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7 of the Best Tiered Loyalty Program Examples

Tiered loyalty programs are highly engaging to consumers because they offer better rewards and experiences in exchange for increased engagement.

According to the 2023 Loyalty Programs Data Study, 74% of consumers agree that they would engage more with brands that offered different tiers in their loyalty programs based on how much they spend per year.

Consumers are drawn to the aspirational elements of tiered loyalty programs. Each tier represents a new goal that carries better benefits and experiential rewards. And giving your customers options is one of the most important aspects of building loyalty and that’s why these programs are becoming more popular.

If you’re thinking about launching a tiered loyalty program or adding tiers to your existing program, here are seven tier-based loyalty program examples and what makes each one stand out.

Screenshot showing Sephora Beauty Insiders tiered loyalty program structure

Sephora® Beauty Insider

Feeling a sense of community is one of the drivers behind customer loyalty.

According to our 2022 Customer Loyalty Data Study 22% of consumers said a strong sense of community triggers long-term loyalty. And 32% of consumers want to attend in-person events for their favorite brands.

Enter Sephora’s Beauty Insider loyalty program. 

Sephora has a strong brand community and its Beauty Insider loyalty program, which boasts more than 25 million members, focuses on experiential benefits. Beauty Insider has created devoted members who engage with the brand regularly and with each other. 

Consumers sign up for a free tier and advance to higher tiers based on annual spending. Higher tiers offer better member benefits.

Insiders receive free shipping on orders of $50 or more while VIB members that spend $350 annually only need to meet a $35 order minimum. VIB members receive free gifts and one makeover per year.

Rouge members, the program’s VIP group, that spend $1,000 annually receive free shipping with no minimum order amount. They also gain access to exclusive events and products. Insiders and VIBs don’t receive this benefit.

Experiential benefits for VIB members include in-store beauty services, free beauty classes and access to the Beauty Insider Community.

All tiers receive personalized recommendations based on purchase history.

Other benefits include:

  • Beauty Insider Cash
  • Seasonal savings events
  • Free standard shipping
  • Samples rewards
  • Exclusive gifts and experiences
  • First access to products
  • Beauty classes

Our take: This program does a great job of segmenting its members based on annual spending. Going from $50 to $350 is perfect to separate the first and second tiers and the $1,000 annual spend reserved for Rouge members sets them apart, along with gaining access to exclusive brand events.

Screenshot showing My Best Buy tiered loyalty program structure

My Best Buy

This year Best Buy launched three membership options in its loyalty program, My Best Buy Memberships™. 

The three memberships are My Best Buy™, My Best Buy Plus™ and My Best Buy Total™.  The first option is free while the latter two carry annual membership prices.

Each membership tier has a different set of benefits, ranging from members-only pricing and deals, access to exclusive sales and events, 24/7 tech support, product protection and free shipping.

My Best Buy includes:

  • Free shipping with no minimum purchase
  • Access to purchase history, online order tracking and up-to-date shipping information
  • Quick checkout, save items to keep an ongoing wish list of your favorite tech

My Best Buy Plus includes:

  • A $49.99 annual membership plan built for customers who want value and access.
  • These members receive everything My Best Buy members do plus:
  • Exclusive member-only prices on thousands of items
  • Exclusive access to sales, events and highly anticipated products
  • Free 2-day shipping with no minimum purchase
  • Extended 60-day return and exchange window on most products

My Best Buy Total includes:

  • A $179.99 annual membership plan that includes:
  • All benefits contained in My Best Buy Plus, as well as:
  • Geek Squad 24/7/365 tech support for all your tech—no matter where you bought it
  • VIP priority support at any time and access to specially trained team members for advice, customer service and coordination via phone or chat
  • Up to two years of product protection, including AppleCare+, on most new Best Buy purchases while you’re a member
  • 20% off repairs
  • Promotional service offers from time-to-time like discounted in-home installation

Our take: Best Buy covers all the bases with this program because it offers a free program and the choice of two premium tiers for its best customers. It gives members choices on how they want to engage and how much they want to spend to receive excellent benefits. Also, it segments its members nicely based on its tier structure.

Screenshot showing CVS tiered loyalty program structure

CVS ExtraCare/CarePass

CVS offers ExtraCare, which is its free loyalty program, and its premium tier called CarePass, which is $5 per month or $48 per year.

In 2021 CVS modified the ExtraCare program to administer the 2% back in ExtraBucks rewards shortly after each transaction, instead of having them paid out every quarter. 

  • ExtraCare members receive 2% back every time they shop and receive personalized deals based on purchase history.
  • CarePass allows for free same-day prescription delivery, 20% off CVS Health® brands, a 24/7 pharmacist helpline available every day and a $10 monthly promo reward.

CVS ExtraCare is an attractive free loyalty program that offers cash back and extra savings for members.    

And the CarePass premium loyalty tier offers free delivery on eligible prescriptions, as well as fast, free shipping and instant discounts on certain CVS Health brand items and monthly rewards that can be used in-store and online.  

Our take: CarePass is not only very affordable for a premium tier, but the benefits are impressive. Consider that CarePass members have access to a live pharmacist chat line 24/7. This is a great benefit for CVS customers who are loyal to the brand and are looking for value from a loyalty program.  

The affordability of the CarePass program makes it an alluring option for ExtraCare members.

 

Screenshot showing AMC Stubs tiered loyalty program structure

AMC Stubs

AMC Theatres has a three-tiered loyalty program called AMC Stubs that provides its customers with an option to engage with the brand. AMC Stubs combines one free tier with two premium tiers and spreads enticing benefits and experiences across all three.

Coming out of the pandemic the movie industry struggled a bit before consumers began going back to the theatres regularly. Since the AMC Stubs launched in 2011, with the AMC A-List tiered added in 2018, company officials have strived to offer the best of their brand to their loyal customers.

  • AMC Stubs Insider: This program is free and members receive the company’s standard benefits, including a free refill on every large popcorn and discount Tuesday savings.
  • AMC Stubs Premiere: This tier costs $15 per year and members receive enhanced rewards points and other benefits. Join this tier and receive $5 Bonus Bucks, waived online fees, and free popcorn and fountain drink size upgrades.
  • AMC Stubs A-List: This tier costs between $19.95–$23.95 per year and carries the best benefits. A-List members receive all the benefits of Premier members plus up to three free movies each week.

Our take: This tiered rewards program was a great response to a business emerging from the pandemic, trying to attract more customers. The program itself offers multiple options, including a free tier and two premium tiers. Moviegoers range in terms of how often they attend, so a three-tiered approach is perfect.

Screenshot showing Ulta Ultamate Rewards tiered loyalty program structure

Ulta Beauty’s Ultamate Rewards

One of the main reasons for the success of Ulta Beauty’s Ultamate Rewards tiered loyalty program, which has 41 million members, is that data has been at the heart of everything it does to create and retain long-term engagement.

Ulta Beauty prides itself in listening to and understanding guests’ values and needs and executing against them. The transactional value Ultamate Rewards offers every guest is due to the program’s flexibility to redeem on any product or service without limitations while adding layers of memorable experiences and exclusive access to products, gifts and helpful content.    

Since the pandemic, Ulta has also focused on new member experiences by amplifying personalization and driving customers to the Ulta Beauty app.

Ultamate Rewards has three tiers: Free, Platinum and Diamond.

Free:

  • No annual spend is required
  • Members earn 1 point per $1 spent
  • Receive bonus points and savings, and can redeem them for discounts
  • Receive double points for purchases made during their birthday month
  • Receive a free gift

Platinum:

  • Minimum $500 annual spend
  • Members earn 1.25 points per $1 spent
  • Receive bonus points and savings, and can redeem for discounts
  • Receive double points for purchases made during their birthday month
  • Points never expire
  • Receive a free gift
  • Receive a $10 coupon
  • Receives exclusive deals, gifts and early access

Diamond:

  • Minimum $1,200 annual spend
  • Members earn 1.50 points per $1 spent
  • Receive bonus points and savings, and can redeem for discounts
  • Receive double points for purchases made during their birthday month
  • Points never expire
  • Receive a free gift
  • Receive a $10 coupon
  • Receives exclusive deals, gifts and early access
  • Members receive a Diamond gift
  • Members receive $25 services rewards
  • Members receive free shipping on orders of $25 or more

Our take: This is a very fair program from a minimum annual spend standpoint to the number of points earned per $1 spent and the benefits received. Company officials have focused on personalization even more since the pandemic, which has done wonders for this comprehensive program.

Screenshot showing On The Border tiered loyalty program structure

On the Border’s Border Rewards

Two years ago officials at On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina launched a subscription program called the Queso Club, which was a limited-time offer that increased engagement and sales and helped them collect valuable data.

For $1 plus the price of a bowl of queso, Queso Club members received free queso for a year when they dined in.

Recently, On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina launched a tiered loyalty program called Border Rewards focused on its top-selling menu item, Signature Queso.

Silver Tier members can enjoy $2 off queso every day while Gold Tier members can enjoy 50% off queso every day. Gold Tier members receive the added benefit of monthly double points day.

Company officials took the excitement and engagement generated from the Queso Club launch in 2021 and created this two-tiered loyalty program.

Silver Tier:

  • Reserved for new members who sign up and existing members who have spent less than $250 in qualifying purchases in the 2023 calendar year.

Gold Tier:

  • Reserved for members who have spent more than $250 in qualifying purchases in the 2023 calendar year.
  • Gold members also get the added benefit of monthly double points day; plus, membership continues for the calendar year and the year after.
  • Gold Tier members have these benefits for both the current and upcoming calendar years.

Our take: This is a great program, taking advantage of the momentum from the Queso Club’s limited-time promotion in 2021. It shows how something like the limited-time offer of the Queso Club turned into a new loyalty program that gives members options.

Screenshot showing Cinemark Movie Rewards tiered loyalty program structure

Cinemark’s Movie Rewards

When you combine a free loyalty program with a premium tier, you’re giving your best customers a choice and the best benefits your brand can offer. Especially when it comes to movie fans, some enjoy going now and then while others love to attend as much as they can.

That’s how Cinemark officials see it and that’s why their tiered loyalty program, Cinemark Movie Rewards, is so popular.

Movie Fan (free tier):

  • Members earn one point for every $1 spent to redeem for free tickets and concession items. They also can receive exclusive access to special screenings.

Movie Club (premium tier)

  • Members pay a monthly fee of $8.99 (or $9.99 in CA, OR, WA, and AK) and receive all benefits from the Move Fan tier, plus one ticket per month.
  • They also receive a 20% discount on all concessions and can reserve seats with no online fees. All unused tickets can be used at any time with no expiration for active members.

Our take: Having a free loyalty program with a premium tier lets you cover all of your customer bases. Moving up from the free tier to a premium tier allows their biggest brand advocates to enjoy better rewards. And if a premium member decides to become a member of the free tier, Cinemark still maintains them as a loyal customer in its loyalty ecosystem. Loyal moviegoers want options and this program achieves that.

Tiered Loyalty Programs Give Your Customers Choices

It’s important to remember that not every customer is the same which is why a tiered loyalty approach is smart.

You’re offering them choices as to how they want to engage with your brand, along with increasingly better benefits. Consumers have high expectations so if you want to keep them engaged, the more options you can offer, the better.

When you can offer loyalty program members various tiers to aspire to, you can reward them at different levels depending on engagement. The more they engage, the more value they receive, potentially becoming a brand advocate in the process.

Consumers like to achieve and maintain status and a tiered loyalty program gives them that opportunity.

If you’d like to learn more about tiered loyalty programs, download our 2023 Loyalty Programs Data Study here.

And if you’d like to chat with any of our loyal experts, contact us here.

ebbo

ebbo helps brands achieve their customer loyalty goals with full-service, end-to-end solutions and also creates original educational content straight from the experts to help loyalty marketers stay on the cutting edge of customer engagement.

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