US consumers accumulate
approximately $48bn in rewards points and miles annually, but at
least one-third, representing $16bn in value, goes unredeemed,
according to a report from Colloquy and Swift Exchange.

The survey estimated
that the average US household that is active in loyalty programmes
earns $622 a year, but does not redeem $205 of those

The report, titled
2011 Forecast of US Consumer Loyalty Program Points Value,
comprises consumer-oriented reward programmes from a host of
merchants, including those from financial services, travel, retail
and hospitality.

According to the study,
the US financial services sector is the biggest provider of rewards
at $18bn a year.

“American consumers are
leaving significant dollars on the table every year,” said Kelly
Hlavinka, managing partner at Colloquy.

A separate report from
the same source – the 2011 Colloquy Loyalty
Census reported that:

  • The number of loyalty memberships in the
    US is 2.1bn, exceeding 2bn for first time, up from 1.8bn in
  • The average household has signed up for
    18.4 programmes, compared with 14.1 programmes in 2009;
  • Despite the increase in overall
    membership, the average number of programmes in which households
    actively participate is just 8.4, and
  • Overall membership of 2.1bn represents a
    16% increase compared to the 2009, but a slowdown from 2007 to 2009
    when memberships rose 34%.