As an REI member, one of the key benefits you receive is an annual dividend based on your eligible purchases for that year. The REI dividend allows members to get money back on purchases and is one of the perks that makes REI a go-to retailer for many outdoor enthusiasts. Knowing your dividend balance and when you can expect your dividend payment is important. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about checking your REI dividend balance.
What is the REI dividend?
The REI dividend program returns 10% of eligible purchases from the previous year to REI members in the form of an annual dividend. Purchases made with your REI membership are logged and tracked. Then, once a year, you receive your dividend based on those eligible purchases.
The REI dividend is essentially a delayed discount that allows you to get money back on the gear and apparel you bought throughout the year. Dividends are typically distributed in early spring, around March. Your dividend can be redeemed for cash through PayPal, Venmo or mailed check, or you can opt to have your dividend applied as credit to new REI purchases.
Who is eligible for the REI dividend?
To qualify for the REI dividend and dividend payments, you must:
– Be an REI member – There is a $30 lifetime fee to become an REI member. Membership includes access to special offers, a subscription to REI Co-Op magazine, and the ability to earn and redeem dividends.
– Make purchases of eligible products – Most full-price REI brand gear and apparel qualifies toward the dividend when purchased with your membership. Some exclusions apply like bikes, gift cards, REI rentals and adventures, and sale/outlet items.
– Be a member for the full calendar year – To earn a dividend for a year, your membership must be active from January 1 to December 31 of that year. Dividends are based only on purchases made during the calendar year in which you were a member.
As long as you meet those requirements, you’ll automatically qualify to receive an REI dividend based on your qualifying purchases from the previous year.
How is the REI dividend calculated?
The REI dividend payment is calculated as 10% of your eligible purchases from the prior calendar year. Each qualifying purchase with your membership gets logged to your account. Then REI tallies up all those purchases, takes 10% of that total, and issues that amount as your dividend.
For example, if you made $2,500 in eligible purchases with your REI membership in 2022, your 2022 dividend would be around $250 (10% of $2,500).
REI does not provide an itemized breakdown of which specific purchases contributed to your dividend. The dividend is based on the total eligible purchases for the year. However, you can estimate your dividend amount by totaling up your major REI purchases from the previous year.
When do REI dividends get issued?
REI dividends are paid out annually, around early to mid March. The specific dividend payment date varies slightly each year but typically occurs in March.
For example, the 2022 REI dividend was announced on February 17, 2022 and paid out on March 7, 2022. Members had from March 7 – May 31, 2022 to redeem their 2022 dividend.
So you can expect to receive your REI dividend for purchases made in one year around March of the following year. Dividends must be redeemed within a 2-3 month redemption period or they expire.
How can I check my REI dividend balance?
There are a couple ways to check on your pending REI dividend amount leading up to the annual distribution:
Log in to your REI.com account and go to your account dashboard. Under membership details, select ‘Dividend Balance’. This will show your total dividend earned for the most recent year.
Once dividends for the current year have been calculated, your balance will update to reflect your 2022 dividend amount in early February 2023. Check back frequently in January – March to see your 2022 balance.
Use the mobile app
Download the REI mobile app for iPhone or Android and log in to your account. Go to the ‘Membership’ section and select ‘Dividend Balance’. This will display your available dividend amount for the most recent year.
As with the website, your balance for 2022 purchases will display sometime in early February 2023, so check frequently for your updated amount.
Call customer service
You can call 1-800-426-4840 to speak with an REI customer service representative who can provide information about your current dividend balance. Have your REI membership number ready when you call.
This can be helpful if you want to speak with someone directly to confirm your balance or ask other dividend-related questions.
Wait for dividend announcement
In mid-late February each year, REI announces the dividend for the previous year and notifies members. This includes an email with your dividend amount and redemption details, and a printed notification mailed to you.
Around this time is when your dividend balance will become viewable online and on the mobile app as well. So the dividend announcement is the definitive way to learn your official dividend total for the year.
What purchase information does the dividend balance include?
The REI dividend balance shown online or on the app displays your total dividend earned for the most recent year. It does not provide an itemized breakdown of which specific purchases contributed to that amount.
REI tallies up all your eligible purchases for the year, calculates 10% of that total, and issues that full amount as your dividend. So the balance just shows your total dividend, not each individual transaction that went into calculating it.
You can estimate which purchases counted toward your dividend by totaling up your major REI buys from the previous year like jackets, hiking boots, camping equipment, etc. But the dividend calculation process simply looks at overall eligible purchase amounts for the year.
When does the dividend balance typically update?
Your dividend balance for the most recent year will become viewable online and on the REI app in early-mid February. REI needs time to tabulate all purchases from the entire previous year for members before your 2022 dividend amount can be calculated and displayed.
Some common dividend balance update timelines include:
|Dividend Balance Updated
|Early February 2023
|February 3, 2022
|February 6, 2021
So you can expect your 2022 dividend balance to populate sometime in the first few weeks of February 2023. Keep an eye on your account dashboard around that timeframe.
Why can’t I see my dividend balance yet?
If you try checking your dividend balance in January or earlier and see a $0 balance, don’t worry – that does not mean you’re not getting a 2022 dividend. REI just hasn’t calculated and released dividend amounts for 2022 purchases yet.
Your 2022 dividend balance will remain at $0 until early-mid February 2023. REI needs time to process all 2022 purchases and run dividend calculations after the year closes. Keep watching your account dashboard in early February for your 2022 balance.
Some reasons you may see a $0 dividend balance before balances have been updated:
– Trying to check too early – Give REI time to tabulate all 2022 purchases. Check back in early February.
– Recently opened membership – Dividends are based on full calendar year purchases. If you opened your membership partway through 2022, you may not have enough eligible purchases to qualify for a dividend.
– Inactive membership – Your membership must have been active all year to earn a dividend for purchases made in that year. Reactivate your membership by calling customer service.
– Expired dividends – Dividends expire if not redeemed so your balance may reset to $0 after missing the redemption window for a previous year.
As long as your membership was active for all of 2022, keep an eye out in early February 2023 for your updated 2022 dividend balance.
What if my dividend balance seems lower than expected?
If your REI dividend balance ends up lower than you anticipated based on your estimated eligible purchases for the year, here are some potential reasons:
– Ineligible purchases – Keep in mind that not all REI purchases count toward the dividend. Exclusions like gift cards, sale/outlet items, bikes, REI adventures and rentals, and third party partner products do not qualify. Carefully review which purchases are eligible.
– Smaller purchases – Small purchases like water bottles or hats add up slowly. Big ticket items like tents, backpacks, and outerwear make more of an impact. Do the math on your largest eligible REI buys.
– Order cancellations – Any cancelled or returned orders are deducted from your dividend calculation. Changed plans or returns can lower your balance.
– Missing exclusions – It’s easy to forget certain items were on sale or branded as outlet purchases when tallying up your year. Review exclusions closely.
– Shortened membership – You need a full year of active membership for dividend eligibility. Part year purchases are excluded.
Take a close look at REI’s dividend criteria and exclusions before contacting customer service about a lower than expected balance. Your purchase activity for the year likely explains any discrepancy.
Can I see which specific purchases contributed to my dividend?
Unfortunately, REI does not provide members with an itemized breakdown of which individual purchases went toward calculating their dividend.
The dividend balance simply shows your total dividend amount earned for the year based on overall eligible purchase totals. REI does not specify which particular items contributed to that amount.
The best way to estimate which purchases counted toward your dividend is to total up your major eligible REI buys like tents, packs, apparel, footwear, camping gear, etc. But the exact transaction details are not included in the dividend balance or issuance details.
How long do I have to redeem my dividend?
Once issued, REI dividends must be redeemed within a set redemption period or they expire:
– 2022 dividend: Issued March 2023, expires May 2023
– 2021 dividend: Issued March 2022, expired May 2022
So you typically have 2-3 months to redeem your dividend after it’s been distributed in March. Dividends can be redeemed for cash via PayPal, check or Venmo, or as store credit with REI.
If you do not redeem your dividend by the May expiration date, the dividend will be forfeited. So be sure to redeem within the redemption window to get your dividend money. Expired dividends cannot be reissued.
Can I redeem my dividend for cash?
Yes, REI gives members different options for redeeming their annual dividend, including redeeming for cash.
To redeem your dividend for cash, you can choose:
– PayPal: Transfers dividend to linked PayPal account
– Physical check: Mailed check with dividend amount
– Venmo: Transfers dividend to linked Venmo account
REI will direct deposit the dividend amount through these methods. PayPal and Venmo transfers occur quicker than waiting for a physical check.
You can also opt to have your dividend applied as store credit to REI for use on a future purchase. But if you want the cash, PayPal, Venmo or check are your redemption options.
How is the 2022 dividend different?
REI made some exciting changes to the 2022 dividend to offer increased flexibility and opportunities to give back:
Bigger dividend amount
REI increased the 2022 dividend rate to 10% back on eligible purchases, up from the normal 5-8% rate. This means 2022 dividend payments were nearly double the typical dividend amount.
One-time use options
For the 2022 dividend only, members had the ability to direct some or all of their dividend to featured nonprofit partners like the Access Fund and National Forest Foundation. This allowed giving back through your dividend.
Members could also opt to donate part of their 2022 dividend toward supporting REI employees. These one-time options offered unique ways to pay the dividend forward.
Bumped up timeline
REI also issued 2022 dividend payments earlier than the normal March timeline. 2022 dividends were announced February 17, 2022 and available for redemption starting February 25, 2022.
So for the 2022 dividend only, members received payment quicker and had more redemption flexibility with increased rates and donation options.
Checking your REI dividend balance is easy and allows you to track your anticipated dividend payment for the previous year’s purchases. With some planning, you can maximize your eligible purchases and take full advantage of this great REI member benefit.
Monitor your account dashboard closely in early February for the 2022 dividend balance update. And be sure to redeem your dividend by the expiration window in May to get the most out of your REI membership.