By Sarita Harbour
Participating in rewards programs can seem like a boon for any business. Maybe you're getting a membership discount on retail purchases, or you're collecting points or airline miles for every dollar on the company credit card. But are they really worth the cost of membership?
It may be time to review your programs to see if you're using them to their fullest extent — or whether there are better options out there. You may be able to find more savings or uncover new perks that can help the whole office.
Here are a few ideas for eliminating unnecessary programs, making better use of the ones you want to keep, and exploring new options that can save big bucks.
List Your Company's Current Reward Programs
How many rewards programs does your company participate in? To make the most efficient and money-saving choices, start by listing all of them. They may include:
- Airline miles programs
- Credit card rewards or points programs
- Specific retail rewards or loyalty programs
- Online retailer loyalty programs
- Supplier programs
Listing these not only gives you an overview of every program you're signed up for, but it also helps you more easily identify overlap between similar rewards and suppliers.
Review the Total Cost of Each Program
While some rewards programs offer free enrollment, others (like many credit card programs) require an annual fee. If the annual fee outweighs the benefits you're getting, it's probably time to cancel your enrollment.
Even if you do save money with certain programs, is worth the time you spend on it? For instance, you may waste time hunting all over a retailer's website to find extra purchases that will bring your spending over the minimum threshold required to unlock savings. If you do that sort of thing regularly, it's likely not worth the time you spend.
Research Unused Program Perks
Many programs have a huge range of perks that you may not be aware of, even if you've belonged for awhile. Take a close look at each of your accounts. Are points expiring before you use them? Are there discounts for other suppliers, businesses, etc. that you haven't taken advantage of?
Exploring the details may reveal that some of your programs' rewards overlap. You may be able to consolidate programs — saving time, without losing benefits.
Comparison Shop for Other Programs
Is there a better rewards program out there that your business hasn't signed up for? Look at all your current suppliers and see if there are different membership or rewards programs you simply haven't asked about yet. Also, new deals are arriving on the marketplace every day — now is a great time to shop around.
Taking a fresh look at these programs can help you maximize your rewards opportunities and minimize the administrative work required to track everything. When you've done your homework, you can be confident that you're focusing only on the programs that can really help your business.