In marketing generally and in retailing more specifically, a loyalty card, rewards card, points card, advantage card, or club card is a plastic or paper card, visually similar to a credit card, debit card, or digital card that identifies the card holder as a participant in a loyalty program. Loyalty cards (both physical and digital) relate to the loyalty business-model. In the United Kingdom such a card is typically called a "loyalty card", in Canada a "rewards card" or a "points card", in the United States of America a "discount card", a "club card" or a "rewards card" and in Australia a "customer card" or "brand-name-in-question" card, for example: a "Coles Card". Cards typically have a barcode, magstripe or RFID chip that can be easily scanned, although some are chip cards or proximity cards. Small keyring cards (also known as keytags) which serve as key fobs bring convenience in carrying and ease of access.
By presenting such a card, purchasers typically earn the right either to a discount on the current purchase, or to an allotment of points that they can use for future purchases. Hence the card is the visible means of implementing a type of what economists call a two-part tariff. Application forms for cards usually entail agreements by the store concerning customer privacy, typically non-disclosure (by the store) of non-aggregate data about customers. The store uses aggregate data internally (and sometimes externally) as part of its marketing research. Over time the data can reveal, for example, a given customer's favorite brand of beer, or whether he or she is a vegetarian. Where a customer has provided sufficient identifying information, the loyalty card may also be used to access such information to expedite verification during receipt of cheques or dispensing medical prescription preparations, or for other membership privileges (e.g., access to a club lounge in airports, using a frequent-flyer card).
B2B (business-to-business) loyalty programs reward businesses for repeat purchases of goods and services from suppliers.
Hong Kong offers many loyalty programs. They include Octopus Rewards, operated by Octopus Cards Limited, which allows Octopus card users to earn points in certain shops, including McDonald's fast food outlets and Wellcome supermarkets. The MTR Corporation also operates MTR Club for regular customers of its transport network. In terms of shopping or purchasing groceries, different chain stores under common ownership often share the same loyalty program, such as A.S. Watson Group's Money Back, which can be used at Parknshop, Watsons, and Fortress stores, as well as the corporation's retail partners.
PAYBACK India (formerly i-mint) is India's largest coalition loyalty program, with over 50 million members, over 50 partners and 3000 network partner outlets. German loyalty program operator Loyalty Partner took a controlling interest in i-mint in June 2010 and renamed the program PAYBACK India in July 2011. Hero's GoodLife program claims over 10 million members. BPCL's PetroBonus fuel card program has 2 million members. Indian Oil's fleet card program XTRAPOWER and retail program XTRAREWARDS claim a combined customer base of 3 million. The Maruti Suzuki AutoCard, launched in association with Citibank and Indian Oil had 370,000 cardholders in October 2008.Kingfisher Airlines FFP King Club had 2 million members in October 2010. Shopper's Stop has been offering a loyalty programme called First Citizen for regular customers. Other retailers like Lifestyle (the Inner Circle Loyalty Programme) and Reliance Retail have loyalty programs.
Debit card loyalty programs include State Bank Group's "SBI Rewardz" is perhaps the largest Enterprise Wide Loyalty Program in the world with over 110 million customers enrolled. The program is operated by Loylty Rewardz. Pinpoint operates programs HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank. The potential and size of the consumer base in India has already attracted players like Groupe Aeroplan and Loyalty One into the country.