Times Live loyalty article: Loyalty cards surge as hard times bite

times live loyalty image smart shopper

Image: Alaister Russell

People are going mad for loyalty programmes whose cash-back and discount benefits are helping to reduce the sting of hard times

Data show that millions of consumers are using loyalty points to buy essentials such as groceries, prepaid electricity and fuel. Others save them up for treats such as a month-end bottle of whisky or a holiday.

The Truth Customer Loyalty White Paper of 2016 shows that consumer demand for loyalty programmes is increasing at 6% a year, with economically active people belonging to an average of 4.6 programmes.

Loyalty-programme usage in the younger segment is growing at double the average rate across all ages. In 2016, 60% of all South African consumers under the age of 25 used loyalty programmes.

A Cape Town man recently found himself so short of money that he was worried he would not be able to afford medication for his sick child.

“I had forgotten all about the rewards programme but the cashier at the pharmacy said I had more than enough loyalty points for the medicines – almost R500 worth.

“It was a really welcome bonus,” he said.

Angela Chandler, of Milnerton, Cape Town, saves all her loyalty points every year for a specific purpose – attending the Up the Creek music festival on the Breede River in January with her husband.

“My Makro points buy the booze and any camping gear we need, our food is paid for with Smart Shopper and Superspar points, and my Clicks ClubCard points pay for the sunscreen and all the other cosmetics,” she said.

“It’s hugely satisfying to get it all free.”



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