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Video: Understanding loyalty programmes

May 12, 2020

75% of South Africans who earn at least R10 000 a month belong to one or more of the 100-odd loyalty programmes in South Africa.

While loyalty programmes are popular, are they really working for you or just cluttering up your wallet with another card or your cellphone with yet another app?

We are chatting to Ros Netto, Loyalty & CRM Consultant at Truth, a consulting company which has done extensive research into loyalty programmes. Ros gives us some insight into these programmes and how to make them work for us.

Firstly let’s be clear about the difference between loyalty programmes and reward programmes because the motivation behind them is very different. In some cases you have to change your behavior to earn rewards, like health/life insurance programmes, while other programmes are about loyalty ‒ spending more money at the same retailer or bank.

Whether it’s a reward programme or a loyalty programme, it’s all about changing our behaviour ‒ to make us exercise more, or spend more at a particular retailer. But with so many out there, how do we choose which ones to be putting our energy into?

The key is to look at the brands that make sense in your daily life ‒ retailers that you are already shopping at, or a bank that you already have a relationship with.

You don’t want to invest time in a programme that is too complicated, and some of them can be. The good ones will make it easy for you to understand them.

Don’t spread yourself too thin. Hone in on the ones that make sense for you, and then make the effort to understand those programmes ‒ what you need to spend or the behaviours that you need to achieve to get the maximum out of them.

The most successful programmes are the ones that make it easy not only for you to accumulate points but also use the points, which is what you sign up for, in essence. There’s no point in earning loads of points if you can only spend them on certain vouchers which don’t fit into your existing lifestyle.

A powerful tool can be the concept of “double dipping” – when you use two programmes together. For example, using your TymeBank card to pay for your PicknPay shopping to earn double Smart Shopper points, while earning more cashback for that same purchase through PicknPay’s partnership with Momentum Multiply.

Remember to review your loyalty and reward programmes each year as they are always changing their rules – and bringing on new partners.

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Maya Fisher-French author of Money Questions Answered

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