Giving your cardholders a variety of cash-like rewards that are built on quality, easy-to-redeem options drives engagement through real-time experience and mobile integration. It also accelerates engagement in the program by bringing redemption opportunities to the cardholder, instead of waiting for the cardholder to visit the rewards website. We call this the push versus pull strategy. 

With the evolution of cash back focused more than ever on engagement and real-time rewards, cardholders are drawn to cash-like offers because they recognize the convenience and immediate benefit it brings. They also perceive a higher value with direct correlation of point-to-dollar amount compared to alternative options, like travel and merchandise. As experts in loyalty and rewards, we’re sharing the top selection of cash-like rewards to include in your loyalty program strategy and to offer cardholders to drive program engagement.   

Real-Time Rewards

Cashback Rewards

Giving cardholders the ability to redeem points for discounts and credits in real-time helps drive redemption and gives cardholders the satisfaction of an immediate benefit, making it the fastest growing redemption category. The “surprise and delight” feature of real-time rewards, such as ampliFI’s Pay With Points and Fuel With Points options, puts the redemption power in the cardholder’s hands, allowing them to redeem points for fuel discounts or real-time credit that covers the transaction amount. Real-time rewards can be a better value for the financial institution to offer the cardholder because the FI can generally drive the value of the redemption and cost per point. Cardholders earn points on the transaction, while still receiving a real-time redemption benefit, and the financial institution is earning interchange revenue.

Charitable Donations

Giving back is a great option to reward cardholders and the causes that they love most. Cardholders have the ability to give their points as monetary donations to charitable organizations and in return, they receive a warm feeling of doing something good for others with minimal investment and effort. Additionally, as the financial institution, you can better understand the importance of charity to your audience based on their engagement with this reward type, allowing for you to tailor your marketing and corporate strategy to align with your cardholder behavior and engagement. Among the meaningful ways to pay it forward, financial institutions have the ability to include various local and national charities of choice, including their own partner or internal charitable foundations, allowing for cardholder impact to stretch close to home or across the world.

Gift Cards and Prepaid Debit Cards

Gift cards, e-gift cards and prepaid debit cards are a popular option for point redemptions because cardholders are able to gain cash-like rewards in exchange for their spend, allowing for them to perceive it like a tangible cash back benefit that makes their next purchase feel like it’s free. Offering your cardholders a selection of gift card options at various retailers also encourages spend, driving them to engage with merchants to spend more, not only for the gift card value, but for spend on their rewards-linked card. Ultimately, this promotes cardholder engagement, creating a cycle of earning and redeeming, while helping your financial institution to build portfolio revenue.  

Cash Back Deposits and Statement Credits

In addition to cash-like options, it’s still valuable to provide your cardholders with the option of cash back deposits to their account or a statement credit. Giving your cardholders a portion of their purchases back on their rewards-linked card as a deposit into their checking, savings or credit accounts helps them to feel rewarded for their behavior, encouraging them to continue to spend and gain more cash back or statement credit. This traditional reward is common among loyalty programs and allows cardholders flexible options for redeeming their points.

Why offer only traditional cash back when you can maximize cardholder earning potential to drive brand affinity and engagement through enhanced options? Delivering cardholders with various cash-like reward options will incentivize cardholders to make continued purchases that ultimately result in overall revenue growth to your financial institution. Driving cardholders to engage in the program can be a difficult task, but offering quality cash-like rewards can help them to better understand the value of the program. Through mobile alerts and presenting redemption options to cardholders real-time, it reminds cardholders of the benefits you are providing. From real-time rewards, to gift cards and prepaid debit cards, your financial institution can deliver greater value with the right portfolio of rewards, resulting in higher revenue and cardholder engagement. 

Interested in driving loyalty and engagement with cardholders through a diverse loyalty program? Let our experts help! Explore our full suite of loyalty solutions at or schedule a demo today to learn more at