Loyalty Members Want More Redemption Opportunities

Research finds that loyalty members prefer to redeem their points at least once a year.

January 24, 2019

PLEASANTON, Calif. – Loyalty program members want more opportunities to redeem their earned loyalty points, according to research by Blackhawk Network, a financial technology company.

The firm surveyed more than 1,500 American adults about their preferences and attitudes toward loyalty programs across a wide range of retail and service providers.

Survey results found that loyalty members want more opportunities to redeem their earned points and prefer to redeem those points at least once a year. Plus, they want to redeem well before they hit the $100 mark in reward earnings, and they prefer a reward card over other reward options, especially among younger generations.

The average consumer (87%) belongs to at least one loyalty program, but most consumers belong to six but are only active in four. Those who are members of food and beverage, online retail, gym and retail programs report the highest engagement, with nine out of 10 cashing in loyalty points at least once a year.  Only members of airline and/or hotel loyalty programs waited until they had a least $100 in rewards to redeem their points.

Overall, loyalty members prefer reward cards over other reward options, with more than half of the survey participants opting for a prepaid or gift card. When asked if they prefer physical or digital rewards, participants were generally divided.

“Effective loyalty programs keep participants engaged and continuously coming back for more,” said Theresa McEndree, vice president of marketing, Blackhawk Network. “Our research found that participants in programs with the highest engagement are redeeming their loyalty points at least once a year, and in some categories, the majority of consumers are redeeming at least four times a year.

“Combined with the fact that most consumers want to redeem their rewards well before the $100 mark, our findings suggest that retailers and organizations can increase consumer engagement with their loyalty program by simply offering the right rewards at the right values,” she said.

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