Loyalty360 Reads: United Airlines Increases Credit Card Rewards, Arko Adds 365,000 Loyalty Members in Q3, Krispy Kreme and McDonald’s Look to Expand Relationship

United Airlines Increases Co-Branded Credit Card Rewards  

United Airlines plans to increase the earning power of its co-branded Chase credit cards next year. Members of the MileagePLUS loyalty program will receive 25 tier-qualifying points for every $500 they spend on the cards starting in 2024. Customers currently get 500 points for every $12,000 spent. United will also lift caps on credit card spending that counts toward points. There are no other program changes planned for next year.  

Travelers need 5,000 points and four flights to reach the program’s Silver tier, the lowest status level. Status members receive benefits like seat upgrades, complimentary checked baggage, and access to airport lounges. The airline says the changes to its credit card program are designed to help travelers advance through tiers more quickly.  

Arko Adds 365,000 Loyalty Members in Third Quarter  

The convenience store operator Arko Corp. added 365,000 customers to its loyalty program in the third quarter of 2023, bringing the total to 1.85 million. President and CEO Arie Kotler attributed much of the increase to the company’s 100 Days of Summer campaign, which included a $10 reward for joining the program. Arko aims to have 3 million program members by the end of 2024.  

Almost 20% of merchandise purchases in the third quarter were made by members, the company said in a recent earnings call. Members receive exclusive offers and can arrange for pickup and delivery on the program’s mobile app.  

Based in Richmond, VA, Arko owns more than 1,500 convenience stores in 33 states under brands such as E-Z Mart, Breadbox, ExpressShop, and Pride.  

Krispy Kreme and McDonald’s Look to Expand Relationship   

Krispy Kreme said last week the company is in “advanced discussions” with McDonald’s to expand their retail relationship. McDonald’s began selling three doughnut varieties at nine Louisville, KY locations in 2022. This year, McDonald’s sells them at 160 locations in Louisville and nearby Lexington, KY.  

“We are discussing the potential for an expanded partnership with McDonald's in the U.S.,” said Krispy Kreme CEO Josh Charlesworth on an earnings call. Charlesworth said the brands are exploring the logistical requirements and commercial viability of scaling beyond the Kentucky locations.  

Currently, McDonald’s customers can order Krispy Kreme doughnuts all day in-store, at the drive-thru, and on the brand’s mobile app. 

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