Japan’s Tokyu Hotels has become the first member of the new loyalty platform of US independent hotels group Preferred Hotels & Resorts.

The new platform, called I Prefer Alliance, allows independent hotels and regional hotel brands to extend the full benefits of I Prefer Hotel Rewards to members of their guest benefit programmes, according to a press release from Preferred Hotels & Resorts. The I Prefer Hotel Rewards programme, introduced in 2013, is a global points-based loyalty program for independent hotels.

Tokyu Hotels has more than 44 properties in Japan and more than 700,000 members in its “Comfort” loyalty programme. As part of the hotel group’s membership of the new platform, all Tokyu Comfort Members will receive two Tokyu Comfort Points for every US$1 spent on net room reservations when they book a stay at an overseas hotel through a dedicated offer page on PreferredHotels.com or voice reservations line.

 In addition, I Prefer members who visit Japan can now earn 25 I Prefer Points per US$1 spent on net room reservations, plus redeem I Prefer Reward Certificates at 19 participating Tokyu hotels, including four member hotels of Preferred Hotels & Resorts: The Capitol Hotel Tokyu, Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel, Kyoto Tokyu Hotel and Nagoya Tokyu Hotel.

I Prefer Alliance was created to provide independent hotels with the flexibility to personalise their own programs in a way that would help drive more loyalty from their current members, while creating more visibility for partner properties and all hotels that participate in I Prefer among a growing and highly engaged travel community who prefer authentic, inspiring travel experiences,” says Jeri Salazar, vice president of loyalty at Preferred Hotels & Resorts.

“We look forward to integrating more hotel partners into I Prefer Alliance globally in the months ahead.”

Preferred Hotels & Resorts says in its press release that the new I Prefer Alliances features “a straightforward points exchange structure” that allows “partner hotels to incentivise their respective loyalty members by extending access to more than 650 additional destinations across 85 countries where they can earn and redeem points, while receiving other valuable benefits during every eligible stay.”

Introduced as a points-based model by Preferred Hotels & Resorts in August 2013, I Prefer is the world’s largest global points-based loyalty program for independent hotels, the statement adds.

As of January 2019, more than three million members have enrolled in I Prefer to take advantage of its benefits, which include points that can be exchanged for cash-value I Prefer Reward Certificates, as well as elite status and additional benefits such as priority early check-in/late check-out, room upgrade based on availability, and complimentary internet upon every eligible stay at more than 650 participating properties worldwide.

Through I Prefer Alliance, partners can extend the full benefits of I Prefer Hotel Rewards to members of their respective programs upon every eligible stay. The points exchange structure for each I Prefer Alliance partnership will be unique to the structure of each individual partner’s program.