Reaping Rewards: Online Tool Offers Canadians Easy Cross-Comparison of Loyalty Programs

Compareloyaltyprograms.ca tool helps Canadians overcome marketplace confusion to get rewarded faster

TORONTO, May 13, 2014 /CNW/ - When it comes to loyalty programs, what really matters to Canadians is getting their rewards faster. According to a new poll by Environics Research Group, earning rewards faster (42%) and having more opportunities to earn miles and points (40%) are priorities for Canadians in their loyalty programs. While typical loyalty program comparisons might try to assign a dollar value to points or highlight sign-up bonus offers with the latest credit card on the market, there have been few tools to help Canadians research loyalty programs in a simple, streamlined and personalized way.

To break through the clutter, there is a free, online tool to help Canadians find the loyalty programs, and affiliated credit cards, that can help get them to their rewards faster: www.compareloyaltyprograms.ca. By answering a few simple questions about preferred rewards (flight, cash back or merchandise), lifestyle and shopping habits, Canadians can quickly and easily discover which programs might have the fastest time to reward for them. The tool includes the latest programs and credit cards in the marketplace and will allow Canadians to personalize their spending responses, meaning the results are tailored just for them.

"Time to reward is a vital measure of loyalty programs but is often overlooked," say Susan Misner and Laura McDonald, founders of Golden Girl Finance, a site offering financial education in a modern, engaging way to encourage everyone to play a more active role in their finances. "Compareloyaltyprograms.ca offers Canadians a unique way to consider their current loyalty program or find others worth exploring."

Confusion means missing out on rewards
With so many different programs on the market and countless opinions, it is no wonder that many of us are unclear about the various programs and offerings. In fact, the Environics Research Group poll found that the majority of consumers who participate in loyalty programs believe that loyalty programs can be confusing (almost 6 in 10 Canadians). Of those, three-quarters (76%) say they are less likely to use a loyalty program if they are confused by how it works – and that figure skyrockets for those under the age of 35 (84%) – meaning Canadians could be missing out on the benefits loyalty programs can offer. Sources of confusion include not knowing how to redeem reward points or miles for a reward (39%), not knowing which program is best for them personally (37%) and not knowing how or where to earn reward points or miles (24%).

Mastering loyalty programs
Many Canadians redeem at least once a year – while others hold off for various reasons. According to the Environics Research Group poll, 45 per cent of Canadians redeemed for their last reward with points or miles they had accumulated in less than one year. Of those who last redeemed one or more years ago or who have never redeemed (48%), 4 in 10 chose to save their reward miles or points for a bigger reward. However, the majority (56%) say they do not earn enough reward miles or points to redeem sooner – perhaps because their program is not the best fit for them.

"If you don't feel you're earning enough rewards, it's a good idea to take stock of your program and how you use it," say Misner and McDonald. "Consider pairing your program with an affiliated credit card, participating in a coalition program with more partner retailers and focusing on one or two programs – proven methods to get to rewards faster."

About the tool
The www.compareloyaltyprograms.ca tool was built on proprietary research conducted by Environics Research Group in 2013 and updated in 2014 in order to create a more level landscape for loyalty program comparison. It cross-compares 23 of the most popular loyalty programs and their affiliated credit cards in Canada based on how fast a member can get to their chosen rewards goal, whether it is flights, merchandise or cash-equivalent rewards. It compares loyalty programs for consumers based on their location, spending habits and desired rewards.

About the research
Commissioned by COLLOQUY, a LoyaltyOne research group, Environics Research Group conducted a survey of 1,008 Canadians in March 2014 to determine the most popular loyalty programs in Canada and consider their attitudes towards them. Environics Research Group then built an algorithm that allows consumers to determine which rewards programs get them to the rewards they want as quickly as possible, based on their individual shopping patterns, program features and attributes.

About Environics Research Group
Environics is one of Canada's leading marketing and social survey research firms with a reputation for integrity, accuracy and insight. Co-founded in 1970 by Environics' president Michael Adams, the firm has evolved into a multi-disciplined international research and consulting group.  Headquartered in Toronto, the firm has offices and affiliates in Ottawa, New York and Washington D.C. and around the world through the IRIS network of global research firms. Environics is a full-service research firm experienced in conducting telephone surveys, personal in-home interviews, postal surveys, panel studies and focus groups, conducting approximately 2,000 focus groups and 250,000 interviews a year. Environics offers its clients a broad array of research, consulting and communications services, from traditional public opinion polling and market research to advanced studies of human values and social change, in addition to consulting to aid our clients' product design, marketing, communications and human resource strategies.

SOURCE: COLLOQUY

For further information: or to arrange an interview with Golden Girl Finance, please contact: Deane Code / Stephanie Dale, Environics Communications, 416-969-2826 / 416-969-2756, dcode@environicspr.com / sdale@environicspr.com


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