The data your financial institution collects as part of your rewards program and cardholder engagement can be filled with tokens of quality information to drive results for your organization. It takes analysis and thoughtful connections to piece the data together and form a story to drive effective and ongoing loyalty with your cardholders. Our experts are sharing the four most crucial pieces of data and what they can tell you about your cardholder engagement and loyalty program performance. 

Average Spend and Transactions Per Cardholder

Because cardholders have an average of seven card accounts with a rewards program, each offering them a variety of reward options, it’s important to understand how often and how much your cardholders are using their rewards-linked card over time. Observing their spend amounts and transaction quantities will provide your financial institution proper insight into how cardholders are using their cards and what your financial institution can do to help grow their card usage, aiming to make your card top-of-wallet. If your goal is to grow your average cardholder spend or transaction quantities, promotions can help drive increased usage of their card to achieve your desired performance. Additionally, as one of your key performance indicators of your rewards portfolio, your cardholder engagement will help you to understand how you measure up to others in the industry. 

Our Recommendation: Design a promotion that encourages cardholder spend and increases their engagement with your financial institution’s reward card. For example, if cardholders spend over $1,000 on their reward-linked card during the promotional period, they receive 500 bonus points. 

Four Data Points You Need To Drive Loyalty EngagementRedemption Rate and Value

The redemption rate provides what percentage of your cardholders are actively engaged and redeeming their points for rewards, while the redemption value indicates the amount they are redeeming on average and the cost to your financial institution. The goal of any successful loyalty program is to engage cardholders through earning and redemption options, swaying them to continue to spend in exchange for a reward, making them active cardholders and creating portfolio revenue for your financial institution. The redemption rate and value communicates to you how engaged your cardholders are in burning points and how much the average redemption costs your financial institution, allowing for you to retarget them with effective marketing.

Our Recommendation: Encourage cardholders to redeem points more frequently by continually engaging them with new marketing campaigns and existing communications. Feature redemption options valued at or below their current point bank on their monthly statements, or engage them with real-time rewards to redeem at the pump or use their points to cover the cost of their latest transaction. 

Top Redemption Categories

The top categories that cardholders are redeeming provides valuable insight into trends in the market and within your cardholder audience. Cardholders that choose to redeem their points for cash-like rewards, such as cash back, gift cards or discounts, gives you an insight into their needs, showing that they prefer the financial reward versus physical gifts. In turn, redeeming points for physical rewards can show an alternate interest in the market to buy more lavish items that the cardholder may not purchase on their own, such as Apple AirPods or luxury handbags. By taking the time to analyze what cardholders are redeeming their points for and how it impacts your financial institution, you can gain insights to your audience, in addition to creating more target marketing to increase earning, redemption and engagement. 

Our Recommendation: Drive cardholders to redeem points for less costly redemption options for your financial institution by marketing lower value redemption options to cardholders. For example, if cash back is popular, promote gift cards or real-time rewards to promote cash-like redemption without as high value spent by your financial institution. Read about different ways on how to sway your cardholders toward alternative cash-like redemption options versus traditional cash back. 

Merchant Category Performance

Understanding specific merchant categories your cardholders are shopping at most aids in driving effective marketing and redemption options. For example, if 60% of your cardholder spend is in grocery, you may want to create a spend bonus point offer that rewards spending in grocery if a specific dollar amount is met. Additionally, giving your cardholders reward options in categories that they already spend in could encourage further spend, such as offering gift cards for grocers in your rewards portfolio, driving customers to return to the store, spend more and get rewarded.

Our Recommendation: Develop a promotional calendar to drive spend for your financial institution by creating monthly category spend bonus point opportunities that reward cardholders for spending a specific amount each quarter in select merchant categories.

As a financial institution, understanding your cardholders and their behavior contributes to a variety of decisions and actions that will drive your business forward. It’s important to take the time and evaluate your data to ensure that you bring effective and quality strategies to the market for a successful loyalty program.

Want to learn more about how ampliFI’s analytics can help drive your cardholder engagement strategy? Talk to our specialists and get a demo of our dedicated loyalty systems at or visit our website to explore more about our all-inclusive loyalty offerings.