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Good Points Blog


Loyalty rewards: As good as cash – but not treated that way

Imagine, for a moment, that you have $300 in rewards points value. Do you: 

a.)   Spend it on groceries for the family?
b.)   Spend it on a plane ticket to the Bahamas? 

The answer to this question differs from one person to the next. Americans are split on their rewards-points spending habits. For example, four in 10 consumers say they treat points like “found money” and treat themselves to stuff they want, while a nearly equal number redeem points for life’s necessities.  (As for the author of this blog post, book me a ticket to Fiji, baby). 

Yet while 81% of people consider their points or miles as valuable as cash, an equal number don’t protect their points the same way they do actual money. Consumers remain largely unaware of the threat of loyalty program fraud, even as the nation’s biggest airlines and retailers experience attacks from hackers (and, by extension, consumers themselves). 

This national indifference over potential loyalty program fraud, and the expectation that the programs themselves should protect consumers from this threat, are among the findings of a new national loyalty program survey of 1,600 Americans sponsored by Connexions Loyalty and conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, a leading global market research company. 

Among the findings:

  • 10% use their points to buy gifts for others
  • 16% claim that they find little value in their loyalty points
  • Despite only checking rewards accounts every few months, 1 in 4 Americans say they would leave a loyalty program if the program was breached
  • 9 in 10 survey respondents said they would prefer that rewards programs have a fraud-protection program in place 

With $48 billion in outstanding points and miles, loyalty programs are a big and growing target for cyber criminals. So how do men treat rewards points vs. women? How should your organization expect consumers to react to a loyalty program hack? What does this new data mean for loyalty program managers? 

For more insight from the Connexions-Ipsos survey, download the full report

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Tags: white papers, fraud, loyalty

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