The retail marketplace in all forms and fashion is a tough, competitive field, regardless if you're talking about battling hotels, airlines vying for business or even the plethora of retailers that offer similar products and services but realize that they're vying for business against one another, and there's only so much consumer money available.
Buyers make tough choices and inevitably are drawn to the best deals and even better pricing. For some, pricing isn't the only driving force behind the purchases and products you're drawn to, which is why customer loyalty programs, preferred member cards and earning bonus points (or miles in the airline world), rank as incredibly important to prospective customers.
These programs make spending money a little easier knowing that dollars that leave you will be returned in some form or fashion, be it points to put toward a hotel room, discount coupons, percentage off deals or the opportunity to travel without paying full price.
The truth is loyalty programs hardly are created equal, and some fall woefully short in giving customers exactly what they want or, quite frankly, deserve for the amount of money they spend specifically with one particular company.
A few loyalty programs pair together with another service, which makes it easier to shop at one store, knowing you're getting something in return that is practical. Grocery stores tend to offer gas perks for spending certain amounts of money, while some give a percentage back to spend in the store. The latter isn't quite as enticing given the percentage amount isn't anything worth noting (usually a few percentage points at best).
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