eBay Bucks Makes Loyalty Program Changes, Annoys Loyal Customers

eBay Bucks Makes Loyalty Program Changes, Annoys Loyal Customers

eBay Bucks is a rewards and loyalty program meant to keep buyers shopping on eBay and using PayPal to pay for their purchases. Seems like a nice idea: lots of stores have loyalty programs. Shoppers and sellers alike are angry at eBay, though, after learning about some big changes to the program that begin in the first quarter of 2014. [More]

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Does United Airlines Set Higher Redemption Rates For Customers With More Reward Miles?

One might think that the more loyal a customer is, the more likely it’d be for a company to roll out the red carpet treatment. But that’s the exact opposite of how it works, claim two New Jersey residents in a lawsuit against the parent company of United Airlines. The plaintiffs allege that United actually sets a higher redemption rate for the more frequent fliers. [More]

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Walgreens Wants To Discover Your “Secret Sauce,” Use It To Inspire Brand Loyalty

To Walgreens, every customer is like a unique snowflake. Except that instead of a snowflake, we’re all filled with different kinds of special sauce, and the company is working hard to find out what yours is. It’s managed to boost its profits by rewarding customers to stay healthy, somewhat of a contradiction for a drug store that sells items to the exact opposite kind of shopper. [More]

(walkerspace)

McDonald’s Testing Rewards Program For Customers Using Mobile Devices

The only reward you earned in the past for chowing down on McDonald’s food was perhaps the self-congratulations awarded for satisfying a craving, or accomplishing your personal french fry consumption quota. McDonald’s might change that soon, with a new loyalty program its testing that would reward customers using mobile devices at its restaurants. [More]

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United Airlines Making It Even Tougher To Achieve Elite Flier Status

So you think you’re special, huh? Special enough to qualify for United Airlines’ elite frequent-flier status? You should be prepared to spend a minimum of $2,500 per year on tickets or shell out enough money for upgrades, because the airline announced its upping its threshold for the lowest Premier Silver elite status in 2015. [More]

Why Should Starbucks Give You A Loyalty Discount? You’re Already Addicted

Why Should Starbucks Give You A Loyalty Discount? You’re Already Addicted

Six million people have rewards accounts at Starbucks, but it might not be accurate to call them loyalty cards. Yes, Starbucks uses cards and apps to store gift card balances and keep track of what customers buy, but don’t look for them to start handing out more discounts as they collect more data on you. If someone is already coming in five days a week, the goal isn’t to charge them less: it’s to make sure they don’t stop coming. [More]

You Can Qualify For Elite Status At Hotels Without Staying There A Million Nights First

The perks of being loyal to a hotel chain can make someone feel like George Clooney in Up In the Air – rolling in and out of locations with the greatest of ease and the least amount of hassle. But what if you’re not the kind of person who can rack up 75 or 100 nights per year at a hotel to qualify? There are ways around that hurdle. [More]

When You Hard Sell Customers Too Much, They Sort Of Leave

When You Hard Sell Customers Too Much, They Sort Of Leave

Aggressive sales pitches are a delicate balance between selling customers on what you have to offer and pissing them off so much that they never return. When AMC theaters recently changed their loyalty program from free to paid, employees began to sell memberships too aggressively for AgentG2′s taste. He found the experience off-putting enough that he doesn’t plan to return to AMC. He wonders: did he overreact? [More]

Getting The Hotel Bed You Ask For Is Only For The Elite At Hyatt

Getting The Hotel Bed You Ask For Is Only For The Elite At Hyatt

When Rosalie and her husband reserved a room at a Hyatt Place hotel, they thought that by requesting two queen-size beds, they were reserving two queen-size beds. This is not so: they were requesting two queen-size beds, and the couple learned this the hard way. This wasn’t just a case of travel preferences and first world problems: Rosalie suffers from severe back problems, and needs a nice, immobile bed to herself in order to prevent Even More Pain. [More]

GameStop Beefs Up Loyalty Program

GameStop Beefs Up Loyalty Program

Perhaps in response to game publishers undercutting the value of its used games by stripping them of online play, GameStop is rolling out a new PowerUp rewards card that gives customers points for used and new game purchases, giving them discounts as well as coupons for food and movies. [More]

Visa Snuffs Out Credit Card Scam

Visa Snuffs Out Credit Card Scam

In an attempt to stop a scam in which third parties make unauthorized charges to credit cards thinking they were signing up for a loyalty rewards program, Visa is putting up a roadblock meant to keep information safer, CNet reports: [More]

Brian Got His My Coke Rewards Points Back

Brian Got His My Coke Rewards Points Back

Brian complained to us last week that Coke had zapped away his My Coke Rewards points while he was on vacation, but Coke has returned the points, thanks to advice from reader Fox Mulder: [More]

Senator Wants Investigation Of Frequent Flyer Programs

Senator Wants Investigation Of Frequent Flyer Programs

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is calling for a probe of frequent flyer programs to determine whether they deliver the value that they promise. In particular, he wants the Department of Transportation to look into the issue of evaporating miles, a relatively new phenomenon brought introduced via expiration dates in recent years.

Reader Gets 162,000 Vaporized Hilton Points Reinstated

Reader Gets 162,000 Vaporized Hilton Points Reinstated

Rikki is happy to report that her 162,000 Hilton points that disappeared without notice or warning are reinstated!

162,000 Hilton Points Vaporized

162,000 Hilton Points Vaporized

UPDATE: Reader Gets 162,000 Vaporized Hilton Points Reinstated

Royal Caribbean Scuttles Crown & Anchor Society

Royal Caribbean Scuttles Crown & Anchor Society

Royal Caribbean is gutting the Crown & Anchor society that lavishes loyal cruisers with perks like discounts, priority boarding, and a concierge lounge stocked with complimentary cocktails. The free booze will now be available only to cruisers who have sailed more than 25 times with Royal Caribbean. Many loyal passengers who don’t spend their lives on Royal Caribbean ships are understandably pissed.

T-Mobile Customers Can Take Advantage Of Cheaper Plans Starting Today

T-Mobile Customers Can Take Advantage Of Cheaper Plans Starting Today

The rumor was true—T-Mobile has started offering cheaper unlimited voice plans to existing customers. Matthew wrote to us, “The TMO loyalty plans are showing up on the site as of today…we just moved to the Unlimited Loyalty Family Plan at $89.99, which is $10 cheaper than the 2000 minute Family Plan we’d been on.”