Businesses are using different types of marketing and advertising tactics to improve and retain their customer base. Loyalty programs are also a way to improve customer satisfaction and increase engagement.
Rewards programs are a type of incentive program that is closely aligned with customer expectations across different industry verticals.
Due to the advancement of technology, new businesses are emerging as well as new strategies to retain customers. This leads to higher spending by businesses to incentivize their customers and increase their loyalty base.
In this article, we are exploring the different types of rewards programs, Casino loyalty programs and the key terminology used by them, the design of loyalty programs, and their benefits.
What are Customer Loyalty Programs?
Customer Loyalty Programs also known as Reward Programs are helpful initiatives taken by businesses to improve the customer experience by providing specific exclusive services and rewards.
Customers get different types of benefits through these loyalty programs including special perks, discounts, promotional offers, access to exclusive services, etc which in turn enhance customer overall satisfaction.
Rewards programs help businesses to improve their customer base and trust level which finally helps businesses to improve their ROI.
Since there are different types of businesses having specific business needs, offerings, and customer expectations, customer rewards programs are also different and depend on the business type and customer needs.
As per MarketsandMarkets prediction, the loyalty management industry will grow in the coming years at a higher pace. It will cover the $18.2 Billion market in 2026 which was $8.2 in 2021.
This twofold increase within 5 years clearly shows the importance of the customer loyalty programs. Brands are going to spend more in the coming years to enhance and make future-ready and data-driven loyalty programs to increase their customer base.
Let’s check out the different types of loyalty programs below.
Point-based programs offer points to customers on the purchases of products or services of a business for a qualifying purchase. Customers can later redeem these points for discounts/services or any other benefits.
- Point-based rewards programs are popular among retail and restaurant businesses where customers can earn more rewards by more spending.
- Further, businesses can offer extra promotions to provide accelerated points benefits to customers.
Tiered-based rewards programs offer different tiers where customers can access a few exclusive services or rewards at each tier level.
The main idea of offering tiered-based programs by businesses is to encourage customers to earn more points by more spending to access the most rewarding and exclusive services through higher tier levels.
- These programs consist of multiple tiers customers can unlock by spending more within a given duration.
- The more points a customer earns the possibility of progressing toward a higher tier increases.
You can find tiered-based rewards in the Casino and Hotel industry such as the MGM Rewards Program by MGM Resorts, Penn Play Rewards by Penn Entertainment, Boyd Rewards by Boyd Gaming, Aces Rewards by Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack, etc.
For example, Penn Play Rewards has five tier levels Play, Advantage, Preferred, Elite, Owners Club.
As these rewards program names have become a brand itself, customer acquisition costs have also decreased by a large margin. Customers already know the popularity and the trust of other customers in the tiered-based programs so they don’t spend much time researching.
Cashback programs provide a percentage of the customer spending back to customers.
Customers receive a specific predetermined percentage in the form of cash or credit that they can use anywhere or to buy a business service or product that provides cashback.
- There may be a minimum amount of spending set by the business required to participate in the cashback programs.
- Customers receive a percentage of their spending back in the form of cash or credit.
Cashback programs are most popular in the financial domain where credit cards offer a small percentage of cashback to customers. You can see this commonly on e-commerce websites where you shop for products and get cashback through credit card spending.
The Discover it Cash Back credit card offers 5% cashback every quarter up to a maximum limit for select categories such as grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, etc, and 1% cashback on other categories.
Cardholders can redeem their rewards in cash anytime. Apart from this, discover also matches the total cashback earned at the end of the year. It means you will finally earn double cashback.
A few exclusive programs are designed for specific types of customers. VIP Programs are also a type of exclusive program that targets high-value customers and offers high-level rewards, personalized services, and dedicated customer support.
- VIP programs are designed to solve the challenges of retaining VIP customers who are more loyal and spend a high amount on business services.
- The eligibility criteria to participate in these programs are set to fulfill high expectations of the businesses and often require invitation also from the existing participant.
- In return, customers enjoy personalized experiences, dedicated customer support, and faster resolution of issues,
Subscription-Based Loyalty Programs:
A subscription-based Rewards program commonly offers a service that requires customers to subscribe for a specific duration.
- Customers will have to pay the required subscription fee for a specific duration for example monthly or yearly.
- The entertainment industry mostly uses subscription-based programs.
There are many examples of subscription-based programs such as Netflix offering their video streaming services through subscriptions where customers can buy Netflix on a monthly or yearly basis.
Amazon Prime is also another popular example that offers its subscription-based Prime membership including perks such as free and fast delivery, prime video streaming, early access to sales, etc.
What are Casino Rewards Programs
A casino rewards program is a complimentary loyalty initiative offered by casinos to their customers to improve their overall experience and provide them an opportunity to earn rewards and benefits.
These types of loyalty programs, such as the True Rewards Players Club, Borgata Rewards, ClubJack, and Caesars Rewards, are generally offered by companies that manage Casino or Hotel such as Golden Entertainment, Caesars Entertainment, Jack Casino, etc.
Casino rewards programs are often more aggressive and provide good incentives to their loyal customers.
Most of the casinos follow a tiered rewards structure to manage their loyalty program.
Let’s explore the key components of a casino rewards program in detail:
What are Base Points/Tier Credits:
Tier credits, also called base points or status points, are the points members earn through gaming activities. Casinos may also offer tier credits for other types of non-gaming spending such as restaurant, dining, entertainment, etc.
- Base points contribute to a member’s level in the loyalty program.
- Members progress to a higher level by earning more base points.
- Gaming activities may include slot machine games, table games, and poker.
Base points are earned as per the earning rate decided by the Casino management and vary according to casino activities. For example, you may earn more tier credits for wagering on slot games as compared to poker.
For example, the Momentum Rewards program by Mohegan SUN offers Momentum Status Points to all members on their gaming spending. Members will move to higher tiers based on the total number of status points and get extra benefits, rewards, exclusive services, etc.
What are Rewards Points?
Rewards Points in a casino are the loyalty incentives customers earn on their gaming and non-gaming activities as per the program structure. These points have a cash value that members can redeem for gaming and non-gaming activities.
- The casino company sets the Reward points earning and redeeming criteria.
- Rewards earning depend on the member’s spending amount.
- Members get different benefits such as free slot play, cash back, comps, discounts, etc after redeeming rewards points.
- It encourages customers to spend more at the casino.
For example, the Silverton Casino Rewards program offers rewards points on gaming such as slot, table, poker, etc, and non-gaming such as dining, shopping, and entertainment activities. Members earn 1 reward point of $1 spent on Video Slots and Reels and $4 spent on video poker. Later, members can redeem 333 points for $1 value.
What is a Status/Tier Level?
Status Level also known as Tier Level is the player’s standing within a casino loyalty program. Members achieve higher status levels by accumulating more base points/tier credits.
- Rewards programs are generally designed by introducing multiple tiers ranging from a basic level to a higher level.
- Members get exclusive privileges and more benefits as they progress towards higher tiers.
- Status levels are valid for a certain duration generally for 6 months or 1 year.
- Members need to earn tier credits again to maintain their tier level within the rewards program.
For example, the Parx Casino XClub rewards program consists of 4 tier levels Players, Premium, Elite, and Elite Royal. Members need to earn more tier points to achieve a higher status and tier-level-specific benefits.
Higher status levels sometimes become a status symbol and a mark of prestige in the casino communities and encourage members to spend more to maintain their status. In return, customers receive personalized services, dedicated customer support, exclusive services, special events access, etc.
What is a Loyalty Card/Player’s Card?
A loyalty card also known as a players’ card is a personalized card issued to loyalty program members after enrollment. The Loyalty card tracks all gaming activities and accumulates points in players’ accounts.
For example, All new members in the Encore Rewards program receive an Encore Rewards card which is linked to the Encore rewards account of the new member.
- The loyalty card is a personalized card specific to individual players’ accounts.
- Sometimes player’s cards are tier-specific and members receive a different loyalty card once they achieve a specific tier status.
- To record all gaming activities, players insert or swipe their cards at slot machines or table games, etc.
- Members earn rewards on the successful activity tracking through the player’s card.
Sometimes player’s card can be misused if the card details have been compromised so members must keep their card safe and secure and are advised to avoid sharing card-related information such as account number, PIN, etc.
What are Comp Points?
Comp Points are the earned points through the member’s gaming activities in a casino. It is also a type of incentive members get in a rewards program. Members can redeem these points for playing more games or for meals, dinner, and entertainment.
- Comp earning criteria are decided by the management.
- Sometimes higher-tier level member gets the facility to earn a higher number of comp points.
- Comp points provide extra value to players and encourage them to visit and spend in the casino regularly.
Note: Comp points are different from the Rewards points and available only on valid gaming spending. For example, Great Canadian Rewards offers both Rewards points and comp points to its members.
- MGM Rewards Tier Credit Accelerator 2024
- Tropicana Atlantic City Casino Rewards
- Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino Rewards
- All Accor Live Limitless
- Solaire My Choice Rewards
Benefits of a Rewards Program?
Rewards programs are very beneficial for businesses and play an important part in getting more success. A few important benefits that encourage businesses to implement a loyalty program are mentioned below.
Loyalty programs play an important role in retaining valuable customers. Customers get extra rewards and incentives and most of the time stay loyal to the company. It helps businesses to make a stable customer base.
Businesses design Loyalty programs in a way where more spending gives more rewards and benefits to customers. This way companies get more returns through more spending by customers and meet their ROI target. More spending ultimately increases overall business revenue.
Loyalty programs also help businesses to keep their customers engaged with brands through different activities. It sometimes happens when a customer redeems their rewards to get an extra opportunity to visit the business destination.
Enhanced Customer Experience:
Loyalty programs help improve customer experience by introducing exclusive perks, personalized offers, etc. Customers feel more rewarded and appreciated by getting something in return for their investment in the brand offerings.
Loyalty programs record customer data and provide valuable insights related to customers’ behavior, spending and purchasing patterns, and other key metrics. These insights help businesses make informed decisions and create a more personalized marketing strategy by keeping customers’ expectations in mind.
Casino is a very competitive market in the United States and there is a lot of competition due to many big players. A rewards program is a way to stay at the top of the competition by providing extra value and incentives to customers.
It also helps businesses to promote their product or services. Customers refer brands if they are satisfied with their service. Good recommendations and customer loyalty help businesses get new customers.
- BetMGM Rewards Program
- Betmgm Digital Gift Card
- MGM Rewards Mastercard
- MGM Gift Card
- MGM Rewards Tier Benefits
How to Choose the Right Casino Loyalty Program for You?
When choosing a casino loyalty program, the main focus of a customer must be on checking their gaming habits and preferences. Slot game lovers who play games casually just for fun can go for a points-based program.
Serious gamers who take their casino games seriously and bet high stakes then a tiered or cashback program might be a better option.
Program terms & conditions are also a deciding factor that customers must read carefully before registering for a loyalty program. Please take care of the restrictions on points earned and redeemed.
A few pieces of information that players must take into consideration are mentioned below.
1-Understanding Your Playstyle:
First, analyze your casino gaming style and then make any decision.
Casual Gambler: Occasional casino slot gamers can just focus on the below key points.
- Fast point accumulation on slots: Check the point accumulation criteria through slot machines and find out programs that award more points per dollar wagered on slots as compared to other games.
- Flexible redemption options: Check out what type of redemption option a casino loyalty program offers. Multiple ways to redeem points such as free slot play, bonus credit, hotel, dining, and entertainment bonus would be a good choice.
- Lower tier requirements: Players must check out how many points are required to achieve the next tier level. Occasional players must consider the programs that are favorable for frequent players and offer higher benefits even at entry levels.
High Roller: Gaming lovers who generally wager frequently and also enjoy other types of games such as table games can consider the key points below.
- Tiered programs with high-value rewards: Instead of basic rewards and requirements, players must check what higher tier offers in a rewards program such as cashback, additional exclusive services, special events invitations, trip opportunities, etc.
- Accelerated point earning for high wagers: Players must check if any accelerated points earning facility is available for higher tiers within the loyalty program. It will help to get the maximum rewards on the high-wager bets.
- Cashback programs: Players may also check if any cashback program is available to get direct benefits on their spending.
2-Real-World Examples (non-casino):
- Airline Loyalty Programs: Few airline brands offer tiered programs that offer services such as priority boarding or airport lounge access at higher tier levels. If you are a casual traveler then you may prefer programs that offer seat upgrades on flexible point redemption or travel vouchers.
- Retail Reward Programs: Retail rewards program offers personalized benefits and services to their loyal customers such as exclusive access to sales, special discounts, birthday rewards, etc. If you are an occasional shopper then consider programs where you can simply redeem points for purchasing products.
A few other considerations that players check are given below.
- Game Selection: Please check if your favorite game that you generally play is available and how many reward points you will get on that.
- Redemption Value: Check out the point redemption value and find out how must return you will get through a loyalty program.
- Blackout Dates & Restrictions: Check out if there is any type of restriction or limitations on point usage during specific seasons or specific games.
- Program Sustainability: Check out the loyalty program track record and the benefits customers are getting without any.
- Responsible gaming: Choose the loyalty program that supports responsible gaming and also provides tools and services to set play limits, deposit limits, etc.
The casino market is highly competitive with high stakes on the table. Designing a Rewards program is also challenging as there are a lot of factors that must be addressed. Earning customer’s trust is not that easy and needs a more refined strategy and approach.
A good loyalty program that provides good incentives and values to customers ultimately helps businesses to grow. These programs are a great way to earn customer loyalty and improve their gaming experience.
These programs are not just related to gaming activities, they are also connected with customers’ emotions, loyalty, and trust.
Finally, visit your favorite casino location, play slot, bet on sports, or play poker, you will ultimately get closer to unlocking exclusive rewards for you.