loyalty study shows many programs fall short

Published: Fri Sep 04 2009

A new study has found that while most Americans continue to spend cautiously and look for more value from every purchase they make, those who belong to loyalty programs are finding a number of shortcomings. The survey found that 93% want improvements to their memberships.

Of this, almost six in ten (59%) want fewer restrictions on how they can use their program benefits and more than one-third (37%) don't think the value added bonus is ever really as great as the program wants them to believe. Nearly one-quarter (24%) don't like the fine print that comes with benefits and almost half (49%) didn't book anything in the last year using their reward travel benefits, such as a hotel stay, a flight or a car rental.

Loyalty programs have long been offered in the travel space, but have been a tricky proposition. Complicated terms, heavy restrictions and big redemption requirements have made them unattainable for nearly everyone except the frequent business traveler. decided to change that with welcomerewards, a simple program that offers one free night after every 10 nights booked.

Survey respondents who stayed in a hotel or other paid property in the past year spent an average of 12 nights in such a place. As welcomerewards members, they would already have earned one free night and on their way to earning a second. With other loyalty programs, they'd still be far from earning their first credit.

Carl Sparks, general manager of, said: "welcomerewards is a favorite among travelers for one main reason - it doesn't require much loyalty. We know that every trip is different, and want to reward our guests for staying in the property that's right for them, every time they travel. welcomerewards brings tangible benefits within reach of the occasional traveler - it's a loyalty program 'for the rest of us'."

The program offers three key benefits:
- Choice: more than 53,000 property choices worldwide for earning and redeeming free nights. As long as you spend at least $40 per night on each of the 10, you can redeem a night up to $400 in value.
- Flexibility: members can build up to their free night by staying in chain hotels, boutique properties, condos, B&Bs and resorts.
- Simplicity: book 10 nights anywhere to get a free night. There are no blackout dates, points to collect, or restrictions. only requires members to book 10 nights to earn one free. Survey respondents would sacrifice a lot more in order to get a complimentary night at a hotel. Ninety-two per cent would be willing to part ways with some of their most beloved habits and necessities for a month. Of those 71% would give up clothes shopping, 65% would abstain from chocolate, 31% would drop their cell phone and 29% would give up watching television.


Notes to editors:
The survey was conducted by Kelton Research between May 28, 2009 and June 4, 2009 to 1005 nationally representative Americans aged 18 and older using an e-mail invitation and an online survey. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population aged 18 and over. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than three per cent age points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

About is a leading provider of lodging worldwide, offering an extensive selection of more than 85,000 properties ranging from traditional hotels and vacation rentals to bed and breakfasts and all-inclusive resorts, including New York hotels, Chicago hotels, Las Vegas hotels and Los Angeles hotels.

PR contact:
Vic Walia LP
10440 North Central Expressway
Suite 400
PO Box 803
Dallas TX75231
001 469-335-1069
Contact Name: Vic Walia
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 001 469-335-1069

Visit website »