Five Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Loyalty Program

December 17, 2013

Money

From credit cards to search engines, more and more companies are offering rewards programs for loyal users. In fact, so many are jumping on the bandwagon that the possibilities can be quite dizzying! If you’re interested in fully capitalizing on your future rewards, here are five tips for getting the most out of your loyalty program.

1: Know How It All Works

It may sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many consumers swipe their cards with no idea how it will affect their rewards. Before you sign up for any program, make sure you understand everything going on behind the scenes. Are you earning points, cash or miles? Do you need to accrue a certain amount before you can claim your prize? Are you getting rewards for every purchase or just the ones made at specific stores?

2: Look For What You Want

Every loyalty program offers different rewards. It might be cash back, airline miles, merchandise offered for delivery, et cetera. You should decide early what kind of bounty you’d like to claim, like 10000 points or that scuba set you saw in the virtual rewards mall, because that can have a heavy impact on what you buy or how you shop.

3: Channel Everything Into One Program

Multiple credit cards may seem like a good idea. More cards means more rewards, right? But you’re actually hurting yourself when you consider the big picture: Every purchase you make on Card A dilutes the rewards you could be accumulating on Card B, not to mention all the fees and surcharges you’re experiencing in double. Put all of your energy into one program to consolidate your debt and reap the maximum rewards.

4: Beware the Fine Print

Do your special rates end after six months? If you sign a two-year contract but your competitive rate only lasts six months, you may wind up paying more than you would have with just a regular card. What about your points? When will they expire? If you need a significant amount to redeem any rewards but only have 12 months to do it, that might not be the loyalty program for you.

5: Take Advantage of Special Deals

Stay on the company’s newsletter for news of exclusive discounts and savings. For example, some companies might offer double cash back for the holidays. Others, like Swagbucks, might slash prices in their online shopping rewards store. Take advantage of these opportunities as they come if you’re truly interested in getting the most out of your loyalty program..