Food, Health and Beauty

America's Best Loyalty Programs 2022

In 1872, the Grand UnIon tea Company started giving tickets to customers every time they bought a pound of tea; collect four and you'd get a pound free. Now, practically every retailer has its own loyalty program.

Loyalty programs have now become an essential part of an enormous number of everyday transactions: During the conference call announcing the company's most recent quarterly financial results, for instance, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said, "Starbucks Rewards now represents 53 percent of the spend in our stores, which is at an all-time high...Rewards members... are spending at an elevated rate and visit our stores at three times the frequency rate versus our nonmembers."

By one estimate, the average U.S. household is enrolled in 18 different loyalty programs. The challenge for companies is not getting customers to sign up, but motivating them to become truly engaged program users; research shows that consumers only actively use half of the plans they're enrolled in. The challenge for consumers is to decide which of the crowd of programs vying for their attention are worthwhile.

For brands, it's a potentially huge payoff, since it's far more expensive to get new customers than to keep existing ones, and loyalty program members tend to spend far more than nonmembers. Hanging on to customers has become even more critical during the pandemic when a third of shoppers have indicated their willingness to switch brands.

Brands have adopted a number of different strategies in order to make their loyalty programs stand out. One important trend is gamification: introducing digital games into loyalty programs in a variety of ways to engage customers and develop a sense of community among them. Wendy's, for example, has its own channel on the video game livestreaming platform Twitch. Chipotle has done a Halloween promotion in partnership with the game platform Roblox, in which users are invited to try to navigate the "Boorito maze"—and visit its busy online restaurant—to win branded virtual items as well as real-life food.

Another trend has been to make loyalty programs an integral part of any purchase by merging them with payment systems. Last July, for instance, the Swedish fintech company Klarna, which offers customers "buy now, pay later" options, purchased Stocard, a German company that provides digital wallets that allow users to manage multiple loyalty program accounts.

The only constant in loyalty programs right now is change. To try to help make some sense of that and highlight the brands whose customers like their loyalty programs the best, Newsweek and Statista are proud to offer our list of America's Best Loyalty Programs 2022. We hope you find it useful whether you are a consumer looking for the best deals and support or whether you are a marketer looking to see which customer retention strategies really work.

Nancy Cooper Signature 5
CategorySub categoryLoyalty ProgramParticipating Brands* (Selection)Score
Food, Health and BeautyConvenience StoresWawa RewardsWawa7.75
Food, Health and BeautyConvenience StoresQT RewardsQuikTrip7.54
Food, Health and BeautyConvenience Stores7Rewards7-Eleven7.48
Food, Health and BeautyConvenience StoresKwik RewardsKwik Trip7.29
Food, Health and BeautyConvenience StoresMy Sheetz RewardzSheetz7.21
Food, Health and BeautyConvenience StoresFuel RewardsShell7.06
Food, Health and BeautyConvenience StoresCasey's RewardsCasey's7.04
Food, Health and BeautyConvenience StoresSmartPay RewardsCumberland Farms6.10
Food, Health and BeautyConvenience StoresSpeedy RewardsSpeedway6.09
Food, Health and BeautyConvenience StoresEasy RewardsCircle K6.05
Food, Health and BeautyPerfume and Cosmeticsbe. PointsBeauty Encounter8.84
Food, Health and BeautyPerfume and CosmeticsSally Beauty RewardsSally Beauty8.69
Food, Health and BeautyPerfume and CosmeticsteamtarteTarte8.64
Food, Health and BeautyPerfume and CosmeticsAveda Plus RewardsAveda8.05
Food, Health and BeautyPerfume and CosmeticsTake 10 rewardsBeauty Brands7.79
Food, Health and BeautyPerfume and CosmeticsEstée E-ListEstée Lauder7.57
Food, Health and BeautyPerfume and CosmeticsVictoria’s Secret Credit CardVictoria’s Secret7.56
Food, Health and BeautyPerfume and CosmeticsBeauty Insider ProgramSephora7.16
Food, Health and BeautyPerfume and CosmeticsUltamate RewardsUlta Beauty7.04
Food, Health and BeautyPerfume and CosmeticsmyBath & BodyWorks RewardsBath & Body Works6.99
Food, Health and BeautyPerfume and Cosmeticsbeauty squade.l.f.6.97
Food, Health and BeautyPerfume and CosmeticsELITE REWARDSLancôme6.36
Food, Health and BeautyPerfume and CosmeticsSmart RewardsClinique6.10
Food, Health and BeautyPerfume and CosmeticsGood RewardsbareMinerals5.93
Food, Health and BeautyPerfume and CosmeticsCredo RewardsCredo5.84
Food, Health and BeautyPharmacies and DrugstoresKroger Rewards World Elite MastercardKroger7.98
Food, Health and BeautyPharmacies and DrugstoresPrice Plus ClubShopRite7.55
Food, Health and BeautyPharmacies and DrugstoresAdvantage CardGiant Eagle7.49
Food, Health and BeautyPharmacies and DrugstoresClub PublixPublix7.28
Food, Health and BeautyPharmacies and DrugstoresExtraCare Pharmacy & Health RewardsCVS Pharmacy6.98
Food, Health and BeautySupermarketsSmith's Rewards World Elite MastercardSmith's8.38
Food, Health and BeautySupermarketsSprouts appSprouts7.90
Food, Health and BeautySupermarketsMariano’s Rewards World MastercardMariano’s7.79
Food, Health and BeautySupermarketsClub PublixPublix7.70
Food, Health and BeautySupermarketsPrice Plus ClubShopRite7.61
Food, Health and BeautySupermarketsFred Meyer Rewards World Elite MastercardFred Meyer7.58
Food, Health and BeautySupermarketsAdvantEdgePrice Chopper7.56
Food, Health and BeautySupermarketsWinn-Dixie RewardsWinn-Dixie7.55
Food, Health and BeautySupermarketsFry's Rewards World Elite MastercardFry's Food Stores7.47
Food, Health and BeautySupermarketsGiant Flexible RewardsGiant7.46
Food, Health and BeautySupermarketsRalphs Rewards World Elite MastercardRalphs7.39
Food, Health and BeautySupermarketsValuCardFood City7.29
Food, Health and BeautySupermarketsKroger Rewards World Elite MastercardKroger7.27
Food, Health and BeautySupermarketsFuel PointsPick 'n Save7.25
Food, Health and BeautySupermarketsPiggly Wiggly RewardsPiggly Wiggly7.22
Food, Health and BeautySupermarketsTOPS GasPointsTOPS7.13
Food, Health and BeautySupermarketsGO RewardsStop & Shop7.01
Food, Health and BeautySupermarketsThe Ingles Advantage CardIngles6.99
Food, Health and BeautySupermarketsWeis Rewards PointsWeis Markets6.98
Food, Health and BeautySupermarketsfor UAlbertsons6.96
Food, Health and BeautySuperstores and Warehouse Club StoresCostco membershipCostco7.88
Food, Health and BeautySuperstores and Warehouse Club StoresSam's Club familySam's Club7.84
Food, Health and BeautySuperstores and Warehouse Club StoresWalmart Rewards CardWalmart6.77
Food, Health and BeautySuperstores and Warehouse Club StoresTarget CircleTarget6.37
Food, Health and BeautySuperstores and Warehouse Club StoresmPerksMeijer5.85
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The 2022 ranking of America's Best Loyalty Programs was compiled based on the results of an independent survey of more than 4,000 U.S. customers who are members of loyalty programs of retailers or service providers in the U.S Customers were given the opportunity to evaluate various loyalty programs: around 20,000 evaluations were collected. The survey period ran from October to November 2021.

We defined loyalty programs as all reward programs that provided the customer with a benefit when purchasing or using the products or services of the associated brands.

The survey was conducted on retailers and service providers from 36 categories, providing results for a broad spectrum of loyalty programs in traditional retail, online retail, and service segments. The awarded loyalty programs each received an above average overall score.

The final assessment and rankings were based on six criteria:

1. Ease & enjoyment: Measures the value of the perks of being in the rewards program.(weighted 5 percent)

2. Benefit: Measures whether the rewards are – in the customer's perception – worth being part of the program. (weighted 20 percent)

3. Overall satisfaction: Measures whether personal expectations were fulfilled, and whether the customer is satisfied with the experience of the loyalty program overall. (weighted 25 percent)

4. Customer support: Measures the level of assistance provided to customers when signing up for the program or having trouble redeeming benefits. (weighted 10 percent)

5. Trust: measures the trust in the loyalty program around how they use the personal data provided through the program. (weighted 10 percent)

6. Recommendation: Measuresthe likelihood of recommending the program to friends and family.(weighted 30 percent)

The full methodology is available here.