January 10, 2012
In addition to offering incentive gift cards, Best Buy is now selling its own consumer loyalty program points as an award for incentive and employee engagement programs. 

The newly unveiled Reward Zone Incentive Points are redeemable for Best Buy reward certificates in denominations of $5 and larger. Point codes can be awarded via printed certificate, email, or direct deposit if the recipient is already one of the 30 million Best Buy Reward Zone program members. 

The certificates can be used in Best Buy retail stores and at www.bestbuy.com. In addition, recipients with the Best Buy app on their smartphones or tablet computers can redeem their points for awards at the checkout counter by using their devices instead of the printed certificates.

Large corporate users of Best Buy’s reward points include Netflix, which has used them to entice new customers to its movie and television subscription service. Coca-Cola lets its loyalty program members trade Coke Rewards points for Best Buy points. 

The new Incentive Points program is designed to be easy to use for small and midsize businesses or for managers of individual departments, says Barbara Olson, Best Buy’s senior director of marketing. While the minimum number of points needed to redeem a certificate is 250—$5 worth—the points can be distributed in any denomination. That’s useful for small spot awards and for promotions like Coke Rewards on a smaller scale, she adds. 

While the program has been set up to make point purchasing and tracking simple, the points do expire. Planners have 12 months to issue the points they purchase, and recipients have 12 months after the issue date to convert those points into reward certificates.