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Posted: 3:04 p.m. Monday, March 23, 2015

One Loyalty Program To Rule Them All?



By Clark Howard

ClarkHoward.com


Wouldn't it be nice to have just one reward card or membership number for multiple retailers? That will soon be a reality thanks to a new partnership. 

Plenti offers co-op to make your life easier

There's a new effort called Plenti. Plenti is a rewards program that lets you earn points at one place and use them at another, all with a single card. Here is a list of participating businesses so far:

  • AT&T
  • Direct Energy
  • Exxon
  • Hulu
  • Macy's
  • Mobil
  • Nationwide
  • Rite Aid



Store loyalty programs offer deals through data mining

Traditional supermarkets are hoping to use mobile apps to build loyalty and give savings to customers who might otherwise flee to non-traditional competition.

The apps are available for both Apple and Android and are usually advertised at the registers. Among the most common features you'll see in these apps:

  • Automatic download of coupons that are both manufacturer and store specific
  • Using tracking technology to monitor everything you buy and then offer customized deals specific to your shopping patterns
  • Organization of your shopping list based on the layout of a particular store

So much grocery market share is being taken by the non-traditionals. Wal-Mart is the No. 1 grocery chain in the nation. Aldi is taking market share left and right. And then there are Trader Joe's and the warehouse clubs.

In the past, Kroger has been so successful using technology at all their various brands they do business under. They were ahead of the game with older technology that was loyalty card based.

The downside is that all the deals both through apps and through traditional loyalty cards only come courtesy of extensive data mining. So there is a creepout factor here.