As inflation soars, loyalty programs get more attention

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Loyalty programs are attracting attention with eight in 10 US members having at least one loyalty program and half viewing retail loyalty programs as more important than ever, primarily due to rising economic inflation.

That’s one of the key findings from a Lending Tree survey that asked 2,100 US consumers about how they view and use loyalty programs.

Six-figure earners (57%) and millennials (56%) are the most likely to see programs as increasingly critical, while 43% of Gen Z consumers don’t share the same perception, according to a press release on the results.

“It’s great that people aren’t just taking advantage of high-profile, expensive loyalty programs like those offered by hotels and airlines,” Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst at LendingTree, said in the release. . “The truth is, small, regular purchases at grocery stores, restaurants, pet stores, and pharmacies can add up to real, meaningful rewards in record time. With runaway inflation, that matters.”

Additional findings include:

  • Although loyalty programs encourage consumers to increase the frequency with which they buy with a brand, this does not always translate into increased spending. Although 72% buy more from companies with loyalty programs, only 52% spend more with them.
  • More than half of loyalty program members (52%) would leave the program if the rewards weren’t worth it. But only 41% said a data breach would cause them to terminate their membership. As for what drives consumers to join loyalty programs, 75% cite the opportunity to earn points.
  • 50% of loyalty program members signed up at the cash desk.