Traveling sets your soul on fire and enhances the happiness in your life. All travelers abide by this and never miss an opportunity to explore the world and gather new experiences. Capitalizing on this deep-rooted feeling for travel, companies in the travel and hospitality industry have embedded very strategic yet profitable loyalty rewards programs that go beyond just rewarding points for stays or journeys. Taking it a notch further, these programs engage travelers at multiple dimensions and offer perks that are both monetary and non-monetary in nature. Gamifying it further, brands offer incremental benefits at different tiers, making the programs aspirational and truly intriguing. In this blog, we cover the best travel & hospitality loyalty rewards programs.
Marriott Loyalty Program
Marriott International, Inc. is an American multinational company that operates, franchises, and licenses lodging including hotel, residential, and timeshare properties. It is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland. Marriott offers the most powerful portfolio in the industry – 30 brands and 7,000+ properties across 131 countries and territories; giving people more ways to connect, experience and expand their world.
Marriott’s loyalty program has been carefully constructed and it one of the most admired programs in the industry today. Before we deep-dive into the loyalty rewards program, let’s take a moment to revere at their explainer page! It clearly articulates the tiers, associated benefits, rewards etc. making the program truly exciting and intriguing. Marriott Bonvoy program is a classic example of a hotels loyalty program that has augmented loyalty with
tier-based rewards. Marriott Bonvoy has gamified their hotel customer loyalty program to offer travelers a prestigious status along with thrilling perks at every tier.
Marriott offers six types of tiers:
- Member status (automatically enrolled, stay 0-9 nights/year)
- Silver Elite (stay 10 nights/year)
- Gold Elite (stay 25 nights/year)
- Platinum Elite (stay 50 nights/year)
- Titanium Elite (stay 75 nights/year)
- Ambassador Elite (Stay 100 nights/year + certain amount in dollars)
The basic amenities include free in-room Wi-Fi, mobile check-in, and mobile key, instant redemption for cocktails, meals, spa experiences, etc. As one moves up the ladder travelers enjoy bonus points, late checkout, in hotel welcome gift, enhanced room upgrade etc. The VIP status at the highest “Ambassador Elite” tier is truly aspirational. The benefits supersede the perks offered by any other tier and make the travelers feel elite and exclusive. To be eligible, one must spend over 100 nights and invest a certain amount. The VIP amenities include 24 hours check-in and check-out flexibility, a welcome gift of your choice, full access to lounge and complimentary breakfast, dedicated elite support, etc. As the travelers rank higher up the tier; the rewards get sweeter, personalized, and luxurious; leading to both an aspirational value for the higher tiers, and an emotional affiliation with the brand!
Alaska Airlines and its regional partners serve more than 120 destinations across the United States and to Mexico, Canada, and Costa Rica. The airline emphasizes Next-Level Care for its guests, along with providing low fares, award-winning customer service and sustainability efforts. With the global alliance and the airline’s additional partners, guests can travel to more than 1,000 destinations on more than 20 airlines while earning and redeeming miles on flights to locations around the world.
Mileage Plan is a great example of a multi-dimensional airline loyalty program. The program engages travelers at multiple touch points and creates fiercely loyal customers and lifetime loyalists. One of the best airline loyalty programs, Mileage Plan allows travelers to earn miles on travelling with Alaska airlines, car rentals, hotel bookings, shopping, dining with qualifying partners etc. Offering a plethora of options to choose from makes the program exciting and alluring for travelers. The Mileage Plan offers three exciting tiers, MVP, MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K. The higher the status, more benefits one unlocks. Alaska’s elite status is quite generous and relatively easy to accomplish. Apart from exciting perks like first class, premium upgrades, priority check-in and boarding, free checked bags, lounge membership discount etc.
Alaska’s airline loyalty program offers an elite leave for new parents. New parents often put travelling on hold as they have to care for their newborn. By showing a proof of pregnancy or paternal leave Alaska allows new parents to receive an extra year of elite status. This is truly an amazing example of building an emotional connect between a traveler and the brand. By showcasing empathy, Alaska Airlines is able to build a long-lasting relationship with their travelers. Taking a step further, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan offers a Million Miler tier that is eligible for travelers who fly 1,000,000 miles on Alaska and are granted MVP Gold status for life.
Founded in December 2014, misterb&b is the largest hotelier in the world for the LGBT+ community with a commitment to creating a welcoming world in which LGBT+ people can share the excitement of discovery and create lifelong memories and friendships. Today, misterb&b operates out of 3 offices on 3 continents, providing users with access to more than 310,000 properties in 135+ countries.
Pride Rewards is misterb&b’s loyalty program that rewards travelers for traveling. Every time one books an accommodation at misterb&b they earn pride points which can be redeemed towards exciting stays, through select partners, or even in cash.
A well-designed loyalty rewards program, misterb&b also offers a tiered program to its travelers.
- VIP Traveler: Level 1 (0-500 points)
- Elite Adventurer: Level 2 (500-1,500 points)
- Iconic Explorer: Level 3 (1,500+ points)
Travelers earn pride points on private or shared room, entire place, and hotel rooms. VIP Traveler earns 1 to 3 points per $ spent, with 25% & 50% additional points earning for Elite Adventurer and Iconic Explorer tiers respectively. Due to this, the misterb&b Pride Rewards program motivates travellers to stay engaged with the program and remain locked in their ecosystem.
Hilton Hotels & Resorts has set the benchmark for hospitality around the world, providing new product innovations and services to meet guests’ evolving needs. With more than 575 hotels across six continents, Hilton Hotels & Resorts properties are located in the world’s most sought-after destinations for guests who know that where they stay matters.
Hilton Honors is one of the most sought-after programs and falls under one of the best hotels loyalty programs. It is carefully formulated and allows travelers to earn points for hotel stays, credit card purchases, Lyft rides, dining and more. One of the exciting parts of Hilton Honors program is their explainer page – easy to comprehend, it offers upfront perks creating a powerful hook to join the program and remain engaged. Travelers have multiple point earning opportunities and can redeem those points at thousands of properties worldwide.
As we deep-dive into the tiers lets also look at the interesting perks travelers can enjoy for being a part of Hilton Honors.
- Member (awarded to everyone who joins the program)
- Silver (awarded after 5+ nights)
- Gold (awarded after 20+ nights)
- Diamond (awarded after 30+ nights)
Travelers at Diamond tier enjoy exclusivity and all the perks associated with earlier tiers including 100% points earning bonus on stays, space-available room upgrades, executive lounge access, diamond status extension, premium wi-fi, 48-hour room guarantee and elite status gifting. Hilton Honors also gives the option of four co-branded credit cards – Hilton Honors, Hilton Honors Amex Surpass, Hiltons Honors Aspire and Hilton Honors Business. These cards add to the exclusivity of the program, and travelers can earn points for purchases at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, flights, car rentals, purchases etc.. Depending on the card they earn 5X – 7X bonus points. Hilton Honors is indeed an exciting example of the best hotel rewards program that truly indulges travelers at multiple levels and provides the brand with repeat purchases, improved profit margins and enhanced traveler lifetime value.
Priceline operates priceline.com, a leading U.S. online travel service for value-conscious leisure travelers, and Booking.com, a leading international online hotel reservation service. In the U.S., priceline.com gives customers more ways to save on their airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, vacation packages and cruises than any other Internet travel service.
Priceline offers a robust loyalty rewards program that rewards travelers on hotel, car rentals, vacation packages etc. One automatically enrols into the VIP member tier on signing up and can enjoy up to 10% discount on hotels and rental car. Apart from these exciting deals, travelers get a 5% express deal coupon after every trip which truly reiterates the tagline of the program – The more you book, the more you save. It is clear – tiered loyalty programs work like a charm for the travel and hospitality industry. Here too, the VIP Blue tier can be achieved by completing 2 trips, VIP Gold by completing 5 trips or by signing up to the Priceline Rewards Visa Card, and VIP Platinum by completing 25 trips.
Customer loyalty rewards programs for the travel and hospitality industry are fun, engaging, and easy to comprehend. Most of the programs offer tiers that provide a sense of fulfillment and exclusivity to the traveler. By offering a unique experience and engaging with the traveler at multiple touchpoints the program ensures it builds a lifetime connect with the traveler and a close-knitted relationship. The above brands have exemplified loyalty by offering a customized rewards program that caters to the traveler’s needs and ties in with their overall brand objective.