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Brits' "love affair with loyalty" worth £1.1bn* - but nearly a quarter have lost benefits in out of date schemes

15 September 2013
  • 95% of UK adults are members of at least one loyalty scheme
  • 24% of Brits have lost benefits in out of date schemes
  • 10% of loyalty scheme members haven't redeemed any points in the last year

The British love affair with loyalty schemes shows little sign of fading according to a new survey which suggests that 95% of UK adults are members of at least one loyalty programme.

Brits are sitting on £1.1bn worth of unused loyalty card points according to the survey commissioned by Gocompare.com.  On average, loyalty cardholders with a balance estimate the cash equivalent of the rewards they hold to be £31, however nearly a quarter (24%) of Brits say they have lost benefits because the rewards became out of date before they used them.

More women than men hold supermarket and other retail chain loyalty cards, but men are bigger users of travel and credit card loyalty schemes.  The survey also found that one in ten people hadn't redeemed any points in the last year.   

Claire Peate, customer insight manager at Gocompare.com, commented: "Loyalty cards have long been popular with UK shoppers, allowing them to earn points and rewards on a wide range of goods and services.  However, it is important to remember that the retailers stand to gain a great deal from these schemes too in terms of on-going custom, data and marketing opportunities.

"The value of the points earned and the terms and conditions can vary considerably between different schemes.  In general, loyalty benefits represent a very small discount and in many cases you have to spend a significant sum to earn a few pounds worth of rewards.  As a result, consumers should shop around to ensure that they are getting a good deal as the price of what you are buying could be more important than any loyalty scheme benefits which you may receive.  Also remember to check the small print and be aware of the rules, exclusions and expiry dates of any loyalty scheme to avoid losing benefits."

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Notes to editors

On the 19 to 20 March 2013, Vision Critical conducted an online survey among 2,011 randomly selected British adults who are Springboard UK panelists. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

* To calculate the total balance on UK loyalty schemes: The average UK loyalty scheme balance (incl £0) = £23.71.  95% of Brits have a loyalty card.  95% of UK adult population (47.8m according to Experian's Demographic Summary) = 45.4m.  The total balance on UK loyalty cards therefore = 45.4m x £23.71 = £1.076bn