Despite Consumer Demand, Less Than Half of Businesses Offer Rewards Programs

Despite Consumer Demand, Less Than Half of Businesses Offer Rewards Programs

July 17, 2019         Written By Bill Hardekopf

According to new research from Blackhawk Network, 47% of U.S. businesses now offer rewards programs. While that may seem like a high percentage, it also shows that a majority of businesses are missing out on this customer engagement opportunity.

Among businesses with rewards programs, 87% said their programs were highly valued by customers. In addition, 79% said the rewards program had a positive impact on their business, and 88% reported increased customer loyalty.

A separate study from Blackhawk Network revealed that 87% of consumers participate in at least one rewards program. On average, consumers are enrolled in six rewards programs but only actively use four of them.

Prepaid cards were the most sought-after rewards option from both the consumer and business surveys. Businesses also reported that digital rewards successfully motivated customers, but consumers were divided about their digital preferences. Overall, consumers seem most drawn by a mix of physical and digital rewards opportunities.

Most importantly, consumers say they want easy, flexible redemption options for their rewards. Consumers want to redeem their rewards for most categories well before they hit the $100 in rewards earnings, except when it comes to hotel or airline rewards.

Some businesses are responding to this demand for flexibility. For instance, Starbucks recently revamped their rewards program to provide more redemption options. Customers can now cash in as few as 25 Stars, which is relatively easy to achieve with a 2 Star/$1 rewards rate.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of July 17, 2019. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.
View all posts by Bill Hardekopf
Top Features : No Annual Fee, Bonus Offer, Cash Back
Top Features : 1.5% cash back on all purchases; $150 bonus after spending $500 in first 3 months
Top Features : Earn cash back twice. 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay; 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers
Top Features : $200 bonus after spending $1,000 in first 90 days; no annual fee
Top Features : 4% cash back on dining & entertainment, 2% at grocery stores; $300 bonus after spending $3000 in first 3 months
Top Features : No annual fee; 3% cash back on dining & entertainment; 2% on groceries; $150 cash bonus after spending $500 in first 3 months