Rita’s Water Ice, the nation’s largest Italian Ice chain, has announced plans to test a new re-loadable gift card that also incorporates a loyalty program into one convenient, customer friendly piece. Rita’s new “Cool Card” offers its user the ability to load/re-load the card with stored value and earn loyalty “Cool Points” with every purchase.

In order to collect valuable consumer data, Rita’s is requiring that card users register their card on-line in order to activate their loyalty points earned. Once their “Cool Points” are activated, they will be converted to currency and added to their card balance. For example, 20 “Cool Points” earned will add 20 cents to the “Cool Card” balance.

The test will be launched on Saturday, December 9th in five Rita’s locations in Florida (Clearwater, Jacksonville Beach, Seminole, and Vero Beach) and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Rita’s will continue to offer paper gift certificates and paper based loyalty cards in its other 400 plus locations.

“This is really all about convenience. The average consumer today is carrying less cash and more stored value based plastic,” said Jim Rudolph, ceo of Rita’s Water Ice Franchise Company LLC. “We are looking to capitalize on the increase in gift card purchases and loyalty programs in the last five years. This will enable us to utilize the latest technology to track this promotion effectively and collect valuable consumer data.”

Givex Corporation will power the Cool Card program using their gift/loyalty software in conjunction with the Omni 3750 machine. Givex is a card management company specializing in gift card and loyalty transaction processing for a wide range of industries including retail, hospitality, QSR, grocery, shopping centers, and petroleum. Givex provides merchants with turnkey and custom solutions for tracking and managing gift cards, frequent user cards, e-gift certificates, and loyalty points programs across multiple sales channels.

News, Rita's Italian Ice