Captured Technology

Loyalty, Is It Gone or Just Harder to Earn?

Oct 13 2011

what's in my wallet

Image by rhodes via Flickr

Loyalty is a funny sort of word. We are loyal to our friends and we are loyal to our partners and family. Sometimes we even feel a certain level of loyalty to a store or website that carries out favorite items and the best prices. Some stores offer loyalty reward points to get us to buy even more and save even more. Yet, on the whole, what does loyalty count for?

Perhaps you might consider your home/cell phone company, your credit card company, your bank or your mortgage company. How loyal do you feel toward them? How loyal do you think they are toward you? Are they quick to notify you of any special offers that are usually aimed at “brand new customers only” or do you have to call them and threaten to change to another company in order to get a deal from them?

Grocery Loyalty

Most grocery stores and supermarkets will offer some sort of reward plan for customers. Safeway, for example, have the Safeway card which offers loyalty points on groceries and gasoline. Every time you shop there and spend money, you will get a discount on in-store offers as well as toting up points to fill your tank. As wiser shoppers we tend to go the place that best suits our shopping style and meets our needs as well as saving us the most money.

Bank Accounts and Mortgages

As a homeowner it is a comfortable feeling to know that you are getting the lowest interest rate on your mortgage. At the same time as a consumer, you want to feel that your checking account is in good hands too. A good rate of interest, a low monthly account fee, a reasonably priced overdraft facility and a high interest rate on your savings is probably a dream bank account for any money conscious consumer. If your bank offers that kind of deal, you will stay totally loyal and never want to move away.

Credit Card

Credit card interest rates have grown considerably in the last few years. Where interest rates were once around 1.99%APR rate in the U.S.A, they are now at an all-time high, many reaching up to 6.5%. In the U.K, rates are as high as 29.0%. Staying loyal to your credit card company doesn’t often win you any praise. The key thing to remember is that there has to be something in it for both of you. You need to use your card in order for them to make any money. At the same time, they need to provide you with an incentive to use the card. It is a two-way street.

Utilities Companies

Some areas offer little choice in who we have supply our utilities. There is very little option for loyalty because whoever owns the power that runs out town is the company that we have to pay, whether we agree with their prices or not. Utility companies are probably the hardest to get any loyalty from, too. Some might offer loyalty refunds, paid out as a dividend to their consumers every Christmas or new tax year, but on the whole, getting good service from them is about the best we can expect.

Home/Cell Phone

Home phones now have far greater choice with companies like Vonage offering cheap calls with their second line. It is difficult to get a cell phone company who you might want to stay loyal to because many of them are pretty much cut from the same cloth. They are highly competitive and each offer a large array of handsets at reasonable prices. Family plans are very common now, offering unlimited text messages and web browsing, but does your cell phone company make you feel like one of the family? Do they have select services or loyalty rewards? Maybe it’s about time some of them thought more about their customers as well as the money those people bring in.

Shop Around

It always pays to shop around for the best deals available. You never know when you might save yourself some serious bucks by consolidating your home/TV and broadband, for example. Having it all under one company can prove far cheaper than having it split across three different ones. Some will also provide your cell phone service too. Yes, you will pay more, but on the whole, it pays to weigh up the average yearly savings compared with having the same plans with different companies.

 

Article provided at no cost by Dana on behalf of a premier moving quotes specialist.

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