Loyalty apps are an amazing way for businesses to help customers save money while rewarding them at the same time. Over the years, loyalty apps have been proven and tried for boosting customer retention. And because of this companies en masse have joined in the race to create their own loyalty apps.

For instance, 65% of a brand’s business is likely to come from their existing members. Statistics like this motivate businesses to incorporate loyalty apps into their customer retention strategies. 

So we’ll be looking at 9 of such brands and why their loyalty apps make it into the best loyalty apps of 2021.

What is a Loyalty Card App?

A loyalty card app is an app that allows businesses to run digital loyalty programs by enabling customers to receive points in various ways, which can then be exchanged for rewards via a smartphone app.

What is the Difference between a Loyalty Card, Loyalty Card Apps, and a Loyalty Program? 

Ensuring customer retention via loyalty campaigns consist of various parts and these can be classified into three aspects:

  • Loyalty Cards: These are the traditional loyalty cards usually made of plastic or paper and they are usually stamped or punched as a way of giving loyalty points to customers. 
  • Loyalty Card Apps:  Loyalty card apps offer businesses a digital way of storing(loyalty app wallets) or offering points, redeeming, and rewarding customers via a smartphone app. 
  • Loyalty Program: This is a program that is run by a business or brand to boost customer loyalty or retention. Loyalty programs can either be physical (that is using paper or plastic cards) or digital (using a mobile app). 

What are the Best Loyalty Apps of 2021?

Here are the best loyalty apps of 2021: 

Best Retail Loyalty Apps

  1. Nike
  2. Barnes & Noble
  3. Amazon
Best Beauty Loyalty Apps

  1. Body Shop
  2. Sephora
  3. e.I.f’s Beauty Squad
Best Pet Loyalty Apps

  1. PetSmart


Best F&B Loyalty Apps

  1. Domino’s
  2. Starbucks

1. Nike (iOS App Store Link) (Google Play Store link)

  • Nike’s loyalty card app can run on both Android and iOS devices. 
  • The app goes beyond just running a loyalty program and makes shopping at the brand easier. 
  • Nike’s loyalty card app doesn’t just offer rewards but exclusive shopping access. And the loyalty program can be accessed from all Nike apps: Nike App, Nike SNKR App, Nike Run Club App, and Nike Training Club App.

Nike’s loyalty app goes beyond just offering customers a loyalty program. It offers exclusive shopping privileges to members after signup and much more. It’s a loyalty app within another app built for a different specific purpose (you can sign up as a Nike loyalty member on any of the 4 Nike apps). 

2. Barnes & Nobles (iOS App Store Link) (Google Play Store link)

  • Loyalty program members can browse bestsellers lists and books of various categories via the app.
  • Members can use the app to locate Barnes & Nobles stores close by and purchase online.
  • The app integrated seamlessly with the loyalty program. 

Barnes & Nobles offers a paid loyalty program called the “VIP program” and the brand’s app integrates perfectly into creating the exclusive feel members expect. For instance, the app allows members to make online purchases before getting to the store to allow immediate pickup on arrival.

3. Amazon (iOS App Store Link) (Google Play Store Link)

  • Loyalty members in different parts of the globe can use just one app and Amazon in their locality will service the requests.
  • Tracking rewards is very easy with the app. 
  • The app offers comprehensive security features. 

Amazon needs no introduction. The Amazon loyalty app is available on both Android and iOS. And it offers prime members a seamless way to track rewards and redeem them. 

4. The Body Shop (iOS App Store Link) (Google Play Store link)

  • Loyalty program members using the app can donate their rewards to an animal charity organization  or the “National Parks Conservation Association” in the USA 
  • The Body Shop’s app is available only on iOS
  • This loyalty app updates loyalty members on special offers via the app’s push notifications feature.

The Body Shop offers loyalty program members an iOS app that makes not just being a part of a loyalty program easy but also eases the shopping process. Plus, through the app loyalty members can feel they’re part of something greater because of the feature of redeeming points to animal charity organizations. 

5. Sephora’s Beauty Insider (iOS App Store Link) (Google Play Store Link)

  • Sephora’s Beauty Insider’s app is available on both Android and iOS.
  • The app uses a traditional point system that assigns points for every purchase made.
  • The app is integrated perfectly with the brand’s website and stores, even retail stores inside JCPenny owned by Sephora. 

Sephora’s Beauty Insider loyalty app is known for its easy-to-use and captivating user interface, which is what makes it a delight to use for members. Its integration with the brand’s stores also gives the app more value beyond running a loyalty program. 

6. e.I.f’s Beauty Squad (iOS App Store Link) (Google Play Store link)

  • This loyalty app beyond giving points and enabling reward redemption gives members early access to sales. 
  • The e.I.f. app also offers loyalty members early access to new products before other customers.
  • Receipts can be scanned using the app for reward redemption.

There’s one thing that’s obvious with the e.I.f loyalty app and it’s that it gives a relevant additional value that isn’t just about the points received but something that makes most customers feel special and that’s exclusivity. Besides this, the app is easy to use even for first-timers.

7. PetSmart (iOS App Store Link) (Google Play Store Link)

  • Loyalty points can be redeemed via the app either at checkout or online.
  • The app excels in digital engagement as loyalty members can receive advance notice of in-store events and sales 
  • Points received can be donated to a PetSmart charity. 

PetSmart like most loyalty apps on this list gives users additional capabilities with their app beyond earning and redeeming points. And even offers value in point redemption by allowing loyalty members to donate their points to a charity via the app.

8. Domino’s (iOS App Store Link) (Google Play Store Link)

  • The app offers loyalty members exclusive promotions and discounts.
  • Loyalty members can place orders via the app
  • The app gives users points for any kind of pizza eaten by using artificial intelligence for pizza identification and not just domino’s pizzas. 

Domino’s offers breakthrough technology and innovation with its loyalty app. Using pizza identification artificial intelligence technology, the app can identify any kind of pizza that the loyalty member is eating and rewards them points for doing so. So this app focuses on not just rewarding customers for using their product but the passion behind the product.

9. Starbucks (iOS App Store Link) (Google Play Store Link)

  • The Starbucks loyalty app offers customers an amazing user interface that makes interacting with the program seamless.
  • This app excels in digitally engaging loyalty members with birthday offers and informing them of special offers.  
  • The app makes it easy for loyalty members to order and pay digitally without having to line in the store. 

Starbucks introduced their loyalty mobile app at a time when running loyalty Programs digitally wasn’t a thing and the app since then has established itself as a pioneer. The Starbucks app gives customers more than a comfortable way to earn points and redeem them but offers exclusive shopping privileges to members, which shifts the value of the app to customers. 


Loyalty card apps help brands to run their loyalty program digitally, which increases the flexibility, ease of use, and reach of the program. It also fosters customer engagement as it permits businesses to offer push notifications or text messages about special promotions and lots more. 

The 9 best loyalty apps of 2021 in this list have proven to exhibit unique ideas and bring some freshness into loyalty programs. 

If you’re interested in boosting your word-of-mouth marketing strategy, check out ReferralCandy and InfluencerCandy!

Emmanuel Egeonu

Posted by Emmanuel Egeonu