A nationwide survey of 1,500 U.S. consumers conducted by COLLOQUY during the third week of October shows that 59% of participants say customer reward programs are not rigged, while 41% say that points, miles and cash back programs are rigged.
Rigged is the current “it” word in the American vernacular. Thanks to usage of the term by presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle this election year, Americans are now asking if everything—from the economy, to election results, to international trade—is rigged.
COLLOQUY uncovered the 59% – 41% gap in consumer sentiment about reward programs when it asked for a yes or no response to the question: Do you feel that loyalty marketing and customer reward programs are rigged? COLLOQUY, owned by LoyaltyOne, is a leading provider of loyalty marketing research, publishing and education.
In another key result from the COLLOQUY survey, 53% of young millennials in the 18 – 24 age group said reward programs are rigged, a 29% increase over the general population. Just 37% of older millennials in the 25 – 34 age range said reward programs are rigged.
In the survey, COLLOQUY asked: Who benefits most from customer reward programs? Savvy shoppers topped the list at 34.5%, followed by credit card companies at 27%, brands at 26.5% and wealthy people at 12%.
“In an atmosphere where venerable institutions are being questioned, it should be reassuring to marketers that nearly 60% of consumers believe in their programs, and that consumers identified smart shoppers as the chief beneficiaries,” COLLOQUY Editor-in-Chief Jeff Berry said. “At the same time, the survey should remind brands that rewards must be relevant, easy to earn and redeem and that they must uphold the value exchange.”
Elsewhere in the survey, COLLOQUY cross-tabulated results to compare views based on political party leanings. No less than 48% of consumers who identified themselves as Republicans said reward programs are rigged, versus 30% of respondents who said they are Democrats, a gap of 60%.
More women (43%) than men (40%) said reward programs are rigged.
Seventy-six percent of consumers said they plan to make no changes in their level of participation in reward programs in 2017, while 12% said they’ll participate more and 12% said they’ll participate less.
COLLOQUY’s consumer survey was conducted between October 17 – 21. The nationwide survey of 1,500 U.S. consumers has a margin of error, which measures sampling variability, of +/- 2.5 at the 95% confidence level.