First of all, I apologize for not posting for a while. This is one of the most critical error I could have done. However, you would be expecting a daily update from me. There have been so many updates now in Miles and Points world.
Let’s kick it off with Taj-Shangrila tie up.
Thanks to the merger of Starwood, Marriott and Ritz Carlton, there is a major change coming in the hospitality business. There is a new wave of changing coming for the customers.
Two of Asia’s iconic luxury chains, Taj and Shangri-La, have formed a strategic alliance to increase their reach and market share in the highly competitive hospitality industry. The two companies will launch a brand-new guest loyalty program called Warmer Welcomes, which will integrate Taj’s InnerCircle and Shangri-La’s Golden Circle rewards programs.
Warmer Welcomes will make its debut next March and the joint loyalty program will allow the six million members to earn and redeem points for stays at a combined network of 200 hotels in 27 countries.
As there is an almost negligible presence of Shangrila in India and Taj overseas, there is not a major overlap taking place as with Marriott property everywhere. Taj hotels have over 108 properties in India.
Shangri-la has a 3 tier status program where Gold is the entry level and Diamond the highest, while Taj has a 4 tier program: Copper, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Status matches will work at the mid-tier and elite levels. In order to match status Shangri-La’s Diamond members will be matched with Taj’s Platinum membership level, the Golden Circle mid-tier Jade members will be matched with Gold status in the Taj InnerCircle program.
|Taj Inner Circle||Shangri-La|
|Taj Platinum||Shangri-La Diamond|
|Taj Gold||Shangri-La Jade|
|Taj Silver and Copper||Shangri-La Gold|
Note: Last point is just a reference as Taj Silver has a negligible value in either program. There is not much upside to Taj Silver anyway.
Do keep in mind that to receive reciprocal benefits TIC and GC members must first interlink their accounts on both programs.
Earning & Redeeming Points
Under this new alliance, the value of Golden Circle points to InnerCircle points has been fixed in the ratio of 3:2. That means that every 100 Golden Circle points will equal to 67 InnerCircle points. Which means that GC members staying at a Taj hotel will now earn 3 GC Award Points for every USD 5 spent, and TIC members will receive 4 TIC Points for every USD 5 expended on eligible stays. A minimum of 100 and a maximum of 250,000 Award Points can be converted between the 2 programs every calendar year.
What does this mean?
We are not sure what would happen in the end. We are expecting loyalty program to devalue over the period. This is actually the ideal time where the customer can reap benefits of the mergers and get higher status. It definitely looks like they would increase the criteria to attain the status for either program.