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Tag Wiki 'Loyalty Program'.

Loyalty programs are structured marketing strategies designed by to encourage to continue to shop at or use the services of associated with each program. These programs exist covering most types of commerce, each one having varying features and rewards-schemes.

In generally, and in banking, entertainment, hospitality, , and travel more specifically, a loyalty card, rewards card, points card, advantage card, club card is a plastic or paper card, visually similar to a , debit card, or digital card that identifies the card holder as a participant in a loyalty program. Loyalty cards (both physical and digital) relate to the loyalty business-model.

Cards typically have a or that can be easily scanned, although some are or .

By presenting such a card, purchasers typically receive either a discount on the current purchase, or to an allotment of points that they can use for future purchases. Hence, the card is the visible means of implementing a type of what economists call a . Application forms for cards usually entail agreements by the store concerning customer privacy, typically non-disclosure (by the store) of non-aggregate data about customers. The store uses aggregate data internally (and sometimes externally) as part of its marketing research. Over time the data can reveal, for example, a given customer's favorite brand of beer, or whether he or she is a vegetarian. Where a customer has provided sufficient identifying information, the loyalty card may also be used to access such information to expedite verification during receipt of cheques or dispensing medical prescription preparations, or for other membership privileges such as access to an using a frequent-flyer card. In recent years, businesses now offer these loyalty cards in the form of a loyalty app, which means users are less likely to lose their card. Almost all major casino chains also have loyalty cards, which offer members tier credits, reward credits, comps, and other perks based on card members' "theo" from gambling, various demographic data, and spend patterns on various purchases at the casino, within the casino network, and with the casino's partners. Examples of such programs include Caesars Rewards (formerly called Total Rewards) and MGM Resorts International's Mlife.

Loyalty programs have been described as a form of centralized , one with unidirectional cash flow, since reward points can be exchanged into a good or service but not into cash.

(2012). 9789289908627, European Central Bank.

For information on historical loyalty programs, see Loyalty marketing history.

By continent and country


Mainland China
The Social Credit System is a loyalty program operated by the state and private businesses. Individuals with high social credit scores can get faster internet, use high speed trains, and take mainland flights.

Hong Kong
offers many loyalty programs. They include Octopus Rewards, operated by Octopus Cards Limited, which allows users to earn points in certain shops, including McDonald's fast food outlets and supermarkets. The also operates MTR Club for regular customers of its .

In terms of shopping or purchasing groceries, different chain stores under common ownership often share the same loyalty program, such as A.S. Watson Group's MoneyBack, which can be used at , , and Fortress stores, as well as the corporation's retail partners. HKT's The Club also offers a similar loyalty program. Flag airline carrier operates , a loyalty and frequent-flyer program.

PAYBACK India is 's largest coalition loyalty program, with over 50 million members, over 50 partners and 3000 network partner outlets. German loyalty program operator took a controlling interest in i-mint in June 2010 and renamed the program PAYBACK India in July 2011. BPCL's PetroBonus fuel card program has 2 million members. 's fleet card program XTRAPOWER and retail program XTRAREWARDS claim a combined customer base of 3 million.

The first loyalty program launched in 1996 by Iran Credit Card Group Zarrin Card. East Credit Card Group Kish launched its loyalty program in 2005.

Genting Highlands Resort has a loyalty card, , that is primarily used to gain points in Genting Highlands' Resorts and Attractions. However, it can also be used at participating partner locations, including Starbucks, Coffee Bean, and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. It is valid in three countries: Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. Loyalty program can also build in term of app version, which widely use in Starbucks app, TK Bakery App, Loudspeaker App, AppPay.

In the , several brands of establishments and stores offer membership cards that the card owner can use to earn points and redeem rewards.

The gigantic shopping mall chain, offers the SM Advantage Card or SMAC that can be used as a loyalty card that earns points as you shop and its partner bank, also offers BDO Rewards Card that functions the same as the SM Advantage Card. Retailers accepting the card include: The SM Store, , , and .

Another mall chain, has a program named Robinsons Rewards. It can also be used when shopping in Robinsons Department Stores, Robinsons Supermarkets, and Toys "R" Us branches in the Philippines.

, the fast food giant and its subsidiaries (, , and launched the HappyPlus card, in which the cardholder can use the card to earn happy points and use the points to get a free food. It is also planned to be used in , the most recent member of the Jollibee Foods Corporation.

The country's largest drug store, also introduced the Suki Card in which the membership is free but the applicant will need to purchase at least PhP 1000 worth of single or cumulative purchases.

In , the three largest loyalty programs are Plus!, , and SAFRA Card.


The two largest loyalty programs in are Payback and mo. JÖ was fully launched in 2019.

Loyalty programs are very popular in . 80% of people are in at least one loyalty program and over 50% are member of at least two programs. Two major coalitions with loyalty programs operating in multiple business sectors. These are with S-Etukortti (70% of population, 2014) and with K-Plussa (67%). These cards can be equipped with Visa or Debit / Credit payment features. Both loyalty programs are being aggressively pushed to consumers. New major player in Finnish and Baltic markets is Pins (19%).

In Georgia the biggest loyalty card program is run by Universal Card Corporation since 2010. Universal scheme unifies more than 250 companies where customers collect bonus points on while purchasing food, goods, garments/clothing, fuel, travel packages, tickets, pharmacy, GYM passes or other services. UNICARD holders can redeem their bonus points on any products presented within the particular partner's stores where redemption is available or into desirable gifts presented within UNICARD's online catalogue.

The largest loyalty program in is Payback, which was launched in 2000. According to a study in August 2007 by GfK, 61% of German households have a Payback card. It listed the program as having a 42% share, with the Shell ClubSmart program as third most popular with 13%. In March 2008, the coalition program was launched by . As at March 2009 it had more than 4.5 million active cardholders. HappyDigits was disbanded at the latest of the year 2009/2010.

Two coalition loyalty programs in are SuperShop and Multipoint. SuperShop, established in April 2000, is backed by partners Spar, OBI, OMV, Photo hall, .

After the exit of Nectar from the market in 2015, Payback is the most popular coalition loyalty program with more than 10 million card holders and relevant anchor partners such as Carrefour, Esso, H3G (Tre), Mediaset Premium, BNL BNP Paribas and more than 60 online partners.

Supermarket chains Esselunga, Coop and Il Gigante also have well established loyalty programs. Other stores such as Interio, a furniture retailer, are also joining the market with loyalty cards and store-based incentivised credit cards.

Loyalty programs are also widely spread in the consumer goods Industry, where companies use this powerful tool to establish long-lasting brand-consumer relationships. The very first example of a loyalty program in the food industry has been the 2008 Lavazza Carmencita digital collection followed by many other brands such as Barilla, Casa Modena-Giravolte and Tena Lady of the Multinational Sca Hygiene Products.

One of the largest loyalty programs in Latvia which is working as operator for many merchants is Pins.

Walmoo is a loyalty platform that was launched in 2013 that allows their users to create their own loyalty program.

The largest Norwegian loyalty program is . Trumf is a «brick and mortar» loyalty program owned by , a grocery wholesaling group in Norway. is one of the largest online loyalty program and cashback site in Norway. is owned by .

Republic of Ireland
In the Republic of Ireland loyalty cards have been in operation since 1993, when introduced its SuperClub loyalty card scheme. This is regarded as having been the prototype for such schemes in Europe. However, loyalty cards did not expand until 1997, when introduced its Clubcard scheme, shortly after its purchase of Power Supermarkets. This was an expansion of the UK scheme—cards for this are identical to those used by Tesco in the UK and can be used in both countries. responded with the introduction of their own ValueClub scheme in June 1997. Today these are three main schemes operating in Ireland, although ValueClub has been withdrawn from Dunnes' stores. SuperValu has introduced their own loyalty club called Real Rewards.

All five major chains in the country operated a scheme during the late 1990s— had Tiger Miles (with Tesco ClubCard points offered as an alternative), had Points Plus, both of which operated on the principle of getting items from a gift catalogue, with Shell using Dunnes' scheme, using the SuperQuinn system, and operating a cash-back system, Premium Club. Due to increasing oil prices and tightening of margins, these schemes ended by the end of 2005. Tesco Ireland's petrol stations still, however, give Clubcard points.

Game, a major computer game and hardware retailer also operate a cashback card scheme, which was merged with Electronics Boutique's programme following the separation of their northern European stores into the hands of Game. The scheme returns one-fortieth of the spend, more than twice as generous as Tesco.

Rewards From Us To You is a hotel loyalty program for independent hotels in Belgium, Holland, Ireland & the United Kingdom. It was founded in November 2011 by parent hotel management company PREM Group, who is based in Dublin, Ireland. This program does not issue loyalty cards but does everything electronically through email. This company has over 33 participating hotels and serviced apartments. Guests earn points every time they stay with any hotel in the club. Guests can later redeem free night stays or gift cards. In addition to this all members receive exclusive perks for signing up and staying at the hotel.

MALINA is a coalition program. MALINA was launched in 2006 by Loyalty Partners Vostok. MALINA is a loyalty card scheme comprising partner companies including BP, Rosinter Restaurants, Beeline, 36,6, and Raiffeisenbank.

Another Russian loyalty program is This project is fully independent. Members of the club who own clubcards can gain points in exchange for daily purchases made both online and offline at partners' shops. A customer receives points while answering the quiz, playing games and getting special offers. Cumulative points can be exchanged for prizes from the company's partners.

Voilà Hotel Rewards was launched in June 2008 with Husa Plus, a co-branded loyalty program for Husa Hoteles. The Husa Plus program is offered at approximately 145 Husa Hotels, primarily located in . Barcelona-based online travel agency launched its loyalty programme in early 2011. My budgetplaces lets clients earn credit every time they make a reservation.EnGrande. "EnGrande Company Milestones 2011". Budgetplaces. Retrieved 21 December 2011.

Loyalty programs are popular in , with the two main supermarket chains, and Coop prominent. The M-Cumulus card can be used at the Migros supermarkets, Ex Libris, SportXX, and other retailers. The Coop Supercard earns points on purchases at Coop and a variety of other associated stores. Other stores such as Interio, a furniture retailer, are also joining the market with loyalty cards and store-based incentivised credit cards. The only coalition loyalty scheme in Switzerland is Bonus Card with a network of over 300 independent retail partners. Finaccord List of Global Loyalty Programs. Retrieved 1 March 2016 In recent years, online loyalty programs have also started to target the Swiss. First to make an offering in Switzerland was German-based Webmiles. Claiming to be Switzerland's first online bonus program, Bonuspoints was launched in early 2008 and offers incentives for shopping at 70 different online stores.

has a loyalty program called Pegasus Plus which gives rewards for every flight. Passengers can spend reward points as a discount without waiting to cover a full flight. has a loyalty program called Miles&Smiles.

United Kingdom
The loyalty card market in the UK is one of the most significant in the world, with most major chains operating some form of reward system. Passcard has been claimed to be the first reward scheme or discount card, created around by Gary Wilson in 1981 and later known as Passkey. One of the first loyalty cards backed by a major chain is believed to be the Sainsbury's Spend and Save Card in 1982.

Of the "big four" supermarkets, and and operate loyalty cards for general supermarket shopping.Tesco's Clubcard scheme have been criticised for not offering value for money. When Clubcard or Nectar points are used for money off supermarket shopping, they roughly equate to a 0.5% discount, although offers can increase this discount by as much as four times for certain rewards. Some retailers with banking operations also award points for every pound spent on their credit cards, and bonus points for purchasing financial services. A report in suggested that the real benefit of loyalty cards to UK outlets is the massive marketing research database potential they offer. Since 2015 operates a "More" reward scheme which replaces the "Morrisons Miles" fuel purchases reward scheme. Unusually, customers' personal details are not collected so purchases appear not to be tracked. Vouchers are delivered at point of sale.

After trials in 1994, launched its program, the UK's first nationwide supermarket-only loyalty card scheme, in 1995 with . Sainsbury's launched its Reward Card in 1996. This was replaced by the Nectar card in 2002, which was launched in partnership with other major brands.

began planning a loyalty card in November 1993, but building a CRM-focussed loyalty program. With an investment in excess of GB£30 million, the Boots Advantage Card, launched in 1997, is the largest smart card retail loyalty card scheme in the world, and the third-largest retail loyalty scheme in the UK in terms of cards issued. The Advantage scheme has 16.4 million cardholders using the card online and in store and at 3rd party retailers. The scheme gives a cardholder four points for every pound spent in a Boots store under normal shopping circumstances. Most stores have kiosks which can be used in conjunction with the cards for "exclusive offers" which are printed on vouchers and can be used at the till. These vouchers enable money off specific purchases, extra points for specific purchases, or money off or extra points when spending has reached an amount specified on the voucher, or other offers such as double points on either everything of specific products. For example, a customer may get a voucher which provides 250 extra points when they have spent £50 in one transaction. Points equal pence in store, and can be spent at any time and on anything in store, providing the card has enough points to cover the entire cost of the merchandise. The kiosk system was replaced with the Boots App in 2014, where customers can automatically load offers on to their Advantage Card straight from their smartphone.

ABC Card was discontinued in 2000. Airlines, Hotels and other loyalty schemes also offer cards. Marks and Spencer and the John Lewis Partnership have credit cards which give vouchers in return for spending, and do issue separate loyalty cards such as the myJohnLewis card, myWaitrose card in the John Lewis Partnership and the Sparks Card in by Marks and Spencer. Game has a reward card scheme for which every pound spent a customer is rewarded 10 points; for every 1000 points that one collects, one gets £2.50 to redeem in the store, or online. Preorders earn a customer 20 points per pound. has a reward card called purehmv which allows the customer to claim a variety of rewards, including in-store discounts.

The UK's largest retail bookmaker launched the Odds ON! loyalty programme in late 2007, the first retail betting loyalty scheme in Europe. Customers earn points on each bet which can be redeemed for bonus jokers and free bets. Ladbrokes Poker operates a loyalty program for its online poker players where players are able to exchange their poker points for gift & prizes.

Maximiles is an online coalition program claiming 1.6 million members in the UK. Maximiles also operates online programs in France, Spain and Italy.

The opening of the first Best Buy store in the UK—at Thurrock, Essex, in 2010—was accompanied by the launch of a customer engagement program called My Best Buy. This was described as "a tiered, digital loyalty and customer engagement program that is designed to build a lifelong relationship with the customer by providing a personalized experience through which they can manage their digital and technology needs." However, this business ceased trading in 2012: the 11 stores were closed in January, and My Best Buy closed on 29 February.

The Ice Organisation launched in 2010, a scheme which rewards consumers for shopping in a more sustainable way. Ice's mission is to promote greener goods and services to mitigate , and works with national and local retailers to encourage more local, sustainable consumerism.

The Co-operative Food, the brand adopted by many of the larger members of the UK co-operative movement does not operate a traditional loyalty card scheme. Instead, as consumer co-operatives, they operate a profit sharing scheme whereby an annual is paid to all member-owners which is proportional to the total spend with the businesses during the previous year. Such dividend schemes have existed since the Rochdale Pioneers of the 1840s. Paper record-keeping transformed in the 1960s into a scheme managed by the Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS), which was gradually withdrawn as margins declined. The loyalty card concept was used by some co-operatives to restore dividend payments at the turn of the 21st century, notably by the CWS's "Dividend" card, which was replaced by The Co-operative Membership card program. The current members' dividend scheme is provided using the national co-operative brand and allows members of The Co-operative Group and many of the larger regional co-operative societies to earn their 'share of the profits' based upon their spend at many of the outlets which use The Co-operative brand rather than just at their own co-operative society (e.g. The Co-operative Group or the Midcounties Co-operative).

Formerly operated by , was the most popular flight-related loyalty program in the UK, with 2.2. million members in 2011. Members could collect Airmiles each time they flew with British Airways or affiliated airlines, both within the International Airlines Group and the ; points could then be redeemed for flights, and was popular with both commercial and business customers. Airmiles-based programs frequently allow members to also collect points by spending on affiliated cards, such as British Airways Premium Plus credit card. A re-brand of the program in 2011 from Airmiles to Avios caused controversy as members were now required to pay taxes and fees on flights they used for redemption. The scheme became more flexible and included redemption opportunities such as car hire and days out, broadening the ways in which members can spend their points.

North America

The oldest loyalty program in is Canadian Tire money, in which the company gives out coupons which look like currency. is Canada's largest loyalty program – Air Miles can be earned at more than 100 different sponsors and almost a thousand different rewards. founded in 1992 operates mostly in the Western Canadian provinces with close relations to its grocery partnerships with the Overwaitea Food Group and its small coalition of other retailers. began in 1984 as 's frequent flier program, but since 2008 has been owned by Aimia Inc. (previously Groupe Aeroplan Inc.).

Example of companies that run their own programs include , which began at in 1986 as Club Z; the program for free groceries (from ) or redeemable as dollars discounted from purchase subtotals (at Shoppers Drug Mart), The Body Shop's Love Your Body Card, Staples Business Depot's easyRewards Savings Card (formerly Dividends) and ' Club Sobeys card. The plum rewards program is Canada's largest loyalty program for reading enthusiasts, offering everyday discounts and special coupons at Chapters, Indigo Books and Music, Coles, SmithBooks, and Chapters-Indigo Online. PetPerks is 's reward program where members get a pre-determined discount on any item in the store that displays a PetPerks tag under the regular price tag. Vicinity is loyalty platform for small business retailers that was launched in May 2013 by Rogers Communications Inc.

Almost every gas station chain in Canada offers some sort of loyalty program itself or in partnership. For example, Air Miles at gas stations, PC Plus at and Mobil, Petro Points and More Rewards at , Canadian Tire money at Canadian Tire gas stations, or a coupon that grants the customer 3.5 cents off per litre of fuel purchased at Sobeys Fast Fuel locations that can be used at a Sobeys banner store.

United States
In the US, several major retail chains, movie theatre networks, supermarket and fish market chains, and the three major pharmacy chains require the cards in order for customers to receive the advertised loyalty price. They include (each through both its own name and its related regional chains) , , , , CVS/pharmacy, and its sister chains and , , , , , , Kohl's, , , , Price Chopper, Regal Entertainment Group, , Safeway, (also used by ), ShopRite, Stop & Shop, Target, Tops, Toys "R" Us (also used by Babies "R" Us), , , and .

Many retailers allow accumulation of fuel discounts. Some have tie-ins with airline frequent-flyer programs, and some agree to donate a percentage of sales to a designated charity. Most notably, does not have a loyalty card plan, although anyone who purchases a gift card can generally get a 3-cent discount per gallon of gas at the , in the 23 states with those Walmart fuel stations.

The practice is common among book and music retailers, from large chains to independent retailers. In some instances, the customer purchases the card and receives a percentage discount on all purchases for a period of time (often one year), while in other instances, a customer receives a one-time percentage discount upon reaching a specified purchase level. For example, a bookseller's loyalty card program might provide a customer with a 10% off coupon once the customer has spent US$200 at the bookseller. and offer loyalty programs that offer points redeemable for dollar-amount discounts after accumulating a set number of points along with other discounts from time to time.

Independent hardware stores, such as and , added customer loyalty programs in order to compete more effectively against larger chains as well as gather customer data. Customers with an association with a particular brand feel benefits for being part of the program. Ace's program also offers customers a way at the time of purchase to get items at a price which would normally require completing a mail-in rebate. In addition, retailers Staples and started issuing club cards in 2005: they offer rewards in the form of credits towards future purchases on items purchased in the store or online (which items and how much credit changes periodically).

Almost all major hotel chains (, , , Marriott, Super 8 Motels, etc.) have cards that allow guests to earn either points (redeemable for discounts, future stays, or other prizes) and/or airline miles Hilton's program allowed guests to earn both points and miles (referenced as double-dipping) on the same stay, the only program to date that did so but which ended 1 April 2018]. All major U.S. airlines also offer rewards credit cards. Other travel related reward programs include SeaMiles, with points that can be redeemed for cruises.

Some American retailers have not implemented club cards, including grocery stores , , and . Between 2007 and 2013 (before their purchase of Safeway), , Albertsons, , and Shaw's (all owned by ) eliminated their loyalty cards in favor of discounts for all shoppers. Few states regulate club cards. As an example, supermarkets in are subject to the Supermarket Club Card Disclosure Act of 1999.

Prominent online loyalty programs include Belly, , , , , Mypoints, , and . Some online loyalty programs focus on "other-directed" consumers including, Schoolpop, The BSP Rewards Network, and .

Cardmobili, Foursquare, and focus on using smartphones such as the Android and . Since March 2011, Foursquare has partnered with to provide Foursquare points when using an American Express card, and since 21 November 2011, Shopkick has partnered with Visa to provide Shopkick points when using a Visa card at locations such as , , or Toys "R" Us.


Many loyalty programs operate in , ranging from retail chains, individual stores, hotels, car hire businesses, credit card schemes, besides others. The largest loyalty program is flybuys, established in 1994 and owned by Coles. It has more than 10 million cardholders in over 5.5 million Australian households. A consumer study of Australian loyalty programs in 2013 showed flybuys as easily the most popular program in Australia. Rival retailer Woolworths launched its Everyday Rewards fuel discount card nationally in 2009 and by August 2010 had 5.1 million cardholders, with 2.7 million linked to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program.

Among other Australian retailers, the largest programs are 's MYER one program, the Priceline Club Card, Club, Millers Retail Club, and the BB Retail Capital Pulse Rewards program. Pulse has more than a million members.

All major Australian banks offer credit cards with reward programs. Many are linked directly to airline rewards programs such as the Qantas Frequent Flyer program or 's Velocity Frequent Flyer program. Alternatively, some banks and credit card companies have their own programs, with points being either redeemable or transferable to various airline rewards programs.

New Zealand
The largest loyalty program in is Fly Buys. Other programs include the New Zealand Automobile Association AA Smartfuel programme and Countdown supermarket's Onecard. was a short-lived "card free" programme.

Mobile loyalty programs

Mobile online loyalty programs
There has been a move away from traditional magnetic card, stamp, or punchcard based schemes to online and mobile online loyalty programs. While these schemes vary, the common element is a push toward eradication of a traditional card, in favour of an electronic equivalent. The choice of medium is often a . Some prominent examples are Austrian based mobile-pocket established in 2009, the US-based Punchd (discontinued from June 2013,), which became part of in 2011. and an Australian-based loyalty card application called Stamp Me which incorporates technology. Others, like Loopy Loyalty (HK), Loyalli (UK), (US), and Whisqr Loyalty (CA), have offered similar programs. Passbook by Apple is the first attempt to standardize the format of mobile loyalty cards.

Mobile off-line loyalty programs
With the introduction of host card emulation (HCE) and near field communication (NFC) technology for mobile applications, traditional contactless smart cards for prepaid and loyalty programs are emulated in a smartphone. adopted these technologies for mobile off-line payment application.

The major advantage of off-line over the on-line system is that the user's smartphone does not have to be online, and the transaction is fast. In addition, multiple emulated cards can be stored in a smartphone to support multi-merchant loyalty programs. Consequently, the user does not need to carry many physical cards anymore.

Disloyalty cards
In three cities, some independent coffee shops have set up experimental 'disloyalty card' programs, which reward customers for visiting a variety of coffee shops.

Some companies complain that loyalty programs discount goods to people who are buying their goods anyway, and the expense of participating in these programs rarely generates a good return on the investment. Some other critics regard discounted prices and rewards as to manipulate and purchasing decisions,

or in the case of infrequent spenders, a means of them.

A 2015 study found that most supermarket loyalty cards in the United States do not offer any real value to their customers. In fact, commercial use of customers' collected as part of loyalty programs has the potential for abuse; it is highly likely that consumer purchases are tracked and used for marketing research to increase the efficiency of marketing and advertising, which oftentimes is one of the purposes of the loyalty card. For some customers, participating in a loyalty program (even with a fake or anonymous card) funds activities that violate privacy. Consumers have also expressed concern about the integration of technology into loyalty-card systems.
73. LoyaltyXpert

One may view loyalty and credit-card reward plans as modern-day examples of kickbacks. Employees who need to buy something (such as an airline flight or a hotel room) for a , but who have discretion to decide which airline or hotel chain to use, have an incentive to choose the payment method that provides the most cash back, credit-card rewards, or loyalty points instead of minimizing costs for their employer.

See also

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