When it comes to loyalty rewards programs, consumers have plenty to choose from. Some prefer single-retailer programs from their favourite coffee chain or grocery store, but many others opt for a coalition loyalty program where they can shop with a wide array of retailers within their partner network to earn a common currency (like points or miles) and redeem for a greater variety of rewards that really matter to them.
It’s not uncommon for people to enrol in several different loyalty programs, but eventually they gravitate toward the one that is most relevant and valuable to them, and which offers them the services, flexibility and perks they actually care about. Many members also choose a loyalty program that offers affiliated credit cards so they can earn points or miles by using the card for purchases they would have made anyway.
That’s what makes coalition loyalty programs so popular. Staying active in a coalition loyalty program means members focus their points-earning potential, rather than juggling many different rewards programs that earn disparate loyalty currencies. The result is the ability to redeem points for valuable rewards more quickly and more often.
Goals, Bonuses and More
Members of coalition loyalty programs can set personal goals for earning points or miles and then redeem them more quickly for a greater selection of rewards that they get to choose. They also have access to special offers and promotions that help them earn bonus points to more quickly achieve those goals.
They can also focus their spending on as many program partners as possible. This helps program operators gather data on their preferences across a wider range of products and suppliers, so the program can better understand their wants and needs. Armed with that information, the program can offer personalized rewards and experiences that members want and value, further enhancing loyalty and engagement.
A Wide Range of Rewards and Benefits
What makes a reward valuable is highly subjective and depends on what is most important to each individual member.
Some members want cash back on their purchases or some variant of that – such as a free product or service after a defined number of purchases – but when this happens automatically with little or no fanfare, many people don’t even notice they’ve been rewarded, negating the intention of the program and the brand’s return on investment in it.
Those who belong to coalition loyalty programs, on the other hand, know when they have been rewarded because they have chosen it and enjoy the simplicity of having a single program to manage with more ways to earn.
One of the best-known examples of a coalition rewards program is Aeroplan. Most people think of it as a frequent-flyer program, but it’s actually much more than that. A lot of Aeroplan members are frequent spenders and earn their miles not by flying but by using affiliated financial cards and shopping at more than 75 participating partners in the financial, retail and travel sectors. Nearly 1 in 7 Canadians are active Aeroplan members. Flight rewards are a member favourite, but nearly 145 billion Aeroplan miles have been redeemed for non-flight rewards in 2016.
With all of these benefits, it’s easy to see why so many people believe that a coalition rewards program offers them the greatest value and the widest range of perks for their loyalty and why they are so passionate about their membership.