Global hotel brands today are innovating and giving members diverse opportunities to earn and redeem points without spending money on hotel stays. A few obvious ways to earn points is spending money on the co-branded credit card, dining at hotel restaurants, using spa services, and booking spaces for meetings and events.
When it comes to redeeming these points the most popular option is free stays by booking reward nights. However, some brands like SPG and Marriott also allow members to redeem points for unique experiences. Example; for 15,000 Starpoints you can buy an opportunity to get up and close with Neil Diamond performing at The O2 in London later this month.
Now on similar lines, World of Hyatt (WoH) has introduced an additional way for members to earn and redeem points through curated experiences. Between now through January 31, 2018 WoH members will have the opportunity to book an array of unique experiences and earn 3 bonus points for every eligible US Dollar spent. Not just this some of these experiences can also be purchased through WoH points, albeit at very bad redemption values.
Hyatt has partnered with a California based company IfOnly, a marketplace for incredible experiences. IfOnly offers its members an array of experiences, from unique everyday activities with local experts to once-in-a-lifetime connections with lauded luminaries. WoH members will be able to redeem these experiences in popular US cities like Los Angeles, NYC, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and the Napa & Sonoma region. As for the prices, again there is a range of experiences starting with a local walking food tour in NYC for USD 50 to reserving a table at one of Napa valley’s most impressive restaurant on the vineyard for USD 1000 per person.
You can choose a World of Hyatt IfOnly Experiences by visiting one of the following websites:
• For IfOnly Chicago Experiences: www.ifonly.com/worldofhyattchi
• For IfOnly Travel-worthy Experiences : www.ifonly.com/worldofhyatttravelexperiences
• For IfOnly San Francisco Destination Experiences : www.ifonly.com/worldofhyattsf
• For IfOnly New York City Destination Experiences : www.ifonly.com/worldofhyattny
What totally beats me, however, is why to do it for 3 months and not full-time, and how did they arrive at the value of points being spent. At 8/10 of a cent, the use of points is not exactly making me go wow!
Today more and more travelers look for personalized and authentic experiences that goes much beyond hotel stays and doing sightseeing tours. They want to have amazing experiences that allows them to do something different and sometimes money does not limit. As an example earlier this year Ajay and I flew all the way from Mumbai to Dublin, just to watch the legendary band U2 perform at the Croke Park stadium where they first released the album, The Joshua Tree 30 years ago.
As for hotels selling experiences is a great way to increase engagement, better customer relationship management and data collection along with getting a closer look into their members’ lifestyle and spending preferences.
What do you think about Hyatt’s attempt to catch up with the other players in the experiences space? Do you think it fits them, or they could have done better?