Last updated: 05:00 PM ET, Wed January 20 2016

Americans Willing to Go to Extremes to Save with Hotel Loyalty Programs

Hotel & Resort | Patrick Clarke | January 20, 2016

Americans Willing to Go to Extremes to Save with Hotel Loyalty Programs

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While a majority of Americans admit to seeing real value in hotel loyalty reward programs, many lack the confidence to take advantage, according to a recent study from Wyndham Hotel Group's Wyndham Rewards.

The study found that nearly eight in 10 Americans (77 percent) believe loyalty programs provide the potential for significant savings but that nearly one-third (32 percent) don't believe they possess the skill required to capitalize on the savings potential.

What's more, nearly two-thirds of respondents (64 percent) indicated that they would go to extremes in exchange for professional management of their loyalty program membership in order to save.

Americans Willing to Sacrifice for Simplicity, Savings

Thirty-one percent told Wyndham Rewards that they are willing to manually do their own taxes for a year if it means receiving professional assistance, while more than one-quarter of respondents (26 percent) said that they would be willing to settle for the middle seat on every flight over the course of one year.

However fewer Americans are willing to give up social media for six months (21 percent), downgrade to a flip phone for six months (12 percent) or have their in-laws move in with them for a year (10 percent). Nonetheless, those figures show that at least one in 10 respondents and in some cases two in 10 would be willing to significantly change their lifestyle in exchange for an effective hotel loyalty program membership.

In a statement, Wyndham Hotel Group's senior vice president of worldwide loyalty and engagement Noah Brodsky said "loyalty programs should be seen as financial tools that we can all leverage to maximize the return on our travels."

"Unfortunately, over complication and constant devaluation among many programs are leaving a number of travelers confused and disappointed," Brodsky added. "A good loyalty program does the opposite..."

Travelers Are 'Cost-Conscious' in 2016

Wyndham Rewards' study also found that 71 percent of Americans consider themselves "cost-conscious" when it comes to traveling. Breaking it down by gender, women were more likely to identify as "very cost-conscious," with 40 percent grabbing hold of the label compared to just 24 percent of polled men.

Women also showed more interest in saving money in 2016, with more than one-third (35 percent) planning to spend less this year compared to last year. Meanwhile, fewer than one in five responding men (19 percent) indicated similar intentions. 

Most Still Planning to Travel

Despite many being cost-conscious and often times hesistant to take advantage of hotel loyalty reward programs, Americans still plan to travel in 2016, with more than half of those polled (53 percent) planning to travel more this year than they did last year.

As far as budgeting for travel is concerned, more than eight in 10 Americans (83 percent) say travel will comprise at least one-quarter of their leftover cash this year, while four in 10 say they will use at least half of their discretionary spending on travel. 

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