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The Rich Reap More Rewards From Loyalty Programs

Why Rewards Result in High Customer Loyalty Among High-Income Earners

ST. LOUIS, Feb. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Seventy percent of high-income earners ($125,000 +) are more loyal to companies that offer rewards programs, according to a new Maritz Poll released today by Maritz Loyalty Marketing. The poll indicated that with more disposable income and therefore more opportunity to earn rewards, high-income earners are diligent about finding the program that best suits their needs and taking full advantage of the rewards offered.

-- When it comes to redeeming those rewards, more high-income earners prefer to receive cash back (70 percent), than free travel (62 percent). Half have "re-gifted" their rewards to others. -- Nearly 90 percent have been enrolled in a rewards program for two years or more compared to 69 percent of all survey respondents. -- Ninety-five percent have redeemed points for a reward versus 79 percent of all survey respondents.

"High-income earners are savvy consumers," said Gail Sneed, market development director at Maritz Loyalty Marketing. "It's an interesting paradox that they prefer rewards that save them money when they have the household income to obtain these basic items and could easily build up points for free travel instead. Companies must realize that rewards can make-or-break a high-income individual's decision to begin or maintain a relationship with a company," said Sneed.

Forty-five percent of high-income individuals are enrolled in multiple credit card programs and currently 41 percent of this demographic group receives credit cards through their main bank. Sixty-four percent of high-income earners would increase business with their main bank if they were rewarded for doing so, representing a huge opportunity for banks to cross-sell their products to customers by offering a bank-wide reward incentive. Currently the majority of high-income earners own investment products (92 percent) and mortgages (64 percent), but only 17 percent and 40 percent respectively, purchased these through their main bank. Additionally, three-quarters of high-income earners would be more willing to provide personal information to their banks if their rewards and communications could be better planned.

"There are incredible opportunities for banks to gain customer loyalty by attaching a rewards program to ALL of their product offerings," Sneed said. "By using a customer's personal information to design a customized rewards program, it's a win-win situation for both parties. The challenge now for banks is to transfer, manage and analyze all of the customer data they need to one place. Then they'll be equipped to create highly-targeted loyalty programs that help them build life-long relationships with their customers."

About Maritz Loyalty Marketing

Maritz Loyalty Marketing is the nation's leading provider of full-service loyalty marketing solutions, including rewards-based loyalty programs and one-to-one communications programs. A unit of Maritz Inc., Maritz Loyalty Marketing deploys all of the strategic, operational, technology, communications, rewards and fulfillment services that support their client's customer loyalty programs nationwide.

About Maritz Poll

Maritz Poll is a national consumer opinion survey conducted periodically by Maritz Research. The survey findings are taken from a larger survey conducted in October 2004 by Maritz Research to gauge attitudes and behaviors related to rewards/loyalty programs for retailers, hotels, airlines, credit cards and restaurants. The data is based on 1,000 interviews with randomly selected adult participants in an online panel. Total group comparisons have a confidence interval of +/- 3%. Results of the poll may be used in print or broadcast media, provided credit is given to the Maritz Poll and/or Maritz Research Inc. For more information on Maritz Poll, visit the Web site at http://www.maritzpoll.com/ .

About Maritz Inc.

Maritz Inc., based in St. Louis, is ranked No. 166 on the most recent Forbes list of 500 Largest Private Companies. Maritz provides market and customer research, communications, learning solutions, incentive initiatives, meetings and event management, rewards and recognition, travel management services, and customer loyalty programs. Maritz has a presence in 42 countries, with key offices in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Spain. For more information, visit the Web site http://www.maritz.com/ .

Maritz Inc.

CONTACT: Meghan Lantier of Bliss, Gouverneur and Associates, Inc.,
+1-212-840-1661, [email protected]

Web site: http://www.maritz.com/

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