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How to Give Redemptions as Monetary Rewards in Gamification

Many companies opt to reward desired gameplay behaviors with gamification-based points — sometimes called something else, such as miles — that users can redeem for, well, just about anything.

Take American Express, for example. It enables cardmembers to earn points for each dollar spent, which they can redeem for goods ranging from gift cards for retail stores and restaurants to convert tickets, airline tickets, and more. Cardmembers can even redeem points to donate to any of more than a million charities in this gamified system.

Typically, consumers expect to receive one point for each dollar spent. When they go to redeem them, they generally assume they’ll get $1 (or equivalent goods) for every 100 points earned.

To make sure no one accrues, like, a billion points over their gameplay lifetime, and then cashes them out all at once (thereby bankrupting your organization), you might set things up so that any points a person earns expire at some point — say, after two years.

In addition to redeeming points for goods, many companies also enable consumers to redeem points for cash. Discover is an excellent example of this, offering cash back — anywhere from 2–5%, depending on the type of card and the purchase made.

If you’re a larger company with an existing loyalty program, you may need to decide how to align gamification-based points with your traditional loyalty points. In some cases, you may integrate them. In other cases, you’ll need to keep them separate.

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