A Credit Card With a $50,000 Fee (!) and Hotel Elite Program Going Revenue-Based

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I look forward to The Points Guy’s week of blog coverage, and weight comparison video of this card. :rolleyes:

  2. @ Gary — I didn’t take the consistency issue to be necessarily negative. If they are going to be requiring, say, $20,000-$25,000 revenue (my guess based on the other numbers presented) for RA, I would certainly think that the benefits will be become better and more consistently delivered for the far fewer RAs. We just happen to be planning to increase our annual RA spending from ~$12-$13k to about $20-$25k anyway (no more monthly SF rent!), so I am actually glad to see these changes. Plus, I don’t take the presentation too seriously, especially given that the author clearly doesn’t even understand the difference between revenue and profit…

  3. I have to say I don’t see how revenue based makes sense for a hotel chain in general. Just means only people who have to travel to high priced cities will make the top levels. Now for those who visit cheaper areas they will just have to come up with other ways to entice them to stay to compensate for loss of the elite status “attractor”. Since making $20K spend on $79 a night HIX’s is a non starter…

    And in some ways the people staying in places where they don’t sell out are more important than those who stay in higher priced cities where they can probably sell the room regardless. And you basically just made your highest revenue customers less profitable.

  4. @ Nick — I had the same thoughts. Going strictly revenue makes no sense, especially with the big US/UKhotel companies trying to grow in China, where rates are generally much lower. If hotel companies instead switch a multiple-requirement system like airlines (e.g., nights + revenue), that doesn’t accomplish much since the revenue requirement would have to be pretty low. Per my earlier comments, the IHG presentation doesn’t look too sharp, so I am a bit suspect on how far they are in the thought process on this proposal. I suspect this is the work of some low-level IHG bean-counter or some lame consultant who charges more than they are worth.

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