Loyalty News: Walmart, Starbucks, Nintendo, + More

by Grace Miller |

Here at Annex Cloud, we, of course, keep up with customer loyalty news. There’s been so much going on lately that we’ve been feeling the urge to do a roundup of the latest and greatest stories about customer retention…

Restoration Hardware is one of the most recent retailers to join the bandwagon of businesses charging for loyalty benefits. It seems like a pretty good deal for frequent customers: The Star Tribune reports that for $100 a year, members will get 25% off most regular-priced items, 10% off sale items, free interior design services, early access to sales, and lower interest rates on their store credit card. In order to incentivize shoppers to join, Restoration Hardware won’t have regular sales anymore, which will make the discounts from its loyalty program all the more attractive.


Nintendo launched its My Nintendo loyalty program last week in both Europe and North America. My Nintendo rewards players for completing “missions,” which range from linking accounts to their new mobile game, answering questions, adding friends, linking to Facebook, and purchasing. Here’s the full list of missions. By rewarding customers for engaging and playing, rather than just for purchasing, Nintendo is sure to see enthusiasm and success. Their rewards aren’t shabby either–they include game upgrades, discounts, and a few free games.


On April 1 Walmart announced a new loyalty program called 3-2-1 Save exclusively for its store and prepaid cardholders. The principal rewards component of this hybrid loyalty-credit card is 3% cash back on orders from Walmart.com. Purchases made in Walmart stores, meanwhile, only get 1% cash back. Business Insider notes that if this loyalty program succeeds, it could prime a wide audience for the introduction of Walmart Pay–the business’s mobile wallet–planned for later this year.

After last month’s backlash over its new loyalty program, Starbucks just announced that it’ll launch a reloadable prepaid card by the end of the year. Customers who use the card will earn points to redeem anywhere where Visa is accepted. They’ll get the greatest percentage of points for purchase at Starbucks locations, but they’ll still earn for using the card at other businesses. An added benefit is that users won’t be charged monthly service fees or fees for loading money onto the card. The Daily Herald points out that the choice to introduce a prepaid card instead of a credit card may be a strategic appeal to debt-adverse millennials.

Loyalty news: Starbucks introduces prepaid Visa
Howard Schultz announces Starbucks’s latest loyalty news: its prepaid Visa card.

Lyft and Southwest Airlines are pairing up to incentivize Southwest Rapid Rewards members to try the ride-sharing service. New Lyft customers will earn 1,100 points for their first ride, as long as it’s in one of Southwest’s 11 markets. This follows another promotion between the two companies that only launched on March 22. This other deal is available to all Southwest customers, not just loyalty members, and gets them $15 off their first Lyft ride. This isn’t Lyft’s first partnership with a major company’s loyalty program. This past summer, they partnered with Starbucks to award Starbucks customers points for each ride they take.



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