What should a frequent traveler consider when enrolling in a hotel’s loyalty program?

When enrolling in a loyalty program, whether its hotels, airlines or retail, the member should consider what fits their needs the best. For hotels, locations, rewards and service should be considered.  First, location. Only IHG has more than 4,600 hotels worldwide with brands for every occasion – family vacation, business trip, seamless in-and-out quick stay, weekend escape, or long-term stay. We even offer Reward Nights at our competitors’ hotels. Our points never expire.  And, our award-winning team of 24/7 customer service is always available to our members. 

What about people who travel only a handful of times each year? Is it worth enrolling in a loyalty program?

Absolutely. Unlike most of our competitors, IHG never expires points – that means the points they earn every week or once a year will always be there – ready whenever the member wants to redeem them. From Reward Nights at hotels (this includes redeeming points to stay with our competitors through our industry-leading “Hotels Anywhere” program) to music downloads and gift cards there are rewards available at a range of points so that members can redeem for an immediate reward or one that they aspire.

"There will be an increasing focus on the development of technology that facilitates more flexibility for the member to enhance their stay or redeem for rewards, especially through mobile or tablet devices."

What about people who travel only a handful of times each year? Is it worth enrolling in a loyalty program?

Absolutely. Unlike most of our competitors, IHG never expires points – that means the points they earn every week or once a year will always be there – ready whenever the member wants to redeem them. From Reward Nights at hotels (this includes redeeming points to stay with our competitors through our industry-leading “Hotels Anywhere” program) to music downloads and gift cards there are rewards available at a range of points so that members can redeem for an immediate reward or one that they aspire.

What would you tell those who book their travel through the discounted travel search engines?

While most Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) are Certified Partners of IHG, the rooms booked on OTAs do not reward members with points.  By booking direct at ihg.com guests can earn points and get the most competitive rates.

What is the best reward you’ve provided one of your members?

With our Industry-leading Concierge Rewards Program, members can ask about redeeming points for anything they wish. Our team of specialists will locate the item and can advise how many points the member needs to redeem for that item. For example, one member was planning to vacation in Key West. Through our Concierge Rewards Program, the member redeemed his points toward a Jet Ski Island Tour for two people to use during the trip. While another member’s dream was to own a woodworking shop. With the use of his points, he redeemed for woodworking tools including a Table Saw, Planer, Jointer, Shaper and a Lathe.

What’s next for the hotel industry when it comes to loyalty and rewards?

Look for three trends in the coming year from hotel loyalty programs.  First, there will be an increasing focus on the development of technology that facilitates more flexibility for the member to enhance their stay or redeem for rewards, especially through mobile or tablet devices.  Second, expect to see an ever-expanding utilization of transactional data to offer more personalized promotions, customer service and rewards that fit members' stay patterns and personal needs. Third, there will be a continued effort by all loyalty programs to leverage social media networks, both to understand their own members' concerns and experiences, as well as to surface emerging trends and opportunities.