non-cash incentives on the riseAn Incentive Federation survey, conducted with partner Aspect Market Intelligence, has found that 74 percent of U.S. businesses have used non-cash incentives, including travel, merchandise, and gift cards, to the tune of $76.9 billion per year. Half of the non-cash incentives market is driven by small businesses with annual revenues of $10 million or less. This year, U.S. businesses have spent $22.6 billion on incentive travel and over $53 billion on merchandise and gifts as rewards for employees, customers, and business partners.

Other key findings from the survey include:

• 98 percent of businesses that use non-cash incentives include merchandise or gift cards and spend a combined $54.3 billion annually.

• 46 percent of businesses running non-cash programs include incentive travel and spend a combined $22.6 billion annually.

• Non-cash employee incentive rewards are most prevalent with 56 percent of U.S. businesses implementing them.

• Non-cash sales incentive programs are utilized by nearly half of U.S. businesses, and non-cash customer loyalty programs are present in one-third of businesses.

• Gift cards are the most frequently used incentive for employee programs (88 percent) compared to corporate gifts (55 percent).

• The larger the company, the higher the prevalence of all program types.

“This study reaffirms that the use of non-cash incentives has been and continues to be an important part of many businesses’ growth strategy, even in light of recent economic challenges,” said Melissa Van Dyke, Research Chair of Incentive Federation and President of The Incentive Research Foundation.


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