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Frequent Flyer

Best Western Rewards Changes Are Encouraging

In what may presage a welcome new emphasis on loyalty marketing, Best Western has announced changes to its Rewards program. More generous promotions ahead?

Less than a week ago, I characterized Best Western Rewards as a “conservative and underutilized loyalty program.”

Today, it’s still a conservative program. But with two just-announced changes, it’s a bit less so. And the very fact that the company has elected to focus on upgrading its rewards program may indicate a willingness to use it more aggressively in the future. More generous promotions, anyone?

The first change: Beginning next year, Rewards points will no longer expire, no matter where members reside. (Currently, the non-expiring-points policy is limited to members in North America and a few other regions.)

And secondly, also beginning next year, the program will be expanded to include a new elite tier, Diamond Select, awarded after completing 50 nights during a calendar year. The key benefit of Diamond Select is the 50 percent bonus earned for stays, although there’s also a vague reference made to other “exclusive benefits.”

None of the above is a game-changer. But again, the moves may be the beginning of a fresh emphasis on loyalty marketing by Best Western. And after a long run of decidedly mediocre promotions, that’s a change Best Western customers would welcome.

This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.

By Tim Winship

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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