Avatar photo

By Vukosi Maluleke

Digital Journalist

Are loyalty reward cards Mzansi’s cost cushion amid high inflation?

76% of South Africans are enrolled in loyalty programmes, a survey revealed. 

Is your wallet quarter-to-torn with loyalty reward cards? Well, the budget savings might be worth the threads.

Loyalty reward programmes are no longer just a show of commitment to a retailer, they’ve become a cost-saving tool for many South Africans.

According to Truth & BrandMapp’s 2023/24 Loyalty Whitepaper, 76% of South Africans are enrolled in loyalty programmes, a 30% significant increase compared to the year prior.

As the inflationary squeeze continues to tighten household spending, consumers are constantly looking for ways to make their money go farther, and loyalty reward programmes are seemingly coming in handy.

ALSO READ: Unhappy with a loyalty programme? There are laws to protect you

Favouring financial well-being

Randgo CEO, Kinola Pather highlighted the role of loyalty programmes in enhancing the financial well-being of consumers.

“By offering tailored incentives that resonate with consumers’ needs and preferences, loyalty programmes can serve as valuable tools for enhancing financial resilience and thereby also positively impacting on emotional well-being,” Pather said.

For economically active consumers, those with a monthly household income of at least R10 000, loyalty reward programmes have considerable influence over purchasing decisions, according to the Whitepaper.

The sentiment applies across various industries, including grocery stores and fuel stations.

Furthermore, the Whitepaper reveals that cashback rewards are still the most preferred among economically active consumers.

“With cashback rewards being the most favoured benefit, consumers are empowered to manage their finances more effectively,” Pather said.

Source: Truth & BrandMapp 2023/24 Whitepaper

ALSO READ: Are loyalty rewards really worth the swipe?

Good old coupons

Loyalty reward programmes are also evolving beyond traditional benefits as they now present more significant saving opportunities.

“For example, consumers can now access coupons that offer instant discounts at some of the largest retailers in South Africa.”

“This innovation provides consumers with the opportunity to save up to R1,250 per month on their regular grocery spend, further stretching their budgets and enhancing their financial resilience.”

ALSO READ: Loyalty programmes helping South Africans make it to the end of the month

Tangible loyalty rewards

Emphasising the importance of using coupons, Pather said they enabled consumers to do more with the same income.

“For the lower end of the market, this could be a significant way to shift the narrative from minimal wage to a living wage, empowering individuals and families to better manage their finances and improve their quality of life,” she said.

Nonetheless, mass market consumers, those with a monthly household income below R10 000, also value cashback rewards. However, this comes second to airtime and data benefits.

Pather said this highlights the significance of tangible rewards in addressing the sector’s needs.

“Loyalty programmes have the potential to become even more integral in alleviating economic stress, particularly during financially demanding times like Christmas, holidays, and birthdays, and when there’s just too much month left at the end of your money,” Pather noted.

Source: Truth & BrandMapp 2023/24 Whitepaper

Read more on these topics

Business Food Inflation inflation SA Retailers