Last Monday, we decided to run a short survey about on-property elite benefits (read more here) and asked our readers to rank their personal preferences.
The reason behind this was a piece about IHG’s elite benefits that I wrote (read more here) and where some readers voiced their disagreement with my views (that’s ok – we don’t always have to agree).
So, we asked our readers to order their preference regarding these on-property benefits; club lounge access, upgrades, breakfast, early check-in/late checkout, welcome amenity, and priority/separate check-in area.
We chose these six benefits because they are not any single program-specific, but rather apply to most guest loyalty programs that we cover.
Also, we didn’t survey benefits that are provided by the corporate such as free nights, bonus points, or priority customer support.
These six options were displayed on random order, and the respondent had to order them in preference from most to least valued.
And here are the results:
The maximum value for any option is 6.
Club Lounge Access – Score 4.68
Room/Suite Upgrades – Score 4.56
Breakfast – Score 4.40
These three highest-ranked options are very close to each other and likely partially market dependent. Breakfast is probably the benefit that applies universally.
The quality of club lounges is very variable, generally not very good in the Americas, acceptable in Europe, and good to great in Asia-Pacific (this is a generalization and there are good/bad lounges in all markets).
Readers also value room and suite upgrades highly. There is some variability between programs what is promised (select standard suites) and whether suites are included or not.
Breakfast probably has some overlap with the club lounge access. If you have club access, breakfast is usually (99% of the time) included too.
Early Check-In/Late Check-Out – Score 3.48
This was the closest to the survey average of 3.5. Early check-ins can come handy if coming from an early flight and late checkouts when on a staycation or taking an evening flight out. Both can be very valuable.
Welcome Amenity – Score 2.14
Some hotels put up a nice welcome amenity, although the times when you always got a bottle of red wine and a cheese plate are long gone.
Priority/Separate Check-In Score 1.75
I am somewhat surprised that readers don’t value convenient check-in and check out more. These are both important for me, although the last option of these six for me as well.
Here’s the actual survey data.
My personal preference is the same as the order above if you swap the room/suite upgrade with the club lounge access. I value suite upgrades more than the club, but I do understand why most would not.
Perhaps we will do another survey in due course where we incorporate on-property benefits with other loyalty program benefits such as earning free nights, bonus points, and preferential customer service.