I was so looking forward to mine in August! I will be on CS if I don't get it.

  64. May 12, 2010 / 6:43 pm

    I agree with AL in that I wish the birthday promo was applicable online. I'm not sure how hard it is to create a one-time use discount code for each of these birthday discount cards. Or maybe at least make it applicable the whole month? Like AL said, sometimes one store doesn't have everything you want. It just makes me sad when I think about how little love we're getting from Anthro. 🙁

  65. May 12, 2010 / 6:45 pm

    slightly OT, but Roxy did you notice the amazing thing JCrew is doing for JCA blog readers today? Ahem, Anthro…..please follow suit! That is all….

  66. Anonymous
    May 12, 2010 / 7:01 pm

    To add to what Mrs.Life.Accounts said – that is definitely the most common reason why individuals cannot be found when being looked up in the system. HOWEVER, SAs do not enter your info the second you sign up for one. This is generally done once a week by a manager – not just a lazy SA. at least, that is how it was done at my store. Next time you go in, if it isn't too busy, you can have an SA fill in / update your info. Or you SHOULD be able to do it at from what I remember about the perks – you are SUPPOSED to be notified about sales first, which doesn't really happen since we all know how it actually works. The birthday discount is a lottery system NOT an automatic, I ha an anthro card for 3 years and never got a single one (you didn't hear it from me, but if you go into the store and complain about it, and are a regular customer, you will probably get the discount okayed by a sympathetic manager, so long as you have your anthro card and can provide proof of your bday). You are also supposed to get free personal shopping with the stores' stylists (yes, most anthros have one). And when there are special events at a store, stores will pull out the list of their top clients based on anthro cards and those top clients will get handwritten invites, and priority for filling the spots of the event.Receiptless returns are the main perk. I've been very disappointed recently in how ineffective this has been.And yes, roxy, these cards hugely benefit urban/anthro for their marketing information. But I always emphasized this as a perk for you too. It allows them to track trends and sizes, because not every store gets the same thing, so they get to guage which stores should get what this way, and you are more likely to see items you like in your store. Hope that helps!

  67. May 12, 2010 / 7:08 pm

    Anon @ 1:05 – I would LOVE to have an event in NYC someday. Hopefully the right stars align so this can happen. :)Sharon – I DID see! And I placed an order to support Alexis and JCA. Very cool of J.Crew, I have to say.Anon @ 3:01 PM – Excellent points and very well articulated. I think you expressed why I don't mind being tracked well — for example if Anthro notices that I'm always buying smalls in Deletta and C.Keer and stocks more of them as a result so those sizes don't sell out as quickly, well then we all win!

  68. Anonymous
    May 12, 2010 / 7:16 pm

    Whenever I come back from the store or open a package that was delivered to my door, before I can look at the items, I take the receipts and put them in an box with my zillion of Anthro receipts. I have all of them, even the ones fading from 2007. If I don't like and don't wear something, I grab my receipt and return the item shamelessly. Keep your receipts safe!And I don't like to use my Anthro card. I am required to present my Anthro card when I am paying. They say "you've been here before, I know you have the Anthro card, I can look up your name". That's really weird to hear! Even credit cards can be canceled, I'd like to cancel my Anthro card!

  69. May 12, 2010 / 7:29 pm

    Thanks for including Canada in your rant 🙂 Anthro really screws over their Canadian customers when it comes to online orders. I LOATHE it when US sale items come up as regular price in my Canadian cart…and don't even get me started on items that aren't "internationally shippable"!!! It's not like the items are rugs or glass bottles…it's a frickin pair of pants! How is a pair of pants not internationally shippable?! Furthermore, it takes an absurdly long time for orders placed through the Canadian website to actually get filled and shipped. I've heard that US orders get processed before international orders and that would explain why so many of my Canadian orders (especially popback items) get cancelled a week and a half after I placed my order. I placed an order over two weeks ago and I just got a shipping notification today! Anthro, that is just ridiculous. If I have to pay through the nose for Canadian shipping, I would like it if my order got shipped within a reasonable timeframe please.

  70. May 12, 2010 / 7:37 pm

    @Sharon 2:45pmTHANKS! i don't always read the JCA blog and wouldn't have known about the discount if you didn't mention it here! picked up a pair of shorts and two t-shirts! 🙂

  71. May 12, 2010 / 7:46 pm

    roxy, i think your post and the nearly 70 commentors before me pretty much summed up my feelings about the anthro card!my own personal experience has been mixed–like some others, i keep all my receipts (and i mean ALL of them!) so 95% of the time i have it with me when doing a return. the 3x in the past 3 months that i did not have one, once they found my purchase with my card, once they couldn't find it (fortunatly i redug through my big box and found it!) and once they told me that i hadn't made a purchase in 3 months–which was as far from the truth as could be! some computer glitch and what not and i'm back in system…but i find the receipt-free way of returning is more hassle then everyone said here…anthro, give us free shipping!! even high end shops like barneys and bergdorfs do it. i'd even take free ship w/a minimum-better then nothing!finally, don't know if this is true of other stores, but even tho' i carry my card (also in it's original pouch!) in my wallet always, i always forget to use it–perhaps anthro employees can keep a memo at their register reminding them to ask customers for it? i'm automatically linked online but in-store, unless the SA asks for it, i nearly always forget to take it out (another reason why i it's important for me to keep receipts–they can't return what isn't tracked!)

  72. May 12, 2010 / 8:29 pm

    Roxy, I sent you the email I received in on May 1 regarding the May catalog.

  73. May 12, 2010 / 8:30 pm

    At the very least, cardholders should get free online shipping after spending a certain amount. Today I received two tank tops from Anthro (it's a shame I even have to get anything shipped since I live in NYC, but I can never find my size – L/XL – at the stores), paid $13 to have them shipped and then realized they were shipped via USPS. Seriously? I feel totally ripped off.And loyal customers should be rewarded! For example, I shop a lot at Old Navy and always use my ON credit card. There is ALWAYS some promotion, discount, special sale, reward, etc. for cardholders. Always. And like a sheep, the second I get a $10 voucher in the mail, or a code for 30% off, I'm off to ON to buy something I don't need, just because I'm geting $10 off. I almost feel mistreated by Anthro because I spend a royal fortune there and never feel like my loyalty is rewarded. 🙁

  74. May 12, 2010 / 9:05 pm

    I think everyone pretty much already summed up how I feel, and I agree with most, but here are my points:I worked at Anthro for a short time and went through orientation, where the manager herself told us several key things people are discussing here:1. Birthday discounts are a lottery and totally random. Not every Anthro card holder gets them, which I think sucks.2. Top customers (meaning those who spend a ton of money in the store), do receive invites to special, after hours events. I know this because my boyfriend's mother is a local stores' best customer and received an invite to a Christmas event, as well as to a cocktail/grand opening party at the new store I helped set up. We were told that only their top customers get invited to special events.I signed up for the Anthro card the day it was released years back. We were told by the store manager then that it meant free shipping always, which obviously changed. We were also told we'd be called or email and notified of new arrivals and sales before others. All the perks everyone mentions here that they didn't follow through on.Obviously, I'm a huge Anthro shopper, but I rarely place online orders w/out free shipping. If I had free shipping all the time, I'd give online sales way more business.I hope Anthro is reading this!

  75. Stephanie
    May 12, 2010 / 9:05 pm

    The Anthro card is pretty useless to me since the SAs can never find my info if I don't have my card, they should probably improve their SA training because depending on who I get I might have problems doing a return in stores so I tend to keep all my receipts. I don't like the fact their no free shipping even with a purchase minimum because I do 97% of my Anthro shopping online because there's no Anthro in my area. I would shop even more at Anthro if they had free shipping or free shipping with a purchase limit. Also, I didn't get a birthday discount this year even though I called CS a month before my birthday and she told me I would get it. I think Anthro should treat their customers with a little bit more love.

  76. May 12, 2010 / 10:00 pm

    No birthday discount for me either, which is the main reason I signed up for the Anthro card. Boo.

  77. Sarah
    May 12, 2010 / 10:17 pm

    Ooh, I just checked my old emails, because what Cha Lynn said sounded familiar. I got the preview email too–May 1, Subject: "An exclusive preview of our May catalog." Weird that I would get that (and…that you wouldn't, obviously) but not a birthday discount. (But I emailed! Thanks for the address!)

  78. May 12, 2010 / 10:27 pm

    Oh, the Anthro card! I am on the angry side because two of my transactions that I had returns for were magically not on the card and I am stuck with items I don't want. However, I am also on the happy side because once I got a price adjustment for an item that I had bought 14 days before I found it on 2nd cut in the store. I didn't have the item with me but they did the price adjustment with my Anthro card! I have never been happier to carry the card, but I agree with you that it's SO frustrating when they can't find a transaction on your account.

  79. Anonymous
    May 12, 2010 / 10:40 pm

    Anonymous said: "Like you, I haven't seen the advantage of the Anthro card from a customer's standpoint. I don't ever bother to use my card now, since it seems to just add waiting time during my checkout."This. It's useful to remember the obvious here: Anthropologie is a corporation, using these cards to track our purchases, and devise ways of getting us to increase them, whether by providing incentives, or refining their marketing strategies. Unfortunately, I have to deny that I even own an Anthro card whenever I buy something, because this has not been explained to the SAs to the point that they can find me in their system MOST of the times that I attempt to shop there–and that's often.If Anthro wants customer loyalty, they'll have do do more than pretend they're any different from other major retailers in anything but aesthetics. Birthday discounts that _work_; SAs trained to look up Anthro cards and reward ownership of them; free shipping over $100; and a point system for dollars spent, would be a basic starting point.

  80. May 12, 2010 / 11:52 pm

    haha! Love your thoughts on this!By the way, the two stores in LA also insist charging shipping. I didn't like it at all.

  81. May 13, 2010 / 12:26 am

    I couldn't agree more with what's already been said about the Anthro card. Let's not forget the issue I brought up a month or so ago about being FLAGGED for too many returns. hmm. They'd only be able to track that sort of history with a . . . (drumroll) ANTHRO CARD! Kind of disturbing. Soon enough, I think they'll do something more for us card holders. I, like Tien, did a bit of damage during the winter months and got the same Thank you card. I wish instead of spending the money to send out all those Thank you cards, they would have printed $reward cards (like Banana Republic) and sent those babies out. A girl can dream. In the meantime, I'll keep shopping there, with the rest of you!

  82. Anonymous
    May 13, 2010 / 12:31 am

    Anon from 3:01 pm again!Roxy – Yes, while that point understandably is hugely advantageous to Anthro/Urban, it really is meant to help the customer as well. As I said, it helps Anthro track trends so they know what items to send particular stores (my store in the suburbs often got very different items from the store in downtown because our clientele was very different), AND sometimes stores do not receive full size runs, simply the sizes that are the most popular at that particular location.Stef (and to anyone else wondering) – SAs have a PERMANENT prompt to ask for your anthro card. It peeves me to no end that they so rarely ask me when I check out because I know that they are prompted and they skip it. As soon as the SA logs in for each and every transaction, the system prompts them to ask for your anthro card! They have to skip that step in order to begin ringing a customer up (and the skip is there for those who are not interested in having a card).I always, *ALWAYS* asked. It was just a huge thing at my store – we were one of the top stores as far as % of clients who had an anthro card.For Anthro, the Anthro card is huge. Considering how much they push it, emphasizes it – they should definitely reward their customers more.Stephanie, as I mentioned before, there is a good chance that your info wasn't entered when the card was originally registered. Try going to to update your info yourself, or take the card with you on a quiet day to the store and ask an SA to verify your info is entered/correct.

  83. May 13, 2010 / 1:27 am

    Great post, Roxy! I really hope an Anthro marketing director is reading this.I do find it odd that Anthro's sister store Urban Outfitters offers free shipping with $150+ all the time, while Anthro doesn't. Why the difference? They're run by the same company…Obviously there is a working system in place to make a flat rate or f/s possible. I really wouldn't mind having a min. amount to get free shipping if it were reasonable – say $150 or $200. Personally I haven't had troubles with the Anthro card, but do wish they had more perks and consistent standards like birthday discounts for everyone, pre-sales for members, and flat rate shipping. Luckily for me whenever I didn't have the card on me they've looked me up with no problems. I've only ever done a return once without a receipt and it took the SA a good 15 min. to find the right purchase, but she did find it. And last year initially I didn't get a b-day discount, but CS kindly sent me one after when I called. So even though the card isn't all what it could be, I don't think what's offered is terrible (it's nice when it works)…just that it could be *more*. They need more free shipping days or lower flat rates. I love the idea that someone else mentioned of a periodic percentage off coupon for members, like the 10% off one item, or a loyalty point program. Those, and the after-hours events where members could get a percentage off that night's purchase sounds delicious.

  84. May 13, 2010 / 1:39 am

    Oh Anthropologie.. let's talk about my wish list on how you could be totally beyond awesome (right now, you are just awesome). I would love a 'sale of the day' just like Garnet Hill.Free Shipping! Seriously shipping is outrageous!Let me check inventory myself- if Ann Taylor can figure it out so can you! If I can't check out inventory myself, don't penalize me for helping you! How frustrating is it to call CS to be told 10 stores that MAY carry the item that you want (well they had the inventory as of Sunday)- call 10 stores and finally locate the item the very last store you call- and then be told that you are going to be charged shipping because you didn't inconvenience your 'home' store to call on your behalf…what?!ugh…but no matter how much you pain me I still love you…

  85. May 13, 2010 / 3:26 am

    @Rachel….if TARGET can check inventory at stores, so can (and should) Anthro!!!! 🙂

  86. May 13, 2010 / 3:42 am

    Amen! This post is a wonderful follow up to the email of mine you replied to. I think Anthro should reward you accordingly. Maybe someday they'll surprise us…

  87. May 13, 2010 / 4:59 am

    I only have two comments…1. FREE SHIPPING!2. Birthday discount? 15%? Really? That's basically a 5% discount after sales tax. Sorry, I don't consider that a perk…and I got one! I haven't used it yet because I don't feel like I'm getting any sort of really good deal!

  88. Anonymous
    May 13, 2010 / 5:13 am

    Super-duper post Roxy! Like my Canadian counterparts, Andrea and Fiona, I want to thank you for thinking of us here in the barren tundra that is Canada. ;-)I love my cherry yellow Anthro card but since I`m not sure what it`s good for YET, I`ve been using it as a ruler and shoe horn.

  89. Anonymous
    May 13, 2010 / 5:15 am

    I meant cheery yellow card. I`ve had a long day peeps. 🙂

  90. May 13, 2010 / 1:02 pm

    Oh my gosh the EXACT thing happened to me last night when I tried to return a pair of jeans! They said I didn't have any purchases recorded. Which is a complete lie because I order something almost every week!They forced me to take my money back on a gift card. They said well you shop here a lot so you will use it right? Which of course I will but thats not the point! I was kind of counting on getting that $200 back!I was told the benefit of the card was not having to have a receipt so I didn't search high and low like I guess I should have. And with my anthro being not convenient at all I had to take the gift card.I know I'll use the gift card so its not a huge deal. But I was extremely annoyed the card did not work as advertised. Oh and the whole return process took around 20-30 minutes.

  91. May 13, 2010 / 3:54 pm

    I never got my birthday discount, was pretty bummed but don't have a store near me to complain to and who wants to call and stuck in customer service hell for an afternoon? Anthro and JCrew also lose money from me because of shipping, I refuse to pay exorbitant shipping prices so till they fix these problems, they won't be getting much money from me

  92. May 13, 2010 / 4:17 pm

    I had a bit of a hassle at Anthro last week where I had purchased two items, needed to exchange one and return the other. The SA I made the original purchase with neglected to give me an itemized receipt and only gave me a debit receipt. I didn't think it was an issue because I had given her my Anthro card but, lo and behold, once they scanned my card they could not find the purchases. The transactions were less than 24 hours apart. I had to go through 30 minutes of arguing with a manager to get my refund. So, either the SA never scanned my card, or the items just didn't show up in my history. Either way it was a hassle and I'm pretty pissed with Anthro right now.And I'm with you on the "anything for Canada" part. Why things are different here just baffles me. The Canadian website gives me headaches – no search, no wishlist – bah!

  93. May 13, 2010 / 4:24 pm

    FWIW, I sent an email to Anthro's customer suggestion mailbox ( with a link to this blog post.Maybe if we all actually contact Anthro directly and start demanding some actual card benefits, they'll listen. Maybe.

  94. May 13, 2010 / 6:35 pm

    I was told yesterday that Anthro is going to stop mailing catalogs unless you are a card holder. Maybe they deem that a benefit? I too would like to see some actual benefits- even if it is something minute like, spend $500 and get 10% off-at least something.

  95. May 13, 2010 / 7:25 pm

    I had another thought for a benefit I would love to see Anthro add. Stylists that do the legwork for you! At Jcrew, if an item you want sells out, you can contact a stylist and they will track that item down for you! No calling 10-15 stores that *might* have the item. And when they do track that item down for you? The store will then call you personally and arrange to ship it to you. This reason alone keeps me coming back to Jcrew!I would probably shop much more exclusively at anthro if they offered better services for their card holders!

  96. Anonymous
    June 24, 2010 / 4:24 pm

    They are tracking returns. Once they feel you have abused their policy, they will turn you away. I called corporate and asked them cos my local store kept harassing me about signing up. I got sick and tired of it. Don't use the card.

  97. August 7, 2010 / 10:05 pm

    I just found your blog because I googled "anthropologie anthro card purpose". I got a card because I assumed a store card meant store points. I'm and Aussie living up in Canada and visit the Seattle store and shop online. Australian stores like Country Road have these cards as incentives. Your get points which work towards special previews and deals. The best thing about the Country Road card is that they have sale days for card members. On those days, card members get a percentage off sale items or everything in store. They are THE BEST!Thank you for your shout out to Canadian customers. I visited the Edmonton store last month and was saddened that the store was about a quarter of the size of others and the prices were quite a bit higher.I don't get why Canadian versions of these companies are watered down/ not as good but more expensive versions of the real thing.Pottery Barn and H & M are the same. *sigh*

  98. Anonymous
    March 14, 2011 / 6:45 am

    I worked for Anthropologie and I can tell you that the Anthro card soley benefits the Anthropologie coorperation. All it does for the customer is let them return items without a receipt for a refund. Some people also get a 15% discount card in the mail during her B-day month. The card is there to track customer purchases and the company uses this info to increase sales. Th card is so pointless that customers who have it don't even bother to use it. It is simpler for them to keep their receipt than keep up with a card and have to get it scanned everytime they make a purchase.

  99. Anonymous
    October 8, 2013 / 11:10 pm

    Like Chloe, I concur that Anthro card is useless. I have observed it myself. Anthropologie SA or let us say the store policy is not customer friendly. I live in a state where there is no Anthro store and I can only go to the neighboring state where there is their store after a few weeks or a month. Being a regular customer which I am pretty sure they will see it from their computer system, I was hoping that they could be more accommodating to their regular customers just at least a gesture of a good PR to their loyal customers like me instead. Unfortunately the store is NOT. I am often told that I need to go to their store to be able to order what I have in my cart online and only then I could avail of the free shipping.Even if i am going to buy 4 or more items still I cannot avail of the free shipping and still have to make things hard for me to buy what they are selling. That is why sometimes I feel that they are getting too much to their customers. Oh well, there is j. Boden, Garnet Hill, peruvian Connection that i can surf from time to time giving free shipping aside from the discount. Though I like anthroplogie clothes, please,,, do not abuse us customers, love us and take care of us if you donnot want us to lose our interest in your store .take this as constructive criticism while it is not yet too late.

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