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5 Best, 5 Worst Customer-Loyalty Programs

Worst: Subway

Fraud and the loyalty benefits of the future really stuck it to Subway supporters, who line up each lunch hour for their chance at the free wilting lettuce at the end of the rainbow.

Until 2005, Subway had one of the best rewards programs in the marketplace: the Sub Club, which gave customers a free meal each time their card filled with stamps. Sadly, counterfeiters found the stamps easy to copy, and Subway discovered that you can't track eating habits via cardboard.

In the Sub Club's place, consumers got a system that yielded 1 point per dollar spent and a food-scoring system that makes about as much sense as tennis'. Somehow, it was decided that a $5 footlong was a great return on a $75 investment, with $100 scoring customers a free premium or double-stacked version. After seeing their rewards slimmed to Jared-like proportions, it's easy to understand why Sub Club stalwarts are still steamed.

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