Personalizing Loyalty Program Membership Cards

Randy Petersen has the details on a new trend (after all, one is a data point but two is a trend…) in personalized loyalty program membership cards.

Priority Club is offering to let members put the account numbers of their other programs on the back of their membership card (link requires account login). This is brilliant. Some members will like to be able to just carry a single card with all their info. And Priority Club gets their card a position of priority in members’ wallets. Great for branding identity. Marketer’s dream to have a member whip out their Priority Club card whenever they need to enter their Hilton or Marriott membership number!

Of course, if they’re smart they’ll also build a database of which members belong to which other programs, and cross-market appropriately.

Starwood is offering to put pictures from several of their aspirational properties on member cards. (Personally styled cards is something the credit card industry has used for awhile. Some folks want the credit card with the best terms. Others just like to use the one with their kitten on it.)

This isn’t quite as bold or personalized a move as Priority Club’s, but Starwood is (1) customizing to member tastes (within a narrow band of choice), perhaps earning a better place in member wallets while (2) reminding their members that the dream trip they are most interested in is within their reach, if only they earn more Starpoints.

Again, smart move. But for me it would just be a constant reminder of the extortionate pricing in points for the W Maldives…. (And I’m really glad I redeemed for the Bora Bora Nui before they credited a redemption category 7!)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community Milepoint.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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