More and more companies are charging customers to join loyalty programs. Just take a look at Restoration Hardware, which recently launched its RH Grey Card Membership program, which carries a $100 annual fee.

“Shopping, Reimagined,” is the tagline to the program on the company’s website, followed by this message:
“Introducing the RH Grey Card Membership Program
What you want,
When you want,
Always at 25% savings on Everything RH.
Every day.”

Member benefits include:

25% savings on RH, RH Modern, RH Baby & Child, RH TEEN, and RH Contemporary Art
10% savings on all Sale items
Complimentary interior design services (Receive complimentary one-on-one consultations with members of our experienced design team).
Concierge service to manage your orders (Enjoy direct access to a concierge who will assist with order support and product information).
Preferred financing† plans on the RH Credit Card available, subject to approval (Enjoy exclusive RH Credit Card financing rates and plans, pending credit approval).
Early access to clearance events (Receive 7-day advance notice on all clearance events).

Restoration Hardware CEO Gary Friedman indicated that the company is transitioning under the Grey Card loyalty program.

“Our lives are filled with complexity – and we long to break through the clutter to find simplicity,” said Friedman. “We want to shop for what we want, when we want and receive the greatest value. So rather than navigating countless promotions, we’re changing things … because time is the ultimate luxury.”

According to a LoyaltyOne study last year, Millennials are more likely to join fee-based loyalty programs. In the study, LoyaltyOne Consulting Associate Partner Lance Du Chateau noted: “These results should attract the attention of brands considering a shift to fee-based loyalty programs as marketers look for ways to create competitive differences and lock in customer spend against a backdrop of waning program effectiveness and engagement challenges.”

The RH Grey Card can be used through any RH channel – websites, galleries or source books. Memberships are available at RH.com, through RH galleries or by calling the RH Grey Card Concierge at 888.889.GREY.

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