Choice Privileges, the recently redesigned loyalty program at hospitality chain Choice Hotels, has earned a sterling reputation based on its generous “Your Extras” benefits. Members of the program whose stay includes one or more week nights receive a free instant reward upon check-in. The feature targets business travelers, one of the most important market segments in hospitality.
 
The key factor for the “Your Extras” promotion is the partnership network from which the free gift comes. Choice Hotels understands this, and announced on Thursday that it’s expanded these partnerships to include perhaps the most valuable brand for today’s business traveler: Transportation phenomenon Uber.
 
The collaboration with Uber comes at a time when ubiquity is quickly becoming a defining factor for many loyalty programs. Earning rewards (whether through point accumulation or, in the case of Choice Rewards, surprise & delight) is always a positive experience for the consumer, but carries extra weight when the reward comes from an established brand. This trend can be seen across multiple industries, as point redemption storefronts expand to include gift cards from retailers like Amazon and Apple.
 
“Choice Privileges aims to make trips better for all of our members by offering the ability to immediately use rewards you can get faster than anywhere else.  As a result, we are adding many new members into the program who are getting rewarded both on day one and every time they stay with us," Jamie Russo, VP Loyalty Programs at Choice Hotels International, told Loyalty360.
 
This race to secure a portfolio of brand partners has also extended to the other side of the loyalty points equation, with loyalty coalitions like American Express’s Plenti Rewards offering consumers the ability to earn points with a growing number of brands.
 
The Choice Privileges program boasts more than 25 million members, and this loyal following is due in part to its superb rewards mix. By offering gifts from brands that guests already shop at, the program is able to provide obvious value to members. This is the power of loyalty program partnership networks, and just may be the future of customer rewards.

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