Taj Innercircle revamped its loyalty program in 2015 and devalued all the benefits. Now the Taj Innercircle is communicating to the members that the Innercircle program has been enhanced and is all new again when really nothing much has changed.
The earning ratio continues to be the same and all that the InnerCircle program gives you is marketing gimmick.
Taj InnerCircle is saying that they’ve simplified the earning rate for members. This is really nothing but just a percentage conversion of the existing earning ratio. Earlier the base copper tier members would earn 1 TIC point per INR 125, Silver 1 point/ INR 100, Gold 1 point/ INR 70 and Platinum 1 point/ INR 60 spent. Now, it is just converted into percentage, and for a new program, almost everything is still the same.
Under the simplifies rate a Copper member I would now earn 4% of the total eligible spend. Let’s take an example for the Taj Exotica Goa, where let’s stay I pay INR 13,000 for a room night. Under the earlier InnerCircle program I would earn 104 TIC points (13,000/125). Now the monetary value earned on every TIC point is 5, hence I earn INR 520 out of 104 TIC points.
With the new simplified earning introduced, I will earn 4% of INR 13,000 spent, which is again 104 points worth 520 INR. I don’t understand whether simplified means that the maths has been simplified or something else ?
The only 2 things that have been amended and are not all new again are :
- Members can now earn points for up to a maximum of 5 rooms, instead of only 1 room until May 11,2017. The condition being that that the InnerCircle member settles the bill for all the rooms in one single folio generated in his name.
- Increase in the number of upgrades : Earlier Gold members would get 2 complimentary upgrade vouchers and Platinum members 5. This has now increased and Gold members are now eligible for 20 upgrade vouchers and Platinum have unlimited complimentary upgrades. Though InnerCircle has still not introduced suite upgrades and upgrades still need to be requested for at check-in. This is unlike the other major hotel chains like the Hyatt where Globalist members are eligible for suite upgrades and can pre-confirm it as well.
Apart from this nothing has really changed and honestly I believe that Taj InnerCircle still has a long way to go with being more innovative with its loyalty program. Especially at a time where they have lost their pole position in Indian hotels, and other hotels are getting innovative. I would have liked to see some real enhancements like the opportunity to pool points, complimentary breakfast for elite and suite upgrades for Platinum members. I don’t understand what is the point of having unlimited upgrades when I have to request the hotel every time I check-in to honor them for me. I would rather prefer to be a Hyatt Explorist, where on a 10,000 USD/ INR 6,50,000 spend I get benefits like room upgrades, complimentary lounge access and free rewards night certificates. After all if I commit to Taj INR 8,00,000 every year, the least recognition I would expect from the brand is making my stay comfortable in a suite and offer me breakfast.
What do think of these so called enhancements? Tell us what are some real enhancements you would like to see in the Taj InnerCircle program.