The idea is simple. Give most of your business to a group and it will reward you with discounts and preferential treatment. InterContinental Hotels now plans to issue loyalty cards for consumers in China. But this is not just a straighforward loyalty card.
The IHG’s Priority Club Rewards is a co-branded Visa credit card which will be issued by Shanghai Pudong Development Bank’s credit card center in partnership with Citibank.
The theory is still simple. The credit card will allow users to earn points for everyday spending and double points on spending in IHG hotels worldwide. The points can be redeemed at hotels, airlines.
What is never quite clear is whether it is worth the bother.
For the frequent traveler and entertainer a case can be made. But it is quite possible to end up with a range of loyalty cards and the return is often not quite worth the bother for it stops you shopping around for the best bargain.
Many savvy travelers have now stopped using loyalty cards altogether and just buy on price. It will be interesting to see how successful this new joint IHG/Visa card will be. (The writer may be a tad biased. He still has a loyalty card from Ansett Airlines with stacks of points but no aircraft to fly on. And he has a lifetime membership of the Pan Am Clipper Club which cost serious money and is now not worth the plastic it was printed on.)