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Study: The favorite reward perk is…


Dallas – Consumers show a clear preference for one particular perk from retailer reward programs, and it isn’t cash back.

According to “The Road to Rewards,” a consumer behavior report from Excentus, more than 54% of U.S. consumers polled in July 2015 belong to loyalty programs that enable them to save on the cost of fuel.

In addition, a leading 37% of consumers ranked fuel savings as their preferred rewards program. Fuel savings was followed in popularity by credit-card cashback programs (32%); retailer/brand coupons (25%); credit card rewards and cash register instant discounts (24% each); retailer-specific points/rewards (22%); airline miles (17%); restaurant/grocer rewards (16%); and hotel points (14%).

Of the American consumers surveyed, nearly half of (46%) say they earn, buy, redeem or check their fuel-savings rewards daily or weekly. When asked why they join rewards programs, 47% say they like saving money any way they can and 23% like earning rewards on everyday purchases.

According to the report, consumers belong to fuel-saving rewards programs offered by grocery stores (68%), retail stores (22%), credit cards (16%) and restaurants/dining venues (7%). When asked why they join, 46% say the rewards are offered as part of an existing loyalty program; 40% join to save money; 37% to earn rewards where they already shop; 19% to save on the cost of driving, and 15% because the incentive is linked to a credit card.

Almost one in five consumers (19%) would choose a different brand to earn 25-50 cents per gallon on fuel, 17%-20% would switch retailers to earn 25 cents to $1 per gallon on fuel, and 20% would purchase in-store rather than online to earn 25-50 cents per gallon on fuel.

Additional findings from the survey include:

• Millennials (ages 18-34) are more than twice as likely as other age groups to track their rewards from a mobile app (33% Millennials; 16% ages 35-54; 6% ages 55-plus).

• Midwestern consumers (57%) are more likely than those in the West (56%), South (52%) and Northeast (50%) to belong to a fuel-savings rewards program.

• Women and men participate equally in fuel-savings programs (54% female, 53% male), while participation based on income varied by 11% (47% under $50,000, 58% more than $50,000).

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