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POINTLESS; pounds 2bn unclaimed on loyalty cards.

Byline: By STEPHEN MOYES

WE are owed pounds 2billion in unclaimed goodies from loyalty card schemes, says a study.

And nearly a quarter of it - pounds 460million worth - never will be redeemed even though it could give us free holidays, discounts, shopping vouchers and other gifts and services.

Up to 15 per cent of households have points to redeem but nearly a quarter of them may not bother, said the report by International Consumer Loyalty Programmes.

But others are almost addicted to getting something for nothing by shopping at the same supermarkets and petrol stations or staying at the same hotel chains.

Many people have more "money" in this unofficial currency than they do in the bank. Worldwide there is pounds 500 billion on loyalty cards, which has led to experts describing it as a new currency called "the reward dollar".

The average home has at least two cards which give loyalty points. Nearly one in five - 18 per cent - have more than nine and seven per cent have more than 20.

The average household builds up around 19 points a week and redeems them twice a year.

ICLP director Tony Clarke said many people do not redeem points because they want a free gift and not a discount on their shopping.

He said: "The the perceived value of the reward usually far exceeds the discount."

Of those who do redeem their points, 23 per cent go on weekends away and 33 per cent swap them for goods such as TVs or camcorders.
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 31, 2005
Words:253
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