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Kum & Go Expands Rewards With Upside

C-store chain to offer in-store promotions to new users
Kum & Go highway sign
Photograph: Shutterstock

Kum & Go will offer Upside users cash-back promotions at its convenience stores, the Des Moines, Iowa-based company said.

The announcement follows the c-store chain’s Aug. 1 relaunch of its &Rewards loyalty program, which offers members more choice in rewards. With the new program, members can convert points to &Rewards Cash that can be used in stores or at the pump, said Taylor Boland, Kum & Go’s director of communications.

But Kum & Go’s expanded participation with Upside is separate from its own loyalty program expansion, Boland said. “Our relationship/participation with Upside was unrelated to the launch of our new app loyalty platform,” she said.

Upside app users will have a similar choice of rewards at Kum & Go, effective Aug. 8. “We’ve seen incredible customer growth and retention through our fuel cash back partnership with Upside,” said Kristin Jarabek, vice president of category management at Kum & Go. “The addition of convenience-store cash-back offerings through Upside is an extension of the added-value we aim to provide our customers across Kum & Go locations.”

  • Kum & Go is No. 22 on CSP’s 2023 Top 202 ranking of U.S. convenience-store chains by size.

The c-store chain sees growth potential from its participation with Upside. “As we continually look at ways to retain and grow our customer base, we’re excited to evolve our partnership with Upside to encourage customers to shop inside our convenience stores in addition to filling up their gas tanks outside,” Jarabek said.

Washington, D.C.-based Upside strives to bring new customers to convenience stores and fuel stations through its app offering consumers purchasing power.

The retail-tech company draws exclusivity zones around participating stations that prevent competing fuel stations from joining Upside, a spokesperson said. When customers open the app, they see the participating station, but they might not be shown all of the others in the area. This approach gives participating retailers a better shot at drawing traffic to their sites, but it also blocks consumers from seeing nonparticipating fuel stations and convenience locations. 

The platform is so popular with retailers in some areas, Upside said, it uses a waitlist system for adding partners at more than 40% of its markets, which are at capacity.

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