TORONTO, May 29, 2013 /CNW/ - Do loyalty programs die with you? As loyalty programs proliferate, and consumers acquire more digital assets, the importance of what to do with points after death has grown. Loyalty program policies for the bequeathing of points differ greatly from enabling points to be transferred gratis to imposing a fee to not allowing transfers whatsoever. According to a new study by LoyaltyOne 84 per cent of the loyalty program members surveyed have not considered what would happen to their points upon their death and a mere 3 per cent have developed a plan, such as a will, to allocate points.
The average Canadian household is a member of 8.2 loyalty programs, according to the soon-to-be-released 2013 COLLOQUY Loyalty Census. "Canadians gain experiences and value from points and miles every day. Points can be passed onto loved ones as part of your legacy to them," says Carlos Dunlap, Director, Marketing at LoyaltyOne. "Our research shows that only 1 in 10 loyalty program members know that they can bequeath accrued points and miles. These points will go unaccounted for unless Canadians work with their families to develop a points and miles bequest plan."
LoyaltyOne offers the following tips for consumers to pass along their hard earned rewards:
- Treat points/miles like a financial asset. Your points and miles are part of your financial assets. Build a plan with an expert like an estate-planning lawyer to ensure your points and miles are given to your family.
- Get Organized. Make a list of all of your loyalty programs. Include your membership number, recent statement, online log in, customer service phone number and policy guidelines. Keep in mind you may have to call customer service to get this last bit of information and should try to get in written form, such as an email. Keep all of this information updated, in a written document and in a safe place, like a fireproof lock box. Discuss your plan with your family members and let them know where to find your written plan.
- Keep track of your points and miles. Several online services and apps, including AwardWallet.com, Points.com, Traxo.com and UsingMiles.com will manage your loyalty programs and monitor your points and miles. These free services will alert you when points and miles are about to expire and also provide tips on making the most of them.
- Consider the fees. Many programs charge a fee - typically $50-$75 - to transfer points from account to account. If a fee is involved, it would dilute the value of small gifts.
- Use them. Reward yourself and use your points and miles or consider gifting points to loved ones or a charity now - as American author Henry David Thoreau said, "you must live in the present." For instance, Collectors in the AIR MILES Reward Program can donate miles to a variety of charities, including World Wildlife Fund.
Discuss your points and miles bequest plan with family members and heirs so they understand your wishes regarding who inherits the points and miles. This may also help you to identify who would put them to best use. By developing your plan and asking your family and loved ones to execute it, your loyalty can live on.
LoyaltyOne is a global leader in the design and implementation of coalition loyalty programs, customer analytics and loyalty services for Fortune 1000 clients around the world. LoyaltyOne's unparalleled track record delivering sustained business performance improvement for clients stems from its unique combination of hands-on practitioner experience and continuous thought leadership. LoyaltyOne has over 20 years history leveraging data-driven insights to develop and operate some of the world's most effective loyalty programs and customer-centric solutions. These include the AIR MILES Reward Program, North America's premier coalition loyalty program and a working partnership with Latin America's leading coalition program, dotz. LoyaltyOne is also the equity partner of Direxions, a loyalty pioneer headquartered in India and the owner of COLLOQUY, a group dedicated to research, publishing and education for the global loyalty industry. LoyaltyOne is an Alliance Data company. For more information, visit www.loyalty.com.
About the Study
A survey of 1,090 Canadians was completed online between April 4 and April 11, 2013. This sample size yields a margin of error of about +/-2.97% at the 95% confidence interval.
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