National coalition loyalty program engages members with a universal rewards currency.
A landmark five million American consumers have joined the Fuel Rewards program.
The nationwide loyalty program uses cents-per-gallon fuel savings as the ultimate consumer reward for making everyday purchases at participating merchants.
Programs like Fuel Rewards make up a new fast-growth sector in the loyalty industry. “Emerging platforms” that incorporate technology and mobile capability now account for 13% of overall loyalty program membership, according to the 2015 Colloquy Loyalty Census. The patented technology and powerful coalition structure of the Fuel Rewards program offers merchants an easy-to-implement platform with IT and marketing support, cross-brand promotions, access to advertising opportunities and a growing base of new customers.
Since the program’s launch in June 2012, American consumers have embraced this easy opportunity to lower the cost of everyday life. By the end of 2012, more than 1.7 million members had signed up for the Fuel Rewards program. By the end of 2013, membership leapt to almost 3 million, and to more than 4.8 million by year-end 2014. Program members earn rewards every time they shop at a participating merchant from a network of more than 10,000 restaurants, more than 1,400 retail locations nationwide, and nearly 700 online merchants. Members can then redeem fuel savings at more than 11,000 participating Shell and other select fuel stations.
The Fuel Rewards program has reached this milestone amid the backdrop of a rebounding economy seeing its lowest fuel prices since 2005. These lower prices give consumers more buying power, enabling them to stretch their dollars with fuel savings and driving the purchase of more gallons at the pump. The powerful coalition-style program extends buying power by allowing members to earn rewards from everyday shopping and redeem regularly and frequently on fuel—a desired, everyday commodity. No longer required to spend years and thousands of dollars to earn a tangible reward (e.g., a free airline ticket), members can easily turn everyday spending into everyday savings. The program recently surpassed $500 million in member savings.
“Today’s consumers are looking for easy and frequent ways to save money and earn rewards on everyday purchases,” says Scott Schaper, executive vice president of marketing and program operations for the Fuel Rewards program. “Regardless of the state of the economy or the price of gasoline, participation has remained high because of the everyday value fuel-based rewards brings to consumers. And we expect enrollments to continue with ongoing improvements and enhancements to the program that provide even more value to our members and more ways to earn rewards and savings through everyday purchases.”
The Fuel Rewards program recently expanded ways for members to earn with its Winter Shopping promotion, which offers members incentives for shopping with Olive Garden, Toys“R”Us and JCPenney while using a MasterCard linked to their Fuel Rewards account. Members can earn up to 40 cents off per gallon in sign-up and card-linking bonuses, plus 20 cents off per gallon for every $100 spent with any linked MasterCard at the participating merchants through March 1, 2015.
Future enhancements will drive ongoing relevance and growth. These include an updated mobile app that members can use to track, earn and redeem rewards; a Payment Card Offer program for linking members’ payment cards to a national network of retailers, restaurants and merchants offering rewards; and a powerful commitment to building coalition loyalty in the U.S.