Owning shares of stock in a company makes you an owner of that company.
For most companies, that simply means sharing in dividends and hoping that the stock price goes up over time.
However, some companies treat their shareholders like real owners - giving them discounts and rewards on products and services, just like their employees would get.
Here's a list of companies that currently offer shareholders perks, discounts, and rewards for being an owner.
Companies That Give Shareholders Perks And Rewards
Remember, these should be reasons alone to buy the stock, you need to do your fundamental research before buying a stock. But these are nice shareholder perks if you own these companies.
3M Company offers some of its shareholders gift boxes. In years past, these boxes have included nearly 20 different 3M products and are sold to shareholders at a fraction of what they'd normally cost if purchased individually at retail prices.
Unfortunately, you can't just request one of these gift boxes. They're only offered to certain shareholders who are sent a brochure along with a promo code that can be entered here.
The good news is that sometimes invitees will share their promo code online. So even if you didn't receive a gift brochure yourself, you may be able to do a find a valid code with just a little googling. Good luck!
Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B)
Berkshire Hathaway is Warren Buffett's company, and his key investment vehicle in acquiring various companies - roughly 60 companies at the time of this writing. And as a Berkshire Hathaway shareholder, you can get discounts at many of their various holdings.
Also, Berkshire Hathaway shareholders can also get a ton of discounts, freebies, and special purchases at the annual shareholders' meeting in Omaha each year. Some popular discounts include Sees Candy, furniture from Nebraska Furniture Mart, and special items that can only be purchases at the convention.
Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL)
Carnival Cruise Lines maintains shareholder perks and rewards for all of it's subsidiary companies. Shareholders can get an onboard credit per stateroom based on how long they sail.
For example, for 2021, you can get the following on-board credits:
- $250 onboard credit per stateroom on sailings of 14 days or longer.
- $100 onboard credit per stateroom on sailings of 7 to 13 days.
- $50 onboard credit per stateroom on sailings of 6 days or less
The benefit is applicable on sailings through July 31, 2022 and available to shareholders holding a minimum of 100 shares of Carnival Corporation or Carnival plc.
You can learn more about these shareholder perks here.
Churchill Downs (CHDN)
Unfortunately, this program was discontinued on March 1, 2017.
Ford has always been known to reward it's shareholders with a discount, but if you search their website, there is nothing to be found. So I reached out to their Investors Relations Department, and here's what they said.
As a special "Thank You" to Ford Motor Company shareholders, the Investor Relations Department offers the opportunity to participate in the "Friends & Neighbors" Special Vehicle Pricing Privilege (also known as the X-Plan). In order to qualify, you:
- Must be a current shareholder of Ford Motor Company common stock (Ticker: F).
- Must own a minimum of one hundred (100) shares of Ford Motor Company common stock (Ticker: F).
- Need to have held the minimum number of shares of Ford Motor Company common stock for the past 6 months or longer.
If you meet all of the above criteria, you are more than welcome to contact Investor Relations via phone at: 1-800-555-5259; or email email@example.com for further information about available vehicle discounts for shareholders. You can also read more here.
Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG)
The Intercontinental Hotels Group offers shareholders discounts at their hotels if they book through a private website. For further details please contact the Company Secretariat department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note that you must hold your shares in certified form, in your sole name, with the Company’s Registrar.
Intercontinental Hotels includes the brands: Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites, and Hotel Indigo.
International Business Machines (IBM)
IBM used to offer shareholder discounts at its online Lenovo store. Unfortunately, this program is no longer available.
Kimberly-Clark used to offer gift boxes to shareholders similar to 3M's investor gift boxes. However, it appears that this perk is no longer available. K-C does still sell gift boxes here, but eligibility to buy them isn't restricted to shareholders.
Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL)
Norwegian Cruise Lines provides similar benefits to the other cruise lines when it comes to rewarding their shareholders.
Norwegian Cruise Lines is offering the following on-board credits:
- $250 Onboard Credit per Stateroom on Sailings of 15 Days or More.
- $100 Onboard Credit per Stateroom on Sailings of 7 to 14 Days.
- $50 Onboard Credit per Stateroom on Sailings of 6 Days or Less.
Norwegian owns the following brands that this can be applied to: Norwegian Cruise Lines, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
Learn more about the shareholder perks here.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCL)
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines offers similar benefits as the other cruise lines. For 2021, you can get the following on-board credits:
- $250 Onboard Credit per Stateroom on Sailings of 14 or more nights
- $100 Onboard Credit per Stateroom on Sailings of 6 to 13 nights
- $50 Onboard Credit per Stateroom on Sailings of 5 nights or less
- Applicable on any eligible Royal Caribbean International or Celebrity Cruises voyage.
These perks apply to Royal Caribbean International or Celebrity Cruises voyage. Excludes any charter or Galapagos sailings. You can learn more about these benefits here.
Royal Caribbean owns the following brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Azamara Club Cruises.
Walt Disney Company (DIS)
At one time, Disney would offer its shareholders discounts on amusement park tickets, resort bookings, and more. But these promotions have been discontinued.
Disney does allow shareholders to order collectible stock certificates. But the company no longer offers any tangible investors benefits.
Willamette Valley Vineyards (WVVI)
Willamette Valley Vineyards is a small publicly-traded company that owns several vineyards in Oregon. It offers shareholders several perks (really catered to wine lovers) including:
- 25% discount on wine purchases
- Monthly complimentary wine tastings
- Invitations to owners-only experiences
WVVI also provides an excellent share purchase program. The current stock price is $8.00 but the company is providing shares at a discount.
From its website: You may purchase shares at $5.15 per share, offering an annual 4.27% dividend or wine credit with 15% more value, if your application and subscription agreement is received or postmarked by December 31, 2021, and accepted.
You can learn more about these shareholder perks here.
Over the past few years, several companies have stopped offering shareholder perks and rewards. And that's a direct result of how investing habits have changed.
For one, passive investing in funds (mutual funds and ETFs) has grown massively. So it's become less common for long-term investors to own individual stocks. Yes, more traders are buying and selling stocks than ever before. But these individuals often aren't the least concerned about the fundamentals of the companies they trade and have no intention of remaining investors over the long haul.
The reality is that the vast majority of a company's shareholders today are either short-term traders or long-term investors that are invested via a basket of securities. And many mutual fund and ETF investors aren't even fully aware of all the underlying stocks that the fund invests in.
Finally, the advent of fractional share investing means that it's now possible to own tiny percentages of a company's shares. While you definitely need to be a true believer to buy a full share of Amazon stock (since AMZN is currently trading for over $3,500), you may be able to invest as little as $1 to $5 in the company through fractional shares. In light of all of these changes, many companies have felt that offering shareholder perks is simply outdated.
Still, a few shareholder rewards programs do remain. So if you're enough of a believer in one of the companies listed above that you'd be willing to buy-and-hold individual shares of their stock, be sure to take advantage of these extra perks while they're still here!
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared toward anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.