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The future of the Starwood Preferred Guest program, for example, remains in the balance although Marriott International assured guests that program is crucial to the two hotels’ integration. Airlines such as JetBlue and Virgin America have their own red-versus-blue battle over loyal customers.
This week’s five startups seek to help travelers understand the changing travel loyalty landscape. They act as advisors to loyalty card holders, helping them decide when to redeem points and how to maximize the programs they’re a part of of.
>>RewardExpert helps travelers use and understand their rewards programs.
SkiftTake: The problem should instead be making these rewards programs easier to understand in the first place rather than creating separate businesses for this.
>>RewardStock helps travelers decide whether or not they should pay for travel with rewards points.
SkiftTake: This idea is something that rewards programs themselves can’t help travelers do and it helps to have a third party to go to for advice.
>>muchopoints helps business travelers maximize their earned hotel loyalty points so that they can use those points when they want to take a vacation.
SkiftTake: Business travelers love combining business and leisure and anything that helps them do this more easily equals much more spending for brands.
>>Kaligo is a Singapore-based hotel booking platform that rewards customers with miles and points on popular airline and credit card programs. The number of points available changes based on hotel and booking dates.
SkiftTake: Kaligo is not the first travel site to do this. Both PointsHound and RocketMiles have been competing for U.S. travelers keen on earning points with every booking, and with some success. Kaligo can differentiate itself by focusing on the Asia market.
>>Hellogbye helps travelers store their flight rewards in an app, make changes to your trip and receive notifications for cancellations or flight delays.
SkiftTake: Hellogbye’s best bet is its feature that lets family members get involved in the trip planning process and stay updated on the itinerary, and also the ability to use points to rebook flights if they’re delayed or cancelled.
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