What are members' thoughts on the "no dividend but you get a 10% discount" for 2020?

I appreciate it. After last year and no profits, they’re trying to do the right thing.

And, truth be told, I was planning on using it toward gear anyway.

“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.” (John Muir)

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

I'm fine with their decision in these exceptional times.  I've been a member for the last 58 years and this is the first time without the usual dividend. I believe there was one year when the dividend rate was reduced to 8 per cent

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Maybe I'm not understanding how this works and I'm not pissed about it really, it just seems a little bit like smoke and mirrors.  Here's my math:

I will have to spend more money to access the dividend.  

Say I have a $200 dividend.  Using the 10% discount offered, I have to spend $2000 (on full price items) to access the full dividend value.  If the normal rules apply, I won't get future dividends on those $2000 of purchases because we don't receive dividends on discounted items or items purchased using dividends.  I'm not quibbling with that policy, to do otherwise would be double-dipping.  But, using this example, I'm losing $1800 dollars of purchases that would normally accrue dividends for the 2021 year in order to recover $200 of dividends I've already earned from 2020.   Normally I would buy $250 of stuff, use the $200 dividend and only lose future dividends on the remaining $50.  

I fully understand that dividends are tied to profit, again, not quibbling about that.  This solution, however, feels like REI is trying to stimulate sales for recovery and then extending that recovery - at the members' loss - into 2021 by limiting dividends on current eligible purchases.  

It would have been better to simply acknowledge the crappy year we all had and say 'no dividends'.

Am I off base here?  



Thank you for reaching out with your questions!

We wanted to provide some clarification on the Member Reward for this year. Your member reward is based on your full-price purchases from last year, just like a dividend would have been. Your member reward is added to any remaining dividend you may have from 2019 and any REI Co-op World Elite Mastercard rewards (if you are an REI Mastercard holder) creating your total REI Rewards for 2020. 

Your member reward is based on your full-priced purchases from last year. It is not a 10% discount on your future purchases in 2021. It is the equivalent amount that your regular dividend would have been for your purchases in 2020. 

So, if you would have received a $200 dividend last year based on your purchases, then you will receive a $200 member reward this year. You can shop at REI with your REI rewards as soon as you receive notice of them in the mail.

You can find more information about the Co-op Member Reward in the FAQs on our Membership Benefits page. Hopefully we understood your post correctly and helped clarify a little bit, don't hesitate to reach out with other questions!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.


Thanks for trying to clarify, but now I'm really confused.  From Vivienne Long's 2/25 email (emphasis added):

.."Even though we didn’t make a profit last year, you’ll receive a member reward equivalent to what your dividend would have been: 10% back on your eligible full-price purchases in 2020.  This will feel a lot like the dividend experience you’re used to, and you’ll see your total reward in your account on March 1"..  In addition, a reply to an equiry under "Ask an employee" said ..."That is why the member reward we are giving to our members is the equivalent amount your dividend would have been".

I apologize for being so dense, but both these statements seem to say that dividends are not being paid out as usual.  In the past, I've had a dividend that I could apply to a purchase in one lump sum if I so chose.  Please define "equivalent amount your dividend would have been".  How do I redeem my 'equivalent amount'.    

The linked page just has the standard membership information it has always had.






You're welcome for the response, I apologize I didn't clear it up for you!

You will be able to spend your member reward in our stores, online at REI.com or REI Outlet, booking a trip with REI adventure travel, or on the REI mobile app. The main differences between your previous dividends and your member reward is that the member reward expires at the end of this year and cannot be cashed out (except as required by law).

If we use the example from above: Let's say you would have received a $200 dividend on your full price purchases in 2020. Instead of receiving $200 as a dividend this year, you instead are receiving a member reward for $200. Again, you are able to spend that money (in a 'lump sum', as you stated) in an REI store, on REI.com, REI Outlet, REI adventure travel, or on the REI app. Your member reward will expire at the end of the year (December 31, 2021).

You will receive notice of your member reward in the mail in March. When they become available, you can also look them up with our membership look up tool. I also apologize, I should have been clearer about where the information about the member reward is located on the membership benefits page: there is a Membership FAQ section at the bottom that contains the information I was referring to.

Hopefully this helps, thanks!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

'Morning John,

OK, got it. It' s the difference between 'reward' and 'dividend', so it's a bookkeeping thing.  Rewards expire sooner, probably come out of a different pool of funds and keep the balance sheet in order.

Vivvienne's letter could have been worded much more clearly, something on the order of "instead of dividends you will receive a reward, the difference being...." instead of all that waffly language about it "will feel a lot like" and be "equivalent to".  

FYI, I'm not alone in this.  I'm just one of those who asks questions rather than fumes about it to their social media bubble.   I don't use twiddle and farcebook, but quite a few of my acquaintances who do, are expressing displeasure on their social media feeds. 

Thanks for finally 'splaining it to me,

Kayaker Bee