Tourist relaxing in luxury beach hotel

Travel Redemption

And the race is on…with so much pent-up demand for travel built up over the last 18 months, expectations are high for a significant upswing in demand for travel redemption within loyalty programs.

Travel has gone through a year of challenges in 2020 that have impacted the industry beyond measure. Looking into 2022, however, the sense of cautious optimism is palpable. With searches for travel rising and travel bookings at or above 2019 levels, this sense of optimism appears to be well-founded. In this environment, how do retail loyalty programs manage against an upswing in travel redemption and maintenance, or even increase customer engagement?

One way for retailers to respond to the expected surge in travel is to engage customers more effectively in their loyalty programs by using loyalty points as a payment option.

The ability to spend loyalty points as a currency at checkouts like cash or a credit card increases the likelihood that consumers will spend more online or in-store than on travel. This has been evident in our own experience. We have seen a 20% migration from travel to other purchases in our pay with points enabled loyalty network.

By enabling points as payment through partnerships with leading financial institutions, retailers can also expand their network and expose the brand to a whole new customer base. This provides new program members with a greater number of redemption options. In this scenario, loyalty program members are less likely to hoard and splurge on a single, big-ticket travel expenditure, and more likely to spend lower amounts, frequently, which increases engagement for the retailer.

Retailers that enable more flexible payment options, including the ability to take loyalty points as payment, can expand their customer base and tap into billions of unspent dollars.

And that is rewarding for everyone.


Jonathan Silver
Engage People Inc.

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