Guide to Nordstrom’s loyalty program — “The Nordy Club”

Jul 28, 2020

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In 2018, Nordstrom revamped its loyalty program and came up with “The Nordy Club.” Despite its funny name, the program was a real improvement over its predecessor and results in tangible perks for Nordstrom shoppers.

With this year’s Nordstrom Anniversary Sale already in online previews and officially starting on Aug. 4 for those with the highest access level in the Nordstrom loyalty program (and Aug. 19 for those without Nordy membership), it’s a good time to brush up on how to maximize those purchases with Nordstrom’s reward program.

With Nordy Club, you earn points on every purchase you make at Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, HauteLook and Trunk Club — in addition to receiving many other member benefits. Joining the program is free, but how many points you earn per dollar spent depends on whether or not you have a Nordstrom credit or debit card. In the past few years, it has been a loyalty trend across retailers to treat top spenders who carry cobranded cards with special benefits.

While Nordstrom.com isn’t always the most economical place to shop for your family, they have some nice anniversary sales each summer that bring down merchandise prices significantly. Also worth knowing is that Nordstrom, by far, has the best return policy in the business. You can make a return at any point in time for any reason, within reason.

Related: Guide to maximizing the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Earning points with The Nordy Club

There are four different loyalty levels based on if you have a Nordstrom card and how much you’ve spent at Nordstrom. It’s very much a spend more, get more scenario — not unlike airline loyalty programs.

The Nordy Club levels are Member (open to anyone), Insider (immediate access to this level for Nordstrom cardholders and also those who spend $500+ at Nordstrom each year), Influencers (spend $2,000+ each year) and Ambassadors (spend $5,000+ each year).

The best way to maximize points earnings at any of the levels is to have a Nordstrom Credit Card.

This will earn you 3 points per dollar spent, which is a 50% increase on the number of points you used to earn before the 2018 revamp. For those with the Nordstrom Debit Card, you’ll earn 2 points per dollar spent and if you pay by any other means, you’ll earn a simple 1 point per dollar spent.

If you shop at Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, HauteLook and Trunk Club regularly, the Nordstrom Credit Card is the way to go. (Though do factor in Chase 5/24 concerns if you plan to apply for several rewards cards in the next few years.)

Related: Best credit cards for clothing purchases

Earning tiers of The Nordy Club
(Nordstrom.com)

The points you earn translate to Nordstrom Notes, which can be applied to any purchase in the future. Once you have earned 2,000 points, you’ll have earned a $20 Note. That sounds like a lot of spending at a 1 point per 1 dollar ratio, but it goes faster than it sounds with a Nordstrom card that earns 3x stacked with double or even triple point days.

You can unlock notes in $5, $10, $15 or $20 increments via the Nordstrom app, or wait for a $20 note to be deposited to your account. These Notes can easily be applied during checkout online or in-store at Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack and HauteLook. Earned rewards points that haven’t yet been used to issue a Nordstrom Note will expire three years from the last day of the year in which the points were earned, or when your account is closed.

Keep in mind too that these earning rates are in addition to any earnings you’d get by going through an online shopping portal. While Nordstrom (unfortunately) doesn’t participate in any of these, Nordstrom Rack sometimes does. I’d recommend starting at a shopping portal aggregator to compare the bonus earning rates across these portals and select the one that makes the most sense.

Related: How to earn cash back while shopping online 

Nordy Club benefits

For those of you who think in terms of hotel and airline loyalty programs, The Nordy Club works similarly. You’ll earn status based on how much you spend at the retailer in a given year. The higher the status, the better the benefits.

Member ($0–$500 spend per year)

  • First to shop select brands
  • Access to beauty and style workshops
  • Curbside pickup
  • First to shop the ‘Clear the Rack’ sale
  • Free basic alterations

Insider ($500–$1,999 spend per year or Nordstrom cardholder)

All of the member benefits, plus:

  • One personal Double Points Day to use when you wish
  • Early access to Anniversary Sale (for cardholders)
  • $100 annual alterations credit (for cardholders)

Influencer ($2,000–$4,999 spend per year)

All of the member and insider benefits, plus:

  • Priority access to style events
  • Two personal Double Points Days
  • $200 annual alterations credit (for cardholders)

Ambassador ($5,000+ spend per year)

All of the member, insider and influencer benefits, plus:

  • Access to invite-only events
  • Nordstrom to You (in-home stylist)
  • Three personal Double Points Days
  • $300 annual alterations credit (for cardholders)

Related: Why some stores are disappearing from online shopping portals 

Card member-only benefits

Just being a card member will give you automatic Insider benefits, which means right off the bat you’ll receive one personal Double Points Day and the option to shop the Clear the Rack sales before anyone else. You’ll also receive two additional benefits solely for cardmembers, regardless of your status:

  • Early Access to Anniversary Sale — Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale held each summer is probably one of my favorite retail sales as it allows me to stock up on clothes for the family for the year. Since many clothing items are discounted, they can sell out early, so having early access before the general population is huge. I can easily order online, have my family try on the clothes, and ship the items back that do not fit (for free!) or drop them off in the store.
  • Alterations Benefit —  For any purchases made at Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, HauteLook or Trunk Club, you will be reimbursed for the cost of your alternations in Nordstrom Notes (up to $100 for Insider members, up to $200 for Influencer members, and up to $300 for Ambassador members). This can be an amazing savings for a family as alternation costs are not cheap.

Related: Best carry-on bags for travel 

Nordstrom credit cards

There are two different types of Nordstrom Cards available — a Nordstrom Retail store card that can only be used at Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, HauteLook and Trunk Club, and the Nordstrom Visa that can be used anywhere Visa is accepted.

The Visa will allow you to earn points on everyday spend outside of the retailer, where you’ll receive 2x points on dining, entertainment and travel, and 1x point everywhere else. You’ll also currently receive a $60 bonus Note when you make any purchase at Nordstrom, Nordstrom.com or Nordstrom Rack on your new card the day you’re approved. (Though this bonus changes at various times.)

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

While this is a great card for those who shop for their families at Nordstrom and can reap the benefits of having Insider status if you care about the Chase’s “5/24” rule then proceed with caution.

The Nordstrom Retail card (which cannot be used outside of Nordstrom) shouldn’t count toward your 5/24 number if you are looking to apply for a Chase card in the future, though we can’t guarantee that. (The Nordstrom Visa, however, certainly will.) Approval for store credit cards is usually relatively easy to get and can be a great opportunity for someone who is trying to build his or her credit (just make sure to always pay your bill on time).

Related: Best credit cards for online shopping 

Bottom line

The Nordy Club is rewarding for those who are frequent Nordstrom shoppers — especially with a Nordstrom credit card and strategic use of double and triple point days. It’s relatively easy to earn Insider status — and being able to shop the Anniversary Sale early and snag some included alteration benefits is something my family uses time and time again.

Additional reporting by Summer Hull

Featured image by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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