Points is arguably the most well-known of the 6 loyalty mechanics we currently seen operating Britain.


  • Points – earn points relative to the amount spent e.g. Boots Advantage Card, Nectar.
  • Milestones/stamp cards – earn a reward or stamp each time they hit a milestone. e.g. Shell Go+, TK Maxx Treasure, My McDonald’s Coffee Loyalty Scheme.
  • Rewards Always On – lots of rewards are available to access any time. e.g. VeryMe Rewards from Vodafone, British Gas Rewards.
  • Subscription – members pay a set amount to unlock extra benefits and discounts, e.g. Amazon Prime, Tesco Clubcard Plus, ODEON Limitless.
  • Tiers – the more members do or spend, the further they move up the tiers, e.g. BA Executive Club, Accor Live Limitless, Sky VIP.
  • Surprise & Delight – there is no regular reward / discount, but members occasionally receive surprise rewards, e.g. Pret.


In January 2020 we researched the appeal of these different loyalty mechanics with YouGov “What Brits Want from Loyalty Programmes 2.0”. Of the 6 mechanics, points is the most established and popular loyalty mechanic in Britain.



They started the trend with the move from the points-based Shell Drivers Club to a Milestone mechanic based on visits and rewards “Shell Go+” in 2019. Shell Go+ is described as “a new rewards programme that rewards you every time you visit. Spend £10 or more on fuel or £2 or more in the shop and you’ll receive 10% off all hot drinks, deli2go and Jamie Oliver deli by Shell food ranges.

Marks and Spencer

M&S have followed suit with a complete relaunch of their loyalty programme Sparks. In their own words, they “waved goodbye to the points that customers told us were confusing and kept all the best bits. And then some!”. Sparks is now a clear Milestone mechanic.

The new programme focusses on rewards and charity donations too. Plus, there is a regular engagement reward where members can win their shop every week. So far, the media coverage has been extremely optimistic.


What’s next?

The data from Shell and Marks & Spencer’s suggests that, in the UK, good things definitely happen when you switch from a points mechanic to a milestone one. We wonder what other brands will be considering this as they revisit their loyalty strategies.


To read the full version of this article please visit The Wise Marketer.