Vape Loyalty Programs, Auto-Ships and Memberships: What’s the Best Way to Save Money?
By Lee Johnson Posted December 30, 2018
Vaping is much cheaper than smoking, but you can still save money when you vape in a lot of different ways. Whether it means mixing your own e-juice, building your own coils or just taking advantage of the multitude of offers that crop up throughout the year, saving more is nearly always possible. If you don’t want to go with a “DIY” type solution and want something more dependable than once-in-a-while sales, there are a few ways you can regularly save money when you pick up some vape gear. Loyalty programs are particularly common, but you can also save money by signing up for an auto-ship or membership program. Here is a quick run-down of these different ways to save, along with their benefits, downsides and some notable examples.
Vape Loyalty/Reward Programs
How They Work
The most common ongoing type of deal you can use to save money on vaping purchases is a loyalty or reward program. These are free to join – you just have to make an account with the store or company – and you amass points whenever you spend money on products. The points you accrue can be exchanged for a cash amount in-store, after you reach a pre-determined minimum number of points.
Often, there are also other ways to earn points in rewards programs too. For example, many companies offer points if you refer a friend to their store, and if you share their website or follow them on social media. Similarly, some stores will give you some points on your birthday too, or for writing a review of a product you’ve purchased. Realistically speaking, doing things like this is the best way to save money using loyalty or reward-type programs, but there is – of course – a limit to the amount of points you can realistically rack up without purchases.
How Much Can You Save?
The savings for reward programs are generally around 2 percent of what you spend. Using MistHub’s program as an example, each purchase earns you points, at 2 points for every dollar you spend. When you end up with 100 points – after $50 of purchases – you get $1 off your next purchase. This is quite a modest saving, but as mentioned a moment ago, you can generally save more if you take other actions like sharing the store on social media. MistHub, for example, gives you 100 points (i.e. a dollar) for creating an account, 50 for following them on Twitter or Instagram, 50 for sharing on Twitter or Facebook, 50 for referring a friend and so on. Their biggest reward is 500 points on your birthday, equivalent to $5.
So if you create an account, follow them and share their site on Twitter, refer a friend and spend $50 in-store, you’ll end up with 350 points, worth $3.50 in-store.
Example Loyalty Programs
There are tons of different loyalty programs in the vaping industry, but we’ll showcase a few more – besides MistHub, described above – so you can get a feel for what’s on offer.
VaporFi Reward Points
VaporFi has a reward points system very much in line with the generic one described above. You can earn points in multiple ways:
- For every $2 you spend in-store, you get 1 VaporFi point.
- 1 point for reviewing a product.
- 20 points on your birthday.
- 5 points for sharing on social media.
- If you refer a friend and they make a purchase – they get $10 off their first order too – you’ll get 200 points.
When you reach 200 points through any combination of the above, you get $20 to spend in-store. This sounds expensive, but for a $400 spend you get $20 back, which is 5 percent of your spend. The downside is the large number of points you have to rack up, but when you run the numbers it’s a pretty good system if you’ll spend money with VaporFi anyway. Visit the store to get started.
Giant Vapes’ Giants Club
Giant Vapes offers a loyalty program called the Giants Club. This works much like the others described so far:
- You earn 10 points per dollar spent.
- Get 500 points for referring a friend who makes a purchase. They also get a 10 percent discount after following your link.
Referrals are the only way to make extra points with the Giants Club, but the reward is pretty big: the equivalent of spending $50 in-store.
You have to reach 1,500 points to get $5 in store credit, 2,500 points for $10, 4,500 points for $20 and 10,000 points for $50. For the $5 reward, you’d have to spend $150, which is around a 3.33 percent return on your money – at best, if you save up 10,000 points by spending $1,000, you’ll get 5 percent of your money back. Of course, you’ll make a lot more if you manage to refer a friend. Create an account to get started.
VaporDNA Reward Program
VaporDNA’s Reward Program follows the same general pattern as the others in this post. Every $1 spent gives you 1 point, and you get $10 for every 500 points, which means you get 2 percent of your spend back overall. These points are good for a year after your purchase, and the minimum withdrawal amount is 50 points for $1. Compared to the others the savings aren’t huge, but it’s a straightforward program and if you’re shopping at VaporDNA anyway it’s well worth it. All you have to do to get started is visit the store and create an account when you pick up your vape gear.
Vape Loyalty Programs: Pros and Cons
- Easy to use
- No fee to join
- Get points for any purchases
- Often reward things like following the brand on social media too
- Savings tend to be small
- No instant savings. You get rewarded after saving up points.
How They Work
Auto-ship programs basically allow you to set a recurring order – for some e-juice and coils, say – and get it delivered to your door on the same day of each month. This is a pretty straightforward system, and a good idea if you have an ongoing need for juice and coils and you generally pick up the same stuff each month. You can adjust quantities and tailor the dates to suit your schedule, and in most cases you can cancel anytime.
Of course, this situation on its own favors the companies and doesn’t do too much for you as a vaper unless you’re always running out of juice otherwise. That’s why companies tend to add on a little discount as an incentive for you to sign up, and generally speaking, this is better than the discount you’d get using one of the other methods.
How Much Can You Save?
The savings for programs like this vary, but you can expect to save 5 percent or more in many cases. Usually, you’ll get free shipping as part of the deal too, but in some cases (such a Blu’s auto-ship program) this is the only benefit.
The major benefit over reward programs is that the discount is applied as you spend, rather than when you spend a certain amount. On the other hand, it does make it a little more difficult to have some flexibility in what you buy.
Example Auto-Ship Programs
DirectVapor’s auto-ship program is a good example of how it should be done. It works in a straightforward way and gives you a solid discount. You can sign up by simply filling your cart with whatever you want from the store, and then choosing an auto-ship option (deliver once a week, once a month or twice a month) at the checkout or on the cart page.
For signing up, you get a 10 percent discount on your first order and a 5 percent discount on all subsequent orders. Not absolutely everything in-store is eligible, but things like e-liquids and coils are, which are realistically the only things you’d really need a regular supply of. Shipping is always free at DirectVapor, and it goes without saying that this applies to auto-ship purchases too.
So all you need to do is choose a recurring shipping option and you’ll start saving instantly. You can also cancel anytime, change your order or change your shipping date whenever you like – provided you let them know before it’s shipped, of course! It’s also available internationally, although you do have to pay shipping costs in that case.
VaporFi also offers an auto-shipping service, but this is exactly the same as DirectVapor’s in how it works, so you get 10 percent off your first shipment and 5 percent of all subsequent shipments, and you can change the order, cancel or postpone it effectively however you like.
JUUL also has an auto-ship option for its pods, and like the DirectVapor offer, you get free shipping for signing up and you also get a substantial discount. It isn’t a direct percentage saving as with DirectVapor, but when you buy five packs of pods, you get another one free. So effectively one in six pod packs is free, so you’re saving around 17 percent if you’d be buying that many anyway.
The auto-ship is every four weeks as standard, from your chosen date. You can postpone the shipment for a month if you like, or cancel whenever you like. Also, if you run out of pods early, all you have to do is visit the website and you can set your delivery to ship immediately. You sign up to the service through JUUL’s website.
Autoship Programs: Pros and Cons
- Savings of 5 percent or more
- Savings start as soon as you sign up
- Regular supply of e-juice and coils in the mail
- Often offer free shipping
- Can be cancelled/changed easily with no fees
- They generally only cover e-juice and coils
- Not ideal if you’re new to vaping or just like a lot of variety when you vape
Membership Based Programs – VapeWild AF
There aren’t many of these services in the industry – in fact, we could only find one such program after doing a bit of research, VapeWild AF. So for this section, we’ll focus on this program and how it compares to the more commonly-used approaches described above.
How It Works
Membership programs basically give you discounts and other perks in exchange for a recurring payment to the company. It’s very much like “subscribing” to a store for discounts and other benefits, so in a sense it’s like a more direct version of a loyalty program, but you pay up-front for the savings in future and get more than just money off purchases.
The VapeWild AF program offers plenty of benefits:
- 5 percent off e-liquids, which is stackable on sales.
- An additional 1 percent off per year of membership, up to a maximum of 10 percent.
- Free priority shipping on all orders (usually only free on orders over $39.99)
- Exclusive sales for members.
- Early access to new products and upcoming sales.
- Access to otherwise unavailable e-liquid flavors from their “vault.”
- A gift for the anniversary of your membership.
VapeWild is also in the process of putting together a loyalty program as well, and if you’re a member, you’ll get 10 percent more loyalty points than everyone else! This is set to be put in place after March 2019.
The price of membership is $49.99 a year, which is just over $4 per month. This is a bit of a lump sum to pay out all at once, but if you shop through VapeWild regularly, the instant savings on whatever you want is a huge benefit of this approach. You can also order whenever and whatever you want, rather than having a standard recurring order as with auto-ship programs.
How Much You Can Save?
The VapeWild AF program is a little hard to value in the same way as the others, because it very much depends on what you personally want out of the program and the way you order. For example, if you make smaller orders and struggle to hit the $40 to qualify for the free shipping for ordinary customers, you will save a lot through that alone. On the other hand, you might value getting access to unique and otherwise unavailable juices pretty highly, and you also get a gift with each year of membership. And that’s before you even consider how getting more loyalty points would affect the overall savings.
However, if you just focus on the 5 percent discount on e-juice, you’ll save about 35 cents per 30 ml bottle or 60 cents per 60 ml bottle. To make up for the cost of the subscription on the basis of this alone, you’d need to pick up about six 60 ml bottles a month. This is definitely possible if you vape a lot, and this isn’t even considering all of the other benefits included. The base rate of saving is the same as most auto-ship programs and better than most loyalty programs, and then you get everything else on top of that.
VapeWild are also offering a giveaway to EcigaretteReviewed readers, so if you’re interested, your first year of membership is even more affordable and the savings will be even bigger.
Membership-Based Programs: Pros and Cons
- Savings of 5 percent and often more
- Free shipping
- Exclusive sales and products for members only
- Early access to products
- Often offer gifts and other goodies
- Start saving right away
- Up-front payment
- Savings aren’t store-wide (e.g. only on e-liquids or things in members-only sales)
Plenty of Ways to Save
There are plenty of options if you’re looking to save a little bit more when you vape, and although the industry still leans towards the standard loyalty programs on the whole, options like auto-ship services and membership-style arrangements offer even bigger savings. If you’re happy to do a lot of your vape shopping through the same company – or even a few carefully-chosen ones – these programs help you get the most vaping goodies for every dollar you spend.