Subscribe to our email alerts

Beyond the Transaction: Every Transaction Has a Story

The Future of Loyalty is Digital

Who doesn’t like a reward? They’re like little celebrations of ourselves, especially when they’re handed out for doing the things we do every day, like grocery shopping or paying bills. And that’s exactly what most cards do through their loyalty reward programs. And yet, a majority of cardholders are unaware of the offers, rewards and benefits they already have, let alone could take advantage of.

A recent Mastercard survey of roughly 5,000 U.S. rewards cardholders, across networks and issuers, found that while rewards and loyalty programs are top of mind for consumers, they often don’t always know how or when to use them.

The survey results saw people fitting into one of three categories:

  • Rewards Redeemers – Those who take advantage of programs and redeem points for travel, cash or other gifts.
  • Rewards Non-Redeemers – Those who are not aware of or are not taking advantage of available loyalty programs.
  • Rewards Under-Redeemers – Those who are aware but are not taking full advantage or do not know all the ways they have to redeem.

Digital Can Activate Rewards Non- and Under-Redeemers


Often, non- and under-redeemers view rewards as something they need to plan for in advance or that require 1-800 numbers or catalogs. Of those who reported they could not or did not know how to redeem at checkout: 69 percent stated they would redeem in real time if they had the option and 24 percent said they would use their cards more.

That means there’s an opportunity for banks and merchants to lean into digital platforms to communicate the value and offerings of loyalty programs to consumers.Non-Redeemers

Improving the User Experience to Keep Rewards Redeemers

While digital platforms can help educate rewards under- and non-redeemers on card benefits and encourage them to redeem more often, it is just as vital that we find ways to use digital platforms to enhance the overall redemption experience.



Loyalty programs should make it easy for consumers to personalize their redemption preferences, and use rewards anytime, anywhere and through any device. That’s where Mastercard Pay With Rewards comes in, providing consumers with the freedom and choice to use their rewards as they like.

Banks and merchants are already using digital platforms to verify identity and alert consumers to potential fraud – why not also use it to communicate loyalty offerings and offer mobile apps to put this information at cardholders’ fingertips?