Loyalty Program News You Could Use!

Each week we are going to be showcasing the latest and greatest in loyalty news. This will help you make decisions about where your loyalties should be and what programs you should join.

Here is what’s newsworthy in the world of loyalty programs this week!

The Freddie Awards is considered to be the loyalty industry’s most prestigious travel awards. The awards were named after Sir Freddie Laker, who is best known for pioneering low-cost airfare options, with the introduction of Laker Airways in 1966. UsingMiles had the opportunity to meet his son at the awards, who still carries on his father’s legacy!

Six categories are covered for both hotel and airline loyalty programs: Best Promotion for Earning, Best Promotion for Redemption, Best Redemption Ability (to use your points for what you want, when you want), Best Customer Service, Best Elite Program, and Program of the Year.

Randy Peterson of Milepoint put on a great show as usual, and made everybody laugh with his jokes and his cowboy hat. It’s just another day in the life of Randy!

So, now for the WINNERS!!!

Marriott Rewards won “Best Program of the Year, Americas”.  Marriott took first place in “Best Promotion for Redemption”, “Best Redemption Ability”, “Best Elite Level Program”, and “Best Customer Services”. If you’re not a member of Marriott Rewards, perhaps this top notch honor may have you start considering this loyalty program.

Some other highly recognized hotel programs were Starwood Guest Preferred, Taj Inner Circle, and Hyatt Gold Passport.

American Airlines’ AAdvantage took home more Freddie Awards than any other airline!

In the Asia-Pacific region, big airline winners included Eithad Guest and Jet Airways jetPrivileges.
The European region winners included Lufthansa’s Miles & More, Turkish Miles & Smiles, and Air Baltic’s BalticMiles.


LocalBonus a New York-based startup, announced that it’s expanding to 5 cities with a network of over 800 merchants. The cities are Denver, Sacramento, Portland, Seattle and New York. The service allows consumers to use existing credit or debit cards as their loyalty card. LocalBonus members automatically earn rewards points by shopping at LocalBonus merchants. If this is available in your city, give it a try and tell us what you think!

CVS is working on a mobile app that will allow CVS customers to store their ExtraCare card information on their smartphones, enabling them to collect and redeem rewards by presenting their phone at the point of sale. Be on the lookout for it soon!

The InterContinental San Francisco hotel is offering its customers a great perk that not even the Priority Club loyalty program is offering. The hotel has launched a “Milestone Stay” program.

  • On your 10th Milestone Stay your room will include a picture frame holding a favorite photograph and you will get upgraded to a Junior Suite.
  • On the 25th Milestone Stay, expect the previous benefits and an “I” logo pen.
  • On the 50th Milestone stay, expect the previous, plus a pair of monogrammed slippers. For the upgrade, you’ll get to stay in one of the hotel’s luxury suites, such as the Presidential Suite.
  • On the 75th Milestone Stay, expect the previous milestone benefits, including the extra-nice upgrade, plus a monogrammed InterContinental bathrobe that can either stay at the hotel or be shipped to your home.
  • On the 100th Milestone Stay expect the previous, and in addition a personalized iPod to keep in the room.
  • And finally, the coolest perk ever, for your 250th Milestone Stay, all of the above, plus the hotel will name a suite after you. The hotel will place a plaque outside the door with your name on it. Sweet!

Be on the lookout each week for what’s newsworthy in the ever expanding world of loyalty programs!

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