The Bernal Bucks card rewards Bernal residents for shopping local and supports local causes.

Since you are on this website, chances are you enjoy shopping, eating, and getting in shape in Bernal Heights. The local businesses in Bernal Heights know quite well that the local residents also spend money elsewhere and don’t take your loyalty for granted. That’s why the Bernal neighborhood now has its own rewards program.

Bernal Bucks: local rewards by using this Visa debit cardCustomers earn Bernal Bucks each time they shop with the Bernal Bucks Visa card at long-time favorites like Heartfelt, newcomers like Succulence, or only-in-Bernal businesses like Bernal Cutlery. The list of participating businesses keeps growing and will be posted on the program’s website at bernalbucks.org.

To participate, locals use the Bernal Bucks card, a Visa debit card issued by Mission SF Credit Union and insured by the federal agency NCUA.  Its holders can pay with the card wherever Visa is accepted and earn Bernal Bucks at participating local Businesses. Residents and fans of Bernal can register for the card on the Bernal Bucks website.

Frequent buyer miles for the neighborhood

When paying with card at participating businesses, cardholders earn 5% of the purchase amount in Bernal Bucks. In other words: after spending $200, you get 10 Bernal Bucks to re-spent. 5% is better than what most credit cards in people’s wallets provide. The hook? The program does not give cash rewards. People have to go back to the participating businesses to get their reward. As they say, “the buck shops here”.

“Keeping it local” comes natural to many Bernal residents. Early feedback shows that they enjoy the card in their wallet as an incentive that ‘makes it interesting’. Locals know that local businesses not only make the neighborhood so vibrant, they also spend more of their money locally, and provide local jobs. The program itself is completely Bernal-based, operated by local business Clearbon.

Funding for Bernal causes

In typical Bernal Bucks fashion, the program provides a nice way to support your favorite local non-profit. Once earned, Bernal Bucks can be donated to a Bernal cause. In turn, the non-profits can pay with their Bernal Bucks at a local business. Even people who don’t have spare dollars to donate can contribute to organizations, just by way of shopping. So far, the program benefits the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, Friends of the Public Library, and the PTAs of the Fairmount and Paul Revere schools. Suggestions for additional beneficiaries can be made through the Bernal Bucks website.

Similar to frequent flyer miles, Bernal Bucks can be given to other members of the program. For example, parents can give Bernal Bucks to their kids, knowing that they can be spent only at local businesses.  “Keeping it local” – on so many levels”.

For more information and applications for the Bernal Bucks card: bernalbucks.org