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Target will send coupons via cell phone

Expect more mobile coupons as retailers seek to reach phone-addicted millennials.

By Teresa Mears Feb 9, 2010 6:32PM

Target has become the latest retailer, and among the first major national retailers, to offer its coupons via cell phone. You can also download your Target gift cards to your phone.


Expect this trend to continue. The Dallas Morning News reports that J.C. Penney is rolling out cell phone coupons nationwide next month, and 7-Eleven just finished a test in San Diego. Sears offers some mobile coupons via Cellfire, the electronic coupon site used by Kroger and other supermarkets.


"The millennials don't go anywhere without their cell phones," Rita Bargerhuff, 7-Eleven's chief marketing officer, told the Morning News. "Mobile marketing is critical for reaching younger consumers."

Kroger has been a leader in using electronic coupons, which its customers can download to their supermarket loyalty cards.

Some coupons come as text messages, which means you pay your cell phone company for each message, unless you have an unlimited texting plan. Some companies allow you to download the coupons as you need them, rather than having a bunch sent to your phone that you might not use. You can download coupons to your supermarket loyalty card at no charge and without a cell phone.


Crissy at Be Centsable explains how to use the Cellfire supermarket coupons without a cell phone:

You do need to register a phone number with Cellfire in order to initially set up your account, but the grocery store coupons do not require you to use your cell phone at all. Cellfire e-coupons are redeemable at participating grocery stores including Kroger, Bakers, Carrs, City Market, Dillons, Dominicks, Fry's, Genuardi's, Gorbes, Hilander, Jay C Food Stores, King Soopers, Owen's Pay Less, Pavillions, QFC, Ralph's, Randalls, Safeway, Scott's, Smith's, Tom Thumb and Vons.

Some coupon applications are available for mobile phones, so you can check for coupons while you’re out and about.


If you’re looking for mobile coupons, try these sites:

  • Cellfire: This is the company that carries the Kroger and other grocery coupons. It doesn’t have much else of interest if you don’t live in an area where grocery coupons are included.
  • Mobile Coupons: I found a few pizza coupons and links to promos on Twitter in locations I checked.
  • Some of these coupons are from Valpak, the company that sends coupons by mail, but you can also go to the site and print them out. The site includes deals that don’t require a coupon, including user-submitted deals and user ratings of deals, plus national deals like the free Denny’s breakfast.
  • Zavers: This is similar to Cellfire and allows you to save coupons to your loyalty cards from A&P, Waldbaum’s, Superfresh, Food Emporium, Pathmark and Cooke’s.

The grocery chains in my area don’t use mobile or cell phone coupons, nor can you download coupons to your loyalty card. Too bad, because I’d like to try it. I like the idea of being able to check for mobile coupons while standing in the aisles at Target, but that doesn’t seem to be an option, and I don’t want to pay to have coupons I might not use sent via text message.


Have you tried mobile coupons yet? What do you think?


Related reading:

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