Although investing in the stock market isn’t just an endless cycle of stressful ups and downs, it feels that way at times. As market turbulence rages on, investors may be surprised to know that there are upsides hiding in plain sight: many companies give free perks and amenities to their stockholders.
Why do certain companies give away perks as part of stock ownership? “Shareholder perks are a way to connect with a public company’s most loyal audience – their owners,” says Jeff Lambert, founder and CEO of TiiCKER, the premiere shareholder loyalty platform, and a 25-year veteran of investor relations and marketing.
“All investors are consumers, and these same shoppers are potential shareholders, so companies are waking up to the idea that they can use rewards and perks to celebrate their existing investors and also attract new investors to their stock.”
It’s All About Loyalty
Shareholder loyalty is also in demand. According to a 2020 Harris Poll commissioned by TiiCKER, “77% of individual investors would be more likely to buy shares of a publicly-traded company if they were offered a shareholder perk or product discount, and 82% of investors would be likely to buy shares of stock of a company if they are a brand, product or retailer they love.”
From cruise line companies to computer manufacturers to automakers, valuable free stock benefits are here for the taking. Here are the stocks that give the best free perks:
Investing in certain travel stocks ravaged by the pandemic is an intriguing buy-low opportunity made even better by the perks that come with them. The biggest cruise lines in the industry offer onboard credits once you reach a particular threshold of ownership.
Carnival, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean – the three largest cruise entities combining for an 85% market share according to a 2021 report by Statista – offer stateroom credits starting at $50 as long as you own at least 100 shares of their respective stock. These credits increase in value – up to $250 – starting with sailings of 7 days in length or more.
With cruise bookings twice as strong in 2022 as they were last year, according to AAA Travel, now may be the perfect time to be a stockholder in these companies and benefit from these stateroom credits before summertime availability dries up.
Some of the biggest hotel conglomerates in the world also extend discount perks to their shareholders, helping out anybody determined to travel this summer despite rising prices.
InterContinental Hotel Group, which operates chains such as Kimpton, InterContinental, and Crown Plaza, offers a generous 15% discount for stays for stockholders. And unlike the cruise lines, this 15% discount can be unlocked by owning just one share of IHG. Not a bad perk for a stock currently holding steady at approximately $60.
Carlson Rezidor, which operates Radisson and other hotel brands, offers a unique shareholder perk. Owning 200 shares of RADH unlocks access to Gold Elite status of Club Carlson’s loyalty program, which comes with its own perks, ranging from complimentary room upgrades, in-room welcome gifts, and more.
Yes, you can add Disney to this list! Although Disney doesn’t offer discounts to their theme parks or hotels to their stockholders, they have a very Disney-appropriate perk: a collectible stock certificate.
In Disney’s own words, they “decided to offer a Collectible non-negotiable certificate that best represents the experience of being a Disney Investor. Many of our Investors also enjoy giving the gift of Disney shares, and this Collectible certificate can help commemorate such gifts.”
The certificates themselves are colorful and feature the stockholder’s name next to illustrations of many popular Disney characters. In fact, these stock certificates have become so popular that many websites exist solely selling replica stock certificates to give as gifts. Fortunately, to own the real thing is a perk that only comes with being a Disney shareholder.
Not only has 3M increased the annual dividend paid out to its investors every year for the past 64 years, one of its best perks is its yearly holiday gift box made available to its shareholders. Offered at a discount from the retail price, the gift box features all the goodies a household could need, such as a variety of Post-It notes, 3M, drywall hangers, Scotch brand tape dispensers, and more.
If you’re in the market for some new tech gadgets and own IBM stock, you’re in luck. Shareholders have access to a special retail portal that features discounts on many products under IBM’s umbrella, such as Lenovo laptops and accessories.
Owning a minimum of 100 shares of Ford for at least six months grants car buyers one of the best perks currently available: the ability to buy a new vehicle using the company’s Friends & Neighbors discount, better known as X-Plan Pricing. Recently, Wealth of Geeks took a deep dive into this amazing perk, explaining exactly how it works.
Stock Perks Have Value in Any Market Situation
Buying any of these stocks is recommended even in today’s turbulent market, as Lambert explains: “Shareholder perks are another form of total return, like a cash dividend, and can deliver value to investors in a bull or bear market. Companies offer product discounts to shareholders that become an extra incentive for investors to buy and hold the stock and an exclusive benefit for being a loyal shareholder.”
For many, being an investor in a company is more than just enjoying stock ownership – it’s a fan of the company. Launched in 2020, TiiCKER believes investors should be rewarded for their loyalty and has a simple vision: “to reward individual investors with discounts, deals, and gifts from the companies they own and convert brand champions into shareholders.”
For individual investors who love purchasing shares of companies that they truly believe in, TiiCKER has come along at exactly the right time.
“Before TiiCKER, there was no place for investors to discover perks from the brands they love,” says Lambert. “Now, by simply connecting any brokerage account to TiiCKER’s web platform or apps, investors find exclusive access to discounts and rewards, and companies can securely connect with their investors and ensure the perks are for verified shareholders only.”
So what are you waiting for? Go get yourself some free perks!
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This article was produced and syndicated on Wealth of Geeks.
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