The main reason investors buy stocks is to make money. Returns on stocks generally come in two forms: dividends and capital gains. Whether you actually come out on top is dependent on a lot of factors, but for long-term wealth, investing is widely considered the way to go.
For a small group of stocks, though, there are additional hidden benefits offered to shareholders. Although these perks won’t make the difference between a good and bad investment, they still might be worth pursuing if you own stock in these companies, or are considering it.
Click through for hidden stock perks so you can better decide how to invest your money.
1. Carnival Corporation — Onboard Credits
Carnival Corporation & PLC, which offers cruises under brands that include Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises, sells shares with perks. People who own at least 100 shares can receive onboard credit. It’s time to start planning your next cruise.
The Miami company provides an onboard credit of $50 per stateroom for sailings of six days or less; $100 per stateroom for seven- to 13-day sailings and $250 per stateroom for sailings of at least 14 days. Carnival requires that customers make an application for the perks at least three weeks before your departure date.
2. Norwegian Cruise Line — Onboard Credits
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., with 25 ships, also offers shares with perks for its loyal but frugal ship enthusiasts. The Miami company provides people who own at least 100 shares with an onboard credit of $50 per stateroom for trips of six days or less; $100 per stateroom for trips of seven to 14 days and $250 per stateroom for 15-day plus long trips. Norwegian reserves the shareholder benefits for vacation on Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
To register for the perks, you’ll need to complete a form on Norwegian’s investor relations website and make your request at least 15 days prior to sailing. Norwegian requires you include your shareholder proxy card or a copy of your current brokerage statement.
3. Royal Caribbean — Onboard Credits
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., a Miami company with 49 ships, also has shareholder perks fit for cruise ship insiders. The company, whose brands include Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises, provides onboard credit like those provided by Carnival and Norwegian. Its onboard credit consists of $50 per stateroom for trips of five days or less; $100 per stateroom for six- to nine-day sailings; $200 per stateroom for 10- to 13-day trips and $250 per stateroom for sailings of at least 14 days.
Royal Caribbean requires that shareholders make their request for onboard credit three weeks before sail date. The onboard credit can be applied only to Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises sailings.
4. InterContinental Hotels — Booking Discounts
Outside of cruise companies, investors can receive perks from owning shares of InterContinental Hotels Group, a Denham, U.K.-based hotel operator and investor with more than 766,000 rooms in 5,174 hotels in about 100 countries. InterContinental allows the discounts to be applied to room bookings but not to packages or other travel components.
Learn what hotel secrets only insiders know.
5. Kimberly-Clark — Gift Boxes
In 2017, Kimberly-Clark Corp., a Dallas company that manufactures personal care, consumer tissue and professional products, provided shareholders an opportunity to buy a gift box that contained its products and coupons at a discount. The gift box cost $24.49 and had a retail value of $45. Although the 2017 gift box program ended on December 31, 2017, Kimberly-Clark has a message on its website advising shareholders to check back in September 2018 for this year’s box.
6. Willamette Valley Vineyards — Private Events
If you like perks for wine, then buy shares of Willamette Valley Vineyards, a Turner, Ore.-based company. Perks include access to special events at the winery, discounted wine selections via the company’s wine club and use of the winery’s tasting and hospitality facilities for events on select dates.
7. Mad River Glen — Ski Ticket Discounts
Mad River Glen, of Fayston, Vt., offers consumers an opportunity to ski on its slopes. It also provides shareholders with perks that include discounts to ski tickets and services. A share to buy into the ski cooperative costs $2,000 and can be purchased with one payment or 40 monthly payments of $50 and a $150 nonrefundable deposit.
8. Irish Continental Group — Travel Discounts
If you’re traveling through Ireland and Great Britain, you could save money if you are an Irish Continental Group shareholder. The perks provided by the Dublin, Ireland-based transportation and leisure company include discounts of 5, 10 and 20 percent on passenger and ferry car service. To qualify for the discounts, you must own at least 1,000 shares. Learn the best time to book your travel plans.
9. Accor — Shareholders Club
Accor SA, a hotel and management company founded in 1967 with 4,300 hotels in 100 countries, offers its shareholders an opportunity to join a shareholder’s club. Members of the club are entitled to systematic upgrades and a 7 percent discount, among other benefits such as hotel tours. Those who own at least 50 bearer shares and one registered share are eligible for the shareholder benefit.
The French company, which operates 4,283 hotels with 616,000 rooms in North America, trades under the ticker symbol ACRFF.
10. Berkshire Hathaway — Annual Shareholders Meeting
Owners of shares of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. have benefited from the Omaha, Neb.-based conglomerate’s explosive growth. The company’s class-A share is trading at $299,000, up from $430 in 1980.
The annual shareholders meeting is more like a weekend-long conference, with a shareholder shopping day featuring extensive discounts and the opportunity to attend Warren Buffett’s signature address, where he expounds on the company’s performance and any mistakes he has made. Events also include a picnic, steak night, reception and 5K run. Shareholders are entitled to four meeting credentials.
11. Bloomsbury Publishing — Book Discounts
Enthusiastic Harry Potter fans who are also frugal should consider buying shares of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, a London-based company whose stock trades under the symbol BMBYF in the U.S. Investors get to experience benefits even if they own only one share: a 35 percent discount on books published by Bloomsbury.
Bloomsbury, founded in 1986, has subsidiaries in London, New York, Sydney and New Delhi. And the “Harry Potter” series is among the most memorable books published by Bloomsbury.
12. Disney — Collectible Stock Certificates
Although The Walt Disney Company no longer offers discounts on Disney park admissions and merchandise, it does offer something its fans might enjoy beyond dividends. Shareholders have an opportunity to purchase collectible stock certificates for $50. The non-negotiable collectible certificates are designed to commemorate the experience of being a shareholder. Shareholders who choose to gift shares can also purchase one of these to give to the recipient of the gift.
13. ANA — Airfare Discount
When you have an address in Japan and plan to travel in Japan, you could be eligible for travel discounts through ANA Holdings Inc., a Tokyo passenger and cargo travel company. ANA provides a discount of up to 50 percent off on qualifying airfare to shareholders who own at least 100 of its shares.
14. Carlson Rezidor Hotels — Member Loyalty Program
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, an operator and developer of 1,440 hotels throughout the world, offers shares with perks. Its shareholder benefits include immediate access to the Gold Elite level of the Club Carlson loyalty program, which normally involves a certain number of hotel stays to qualify. The Brussels, Belgium, company requires that the investor own at least 200 shares to participate.
15. 3M — Holiday Gift Box
Shareholders of 3M have benefited from the company’s growth and 49 years of providing one of the best dividend stocks. They had also benefited from additional perks. The St. Paul, Minn., company offers a holiday gift box each year during the holiday season. The 2017 holiday box, sold at a discount to retail value, contained 18 3M products, according to Seeking Alpha.
16. Marks & Spencer — Vouchers
Marks & Spencer PLC, a London retailer, sells shares with perks. Its shares can be purchased on the London stock exchange. Marks & Spencer provides vouchers that provide up to a 10 percent discount on its merchandise that can be purchased at marksandspencer.com.
17. Lenovo Group — Discounts on Product Line
Lenovo Group Ltd., of Quarry Bay, Hong Kong, which purchased IBM’s personal computer group in 2004, offers discounts to shareholders. Investors are entitled to discounts on its entire product line, including award-winning ThinkPad laptops.
18. Online Vacation Center — Booking Discounts
Online Vacation Center Holdings Corp., a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., provider of vacation services, offers a 5 percent discount on bookings to people who own at least 500 shares. The 45-year-old company is one of the country’s largest cruise retailers. Its partners include Viking Cruises and Celebrity Cruises.
19. Lindt — Free Chocolate
The Kilchberg, Switzerland, chocolate maker Lindt & Sprungli AG has some sweet shareholder perks. It provides a gift box to shareholders who vote during its annual meeting. Unfortunately, the company holds its annual meeting in Switzerland and does not mail the gift boxes. As an alternative, you can find Lindt chocolate at a nearby store and treat yourself.
20. Crimson Wine Group — Discount on Select Wines
Crimson Wine Group Ltd. of Napa, Calif., offers shareholders a 20 percent discount on select wines. Its shareholder perks also include two complimentary wine tastings at any of its tasting rooms. The $216.5 million company operates eight wineries in California, Oregon and Washington.
21. LVMH — Access to Special Wine Selection
LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, the Paris-based maker of luxury goods, including clothing, jewelry and wine and spirits, has shares with perks. It operates what it calls the LVMH Shareholders’ Club, which offers its members perks that include access to a special selection of wine, as well as a magazine. One can join the club by submitting an application online or through the mail.
Click to read more about how much $1,000 invested in these stocks 10 years ago is worth today.
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Michael McDonald contributed to the reporting for this article.
Photos are for illustrative purposes only. As a result, some of the photos might not reflect the items listed in this article.
About the Author
Joshua Mrozinski, an Allentown, Pa. area resident, specializes in writing about the capital markets, commercial and residential property transactions, finance and accounting. During his career, which has spanned nearly two decades, numerous organizations and publications have showcased his work, including the Pocono Record, Virginian Pilot, A10Capital, Massey Knakal Realty Services, Talmage LLC, redorbit.com, the Hollywood Liberian, Trevian Capital, Pantzer Properties and Silverpeak Real Estate Partners.