U.S. Loyalty

U.S. Loyalty

A recent white paper from COLLOQUY states that there are 1.3 billion — that’s billion with a “b” members of loyalty programs in the U.S.. The number can add up to such a staggering amount because according to the study, the average U.S. household averages 12 memberships. How do frequent travel programs add up in these numbers? Frequent flyer program memberships in 2006 were reported at 254,435,000 — the largest of any type of loyalty program — and COLLOQUY expects continued growth. But the report warns, “The continued influx of infrequent flyers who siphon miles through third-party relationships — rather than by earning them by buying a seat on a flight — will drive the continued growth of miles in circulation. At the same time, reward-seat inventory continues to shrink and mileage expiration periods grow ever shorter — which means that the devaluation of mileage currency will continue.” Hotel programs, with 2006 memberships at 92,463,000, fared better in the report: “We predict moderate growth in hotel program memberships as consumers purged from the airline rolls migrate to hotel programs offering better value.”

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