Retail loyalty programs are no longer in the cards
Macy’s will now allow customers to join its Star Rewards loyalty program without having to sign up for a store credit card.
Macy’s new Bronze tier enables customers to earn three new rewards: Star Money Days (earn points for future discounts), Perks & Offers (extra savings offers at checkout, event invitations, etc.) and a Birthday Surprise.
Cardholders at three higher tiers earn additional benefits for using their Macy’s card: Silver (up to $499 annual spend), Gold ($500 to $1,199) and Platinum ($1,200 or more). All three receive 25 percent off any day they choose with Star Pass coupons. Gold members earn free shipping. Platinum customers further earn five percent back on purchases.
Star Rewards relaunched with the tiered levels last September. Said Rich Lennox, Macy’s chief marketing officer, in a statement, “Since the relaunch of Star Rewards last fall, our customers have responded with tremendous enthusiasm for enhanced benefits and rewards they received as part of the program. With the addition of the Bronze level, we’ve made earning rewards simple for everyone, no matter how you pay.”
Target is also piloting a loyalty program without ties to a card, which began in April in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Target Red includes one percent back on purchases that can be redeemed at a later visit, a chance to vote for local organizations to help direct Target’s community giving, half off first-year membership on same-day delivery with Shipt, and free next-day delivery on essentials with Restock.
Target REDcard holders, who earn five percent savings on purchases, can also register for Target Red, although the one percent discount isn’t stackable.
Retailers are apparently seeing that limiting rewards to cardholders risks alienating those who don’t want another credit card as well as Millennials, who many see as debt-averse after having grown up in the Great Recession.
Yet providing rewards to non-cardholders may kill the incentive for signing up for a card. A Vyze/Ipsos survey from last year found 40 percent of consumers saying they are more likely to shop again at a retailer with whom they have a store card.
- Macy’s Star Rewards Are Now Bigger, Better and Available for Everyone – Macy’s
- Macys Star Rewards – Macy’s
- Vyze / Ipsos Survey: Younger Shoppers Moving Away From Traditional Credit Cards; Amazon Winning Store Card Battle – Vyze/Ipsos
- Macy’s extends Star Rewards beyond store card holders – Retail Dive
- Attention Dallas-Fort Worth Guests: Want to Get More Out of Your Target Run? Meet Target Red! – Target
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of Macy’s new Bronze tier as a loyalty proposition for non-cardholders? Will offering rewards to non-card users undermine the customer loyalty retailers have depended on from store cards?