There’s news this morning of a new partnership called Crossover Rewards that’s forming between two juggernauts in the travel industry. Starting March 1, Delta Air Lines and Starwood will be sharing some benefits from their loyalty programs, meaning members of SkyMiles and Starwood Preferred Guest will soon be able to enjoy perks extended to their partner program without earning status on the other side.
Shared benefits vary by the level of elite status but will not include the entire spectrum of perks. Delta Platinum and Diamond members, for example, will be allowed a late checkout and free Wi-i, but will not get complimentary room upgrades. Similarly, SPG members will enjoy a free checked bag, priority boarding and priority seating, but will not get upgrades. In both programs, booked travel will earn points for each loyalty account.
The move aims to target loyalty members from a different market sector and hopefully entice them to bring loyalty to another program. Simply put, this is an easy way for each brand to target highly profitable and highly loyal customers at low risk, so it’s an easy partnership to forge.
This isn’t the first time that loyalty programs have teamed up for earnings. Hilton Hotels has been using a double dip program in HHonors for several years where loyal travelers can allocate a part of their earnings to an airline mileage account.
Unique to Crossover Rewards though is the elite benefits that are being shared. Under this program, even if the Delta Platinum has never set foot in the same city as an SPG property there are still benefits to be collected. It’s a great incentive to loyal travelers and a savvy move by Delta and SPG. Hopefully the other carriers and hotels catch on.
[Flickr photo via Ed Yourdon]