Even I Can Get Lured Onto The Loyalty Hamster Wheel

loyal

adjective  loy·al  \ ˈlȯi(-ə)l \

Faithful to a cause, ideal, custom, institution, or product

That’s the Merriam-Webster dictionary’s definition of loyal. I think it’s important to remember this when we talk about loyalty programs. Whether it’s airlines, hotels, rental cars, restaurants, gas stations or Amazon.com, the goal of these programs is to make you loyal to their product. Even more, they’re designed to increase how loyal you are and they’re really good at it.

It used to be that you were loyal to a company because of the product they offered. That might be due to any of these reasons:

  • Price
  • Quality
  • Service

Companies decided that instead of competing only on those areas, they wanted to add another variable and the loyalty programs were created. Over the years, the programs have added many reasons for you to be “loyal” to them. Some can be viewed as rewards but others can often look more like punishments for not being loyal.

  • Discounts for members of programs
  • Special treatment on the phone and in person with dedicated staff for members
  • Upgrades to the product received
  • Free perks for members (when buying directly from the company)
  • Rewards (when buying directly from the company)

I can see the last two as being extras for members but they can also be seen as punishments for those who look for a lower price elsewhere. You might pay more by booking directly but that’s what you need to do to prove loyalty. But wait, I thought I was getting rewarded for loyalty, not having to prove that I’m loyal by paying extra. That’s not how it’s supposed to work?!?!?!

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Hotel Review: Epicurean Hotel, Tampa, FL

We try to visit Bern’s Steak House in Tampa, Florida at least once a year. It’s one of our favorite places to eat, anywhere. We love going with friends and introducing them to the Bern’s experience but when we get the urge to go, we’ll make it a date and take the hour (or three hour with bad traffic) drive on I-4. Most time we’ll go earlier in the evening and then head home afterwards. For this trip, we also had to be in Tampa the following evening so we decided to make a mini-vacation out of the visit to the Florida west coast.

I knew what hotel I wanted to book. In 2013, the owners of Bern’s Steak House helped open a hotel across the street. The four story, 137 room hotel is focused around fine food and great wine. It’s the perfect place to stay if you’re eating at Bern’s because after the steak and a trip to the dessert room upstairs, all you need to do is make it across the street and fall into bed.

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How To Avoid Pitfalls When You Need To Book With The Citi Travel Portal

Remember Pitfall? It was that seemingly simple game for Atari that ended up being incredibly tricky because if you jumped at the wrong time or was a pixel to the left, you were dead, video game speaking. You then had to start all over to get to the same place and try not to make the same mistake again.

When dealing with Citi’s websites, trying to redeem ThankYou points for a hotel stay, has felt much like this process over the last several days. Every time I got past one obstacle, another one appeared that was just as difficult to accomplish as the last one.

I offer my guidance, much like a cheat guide, to let you know where the traps lie and how to avoid them or what to do if you get caught by one.

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Our Weekly Recap: 10/29/17 – 11/4/17

Woop, woop! It’s the WEEKEND! Here’s a quick review of what we posted this week:

Joe wrote about:

Sharon wrote about:

Like this post? We have plenty more just like it and would love if you decided to hang around and clicked the button on the top of this page to follow our blog and get emailed notifications of when we post (it’s usually just once or twice a day). Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!

Hotel Review: MOXY Phoenix Tempe/ASU Area, Tempe, AZ

When I choose hotels, I’m usually pretty conservative. I pick the safe choice. The one that will fulfill our needs at a price point I’m comfortable with. I don’t need frills. I don’t need luxury. I need a room. Just a clean room.

When I was looking for hotel in the Phoenix area, that’s all I needed. We were only staying for one night. We were flying in from Orlando and weren’t scheduled to land until 7:30 PM (That’s 10:30 PM to us accustomed to eastern time). I figured with renting a car and getting to the hotel, it would feel like midnight and we’d be ready for bed. The next morning we’d be headed to Mystery Castle, which would be just as far of a drive from Phoenix as from Tempe.

I started looking for rooms near the airport but then remembered I had free hotel nights I could use. Not wanting to spend too much time on picking a hotel, I used HotelHustle to find hotels in the area available to book with points. One of the hotels that showed up was the Moxy. MOXY? What’s Moxy? I didn’t know, so I looked it up:

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