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What Advantages Do Point Rewards Programs Have Over Card Programs?

If you’re thinking of setting up an incentive rewards program, you’ve got a big decision to make: do you use point rewards or card rewards as the pillar of your program?

Card rewards programs are typically easy to put into action—great for when you’re looking to get something off the ground quickly.

Point rewards programs, when carried out by a strong incentive program provider, come with an exciting catalogue of merchandise rewards, event tickets and travel opportunities.

While both program types certainly have their pros and cons, industry experts agree that point rewards programs are far more effective, cost-efficient, and engaging than card rewards programs.


According to the Incentive Research Foundation 2017 trends study, the use of non-cash rewards in U.S. incentive programs has risen by 58% over the last 20 years. This increase in demand for merchandise rewards is indicative of a shift in working culture and expectations. The trends study goes on to state that “traditional [monetary] compensation systems have not kept up with organizations’ need to reward and recognize employees.” People today value experiences much more than simple cash rewards. Being able to redeem a new camera or a trip to Hawaii with reward points is a far more meaningful experience for incentive program participants than an impersonal gift card.


Of course, a card rewards program isn’t always a bad idea. If you’re considering a short-term program, or simply looking for an easy-to-implement platform to test the waters of incentive rewards, a card rewards program may be a good starting point for your business. But if you’re looking to implement the most effective and cost-efficient type of program, point rewards programs are the clear winner.


If you’re looking to learn more about the advantages of point rewards programs over card programs, check out the slideshare below!