Preferred Hotel Group reports the launch of iPrefer, the first points-based consumer loyalty program of its kind for a global collection of independent hotels. The goal is to reach two million members within the first year, Preferred says.
The program rewards travelers with points on qualifying hotel stays that can be exchanged for Reward Certificates redeemable like cash toward expenditures at hundreds of participating properties across the Preferred Hotel Group family of brands, Preferred says. In addition, iPrefer extends members-only benefits such as complimentary Internet during every hotel experience.
“The new structure of iPrefer extends the undeniable value of frequent stay programs to independent hotels worldwide, allowing them to better compete with hard brands by incentivizing travelers with points, status, and a flexible redemption process,” said Lindsey Ueberroth, president of Preferred Hotel Group. “iPrefer is a game changer. For the first time, one-of-a-kind hotels can maintain their independence and reap the benefits of a points-fueled global loyalty program.”
Effective immediately, iPrefer members will receive one point for every dollar spent on net room reservations at participating hotels booked through eligible channels, which include iPrefer.com, Preferred Hotel Group distribution channels, GDS, and hotel direct. Upon check-in, participating hotels will also extend a variety of complimentary benefits to iPrefer members based on their tier status, which is determined by points earned during a 12-month period:
• Silver (0-4,999 points): Points for eligible bookings, complimentary Internet, priority early check-in and late check-out
• Gold (5,000-14,999 points): All benefits of Silver membership plus a welcome amenity and an upgrade based on availability
• Platinum (15,000+ points): All benefits of Gold membership plus 10 percent bonus points earnings
iPrefer members will exchange their points for Reward Certificates in USD, EUR, or GBP currencies. Participating hotels will accept the Reward Certificates as currency for room reservations and can elect to permit them as payment toward other on-property expenditures such as food and beverage and spa. Reward certificates never expire and are transferable.
“iPrefer was designed to build a framework for long-term loyalty to the Preferred Hotel Group family of brands and reward both our hotels and guests with a simple, flexible model,” continued Ueberroth. “By allowing members to choose how they spend their Reward Certificates, the program will drive incremental revenue and increase direct bookings for participating hotels, without bringing down the room rate.”
The new iPrefer program will have a 24/7 Help Desk to support participating hotels and guests, the company said.
Since 2006, more than 1.3 million members have signed up for iPrefer. Over the next several months, Preferred Hotel Group will unveil new iPrefer marketing initiatives ranging from social media sweepstakes to “double points days” designed to drive new member enrollment and re-engage inactive guests. “Our goal is to reach two million members within the first year,” said Ueberroth.