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their points on business trips and redeem them for leisure travel.
At IHG, Berg said 91% of guests
getting points for paid nights are being reimbursed for those travel expenses.
“In general, redemption is up, and
that is coinciding with the downturn
and consumers trying to conserve
cash,” said Behrens. “There is so
much stress and lack of control; people still need to get away, and they
don’t want to spend cash when they
see their 401(k) dropping 40%.”
Chris Holdren who oversees Starwood’s Preferred Guest program,
noted a parallel trend: people focused more on collecting a lot of
points while rates are low.
“A lot of our members are focused
on earning right now, because we do
Some travelers are banking
reward points while rates
are low, a growing form
of money management.
have very rich promotions and rates
are at a level that they haven’t been.
… We are noticing two different
waves. It’s a great time right now to
actually to earn points.”
Like checking, savings and retirement accounts, Berg said, reward
programs are becoming a standard
feature of personal money management.
“Only this account is not down
30% or 40%,” he said. “That’s the
neat thing. These accounts go up.”
motel with a
motel without a