Tips for Using Loyalty Program Points to Buy Gifts this Year

The gift giving season is upon us…which also means it’s the gift buying season. Which is great for retailers, but not-so-great for your bank account.

However, the folks at North American loyalty-marketing expert LoyaltyOne (by way of the North American Precis Sydicate), have put together some fantastic tips on how you can delight the people on your gift list this year without breaking the bank. Instead, you just need to spend some of those loyalty points that you’ve been racking up all year. Here’s what they advise:

1. One-stop shop: To maximize rewards earning, consolidate holiday shopping to one retailer with a great rewards program.

2. Double dip to accumulate points: Use a rewards credit card at merchants that also have their own loyalty programs.

3. Combat high travel expenses: Frequent-flier miles are an excellent way to bring the family together without breaking the bank.

4. Remember, reward points can be unexpected gifts: You can use this secret stash instead of cash to buy gifts. Research by COLLOQUY magazine found some loyalty program participants report zero redemptions over the course of a year, suggesting that people have points sitting in accounts ready to be redeemed.

5. Get in the spirit of giving: Many rewards programs let you use points as gifts to pro-environmental causes and as donations to other charitable organizations.

6. See about side benefits: Take advantage of a rewards program’s side benefits, such as members-only extended shopping hours and reduced shipping costs.

7. Have a not-so-silent night: Treat the family to a night on the town. Many rewards programs offer great entertainment options, such as concerts and plays, for redemption.

8. Open a store credit card: They often have a great rewards program that will provide instant savings and extra perks for your holiday season. Then there’s that card you opened and forgot about. Take it back out of the drawer; there may be some unused points you can redeem for a great stocking stuffer.

9. Be aware that time is money: Save them both. Many retailers let you earn no matter how you shop. These multifaceted programs give points not only for in-store purchases but for time-saving shopping methods, such as catalogs and online stores.

10. Treat yourself: Use points to select that “from me, to me” gift, such as spa packages or a new set of golf clubs. You won’t be alone. LoyaltyOne reports that COLLOQUY research found nine out of 10 U.S. redeemers reported themselves as the primary beneficiary of their redemption event.

Source: “Ten Tips to Help you Save Holiday Green.”

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