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    Consumers Use Loyalty Programs to Save Money

    Retail program participants prefer coupons for discounts on their total purchase, a just-released First Data study revealed.

    ATLANTA -- With consumers looking for a variety of ways to save money in this economic climate, many are signing up or regularly using reward programs such as those at gas stations, revealed First Data's 2009 Consumer Loyalty Study.

    In fact, 35 percent of consumers who are members of gas rewards programs indicated their choice of retailer was "very" influenced by that membership.

    Other retail findings of the study include:

    -- Consumers prefer coupons for discounts on total purchase -- In general, the rewards consumers receive from retailers do not always match their preferences. While "coupons for discounts on total purchase" is the most preferred reward, less than two-thirds (61 percent) of members indicated they receive that reward as a member of a retail rewards program.

    -- Reported frustrations with loyalty programs decrease -- More members say they have not experienced any problems or frustrations related to rewards programs (20 percent in 2009 compared to 14 percent in 2008).

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