So I found out how to get around the card without losing the benefits...or having to schnorr someone else's number at every transaction. Safeway permits customers to enter their phone number instead of swipe their card. This is what really got my goat, since the market is most likely selling this phone number + the detailed customer metrics to third parties for a pretty penny. That means they are making more while I still get nothing. I entered my number, which I know does not work, only to hear the klangon that tells the teller the same thing. I asked, as I do, if she has a spare card, and she just entered a number on her keypad. So I watched.
To get all the savings on a bogus number, just enter 617.555.1212 in a Safeway keypad next time you're in the store. Voila! Worth reading to the end of the post, wasn't it?