Advertiser Disclosure

💳 Save money on credit card processing with one of our top 5 picks for 2024

5 Best POS Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs are a great way to incentivize customers to return to your small business. If you are looking for a rewards program, start here to learn about your best options.

    Kymberlin Bush
  • Last updated onUpdated

  • Matt Sherman
  • REVIEWED BY

    Matt Sherman

    Lead Staff Writer

Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.

Some of the best POS systems for small businesses offer built-in loyalty or rewards programs for your customers.

We’ve done the work for you and reviewed some of our favorite POS loyalty programs that can help your business grow and improve your customer satisfaction with almost no extra time needed on your part!

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanySummaryNext StepsSummary
Square POS

Read More

  • Best for low-volume businesses
  • $45+/month
  • Flat-rate processing at 2.6% + $0.10
  • Best for low-volume businesses
  • $45+/month
  • Flat-rate processing at 2.6% + $0.10

Visit Site

Read More

Lightspeed Retail POS

Read More

  • Best for retail with eCommerce
  • $269+/month ($199+/month with annual billing)
  • Flat-rate processing starts at 2.6% + $0.10
  • Best for retail with eCommerce
  • $269+/month ($199+/month with annual billing)
  • Flat-rate processing starts at 2.6% + $0.10

Visit Site

Read More

Clover POS

Read More

  • Best for quick-serve restaurants
  • $14.95+/month
  • Flat rate processing at 2.3% + $0.10 and up
  • Best for quick-serve restaurants
  • $14.95+/month
  • Flat rate processing at 2.3% + $0.10 and up

Visit Site

Read More

Toast POS

Read More

  • Best for full-service restaurants
  • $0+/month
  • Flat-rate processing at 2.49% + $0.15 and up
  • Best for full-service restaurants
  • $0+/month
  • Flat-rate processing at 2.49% + $0.15 and up

Visit Site

Read More

Loyverse

Read More

  • Best free small business rewards program
  • $0+/month
  • Choice of payment processor
  • Best free small business rewards program
  • $0+/month
  • Choice of payment processor

Visit Site

Read More

Show Fewer Options

Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

Table of Contents

What Is A Rewards Program For Small Business?

Loyalty programs for small businesses, aka rewards program software, let customers earn rewards on their purchases to promote loyalty to your business and repeat visits. Customers can exchange their loyalty reward points at your POS or online for discounts, free items, or other incentives.

Examples Of Small Business Loyalty Programs

  • Point-Based System: Customers earn points they can redeem for perks.
  • Physical Punch Cards: Customers get a free item after a certain number of purchases.
  • Membership Tiers: Customers achieve a higher status with more perks over time.

How To Start A Rewards Program For Your Small Business

It really can be as simple as signing up for a POS with a loyalty program. There’s nothing to download with cloud-based rewards software, and most of these digital programs don’t require the use of physical cards. You simply need to activate the software and configure the settings online. We’ll go through some of our favorite built-in loyalty POS programs later.

How To Make Your Rewards Program Successful

  • Offer free items for customers who sign up to the loyalty program.
  • Allow customers to earn loyalty points on online purchases.
  • Use your loyalty software reports to measure the success of your program.

The 5 Best POS Loyalty Programs For Small Business

Small businesses should use a POS with loyalty program integration. A rewards program for small business can encourage customers to return often and spend more. Business owners can even use their POS loyalty program reports to make smarter business decisions.

Here are our top picks:

How The Best POS Systems With Loyalty Programs Compare

Free Integration Marketing Features Omnichannel Earning Reporting Customer App
Square Loyalty Program Apple Wallet pass
Lightspeed Loyalty Paid add-on
Clover For most plans
Toast POS Website
Loyverse

Square Loyalty Program: Best For Low-Volume Businesses

Total Rating 4.9
Pricing4.9

Ease Of Use5.0

Features4.8

Customer Service4.7

User Reviews4.8

Pricing

$0/month

Contract

None

Equipment Cost

$49-$799

Get a free card swiper from Square at no cost when you create a free account. Claim your card reader.

Pros

  • Free POS
  • Easy to use
  • Reports let you measure the ROI of your loyalty program
  • Integrates with entire Square suite of business products

Cons

  • Must use with Square credit card processing
  • Monthly cost can get expensive if you use multiple Square add-ons

square register with credit card

Why We Chose Square As The Best Option For Low-Volume Businesses

Square is an excellent free POS with an in-house loyalty program. Square is set up so that the core POS functions are free, and you only pay for whichever advanced functions you need, including loyalty. Like the POS itself, Square Loyalty is intuitive and easy to use, with a clean, uncluttered interface.

Square Loyalty Features

Square Loyalty offers the following rewards software features:

  • Works with multiple industries (restaurants, retail, personal services, etc,)
  • Works with other Square products (Square Restaurant, Square for Retail, Square Appointments, etc.)
  • Easy customer onboarding from POS screen
  • Customizable program lets you choose how points are earned, reward tiers, & reward terminology
  • Marketing features including text & email campaigns
  • Omnichannel program lets customers earn & redeem in-person and online
  • Multilocation program works for all your Square stores
  • Data tracking from your Square Dashboard

Square Loyalty Pricing

With Square’s loyalty program, only pay for how much loyalty functionality you use. Square POS is free, and loyalty pricing is based on how many loyalty visits you receive each month. Square Loyalty runs $45/month for 1-500 loyalty visits per month and goes up from there. You can try out the software for 30 days for free before deciding if you want to purchase it.

Square Loyalty Hardware Costs

You can use Square POS with Square Loyalty on a variety of hardware setups, including iPad, Android, and Square’s proprietary hardware solutions, such as Square Register and Square Terminal.

Though you can technically use Square with just a free magstripe reader (or $49 chip and tap reader) and a mobile device, most businesses will want a countertop POS setup. Square hardware kits start at $619 for a Square Stand kit for iPad that includes a Square swivel stand with a built-in card reader, a cash drawer, and a receipt printer (iPad not included).

Square Register kits start at $1,199 for a Square Register—a tablet register with a customer-facing screen and built-in payment acceptance—cash register, and a receipt printer. A Square Register by itself is $799.

Square Loyalty Payment Processing

With its in-house flat-rate payment processing—Square’s rate is 2.6% + $0.10 per in-person transaction—Square is best for newer and lower-volume businesses; established, high-volume businesses may find better payment processing rates by getting their own merchant account.

What To Watch Out For

Square POS is month-to-month with no contract, which means you can stop using the service at any time; the same goes for Square Loyalty. The one warning we have for Square is that it has less account stability than a traditional merchant account, as Square is a third-party payment processor. Learn more on the pros and cons of processing with Square by reading our guide to third-party payment processors.

Square Loyalty Is Best For Business Owners That:

  • Need a low-risk, affordable, and comprehensive POS loyalty program
  • Already use one of Square’s ecosystem of products
  • Have lower monthly transaction numbers

Get Started With Square POS

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

Lightspeed Loyalty: Best For Retail With eCommerce

Lightspeed Retail POS

Total Rating 4.1
Pricing3.7

Ease Of Use4.4

Features4.3

Customer Service4.1

User Reviews4.0

Pricing

$89-$269/month ($69-$199/month billed annually)

Contract

Monthly, annual, and custom

Equipment Cost

$199-$329

Pros

  • Retail-specific POS
  • Excellent built-in loyalty program
  • Built-in eCommerce
  • Free payment terminal with Lightspeed Payments

Cons

  • Expensive for smaller retailers
  • Must use Lightspeed Payments

lightspeed loyalty on PC, ipad register, iphone

Why We Chose Lightspeed As The Best Option For Retail Businesses With eCommerce Sites

Lightspeed Retail is a retail POS for iPad and desktops that makes it fast and easy to sell in-store and online.

Lightspeed also has an excellent in-house eCommerce program, which integrates seamlessly with the Lightspeed POS and Lightspeed Loyalty, a points-based loyalty program with flexible reward tiers, built-in marketing, and CRM.

Lightspeed Loyalty Features

Lightspeed Loyalty offers the following customer loyalty program features:

  • Fully integrated with POS workflow, so you only need to visit the back office for initial setup & running reports
  • Omnichannel design lets customers redeem rewards online or in-store
  • Customer auto-segmentation based on purchasing habits
  • Branded loyalty app to send promotions & one-time deals
  • Automated marketing campaigns for text & email using a drag & drop tool
  • Import data & balances from another loyalty program
  • Retail-centric system includes multi-tender options, inventory matrix, PO management, & deep reporting

Our full write-up on Lightspeed Loyalty explains more about program features and setup.

Lightspeed Loyalty Pricing

Lightspeed Loyalty is included on the $269/month Advanced Lightspeed Retail plan ($199/month with annual billing) and on the Enterprise plan for large businesses (call for quote).

You can purchase Loyalty on lower-level plans as a separate add-on.

Lightspeed Loyalty Hardware Costs

You can use Lightspeed on an iPad or desktop setup. You can source your POS hardware yourself or purchase a kit directly from Lightspeed (call for quote).

Lightspeed Loyalty Payment Processing

Lightspeed Retail integrates with Lightspeed Payments. You’ll pay a flat rate of 2.6% + $0.10 for in-person payments and 2.9% + $0.30 (the same rates offered by Square) and you’ll get a free Verifone P400 terminal (swipe, dip, or tap).

What To Watch Out For

To get the best pricing on Lightspeed Retail with Lightspeed Loyalty, you need to pay annually. This means Lightspeed is more of a commitment than a pay-as-you-go POS like Square.

Lightspeed Loyalty Is Best For Business Owners That:

  • Rely heavily on their eCommerce sales and want to capitalize on them
  • Don’t mind a built-in payment processor
  • Process a large enough amount of transactions to make the price tag worth it

Get Started With Lightspeed Retail POS

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

Clover: Best Quick-Serve Restaurant Rewards Program

Total Rating 4.3
Pricing4.0

Ease Of Use4.8

Features4.5

Customer Service4.4

User Reviews4.1

Pricing

Starts at $0/month

Contract

Depends on merchant services provider

Equipment Cost

$49-$1,799 per device

Pros

  • All-in-one, plug-and-play hardware
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable software plans
  • Mobile-friendly

Cons

  • Hardware is expensive & can’t be reused
  • Not all Clover payment processors are high-quality

clover station

Why We Chose Clover As The Best Option For Quick-Serve Restaurant Rewards

Clover is an all-in-one small business POS that is favored by quick-service restaurants such as coffee shops and has a dedicated QSRs service plan.

Clover's built-in loyalty app, Clover Rewards, is incredibly easy to use and mobile-friendly: your customers may even have the Clover app already installed on their phones!

Clover Rewards App Features

Clover’s customer loyalty app has these useful reward program software features:

  • Rewards app comes pre-installed on your Clover system and is included in most plans
  • Effortless setup, right from your POS screen
  • Customize offers to fit your business and offer multiple perks to appeal to different customers
  • Customer-facing mobile Clover app lets users earn rewards when ordering from their phone or in-person
  • Multiple ways to earn & redeem rewards, including SMS codes printed on receipts, the Clover app, & self check-in on Clover’s customer-facing screen
  • Customers can track points using the Clover app
  • Rewards reporting shows which perks are most popular

Clover Rewards App Cost

Clover offers a variety of different plans ranging from $0/month for basic payment processing and up. Clover’s loyalty app is included on the Essentials plan ($14.95/month/device) and higher.

Clover Rewards App Hardware Costs

You can use Clover Rewards on a Clover Flex ($499), Clover Mini ($799), or Clover Station ($1,799) setup. Businesses that want a countertop POS will need at least one Mini or Station, sometimes with a Flex to take mobile orders. (Clover Rewards does not work on the $49 Clover Go reader.)

Clover Rewards App Payment Processing

Clover.com offers flat-rate rate processing at 2.3% + $0.10 and up. Your processing rate depends on your monthly software plan. If you buy your system from a different Clover provider, your merchant account may use a different processing model.

What To Watch Out For

Many different companies sell Clover POS systems with merchant accounts, and some of these Clover providers are not recommended due to their long-term contracts, expensive equipment leases, and other issues. Learn more about where to buy a Clover system by reading our post on the best Clover service providers.

Clover Rewards Is Best For Business Owners That:

  • Need a loyalty program that is easy-to-use for both customers and employees
  • Want a dedicated loyalty app that doesn’t require a physical card
  • Don’t mind doing extra research to get the best payment processing rates

Get Started With Clover POS

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

Toast POS: Best Full-Service Restaurant Rewards Program

Total Rating 4.0
Pricing2.6

Ease Of Use4.7

Features5.0

Customer Service5.0

User Reviews4.1

Pricing

$0-$165 plus custom plan

Online Ordering

Yes

Equipment Cost

$0+

Pros

  • Complete restaurant POS
  • Restaurant-grade hardware
  • Easy loyalty onboarding
  • Android-based

Cons

  • Must use with Toast Processing
  • Requires long-term contract

toast flex guest screen

Why We Chose Toast POS For The Best Full-Service Restaurant Rewards Program

Toast is an Android-based POS system with pretty much any feature a restaurant could ever need, from ingredient management to delivery and takeout modules to table management for in-person dining.

Toast has incredibly strong CRM features that include a built-in points-based loyalty program. Overall, Toast is a smart choice of POS if you want a system specifically for restaurants with in-house loyalty.

Toast Restaurant Rewards Features

Toast POS has these and other useful loyalty rewards software features:

  • Links to customer’s credit card, so customers accrue points automatically
  • Customizable rewards program allows restaurants to customize sign-up bonuses, set accrual and redemption rates, and offer birthday rewards
  • Multiple signup methods—POS, self-order kiosk, customer-facing display, Toast Go, & online ordering
  • Integrated online ordering module lets customers earn and redeem points online
  • Loyalty program reporting gives you insight into who your regulars are and how much they spend.
  • Rewards lookup website lets customers look up their points balance online
  • Integrated gift card program allows Toast gift cards to be registered as loyalty cards

Toast Restaurant Rewards Pricing

The Toast POS itself starts at $0/month for a pay-as-you-go plan or $69/month for a standard plan. The main difference is that the free plan charges more for payment processing.

Toast Loyalty is an add-on to the POS that costs $50/month or an additional 0.40% per transaction, depending on your plan.

Toast Restaurant Rewards Hardware Costs

Toast POS hardware starts at $875 for a countertop kit. You can alternatively get a Toast hardware kit for free if you opt for the pay-as-you-go plan.

Toast Restaurant Rewards Payment Processing

Toast includes integrated payment processing and does not allow you to use an outside processor. Rates vary depending on your package. The lowest published price on Toast’s website is 2.49% + $0.15 for in-person transactions.

What To Watch Out For

Toast requires a long-term processing contract, during which the company increases its credit card processing fees with 30 days’ notice (per Toast’s merchant agreement). These contracts can be as long as three years and renew automatically after the initial term for another year. If you want to get out of your Toast contract at any time, you’ll have to pay an early termination fee (ETF).

Toast Restaurant Rewards Is Best For Business Owners That:

  • Want a POS system that’s dedicated to restaurants/food service
  • Want an Android-based POS with restaurant-grade hardware
  • Don’t mind a long-term contract and built-in payment processor

Get Started With Toast POS

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

Loyverse: Best Free Loyalty Program For Small Business

Total Rating 4.5
Pricing4.3

Ease Of Use4.9

Features4.4

Customer Service4.7

User Reviews4.9

Pricing

$0/month

Contract

None

Equipment Cost

$0

Pros

  • Free POS
  • Free loyalty software
  • Suitable for any industry
  • Can use your own merchant account

Cons

  • Basic functionality
  • Limited software integrations

Best Touch Screen POS

Why We Choose Loyverse As The Best Free Loyalty Program

Loyverse is a free POS that includes an excellent built-in loyalty program---also free! Best of all, it can be used in any industry: restaurant, retail, service industry, you name it.

Loyverse Loyalty Program Features

  • Simple setup lets you start your loyalty program in a single click— just set the reward percentage from each purchase
  • Multi-industry POS with loyalty program has both retail & restaurant features
  • Multistore functionality lets customers receive rewards across all your stores
  • Physical card option allows you to issue a loyalty card with a barcode
  • Customer-facing loyalty app includes messaging feature for marketing
  • Customer profiles display customer’s purchasing and loyalty history

Loyverse Loyalty Program Pricing

Loyverese POS is free, as is its loyalty module. Loyverse does offer some paid add-ons–employee management and advanced inventory— but they are optional and inexpensive, each offered at $25/month or $250/year.

Loyverse Loyalty Program Hardware Costs

You can use Loyverse on a smartphone, iPad, or Android tablet. You can purchase hardware on your own or buy various individual hardware components through Loyverse.

Loyverse Loyalty Program Payment Processing

Loyverse merchants in the US can process payments using Worldpay, Zettle by PayPal, or SumUp.

What To Watch Out For

Though Loyverse may seem too good to be true, it really is free, with no caveats like expensive hardware leases or long-term payment processing contracts. For payment processing with Loyverse, both Zettle and SumUp are no-commitment third-party payment processors, similar to Square. The only negative about Loyverse is that it is a somewhat basic program, and it only integrates with a couple of other software programs.

Loyverse Loyalty Program Is Best For Business Owners That:

  • Can’t afford a more advanced POS loyalty program
  • Want a dedicated merchant account
  • Don’t need advanced loyalty features

Get Started With Loyverse

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

Methodology

Merchant Maverick has been researching and reviewing POS providers since 2012. Our writers have tested over 100 different point of sale systems, evaluating pricing, features, ease of use, customer service, and user reviewers. Read more about how we rate POS providers.

When comparing different POS software systems, we consider many data points, including relative pricing, the depth of niche features offered, the price of hardware, and any associated payment processing fees. Our lists of the best providers include only apps we’ve deemed worthwhile from multiple vantage points. The POS vendors we pick share qualities such as widespread availability, accessibility, user-friendliness, and reasonable pricing. We also look carefully at niche features, such as check-splitting, inventory management, eCommerce, loyalty programs, gift cards, and more.

We spend an average of 10-15 hours researching and updating each one of our lists, making sure the providers included meet our internal standards for quality and reputation.

80+

Vendors evaluated

65+

Attributes assessed per vendor

20+

Features weighed

30+

Combined years of experience


5 Effective Ways To Use Your POS Loyalty Program Data To Boost Sales

If you want to get a good return on your investment in a loyalty-enabled POS, you need to do a little legwork to configure your system so you can regularly communicate with customers using the program. Here are some specific tactics to boost the effectiveness of a loyalty program.

  1. Incentivize Loyalty Signup: The most important first step in building customer loyalty is getting customers signed up for your program in the first place. By offering a reward or incentive for customers to sign up (for example, a free drink or 50% off coupon), you’ll be able to onboard a higher percentage of your customers.
  2. Integrate Text & Email Marketing: Most loyalty programs have text and/or email marketing capabilities that let you send special offers, promotions, and of course, rewards. Make sure you take advantage of this integration so you can get the most out of your program.
  3. Let Customers Redeem Rewards Online: If customers have more than one way to redeem rewards, they have more opportunities to spend money at your business. A POS with eCommerce lets customers redeem loyalty points online, thus encouraging purchases on your website (or app), as well as in your physical establishment.
  4. Offer Gift Cards As A Reward: Like loyalty programs, gift cards also encourage customers to return to your business, and to spend more money when they do so. When a gift card program is combined with a loyalty program, the effectiveness of both programs is enhanced.
  5. Incorporate Social Media: Social media marketing can boost awareness of your loyalty program and give customers more opportunities to interact with your loyalty program. Some POS systems even allow customers to purchase right from social media, without even requiring you to set up a dedicated website (e.g., Square, Shopify).

Which POS Loyalty Program Is Right For Your Business?

If loyalty software is built into your POS system, use it! Even the simplest of rewards programs can help your small business increase sales and improve customer relations. If your system does not offer any kind of loyalty functionality, we would strongly recommend switching to one that does.

Jump back to comparison chart

Kymberlin Bush

Kymberlin Bush

Staff Writer
Kymberlin started contributing to Merchant Maverick as a freelancer in 2022 and joined the team as the full-time small business health insurance expert in 2023. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from Pacific University in 2020 and continues to reside in Portland, Oregon.
Kymberlin Bush
View Kymberlin Bush's professional experience on LinkedIn.