Opt into Rewards Programs to Save Money
When competition is fierce, businesses have to come up with newer and better ways to secure and then build upon consumer loyalty. One of the most effective ways of doing so is through the creation of an online rewards program. This essentially rewards the customer to continue to buy your goods, use your service, make on-time bill payments, or be the great customer she has been all along.
Offering rewards programs has become so common that many customers specifically look for the businesses that offer the best rewards before making the decision to buy. When “What’s in it for me?” is the first question that comes to mind, it doesn’t matter if a company has the biggest, the best, and the most stuff, or their customer service is beyond reproach. In the end, the type of rewards offered might be the deciding factor whether a customer chooses with business “A,” “B,” or “C.”
When you’re looking for the best online rewards programs, don’t let the mere fact that a business offers a rewards program sway you. Be aware of what the competition offers. Compare the features of two or more rewards programs to see which one offers the incentives that you’re most likely to use, because in the end, that is what makes a rewards program worth your consideration.
Types of Businesses
All types of businesses are offering online rewards programs these days, from power companies and airlines to big-chain grocery stores and regional chains of convenience stores. Each time you pay a bill on or before the due date, fly to a destination, or order that hard to find item online, these businesses keep a running tally that ends up adding up to bonuses and rewards for you. The important factor is to locate the types of businesses that you are most prone to frequenting so that you maximize how much you can earn. There’s no point in joining a rewards program for a company that you visit very rarely on the off-chance you might earn something.
Free To Join
The truly valuable online rewards programs should be free to join. You’re already patronizing the business, so they’re already profiting from your support. Any company that promises you pay-back, but requires an up-front monetary investment from you probably won’t end up providing rewards that you’ll use. Even if they do, chances are that your sign-up fee probably covered their cost of your so-called reward, meaning they aren’t out any money, but you’ve just been lured into paying them extra. Some service providers sign you up automatically in their programs when you sign up for their service, since they already have your pertinent information. Just by using their service, you’ll be doing what it takes to earn rewards, so all you have to do is sit back and start racking up the points.
Easy to Qualify
Easy qualification is what makes an online rewards program worth it to join. If all you need to do to earn points and rewards is keep doing what you always do, it doesn’t get any easier than that. For instance, some companies like Bounce Energy reward customers who refer their friends or who pay their bills by the due date. Some banks reward clients who use their debit cards as credit cards for any purchase online or in the real world. Those rewards programs that don’t require a lengthy questionnaire be filled out or numerous hoops to be jumped through are the ones that will actually come through for you in the end.
You might decide to join an online rewards program for the specific incentive offered, like if you travel a lot a rewards program like the one that Hilton offers will be valuable for you because you’ll end up saving beau-coup bucks on your hotel accommodations. Alternately, other companies let you choose how you want to be rewarded for remaining a loyal customer who follows all the rules. That means when you sign up for their rewards program you’ll get to pick whether you want your reward to be in the form of a bill credit, gift card, airline miles, or cold, hard cash.
Discover Card and American Express offer just such rewards, letting you put your reward towards your bill or enjoy the rush of receiving a check at the end of the year. Depending on the company, some even offer more than one type of reward, giving you cash back, but also making special deals on things like entertainment, shopping, travel, and dining available to you if you are signed up for their online rewards program.
Minimal or No Restrictions
If a business says it wants to reward you for being a customer, that reward loses its value when restrictions are placed on it. Some companies might offer you gift cards that can only be used within certain dates or ones that expire quickly. And how about those airlines that credit you with millions of miles worth of travel only to tell you that you can’t use them on specific dates or can only travel to specific places? Restrictions like those kind of take the fun out of earning the reward, as well as making their incentives useless. When you’re looking at the rewards that any online program offers, make sure that it isn’t just a smoke-screen designed to lure you in and then never pay out.
When determining whether or not a given company’s online rewards programs is worth your while, it’s best to look for companies that offer two or more of these features. In the end, those companies have created a program that actually increases the value of the goods or services you’re paying for because their incentives truly are rewarding. If you’re jumping through unnecessary hoops to earn your reward for patronizing a company, then that program probably isn’t worth your effort.