Tech of the Week: Points Continues To Enrich Loyalty Programs
Image via Points
Consider, for a moment, that your loyalty points and frequent flyer miles are like very lucrative change being accumulated throughout the year. Well, it’s time to manage that travel windfall a bit better than some figurative piggy bank.
Enter Points, which you may already be well acquainted with as an established answer to loyalty currency management for so many travelers, whether they are of the leisure or corporate variety.
For the uninitiated, you may want to spend some time on Points.com to get acquainted with its most advantageous tool for your exhausting travels, its Loyalty Wallet.
Points continues to move throughout the loyalty program marketplace, providing far more depth and innovation to your virtual portfolio.
We had the pleasure of speaking with Points President Christopher Barnard on his company’s newest campaign with La Quinta as well as how reward programs continue to help companies maintain their consumer base and breed brand allegiance.
First, Barnard explained a bit further about Points’ value to consumers: “We’ve been around since 2000. We run what we call the Points Loyalty Commerce Platform, which is an open e-commerce platform that integrates with all the leading loyalty programs around the world—mostly travel, hotel, frequent flyer, financial services, credit card points and then retail.”
As the platform evolves, so too does the opportunity for consumers to benefit from the versatile innovation.
Barnard continues: “The newer initiative for us is powering a travel booking service that allows people to earn miles or points as an increased incentive to book travel, or in some cases to use their miles or points to pay for travel.”
Most recently, Points unveiled its newest endeavor, which is an exciting way for La Quinta Returns members to benefit immediately from the Points platform.
Announced earlier this month, the partnership opened up a wealth of opportunity for the hotel’s loyalty members who were then able to book with “thousands of luxury hotel locations across the globe,” outside the La Quinta holdings.
This followed an earlier announcement in 2015 that Points would have its platform integrated with the popular Miles & More program.
Barnard spoke to the value of the La Quinta Returns integration: “If you think of our platform, our commerce platform, able to debit or credit miles and points out of different loyalty programs, La Quinta being one of our longstanding partners with that kind of functionality we can then offer La Quinta members unique experiences, products and services. And one of them that we just launched last week is the ability to go online and book a hotel room in an area that there might not be a La Quinta hotel or that might have a different type of hotel other than a La Quinta brand.”
The example Barnard used and one that instantly highlights its value is that of the corporate traveler that garners a wealth of points thanks to so many trips to La Quinta properties.
Perhaps that business traveler wants to use that mountain of points on a vacation in a city that doesn’t necessarily feature a La Quinta hotel.
Now that is no longer an issue with the integration. And, according to the Points president, “Shows a real focus on the customer needs and wants.”
More immediate gratification can be found with the Points Loyalty Wallet, which goes to great length to consolidate and manage that wide portfolio of mounting miles and points that would otherwise be daunting.
And we know very well that when something is daunting it never gets used. And that is the amazing thing about Points: It works hard to ensure that those miles and points get taken advantage of in a variety of ways.
And this is at the heart of value loyalty programs might have over ubiquitous online travel agencies.
Barnard explains that the freedom of choice is a nifty idea that travelers seem to enjoy: “Whether it’s through a mobile app, a digital wallet, through an online travel site. There is a lot of inertia behind that trend of a wider distribution of transaction functionality.”
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