Nearly a third of Canadians say they feel overwhelmed by the number of loyalty programs at their disposal as rewards plans continue to grow more popular.

A new report by COLLOQUY shows Canadian consumers hold 175 million memberships in customer loyalty programs, 45 million more than two years ago. The report, which combined audits of various programs with survey research, also found 32 per cent of Canadians feel swamped by the amount of programs currently available.

Fifty-one per cent of the memberships were in retail, the most out of any of the loyalty sectors. Financial services had the second-most at 19 per cent. Almost half (46 per cent) of Canadians surveyed said loyalty programs are nothing more than marketing schemes.

A previous study by Bond Brand Loyalty found consumers are usually members of more than a dozen of such programs, but only actively engage with six out of 10 of them.

Investors are taking a closer look at loyalty programs since Air Canada announced it was parting with Aimia’s Aeroplan, to replace it with its own rewards plan in 2020. Aimia (AIM.TO) shares have lost more than three-quarters of its value since the announcement on May 10.