Every travel provider wants you to join their loyalty program. Why? Because they want you connect with their brand, track your behaviour/spending and think of them first when you book your next trip. Benefits to travel companies aside, if you choose one or two loyalty programs you like, the benefits and savings can significantly add up.
The Irony In my travelling infancy, I would only consider price. As a result, I'm part of about 15 airline and hotel loyalty programs. I have enough member numbers and passcodes to sink a ship. The sad part is, after 15 years of heavy travelling, I'm only now at the point where I can start taking advantage of the miles/points accumulated. The irony is, because I never had any loyalty, I haven't been able to reap any benefits.
Be Selective Each loyalty program offers different benefits, so it is important to choose one or two airline and hotel programs that match your primary airport, preferred destinations, preferences and values. For example, I like Fairmont's loyalty program because it has hotels and resorts where I like to travel, the brand carries a high-level of service, their great rates feature provides excellent cost-savings, I heart the free wireless and the benefits of their tiers are decent. Similarly, I like to fly Alaska Airlines when I can because they offer $50 upgrades to business class if there is space, have polite service and fly where I like to go.
Determining the Best Travel Loyalty Program for You
- do their brand values fit with your personal values?
- where are the destinations?
- how is the service?
- what partner offers do they have?
- is there a hotel group or airline that met or exceeded your expectations more than once, if so, could it be a fit?
- do they have hotels or resorts in close proximity for weekend getaways?
- what are your business and/or leisure needs (wireless, business centre use, free gym access, etc...)?
Great Travel Loyalty Program Resources: