Taj Inner Circle: Platinum Tier introduced, benefits lost, award chart devalued

This morning, Taj Inner Circle, the loyalty program of the Taj Hotels Group, announced a revamp. They’ve called it reborn, actually tacitly acknowledging that there would be enhancements, which to me spelt trouble since this is a traditional way of saying we’ll give you a few things but take away a lot from you. In line with the current splash in Indian media by loyalty programs, which includes Hyatt Gold Passport and Marriott Rewards, Taj took to full page newspaper advertisements to announce the program.

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In summary, the headline changes are as follows:

  • Taj Inner Circle added a 4th tier called Platinum and rebranded their base tier to copper.
  • Points never expire for active members
  • New way of gaining tiers: Night count as compared to only eligible spends earlier
  • Online redemption request for hotels
  • Lots of benefits lost from the existing program, but they are not highlighting those changes!

The new membership tiers at TIC: Copper, Silver, Gold & Platinum

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Inevitably, programs which started over 10 years back, have had to add a Platinum tier to enhance their benefits for their elites. Here is how things changed at Taj Inner Circle:

  • Blue Tier is now Copper Tier: I have to admit, I don’t like this name at all! The earlier base tier used to earn a point at INR 100 for eligible charges net of taxes. This one, earns at 1 point for INR 125.
  • Silver Tier: For silver, while they earn points at INR 100/point, there is a tonne of devaluation. Earlier, Silver tier could be earned by INR 25000 spend in a 60 day period, now you need to go through 10 nights or INR 100000 eligible spend to get to silver. Apart from that, tonnes of benefits have been taken away from Silver guests. Silver members only get late check out and 10% discount on redemption via points now, while earlier they got all of this:
    • Complimentary double occupancy benefits for your spouse/partner at all Taj Group properties in India, barring Taj Safaris Lodges, when booking is made on rack, BAR or negotiated rates.
    • An assured 10% discount on the Best Available Rate (BAR) Plan at all participating hotels.
    • A flat 30% discount on rack rate when booking a Taj Club Room and Suite.
    • Taj Holidays will cost you 10% lesser when reserved directly with the hotel or at Taj Reservations Worldwide.
    • Be welcomed with flowers and fruits in the room.
    • Enjoy Complimentary access to the health club, steam bath and sauna.
    • A 20% discount on Business Centre Services.
    • 10% lesser charges on Telephone and Fax usage.
    • Laundry services at a discount of 15%.
    • Rejuvenation at Jiva Spas with a 20% discount on all treatments.
  • Gold Tier: Gold Tier with the Taj was really just a name. It did not mean you got benefits such as suite upgrades, unless you were a frequent visitor at the hotel or so on. Data point, just last week I was at a Taj hotel for a one night stay, and the hotel never even acknowledged my status. It used to take an approximate spend of INR 200,000 in a year to get to Taj Gold, now it would take you INR 400,000 in a year or 40 nights at a Taj hotel in a year to get to Gold  On the earning side, you now earn points at 1 point/INR 70 once you are gold, as compared to 1 point for INR 80 earlier. You get a couple of suite upgrade certificates per annum, valid for stays up to 5 nights, but you lose all the above benefits which go away from Silver members, and more:
    • Every time you fly 20 hours or more in a Taj Air aircraft (Falcon 2000, Falcon 2000LX and P.180 Avanti II) you will receive 6% off rack rates and a 20% discount on night halts.
    • A non-alcoholic welcome drink on arrival at the hotel.
    • Daily newspapers of your choice, at our metro hotels.
  • The new Platinum Tier: Platinum tier can be earned for INR 800,000 of spend or 80 nights in their hotels per annum. Once you are platinum, you get to earn a point at INR 60 worth of spend The benefits look great, and are listed below:
    • Signature Platinum Experiences across the world. 3 experiences per annum to be provided, here is a list.
    • Late Check Out
    • Early Check In
    • 5 Suite Upgrade Vouchers (good for 5 nights, basis availability)
    • 24 Hour Check In (to be requested at least 3 days in advance)
    • In Room Check In.
    • 20% discount on room redemption rate.
    • Dedicated 24 X 7 Platinum Desk for taking care of all your Taj requirements.

Essentially, a lot of the value has been cut off from the entire program and not just a specific tier. While the Taj is talking about enhancements  to the program, they conveniently miss the part where they’ve taken away the spouse stays free benefit, the spa discount, the 10% discount on stays and so on.

Enhancements: In terms of enhancements, the program borrows heavily from the Starwood stable where it is offering 5 upgrade vouchers, not sure if these are paper vouchers or electronic, but only offering these upgrades depending on availability (not confirmed at time of booking, a la Hyatt). Also, they are offering 24 hour check-in, borrowed from the Starwood program again. New enhancements which are good, are, the last room availability feature. While all rooms and suites are priced at different price points even for points, you can have a room if available for revenue reservations as well. For example, here is my attempt at booking a room later this month at the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai. They give me tonnes of choices:

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The other enhancement really, is the facility to redeem points online, which should have come a long time ago. No more of waiting for a confirmation from the Taj after you’re requested a booking manually.

Devaluations: The bad news for all the Taj loyalists is, all your points will expire by 15 June 2017, if you don’t use them by then. So, if you’re sitting on a stash of these gems, you have 730 days to redeem them, and your time starts now! I’ve amply talked about the loss of other benefits, for instance, 20% off on Jiva Spa.

But the biggest devaluation is the redemption chart itself. There never was a dynamic chart, and now there is, which gives the chain an opportunity to sneak in lots of devaluations without announcing. So, instead of having a room at the Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai for 2000 points earlier, now you can only start looking at it for 2350 points onwards (my rate is with a 15% discount as a Gold member below).

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Or, the hotel at Varanasi, which used to cost 600 points earlier and 1000 points now.

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There are tonnes of examples of their devaluations, but the program preferred to only focus on the enhancements.They’ve taken on a modern look, but a global hotel chain rewards program does provide a lot more recognition across the board rather than just at the highest tier.

To me, I’m not very happy with the devaluations happening at the Taj Inner Circle program. What does this mean to you? Tell me in the comments section.

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  1. Being downgraded or reducing facility to clients could be due to two reasons…one…. the group is bleeding and these benefits or frills are too much of a burden on the hotels….two….its some management exercise to reduce cost and bring it par with industry standards. Unfortunately because of their program and hospitality i would never think of any other hotel….but now will have to. Not necessarily all may be able to match your expectation on number of stay but still they give 100% of their potential stay to Taj…..i guess someone missed that completly. I feel cheated being downgraded and robbed of points value accrued

  2. Taj never really care about customer loyalty anymore. I think they felt they have grown completely and never really bother about customer loyalty. I even wrote to their CEO on some other issues, and the response was to continue with what i get or just dont come back. So there is no point in continuing with such a horrible group. Regarding loyalty rewards, i think priorityclub is the best now. They are much more accommodative to customer requests and needs. I completely stopped visitng taj group. Why to waste money with a group who dont care, when we have many other options.

  3. Thanks to the revamp it has become a very good loyalty destroying program. On the silver level I now have 1300 points that have been so thoroughly devalued that I cannot get even two days stay as the points plus cash option is also gone. I will move to other hotels that are just as good and use the remaining points for meals. To hell with Taj.

  4. BIGGEST ONILNE FRAUD MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM – TAJ INNERCIRCLE BEWARE

    THIS WAS THE REPLY GIVEN BY THE INNERCIRCLE TEAM PROOF IS HERE:

    PLS NOTE MY POINTERS/EXPERIENCES ARE GIVEN IN BOLD LETTERS

    Taj InnerCircle Hi Dev, Our Member Services team tried contacting you on the given mobile number. However, they were unable to get in touch with you. May we request you to help us with a convenient date and time in order to understand your concerns further and address them. NEVER GOT ANY CALL ON MY NUMBER 8123704038 PLS DON’T FOOL ME AND OUBLIC READING THIS.

    On the points raised by you:
    1. 50% off on weekends – The best time to use these vouchers is during times of high occupancy when the regular rates (BAR) shoot up. It is at times like those that this voucher is most beneficial. The voucher does state that the offer is on rack rates only.

    MY EXPERIENCE / CONCLUSIONS:
    SO ALL INNERCIRCLE MEMBERS PLS PLAN YOUR HOLIDAY AND SPECIAL EVENTS ON HIGH OCCUPANCY DAYS TO USE THIS COUPON.
    CHALLENGE – I BET THROUGHOUT THE YEAR ANY ROOM CATEGORY PRICE DISPLAYED ON TAJ RESERVATION WEBSITE WILL BE LOWER THAN THE PRICE U GET AFTER USING THIS VOUCHER – PLS TRY YOURSELF AND SEE.

    2. Complimentary room – There are times when the hotels may be fully booked and unable to offer the complimentary rooms. However, at times like these, the Member Services team works with the members to get them alternate dates/ cities. In case you have not been able to use your complimentary night, please let us know and we will assist you.

    MY EXPERIENCE / CONCLUSIONS:

    THEY HAVE A SOLID REASON LIKE THIS PRINTED ON ALL VOUCHERS SO THAT U DONT SUE OR TAKE THEM TO LEGAL SOUP – AFTER U EXPERIENCE BAD DAYS.

    3. Upgrade vouchers – Upgrade vouchers are subject to availability at the time of check in. Therefore, the reservations team will not be able to upgrade you at the time of booking. Every year, there are thousands of upgrades that are being given across hotels at the time of check in when rooms are available. The member services team would again be able to speak to the hotel and inform them of your arrival so that in case a higher category room is available at the time of check in, it can be allocated to you.

    MY EXPERIENCE / CONCLUSIONS:

    UPGRADE VOUCHERS THE BEST WAY TO SEE THIS IS PLS ASK THE HOTEL RESERVATIONS TEAM OR CENTRAL RESERVATION THAN U WANT A “PAID UPGRADE” AND ANSWER AS U ALL KNOW WILL BE A “BIG YES”. NOW TRY THE SAME WITH “I HAVE A COMPLIMENTARY VOUCHER” AND AS USUAL ANSWER WILL BE “SORRY SIR ROOMS ARE FULL”.

    TO MAKE U A BIGGER FOOL IN GOLD MEMBERSHIP (EPICURE PLUS) U ALSO HAVE 2 SUIT UPGRADES. BUT AS USUAL U WILL BE NEVER LUCKY TO GET THEM USED DURING ANY STAY.

    4. 20% special occasions voucher – We do not offer 20% discount on F&B with the rooms. A few select packages may have this feature but more than 90% of our room packages do not come with any F&B discounts.

    MY EXPERIENCE / CONCLUSIONS:

    TO GET THIS PLS CHECK THE TAJ RESERVATIONS WEBSITE AND SEE YOURSELF.

    Request you to please let us know when to reach out to you so that a senior member of our Member Services team can speak to you and clarify this at the earliest. We value all our customers and would like to ensure that we are able to help you make the most of your Epicure Plus membership.

    MY EXPERIENCE / CONCLUSIONS:

    ALWAYS ALL THE INNER CIRCLE LINES WILL BE BUSY. IN CASE U GET THROUGH AMD WANT TO SPEAK TO ANY MANAGERS ALL OF THEM WILL BE BUSY. COMMOM REASONS – IN MEETING (AS IF THEY ARE DISCUSSING ABOUT INDIAN ECONOMY THROUGHOUT THE DAY)

    FINAL CONCLUSION:

    PLS DONT FALL PRAY TO THIS FRAUD PROGRAM. THEY WILL CALL U MANY TIMES AND SPEAK VERY SWEETLY AND SHOW U BIG DREAMS BUT U WILL FIND OUT YOURSELF VERY SOON. I CRY WHY WHY WHY AND HOW I FELL INTO THIS BIG TRAP.

    Dr. Prasanth Dev
    8123704038
    dr.devss@gmail.com

    Inner circle member no: 101010757813

  5. Add my voice to the chorus. It was never a great programme but, since the revamp, the benefits that were actually useful to frequent travellers have almost all been taken away. Points are one thing, but as a frequent business traveller I appreciate far more those benefits that make staying more pleasant – lounge access, upgrades (without having to spend a voucher!), the spouse benefit, and so on. As the new plan stands, there’s very little to retain customers once they have blown their points on a few nights (which, as others have noted, has become far costlier to do). The international chains have far more compelling rewards programmes, and their properties are for the most part as good or better than Taj’s.

    That, in addition to the haphazard rollout which has seen me not even receive the paltry benefits my status is due upon checkin.

    Further, there’s very little interest from the folks who run the program in taking feedback – I’ve contacted the customer service people repeatedly to express my dissatisfaction with the benefits of the program and the most I’ve ever gotten is “we’ll pass that on to management.” I’m a Platinum-tier member so I don’t hold much hope for those who are “less valuable” customers.

    Pretty disgraceful program all around, in my opinion.

  6. Gold member for close to a decade.

    Very well researched piece and the exact impression we got as well. Taj has already lost out 15 nights in the last 45 days as a result of a highly ineffective loyalty program roll out. I am most likely switching.

    And for the un-initiated at the Taj Innercircle team, please note that the Spouse benefit was appreciated and used by thousands, so, do not use up the excuse of putting together a customer forum (because you never did).

    Abhijit

  7. Wonderful article which details out Taj Innercircle’s new messed up revamp. Messed up for customers of course. I have been saving points for one wonderful vacation and I suddenly realise that redemption points in some cases have increased by 50% and has totally ruined my plan. I have now started staying in Hyatt/ Hilton, atleast I can convert them to JP miles.

  8. One of the worst experiences ever from a Membership program of any Hotel Chain. This review is on behalf of my wife Ridhi Behal Goyal. We have been one of the unlucky ones to have fallen for the cheating program called the ‘Inner Circle’. Now we bought this membership in January after our wedding as we had planned a trip to Taj Exotica Maldives for our honeymoon, I thought at the time that it would probably be a good idea. What followed was a horror story which has put me off completely and makes me question if there are ethics left in the Taj group management. Now we travelled to Maldives in January and spent a considerably high amount of money for the stay as it is a luxury property. The points never got credited to our account even after multiple reminders to them via email and phone. They finally accepted to credit the points almost 4-5 months later, after much badgering and countless phone calls. I had almost given up but kept pushing them and finally I thought the harassment had ended, but I was wrong as this was not the last issue We had to face with them.
    During the monsoons we had a business trip planned to Surat for a day, so We decided to stay at The Taj Gateway Athwa Lines, Surat and redeem one of the vouchers that was given to us as a part of the membership, which was a 50 percent discount for our stay. All hell broke loose when I tried to book the room with them. First they said that rooms are not available for members on the dates that I wanted to visit, if I wanted to book independently, without reference of my membership, plenty of rooms were available. On further probing they said rooms were available and they would get back to me with the details from the duty manager in Surat. Eventually what they did was that they ‘doubled’ the rate from what was the highest rate available on their own Taj booking website and then asked us to redeem the voucher for that. An argument ensued for more than an hour, we ended up speaking to two of their executives, a supervisor and finally after another half an hour call, they accepted that it was a mistake from their end and that they would let me redeem the voucher on the rate that was published. Can we consider this as mental harassment? I think we probably should. But alright we were ready to let it pass, as We thought maybe this experience with our calls and their acceptance of their error would deter them scam people further and not risk their billions of dollars worth of reputation and good will for a couple of thousands bucks (2000 to be exact).

    Now on Sunday 13th of September, a close relative passed away in Hyderabad and we had to fly on the 20th to Hyderabad for a nights stay to visit our relatives. We called up the Taj Inner Circle helpline to make a booking. We were greeted by someone from their reservations team and we requested them to reserve a room on the 20th to checkout on the 21st. We decided to use our 50 percent for weekend stay on ‘published’ rate coupon. Again the same story started, they first said there were no rooms available for members(!!!) in any of the three participating Taj Hotels in Hyderabad. On further probing they said the rooms were available and we can proceed with the booking (my my history does repeat itself!). As I was used to their tactics I Had checked for the rates on their website before calling, the property in discussion is the Taj Krishna at Banjara Hills. The rate quoted was Rs. 9000 per night as the Best Available Rate with Breakfast and a maximum rate of Rs. 10,000 per night with Breakfast. Now the lady on the phone quoted a rate of Rs. 16,000 per night ‘without’ breakfast!!!!! I mean come on!! Do you guys think that customers are so naive as to fall for this crap every time?? Basically if we decided to have breakfast, we would end up paying more money than what we would’ve paid online without being a member. We asked to speak to their supervisor, after which we were made to wait for 5-10 mins, following which a lady name ‘Shweta R’ attended our call. We debated our case to which she responded by saying that the discounts can be had on the rates that they have with them and not on the rates available online. I reminded her that the terms and conditions mentioned on the Voucher and the membership say that the discounts are on the published rates and not any rates that you deem fit for a customer. We argued for about an hour again after which she expressed helplessness saying that the ‘Inner Circle’ team is on holiday on account of it being a Sunday and that she would get back to us the next day with someone from the ‘Inner Circle’ team. It’s Wednesday today, 16th of September and we did not receive any calls. We called them ourselves finally and spoke to Manoj Jawale from the Inner Circle team, we discussed our case to which he responded by saying that we were asking for something from out of their guidelines and he could not help us. We reminded him that it clearly says that it’s the published rate which should be taken into account for booking and not an inflated version that they have for members internally.
    We argued for more than half an hour to which he finally responded that he couldn’t do anything about it and on making him aware of their cheating practices, he had no qualms in asking us to proceed with our complaint to the consumer court. Well, whoever reads this from the management of Taj we are certainly going to the consumer court against Taj which has been cheating and fleecing customers with their unfair practices. You guys have cheated us, mentally harassed us and you guys don’t even have any regrets about it. Have some shame, We thought you had a reputation to worry about. If you want to know about my level of frustration with you guys, please see the length of this review considering it’s a busy working day.

    My thoughts finally..
    I think the group has lost all values of ethics which were seemingly inculcated by Mr. Ratan Tata or is it that Mr. Cyrus Mistry has decided that earning profits by cheating customers is more important than their ages old reputation and name?? IMO the working ethics and attitude of every person in a company is a reflection of the person leading them. I am a businessman, I know.
    Please don’t think that just because some people have been silent on such issues then others will follow suit. It’s a new age and you are a part of it.
    I am attaching a definition of ‘Publish’ below from Webster’s English Dictionary here just so you know what it means to mention ‘Published Rates’ in your terms and conditions and so you don’t fleece anyone else further with your scam called ‘The Inner Circle’. Published means ‘TO MAKE GENERALLY KNOWN TO THE PUBLIC”

    Full Definition of PUBLISH

    transitive verb
    1
    a : to make generally known
    b : to make public announcement of

    2
    a : to disseminate to the public
    b : to produce or release for distribution; specifically
    c : to issue the work of (an author)

    And lastly, we just want to know, if you’re scamming only the people in your ‘Inner’ Circle or even outside?

    Best of Luck
    P.S. I’ve been left with no options than to post my grievances on the social media, because nobody at Taj seems to be interested in solving my issues.

  9. Ajay, another small(as per TIC) devaluation is that now the room redemption you get is on the room only basis and there is no breakfast included. You add the cost of breakfast back and devaluation is even steeper. Sadly for me, I had a redemption booking in Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur that would have used most of my points but due to change in dates I cancelled it a couple of days before TIC was reborn thinking I would rebook it later. And now those points have lost more than 50% in value.

    Btw Points plus cash option is also gone.

    I still have few thousand points left in TIC. Got to figure out a way to use them and then Tata to Tata group’s Hotel Chain. Sad.

  10. Really horrible. I understand They have devalued the benefits. Let’s see if they decide to add some value to this.

  11. I still don’t understand the suite upgrades, does this allow one upgrade from one room class to the next up, or direct to a suite???? Or is it ONLY for suite bookings? I understand this upgrade is actually on the membership card itself electronically but it is very unclear. As I wish to stay in Taj Mumbai for three nights early next year I want to book the room below the one I really want in the hope that I will be upgraded but it is very unclear.

  12. I have been a TIC member for about 5 years now and was about to renew my membership this month. The response provided by TIC team has made me understand that “sometimes less means more” can account for more margin but not necessary for revenue. There is a difference in business visitors and non-business visitors that they seemed to have either missed or somewhere in the research decided not to give much importance.

    Either way, with a change in their hierarchy, it seems like the group is changing their outlook towards the customers and the market. Though I have been a big big fan of Taj hospitality and have been praising them everywhere, as of now I am not happy with the changes in the membership and undoubtedly will start exploring other options

  13. I have a TIC GOLD Epicure Plus plan membership had planned to redeem my points for gift vouchers and just 3 weeks ago when i call up the TIC helpline, they told me that it is 250 points per INR 1000 voucher giving me no indication of the coming de-evaluated re-vamp. I was shocked to see the degree of devaluation. It is now 400 points per INR 1000 gift voucher. When i called them, they refused to put me onto a senior management member. They asked me to write to them and sent me the same standard crap text that they have published above. Since they are making a difference between points earned before 15 June in terms of expiry, the least they could have done was inform their members about the coming change. This is a very Unfair move and only proves how CRAP their loyalty programme is. One has to be very careful about checking the points credit for stays. There were several stays missing from my account despite giving them my TIC number in the past. This ‘downgraded’ move by the TIC team is so much far from the ‘Caring’ and ‘ Honesty’ that the TATA group in known for. SHAME on you TAJ Group.I have decided to STOP staying at Taj hotels going forward.

  14. I always had a tough time claiming the points with TIC. Whenever I spent at Taj restaurants across India, they manually inscribe your card number on the Invoice..(like in the old days shop keepers used to insert your credit card in a manual device to get the print.)

    However in most cases they do not credit those points even after 3-4 months. When you contact them they want you to inform them the bill no./ date/ location etc…. which is fair… but in the first place I don;t understand why they fail to credit those points without hassles? I am a gold tier TIC member.

    So I stopped expecting anything from them. On the other I never had any issues with Hilton Gold and IHG platinum. Taj TIC has a long way to go before they come close to competition.

  15. Great atleast TIC. People have responded, I had a problem with tic And they never bothered a to respond till I gave a warning of issuing legal notice.

  16. This revamped program has devalued the points by atleast 50%. Earlier the points had a value of 5rupees if converted to cash vouchers. Now it is 2.5 rupees. Very substantial and no notice provided to members to allow them to convert as per the old chart if they wished. I have decided to stop staying in Taj hotels in future.

  17. Hi Ajay,

    That is a detailed analysis of the program. We see that you went through the new website and hope the information was presented in an easy to digest manner. Coming to the points you have raised, we would like to break them into 3 categories:

    The Enhancements – While you have covered the enhancements well, there are a few we would like to highlight and emphasize again

    1. No Blackouts across all room categories – This is a very powerful change. Most programs that offer no blackouts for redemption do so for the base category only, that too with limited room inventory. Our blackouts apply to all rooms across all room categories

    2. The Earn Rate – For Gold and Platinum tiers, our earn rate of 1 point per Rs. 70 (12.5% increase) and 1 point per Rs. 60 (25% increase) respectively is among the strongest earn rates for a hotel loyalty program

    3. Dynamic Room Rates – We have freed loyalty points from a fixed point rate to a completely dynamic rate linked to the Best Available Rate at the hotel. This will enable members to plan their travel and actually make the most of lower occupancy periods by paying lower. Members who want to redeem during higher occupancy periods will make a conscious decision to do so. This gives a lot of flexibility to you in terms of planning your redemptions

    4. Membership Benefits – Each membership benefit has been researched to ensure that they will actually be used by members and would enhance their stays

    5. Real Time Redemptions at the hotels for F&B and spa – Points are currency now

    The Removed Benefits – While the list of benefits that have been removed seems pretty long, this is the result of a series of discussions with frequent travellers. It was a unanimous finding in our research that frequent travellers appreciate fewer benefits but those that they would really use rather than a long list with some that would be seldom used. E.g. an upgrade is valued much more than fruits in the room, late check out is valued much more than discount on the business center and laundry. For a large chunk of business travellers, the spouse complimentary benefit and the discount on room rates were benefits that were rarely used whereas each new benefit has very high usage rating as each benefit will make their stays more comfortable. Therefore, on a like to like comparison, while many benefits have been removed, the ones added in have been well thought out and researched ones that members are most likely to use.

    The Redemption Rates – The redemption rates on the Taj InnerCircle program has not been updated for the past 3 years which is why the previous redemption rates were not reflective of the current prevalent rates. In the last year, we overhauled our technology platform completely and then got some frequent travellers together to seek the answer to one fundamental question – The lowest redemption rates OR complete flexibility? A lot of our members gave us feedback that they wanted to redeem points during Christmas/ New Years. They also wanted to make bookings on suites which was not possible earlier. In order to provide that complete flexibility that was desired, it was a conscious decision by us to revise our redemption rates. Most of the members we spoke to preferred having this redemption rate increase rather than having a redemption request denied. Besides, in the example you have pointed out, for Taj Mahal Palace, your redemption rate with the Gold Tier discount has actually remained the same at approx. 2000 for the base category room.

    To summarize, if we create a simple list of the items that have been taken away versus those that have been added, the taken away column will look bigger. However, once we get into precisely what has been added versus what has been taken away and place a value to each, you will see that the new program wasn’t a way to taking away member benefits but actually giving the most frequent travellers what they really value. Less is more sometimes.

  18. Hi Aj, Did they took away points+cash redemption as well? I recently stayed at Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad on 1000 Points + 6000/- cash and it was totally worth it. Had an awesome experience. It would be disappointing to let that go..

  19. Taj Innercircle is certainly devalued with this new program. Loyalty is no more prized – in their previous avatar they had the best rewards program running! This new one is certainly disappointing!

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