The advent of online shopping has resulted in the development of a large number of rewards programs that offer rewards for shopping through specific shopping portals. These rewards can be points-based (allowing redemption for various prizes), cashback, airline frequent flyer-miles-based, hotel points, or even donations to charity.
Rewards portals exist in most major markets, most notably in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia. The original loyalty program was started in 1896 by Sperry & Hutchinson called Green Stamps which has been digitized into the new S&H greenpoints.com. In the early 1900s, Carlson Marketing owned a company called Gold Stamps and that has similarly been rebranded as GoldPoints.com. One of the most successful programs that currently exist is called AirMiles out of Canada and, like the old Green/Gold Stamps programs it includes everyday spending in supermarkets.
It is important to remember that, with the exception of cashback rewards, each rewards program values its points differently: before consumers purchase through one of the point- or mile-based programs, they should compare the points they will earn with the specific reward they choose. In addition, because of the highly competitive nature of online commerce, many of the shopping portals offer coupons or discount offers not available if purchases are made directly through the merchant site: besides receiving points towards a reward, consumers can also save money up front.
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