Ralphs is all about change right now. Along with cutting their coupon policy, they've instituted a new rewards program called Ralphs rewards. You can visit the official web site and FAQ (and see for yourself that "rewards" is written rewards every time, even at the beginning of a sentence).
The new program incorporates Ralphs Club (which used to get you the sale price) and also has an earnings component. You earn one point per dollar spent. (Exclusions apply - scroll to the bottom of the page to see them. Does anyone know why milk is excluded?) You can also earn points by bringing your own shopping bags. Once per quarter, you'll receive a $5 "rewards certificate" for every 500 points earned. Points roll over from quarter to quarter, but reset to 0 every January 1.
Supposedly, they will also send coupons and "offer emails," but I'm a little skeptical that they'll do it often or that the coupons and offers will amount to more than a token savings.
At least converting the card was fairly easy. They put a very personable young man at the table near the main entrance, trained him to call every woman "Miss" no matter how old she was, and put out a plate of cookies that immediately attracted Tyler's attention. (I loved hearing the young man say "Miss" to the 80-year-old woman who wanted to know the effect of the new program on her Senior card. The answer: there are extra perks for seniors anymore.) All I had to do was hand over my Club card, wait for him to transcribe the old number onto the new card application, then fill in my name, address, phone number and email address. Normally, I wouldn't provide all that info but I haven't heard or experienced anything bad about spam or junk mail sent to Ralphs Club card holders, and I had to provide my address to receive those rewards certificates. And maybe they actually will email good coupons, especially with programs like Shortcuts now in place.
If you do get a new card, don't forget to register it with UPromise, if you're already a member there.