New Traveler Loyalty Survey Reveals Awareness Gap in Perceived Value of Travel Rewards

A new report from arrivia reveals that while consumers are keen to earn and redeem travel rewards through loyalty programs, many believe the rewards don’t offer enough value

SCOTTSDALE, AZ, (JUNE 15, 2022) – U.S. consumers are ready to travel, ready to redeem and ready to earn travel rewards, according to a new survey report released this week by arrival, a leading travel booking and loyalty technology platform that serves consumer-facing businesses around the world. The report, When travel meets loyalty, reveals that American consumers are looking for value when it comes to travel and that travel rewards have the potential to deliver that value. The report also shows a significant gap between what customers expect from their rewards and what loyalty providers offer.

Between December 2021 and January 2022, arrival surveyed 2,150 U.S. consumers and 204 industry decision makers about the role of travel rewards in the post-pandemic travel resurgence. Nearly 50% of consumers surveyed said the opportunity to earn points on travel is important. By comparison, 42% redeemed points to reduce the cost of their trip and a third planned to use their loyalty points to cover the full cost of their trip.

These results suggest that loyalty programs that allow members to earn and redeem travel rewards can leverage the recent surge in travel demand to capture a greater share of their member spending, drive new sign-ups and better interact with existing members.

Travel rewards are essential but often lacking

Although travel rewards programs can be effective loyalty drivers, they often fall short of expectations. Industry decision makers and consumers agree on the reasons. Nearly a quarter of travelers said their rewards didn’t seem valuable enough, while nearly a third are frustrated with the lack of redemption options, and roughly the same number say it’s difficult or complex to earn and redeem points.

Industry leaders acknowledge their loyalty programs are lacking, with 27% admitting they don’t offer enough variety when it comes to travel options, and 28% saying they struggle to demonstrate the value of their loyalty programs. rewards.

Even more worrying for loyalty administrators is the number of respondents who say none of their loyalty programs offer travel rewards (54%), compared to 65% of industry leaders who say that these exchange options are available. This apparent disconnect means loyalty providers should focus on marketing their travel rewards and better communicate their value.

“Loyalty providers who want to use their travel rewards program to help grow their business need to give members what they want. As our survey results show, that means giving the right rewards and offers to the right people. people at the right time,” says Jeff Zotara, arrival Marketing Director. “Expanding travel options, facilitating travel redemption, and providing a seamless booking experience supported by flexible technology are all important to increasing the real and perceived value of travel loyalty programs.”

Technology capability remains a barrier to closing the value gap for many loyalty program providers; 39% of loyalty programs do not allow members to book travel directly through their platform. Another 31% say booking conversion rates would improve if they could offer more exclusive discounts.

Other survey findings include:

  • 63% of industry respondents plan to offer new travel rewards or benefits in 2022, including exclusive travel options, deeper discounts, and experiences or activities.
  • 30% say attracting new members to their loyalty programs is their biggest challenge
  • 26% of travelers turn to their loyalty program platforms first when planning a trip, reporting that offers can influence decisions
  • 59% of millennials say it is extremely or very important to be able to redeem points or miles when planning a trip.

Focus on traveler loyalty programs for financial services brands

Although the survey included respondents from different industries, including hospitality, travel and education, the report reveals that financial services companies have the most to gain by improving the value proposition of their rewards programs. of travel.

More than half of credit card holders belong to a loyalty program that includes travel benefits, and about 80% belong to five or more loyalty programs. This means they are more likely to be aware of different reward structures and more sensitive to the relative value of rewards, while loyalty providers in this industry need to stand out from the crowd to differentiate their programs from traditional types of rewards. travel.

“Offering travel rewards is a good first step; we know they resonate with cardholders and consumers alike,” added Zotara. “But if credit card companies and financial institutions want to become their customers’ go-to for everyday purchases and capture more of their travel spend, they need to take it to the next level by offering exceptional and exclusive discounts combined simplified reimbursement and comprehensive travel booking capabilities.

“This is how brands can not only meet the expectations set by online travel providers, but exceed them and become their customers’ first thought when planning a trip.”

The When travel meets loyalty investigation report can be downloaded here.

For more information about the survey or to speak with Jeff Zotara, Chief Marketing Officer at arrivalplease contact Sylvia Kindlain at

About arrival

Arrival is a travel technology company that provides loyalty, reservations and marketing solutions to consumer-facing businesses that want to deliver exceptional value to their customers, uncover new revenue streams and drive growth through travel rewards and member benefits. The company’s Travel Privileges platform opens up the world of travel to companies like American Express, USAA and Marriott Vacation Club by offering their customers more value through exclusive pricing and encouraging discovery with relevant, personalized options that inspire travel and consumer loyalty. To learn more about how arrival helps businesses drive growth, boost sales, boost affinity and reward high value customers, visit

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