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The power of choice and control: essentials to designing a great loyalty program

Escrito por Evanthia
The power of choice and control: essentials to designing a great loyalty program 2

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How do you give customers a choice?

A simple example is of giving customers three paths to earning those points: 

  1. Total spend 
  2. Average purchase transaction size
  3. Frequency

Let them decide what they perceive to be the value of their relationship with you. 

See how Bob and Mary here chose two different paths to get to the same number of points.


How can you implement choice in loyalty programs in reality? 

Let us take a look at the United MileagePlus Program to understand this. 

To begin with, perks on this program range from complimentary checked bags to club lounge access and upgrades to same-day flight changes with no fee to free flights. 

🌟 MileagePlus is free. There are no membership charges. 

🌟 There are four levels of elite status you can attain to earn more miles per dollar spent. Different perks are available at varying levels of status. United is especially known for its easy award redemptions.

United plays its customer loyalty program from multiple angles- 

Valuable Miles 

  1. United miles are more valuable than competitor miles. You earn 1.6 cents/ mile. The average mile value comes to around 1.3 cents/ mile. 
  2. United miles can be earned on partner airlines and redeemed for high-value awards, such as luxurious first-class flights on Lufthansa
  3. United is famous for its “Excursionist Perk.” It allows you one free one-way flight embedded within a multi-city award ticket. So you can visit two or more cities for the price of one

Multiple redemption options 

You can redeem United Miles through-

  1. Car rentals
  2. Cruises
  3. Experiences and events
  4. Hotel stays
  5. In-flight Wi-Fi
  6. Magazine subscriptions
  7. Merchandise
  8. United Club membership

Well, there’s the United MileagePlus shopping portal. The MileagePlus shopping portal gives you access to several stores where you can earn and redeem United miles. 

You may find offers of up to 10 or more miles per $1 spent or see offers for a certain number of miles for signing up for a service or subscription. For example, you can earn 3,200 miles when you sign up for Verizon Wireless and 650 miles by getting Hello Fresh meal service. 

Do you see the number of ways in which United lets the customer define what loyalty means to them? Giving customers this choice and control can improve the impact of your loyalty program.