What do you get when you form a partnership between the world’s top-ranked hotel and casino loyalty programs, respectively?

A potently powerful fusion of two loyalty programs that reward millions of customers.

Wyndham Rewards, U.S. News & World Report’s top ranked hotel rewards program for 2016-2017, on Monday unveiled a new loyalty partnership with Caesars Entertainment and its award-winning Total Rewards program with more than 50 million members, which raises the bar for members of both programs and creates exclusive perks for members.

Last month at the Loyalty360 Customer Loyalty Awards at the 10th annual Loyalty Expo, Caesars Entertainment recorded the most impressive performance: It earned the Platinum Award in the Technology & Trends category; and Gold Awards in the Customer Insights and CX & Engagement categories.

What’s more, Caesars Entertainment received Platinum honors in the 360-Degree Award category. The 360-Degree Award is the most comprehensive overall category. To qualify for the 360-Degree Award, brands must enter three or more of the categories and be nominated as a finalist in at least one of those categories.

Noah Brodsky, senior vice president of worldwide loyalty and engagement at Wyndham Hotel Group, talked to Loyalty360 about the new loyalty partnership with Caesars.

“Together, Wyndham Rewards and Caesar Entertainment’s Total Rewards—the world’s top-ranked hotel and casino loyalty programs—are a force in loyalty,” Brodsky explained. “Through this partnership, the goal is no different—offering industry-leading perks and benefits designed for members to get the very best out of their travel experiences.”

Brodsky said the partnership is such a great opportunity for members of both programs.

“Through the partnership, nearly 30 Total Rewards destinations will become available to Wyndham Rewards members via WyndhamRewards.com and other channels,” Brodsky added. “Members can leverage Wyndham Rewards Platinum and Diamond membership to match to Total Rewards Platinum and Diamond—a first for any Total Rewards hotel partner. Additional perks are slated to come online later this summer.”

Once complete, Wyndham Rewards members will have the ability to book Total Rewards destinations across the U.S. and Canada directly through Wyndham Hotel Group and Wyndham Rewards channels, earn and redeem Wyndham Rewards points for qualified stays at those destinations; bid on one-of-a-kind hotel, restaurant, and entertainment experiences; and transfer points between the two programs.

Wyndham Rewards was totally re-imagined in the past two years. Prior to that, Brodsky said, Wyndham was competing, but not differentiating, lacking a true brand identity.

When the program re-launched, with a strong value proposition and reworked program mechanics—introducing the Wyndham Rewards Wyzard—its premise was simple: Create a point of distinction by moving away from the trends of over complication and point devaluation that were happening elsewhere in the industry and use those to establish Wyndham as a leader in the space.

Customer research showed that a free night was the absolute most important reward to Wyndham members and, yet, that same research overwhelmingly showed that most felt that reward was out of reach. With the new program, Wyndham introduced a flat redemption rate of just 15,000 points per night at any of its more than 8,000 hotels and simultaneously made it so that members earned a minimum 1,000 points with every stay. With a move toward transparency, members knew exactly how many points they needed for a free night and what they would have to do to earn those points. As a result, membership, and redemption soared.

Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada, 75 years ago, CEC has grown through development of new resorts, expansions, and acquisitions and its portfolio of subsidiaries now operate 49 casinos in 13 U.S. states and five countries. CEC’s resorts operate primarily under the Caesars®, Harrah's®, and Horseshoe® brand names.

Michael Marino, senior vice president and chief experience officer, Caesars Entertainment, told Loyalty360 that, with more than 50 million members, Total Rewards continues to set the standard for loyalty within gaming and entertainment.

“We’re always looking for like-minded partners to elevate member benefits,” Marino explained. “Through the partnership, over 30,000 Wyndham properties will become available to Total Rewards members via WyndhamRewards.com and other channels. In addition to an unparalleled portfolio of hotels, condos, and homes, our members will be on the fast track to elevated status with one of the world’s premier rewards programs. In addition, we look forward to welcoming Wyndham Rewards members into the Total Rewards family. We believe our resorts will become preferred destinations for Wyndham Rewards members.”
Marino cited three reasons that this new loyalty partnership is unique.

“The scale of both programs involved as each has over 50 million members, the scale of both companies as Wyndham has over 30,000 properties and Caesars has 47 resorts, and the elite status match offered in both directions, which is not available with other casino/hotel partnerships,” he said.

Marino is very impressed with Wyndham Rewards.

“Wyndham Rewards has won acclaim in recent years for both the simplicity and richness of the program,” he said. “We are very impressed with their clean program design and customer communication. They’ve managed to distil a very complex concept into language that all customers can understand. Additionally, while most loyalty programs are de-valuing their program redemption options, Wyndham has created very strong value for their customers in their “one-price” redemption model, which now includes all of Caesars Entertainment’s resorts.” 

Eligible members may obtain a complimentary status match with either program by visiting www.wyndhamrewards.com/caesars. Platinum and Diamond members of both programs may match to the corresponding level of their non-primary program—Platinum to Platinum, Diamond to Diamond—while Total Rewards Seven Stars members may match to Wyndham Rewards Diamond.

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