What is important in a loyalty scheme?

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  1nfrequent 8 Feb 2015
at 21:18

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  • Anonymous


    What do you all look for in a hotel loyalty scheme? I’m looking for ‘outside the box’ ideas 🙂


    Hotels.com does the job for me. Would love to see a similar scheme for airlines. In a way this is already happening with airlines hiving off their FFPs to 3rd parties and the likes of Nectar, Quidco & TCB. Before long I think there will be consolidation among these programs which allow us to earn rewards without being tied to a specific service provider.


    Free stays for on special occasions – eg birthday, anniversary, milestone achievement (eg 100th night with us).

    Dedicated 24-hour reservation specialist. They only need dates of travel, nothing else (cause they already know what you are looking for). Starwood did this for me 🙂




    Recognition, upgrades, free Internet And perhaps free breakfast.

    Which is why Hilton is good and Accor is awful!


    Harry Monk has nailed it, if I’m loyal as l to the IHG brand, the least they can do in return is be loyal back.

    As a long term platinum member, I was rarely sincerely recognized, usually it just seemed to be a ticking exercise . And, sometimes a bowl fruit, that looked more like zoo monkeys dinner as replacement excuse for an upgrade or whatever just made me laugh.

    Ironically ,I’m now just a gold, and the good people at the Newcastle Holiday Inn express have demonstrated how it should be done..Regardless of status, my points balance far exceeds what I’m likely to use but they still cheerfully give me a choice of more points or a free pint.

    Some of their colleagues else could learn, including the Indigo Newcastle



    Completely agree with you – Accor scheme is dreadful & I ditched it a year ago because it offered me next to nothing. When I decided to ditch them, I called Marriott who offered me Gold status without any fuss – as a result of which, I stayed 77 nights with Marriott in 2014 and Zero with Accor.


    I also ditched ICHG after 10 years of being Platinum, for the same reason – no recognition – nothing.

    I am top tier with Hhonors (Diamond, 15 years), Marriott Rewards (Platinum, 1 year) & Club Carlson (Concierge, 6 years)

    All offer;
    Free wifi,
    Free breakfast,
    Room upgrades (always upgraded with Hilton & Carlson)
    Early check in
    Late check out

    Carlson & Marriott also give a ‘welcome gift’ to top tiers ranging from $10 bar credit to 1/2 bottle of wine, fresh fruit, chocolate etc in the room

    I am happy with all 3 schemes although I would like to see Marriott base their tiers on 2 ways of qualifying, ie number of nights OR number of individual ‘stays’ as do Hilton & Carlson.


    I must be the only person who’s done well out of L’Accor – had complimentary upgrades 90% of the time, they do free wi-fi now as standard and I’ve had free drinks vouchers and gifts (including chocolates, fruit bowels, free mini bar etc). I think it’s very much pot luck with L’Accor hotels though – some are terrible and have to be pressed.

    Thanks to some of the posters here, I do most of my hotels through hotels.com now as I think their loyalty scheme is great and the free night makes sense to me – especially as you don’t have to do a ridiculous number of nights to get the benefit of it. For leisure travellers, I think it’s the best scheme.

    I have used expedia before for the Nectar points but Nectar’s such a terrible scheme for me, especially with the forthcoming devaluation.



    The Memsahib does well with Accor too, and gets all the things LuganoPirate listed (except, in the case of free internet, that Accor offer that anyway – so she gets free high-speed internet). If upgrades aren’t available, she gets free drink vouchers instead. And given she normally spends well under GBP100 per night, she is very pleased, not least because the rate at which she clocks up free nights is pretty impressive. She stays mostly at Novotels near airports, which are generally fairly basic, but comfortable and reliable. However, on the rare occasions she goes more upmarket, she also gets free access to the executive club lounge (not widely available at Novotels, so we were pleasantly surprised to discover we had access at the Sofitel Heathrow last year, and the damage we did to their bar was quite impressive!).

    All in all, though, and back to the original question, I agree recognition both soft (a warm welcome and above-average service) and hard (upgrades, free amenities) are what we look for. All rather like what we look for in airline loyalty schemes. Plus, the ability to redeem points at places we want to sty (or on routes we want to fly). Oh, and priority check-in, priority baggage handling… The list goes on!


    1nfrequent – glad to hear you’re doing well with the Accor scheme, perhaps you could tell us more about the wonderfully named ‘fruit bowels’!

    Is that a new thing on the market for constipation? 😉


    I’m lifetime platinum with Marriott and couldn’t be more content with the privileges being offered. With the Marriott app now you can check in and out without a fuss (unless there’s something wrong on your bill). I almost always get upgraded, except in the arrogant King’s Cross property, free breakfast, water in the room, lounge acess, all things that make a stay pleasant.
    But my favorite privilege must be the 48-room guarantee! Of course there are exceptions, too, but in most cases you can force yourself into an otherwise fully booked hotel. Have used it several times.


    What is of paramount importance in a loyalty scheme is that it works BOTH ways. Are you listening BA?


    Carajillo – I mentioned the fruit bowels for the benefit of some of the more expansive bs spreaders on the board. Everyone else gets fruit bowls. 🙂


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