Editor's Note: This is the final piece in our Thankfulness series, where we focus on giving thanks and gratitude. Check out our previous posts (Giving Back to Small Businesses, Thanks Mom, For Teaching Me Finance, and 5 Budget-Friendly Ways To Give Back) and have a Happy Thanksgiving!
92% of consumers say that price and value is what drives their loyalty to businesses, according to a 2017 survey by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Companies can provide good prices and value in the form of discounts, loyalty programs, and sales.
So what are some companies offering? Here are a few ways companies are giving back to their loyal customers and members:
1. Points to get free stuff
There are some companies who do this really well—incorporating a mobile site or app to easily help you accumulate points for things you buy and make you feel special with birthday or anniversary freebies. Starbucks, for example, offers members a free menu item on your birthday and you accumulate points to get a free item every so often.
2. Giving to employees to help keep them happy and healthy
Many people line up for Black Friday sales. And while you may find a good deal, some companies are closing to give employees more time with their families. REI is closed for the third year in a row on Black Friday, encouraging customers and employees to #OptOutside by enjoying time outdoors. And employees still get paid for the day off.
— REI (@REI) October 30, 2017
3. Referral bonuses
With more and more online companies, many offer the opportunity to easily share a customized link so you can get credit for business you send their way. Stitch Fix is a personalized styling service and they have referral credits, which means you get money off a purchase once someone orders using your referral link.
Some bloggers and influencers make a lot of money by sharing affiliate links, but everyday consumers can often share referral links to accumulate some extra savings. Other companies like Blue Apron, a food delivery service, also offer free codes you can share with friends to try their products or services.
4. Special discounts for checking in
Sometimes local restaurants or shops will offer deals on Yelp or Facebook at their location. If you're searching for something nearby before you walk in, it may be worth a quick check on your phone to see if you can get a discount. Often these will be for new customers only or come as part of "checking in" to their business.
5. Seasonal specials
Black Friday and Cyber Monday kick off the holiday shopping season and many companies and stores offer deals. Consumer Reports also has a helpful guide on the best time of year to buy a variety of things from TVs to air conditioners to e-readers, so if you can wait you might be able to find a better deal.
6. Cashback and credit card rewards
Your credit card rewards or cash back opportunities can help you recoup some of the costs of holiday shopping. Check the details on what money you get off and back as well as how many points you rack up depending on where you shop and what you buy. There are also options like Honey, a Chrome plugin that helps find promo codes and Ebates, a site that gives you cash back when you shop at online stores in their network. (See also: 5 Personal Finance Technologies You Don't Want To Miss)
As you're shopping this holiday season—and year-round—be on the lookout for ways that companies are helping customers like you so you can get the most bang for your buck.
Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer or other company, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. All information, including rates and fees, are accurate as of the date of publication.
This article was originally published on November 22, 2017, and has been updated.