Approximately 80% of Consumers Would Pay with Points Online or In-Store if Given the Option, According to New Research from The Wise Marketer

Findings highlight the increased popularity of PwP among consumers despite the emergence of other redemption options

Engage People, the only loyalty network that enables program members to pay with points directly at checkout, commissioned a newly released survey from The Wise Marketer titled “2022 Rewards Redemption Survey: US Consumer Attitudes and Preferences”. The report examines consumers’ attitudes toward traditional and emerging rewards redemption options, including the ability to pay with points (PwP), during a time of heightened inflation.

The survey, which was conducted among 500 U.S.-based consumers in August 2022, found significant support for PwP as a redemption option with 83% of consumers reporting that they would use this loyalty currency in any amount if given the opportunity. In addition, 80% of consumers said they would “top up” and use PwP with cash to complete a transaction. When it comes to using PwP at checkout online versus in-store, findings were similar: 81% would PwP in any amount during an ecommerce transaction while 77% would use points as currency at physical stores.

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“This year’s findings provide tangible data that highlights the continued adoption of PwP both online and in-store”

When it comes to loyalty program motivators among consumers, 79% reported “earning specific awards” among their top three choices of desired reward program benefits. Earning points that could be used in a PwP program was a strong second choice (72% ranked this benefit top three) and marks a considerable jump from The Wise Marketer’s 2021 Delphi Report – Paying With Points.

“This year’s findings provide tangible data that highlights the continued adoption of PwP both online and in-store,” said Len Covello, CTO of Engage People. “It’s clear that PwP is becoming more pronounced among retailers, loyalty program sponsors and consumers, especially during a period of high inflation, as reported by The Wise Marketer. Points as a redemption option offer more flexibility for consumers to purchase what they want or need while creating strong brand affinity for banks and retailers, as well as an increased likelihood of repeat customers.”

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The Wise Marketer also found that while traditional loyalty program benefits like gift cards, discounts and merchandise remain high on the list of preferred perks, the option to PwP is more broadly valued than other emerging loyalty currencies, including crypto rewards and NFTs. Regardless of the reward type, a key driver of loyalty program participation is to earn rewards. For retailers and loyalty program sponsors, this means they have the opportunity to structure programs based on their target audience’s lifestyle preferences.

“This year’s findings indicate that new-age redemption options like PwP continue to provide the flexibility for consumers to accrue and spend points like cash during checkout without friction,” said Bill Hanifin, CEO of The Wise Marketer Group. “As such, we believe loyalty program sponsors should be investing to re-calibrate their rewards portfolio, technology and redemption perspective based on the evolving lifestyle preferences of members.”

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