19 Feb 2012

Customer loyalty in Germany

Customer loyalty is something that is quite trendy currently here. There are all possible bonus programmes where one collects points, miles or stamps and then gets discounts, flights or gifts. In this article I will outline the most important things to know.

What programmes are out there?
From Lufthansa's Miles and More to your local cafe's bonus programme, the variety is immense!

Miles and More: every passenger can get the Lufthansa card and collect miles for every flight with Star Alliance. Miles can also be collected with newspaper subscriptions, GSM contracts, online purchases, etc. Once you are a member, you will get an overview of all the partners and partner programmes. The benefit: you can pay flights with miles! Once you have 15.000 miles, you can get a one-way ticket within Europe. You can also achieve the coveted Frequent Flyer status, which grants you access to the business lounges (free food and internet while you wait).

Deutschland Card: with this card you can collect points at food retailers like Edeka, pharmacies, car shops, etc. I used to be a member, but as I was only using it at Edeka, after 2 years, the gift I managed to get was a cheap aroma set. I was so disappointed that I threw this bonus card away. 

Payback: the same as the previous one but with different retail partners. 

Dentists: the latest trend here is to collect stamps at every visit at the dentist, so that if you need a more expensive procedure, you can get a discount. This programme is sponsored and depends on your Krankenkasse

Dry cleaning: also there you can collect stamps for every visit and then get a couple of Euros discount once the bonus card is full.

Cafes: Yesterday, I was amazed to see that even cafes have started their stamp cards! Once I collect 10 coffee stamps, the next coffee is free. How ridiculous is that?!

You see, Germans love collecting bonus things with their purchases and making use of the various discounts!

Warning: if you are a privacy freak, avoid the bonus programmes that give you a plastic magnetic card. They track your purchases so that they can offer you targeted advertisement in your post box!

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