Battle Over Travel Rewards as Delta and Others Rethink Loyalty Programs

Ennismore, the hotelier whose portfolio includes boutique brands such as Delano and Mondrian, offers a membership program more akin to a WeWork than a hotel brand. The chain’s Dis-Loyalty program offers no elite status tiers and no points to earn. Instead, for $18 per month (or $216 annually), guests receive 50 percent off stays at newly opened hotels and discounts on food and beverage.

In announcing the program last July, the founder and chief executive, Sharan Pasricha, said the program aimed to “break the traditional loyalty model” by inviting members to explore the company’s various brands rather than rewarding them for stays.

Other travel brands, like Expedia, the online travel agency, are also throwing their hat in the loyalty ring. Expedia recently began a rewards program, One Key, where members can save up to 30 percent on bundled flight and hotel bookings. Additionally, members earn 2 percent in OneKeyCash for every dollar spent on hotels, vacation rentals and more, and 0.2 percent in OneKeyCash on flights. You earn one point for each dollar spent, but you can earn across programs, particularly if you’re booking flights, a process known among frequent fliers and road warriors as double or triple dipping. If you book through One Key, you get that program’s points, plus points on your credit card loyalty program and, if you’re a member of the airline’s frequent flier program, those points as well.

However, there are some limitations. OneKeyCash can be used only on “pay now” hotel reservations and vacation rentals participating in the program. You’ll also need to have enough OneKeyCash in your account to cover the full cost of a flight — including taxes and fees — to book using One Key points. And as is generally the case when booking through O.T.A.s, you won’t receive the usual perks at a hotel, like upgrades or a welcome amenity, when not booking directly.

Among the newer players is Bilt, which aims to disrupt the existing market by appealing to renters, who make up roughly 36 percent of American households, according to data from the Pew Research Center.

Sumber: www.nytimes.com

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