What Is a Premium Loyalty Program?

What is a premium loyalty program

The savvy brand marketer you are, surely you’re well aware of customer loyalty programs and why your brand might want to execute one. Of course, you already know that loyalty programs nurture your customers, meet their evolving needs, and foster greater customer loyalty. But, have you considered the benefits of a premium loyalty program for your brand?

At its core, a premium loyalty program is one that participants pay to access. Rather than only sharing their information (known as zero-party data) with you in exchange for rewards and services, they also pay a fee. Premium loyalty programs may offer a variety of extra valuable rewards to their participants that standard loyalty programs lack. 

At Marketing Resources Inc., we have nearly 30 years of experience executing effective, award-winning loyalty programs. In fact, one of our earliest and longest-running programs is the award-winning Foodland Supermarket program in Hawaii. That’s why, when it comes to loyalty programs, including premium ones, we’re the right choice for meeting your brand’s goals. 

What Makes a Premium Loyalty Program Different?

As mentioned above, a premium loyalty program is a transaction-based program as opposed to a free one. Participants pay some sort of membership fee in order to reap the rewards. But, what really makes a paid program different from a traditional loyalty program?

Simply put, thoughtful these programs are custom-built to meet the needs of your brand’s most valuable customers. Ditching the one-size-fits-all approach of many traditional models, premium programs offer curated experiences and rewards sure to bring the most value to your members. 

Not only that, a fee-based program creates an enticing sense of exclusivity. As we’ve reported before, exclusive offers motivate more consumers to complete your brand’s desired actions. For example, enrolling in a loyalty program, signing up for a newsletter, or simply purchasing an item. Pair that with the glitz and glamour of a premium loyalty program and your consumers will be chomping at the bit for the opportunity to join. 

What Are the Benefits of a Premium Loyalty Program?

These programs give your brand’s most valuable consumers what they want when they want it. They allow consumers to unlock the most coveted discounts and rewards your brand offers, creating extremely positive associations with your brand. In addition to all of the benefits of a standard loyalty program, premium programs offer even more value to the brands that execute them. 

When your most loyal customers feel as rewarded and cared for as they do when they enroll in a premium loyalty program, they tend to stick around. What’s more, they’ll usually spend even more money with your brand, and encourage their friends and family to do the same! 

Further, premium loyalty programs give your brand a boost of cash flow. The fee your participants pay to join can immediately go towards rewarding them. A traditional loyalty program, on the other hand, takes time. Members must accumulate rewards over an extended period, often times losing interest along the way. 

Premium loyalty programs similarly tend to have higher retention rates than their complimentary counterparts. Premium loyalty members pay for their experience and are therefore less likely to abandon your brand. From their perspective, they’ve already spent their money with your brand, they may as well continue to shop with it. 

Are Premium Loyalty Programs Worth It?

Whether your brand decides to develop a premium loyalty program or not is, of course, entirely up to you. To help you decide if a fee-based program is right for your brand, let’s take a look at some of the supporting facts. 

Premium loyalty fast facts

Fact #1: Loyal Customers Spend More

On average, a loyal customer is worth ten times more than the value of their first purchase. What’s more, this value appears to grow over time. Meaning the longer you nurture a loyal customer, the more valuable they become. For example, the average repeat customer spends 67% more in their 31st to 36th months of their relationship with a business than in months 0-6. That’s 3 years of value from just one customer. 

Fact #2: Consumers Willingly Join Free Loyalty Programs, But Rarely Participate

According to a recent report by COLLOQUY, the average household enrolls in 12 loyalty programs, but only remains active in about 4 of them. That’s nearly ⅔ of all “loyal” members who actually aren’t loyal at all. 

The reasons for dwindling activity in a loyalty program are as numerous as the reasons for joining one. However, some of the most common factors leading to a lack of participation are: rewards take too long to earn, rewards aren’t valuable enough, the program fails to make a deep emotional connection with its members. 

A fee-based program, on the other hand, addresses those factors and more by offering members the most engaging experiences possible. Avoid dwindling engagement and maintain a strong relationship with your consumers through a purpose-driven premium loyalty program. 

Fact #3: Consumers Are Willing to Pay for Premium Loyalty Programs

While not every single consumer will want to shell out the extra cash for a premium loyalty program, the data shows that many of them will. A recent survey found on Total Retail finds that nearly ⅔ of respondents would pay to enter a premium loyalty program. 

Younger consumers, millennials, are even more likely to want to pay for the benefits of a loyalty program. The same study mentioned above also found that 75% of 18-24-year-olds are willing to pay, and 77% of 25-34-year-olds are. 

Fact #4: Consumers Value Premium Loyalty Programs

Almost half of all respondents (47%) answered that they truly believe fee-based programs provide better rewards than free programs. 

When the perceived value is there, consumers report feeling more likely to want to spend money. In fact, 65% believe that rewards are worth paying for, so long as they’re personally valuable to the consumer. 

Develop Your Brand’s Premium Loyalty Program

The evidence is clear. Premium loyalty programs offer even more of the valuable rewards and discounts your customers crave. While not necessarily perfect for every type of customer, premium loyalty programs nurture only your most valuable consumers. 

When developing your brand’s program, keep in mind that you must first deeply understand your target audience. Their values, likes, dislikes, and more. Without this, any sort of loyalty program or promotional campaign lacks meaning and fails to make a difference in the lives of your consumers. 

Looking to develop your brand’s custom premium loyalty program? Contact one of our promotional marketing consultants today to get started.

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Systems and Network Administrator

About Us

Marketing Resources, Inc. is a leading promotional marketing agency that specializes in purpose-driven promotions. With over 25 years in the business, MRi helps brands Identify, Develop, Execute, and Analyze promotions and marketing projects that consumers love. We’re a team full of committed, passionate, solutions-driven, hands-on, and innovative individuals who collaborate to bring success to our client’s programs.


The System and Network Administrator plays a critical role on the MRi Digital team, and overall in the success of our company. They are responsible for the day-to-day administration and technical support of complex Linux servers, Virtual Infrastructure and Systems Management, and maintenance and support of end-user systems. You’ll be working closely with our teams on client projects and making sure our internal systems are updated and secure. 

Our ideal candidate will be proactive, have great organizational skills, not shy away from communication with our teams, think through and help solve different problems, and gain an understanding of our business to help our team achieve amazing results.

In this role, we’re looking for that person who does not accept average.

You will help us create the best digital, promotions, products, and campaigns to achieve our client’s marketing goals. MRi takes pride in our ability to constantly push the boundaries of development in the digital promotions space, and you will take an active role in working closely with our client services, business development, creative, and project management team to guide, develop, and deliver exceptional work for our clients and partners.

Our ideal candidate will be proactive, have great organizational skills, not shy away from communication with our teams, think through and help solve different problems, and gain an understanding of our business to help our team achieve amazing results.

Responsibilities May Include

  • Design, install, configure, upgrade, maintain, monitor, and tune performance of Linux-based servers and infrastructure, both internal and client-related promotions.
  • Provide support for problems and issues that come up from our clients, vendors, and internal teams.
  • Examine and audit various server logs and determine if any corrective action is required.
  • Review releases of new operating systems and evaluate the implementation in the enterprise.
  • Install, configure, and maintain server firewall and other security software.
  • Identify and provide technical resolution for potential security breaches, then establish and monitor security and apply appropriate fixes.
  • Implement and maintain technical solutions for disaster recovery and business continuity of enterprise and client systems.
  • Select the ideal server hardware for the company’s needs and administer physical server hardware, including repair and replacement of parts as necessary.
  • Monitor and maintain proper end-user system security by ensuring operating systems and software are up-to-date and applying patches as necessary.
  • Maintenance and support of all end-user service accounts including Office365, Google Workspace, hosted VoIP accounts.

The Essentials

  • 1-2 years of experience in Linux server administration in a small to midsize environment.
  • Bachelor’s degree or minimum 4 years of related work experience.
  • Able to effectively plan, deploy and administer Linux servers in an enterprise environment.
  • Strong familiarity with Linux OS, Windows, macOS, application, and hardware troubleshooting.
  • Familiarity with VMware ESXi and XenServer/XCP-NG, DigitalOcean, Amazon AWS, and Docker.
  • Networking and Storage – Familiarity with pfSense (*BSD pf) firewalls, Ubiquiti network gear, Synology NAS equipment, iSCSI, NFS, SMB, and AFP file protocols.  TCP/IP, UDP, and VLAN. configurations to manage networking and storage.  
  • Ability to compose thorough and clear documentation on routine tasks, standard operating procedures, and other documents beneficial to team members.

You’ll stand out if you have experience with

  • Debian-based Linux or Ubuntu operating systems, roles, services, concepts, security, permissions, middleware, and facilities required. (e.g. SMTP, NFS, SMB, iptables, LVM, LUKS).
  • Amazon AWS S3, EC2, and ElasticBeanstalk required.
  • Samba4 as an Active Directory Domain Controller, Administering Active Directory through. the use of GPOs and OUs.
  • Supporting Windows and macOS systems.
  • Scripting concepts and methods with competence in at least one relevant language (e.g. Bash, Python, Perl, etc.)
  • Internet clients/servers/protocols, including HTTPS, SSH, MTAs (e.g. Postfix).
  • An ability to explain complex technical processes in a more simplified version to team members, clients, and partners.
  • Experience with IT project management practices and techniques.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.

The Perks

  • Medical insurance options
  • Dental insurance
  • 401(K) plan with company match
  • Flexible remote work policy
  • Paid sick days
  • Generous vacation and paid holidays

Interested in applying?

Send Resumes to resumes@marketingresources.com