A loyalty card is a membership card issued by a merchant or service provider which allows its holder to earn rewards corresponding to a loyalty program and/or access discounts.
Merchants issue loyalty cards in order to engender customer loyalty and therefore repeat sales. Some merchants also use information harvested from loyalty card users to track their customer’s spending habits or to sell information to third parties (advertising services, for example).
Typically, loyalty cards are issued as simple plastic cards on which the names and membership numbers of customers are printed. Loyalty cards may also include bar codes, QR codes, magnetic stripes or embedded microchips.
Merchants sometimes combine loyalty cards with payment cards such as store cards or credit cards to increase their functionality. Airline credit cards and supermarket credit cards are examples of loyalty card and credit card combinations.
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