BW to add restaurants, pay cards to loyalty package

DALLAS, Tex. — Dorothy Dowling, senior vice-president and chief marketing officer for Best Western, has unveiled some major changes coming to Best Western Rewards, including a restaurant deal and use of points for pay cards.

“Our loyalty
program is a shining example of what happens when you get the brilliant basics
right. By winning the customer – and earning their loyalty – we make a sound
investment in our future. It’s that simple,” said Dowling at the Best Western North American Convention and Global Conference held last week in Dallas.

Dowling pointed out that for the sixth straight year, Best Western was awarded a top five ranking in U.S. News & World Report’s list of Best
Hotel Rewards Programs. “Put that into
perspective. We’re a challenger brand. Our competitors are much bigger with
much deeper pockets,” she said.

Best Western Rewards celebrates 30 years this year. “That’s 30 years of putting the customer first and
rewarding loyalty. In 1988, our loyalty program was 180,000
members strong. Within a year’s time, it generated over $200 million, or a
revenue contribution of 2.5 per cent. By the end of 2018, Best Western Rewards will
have grown to 37 million members, up more than 13 per cent in just one year.”

This year, Best Western decided to raise the
bar by increasing their enrolment threshold for each hotel from
1 per cent to 1.25 per cent. To meet that
goal, an 80-room hotel will have to sign up one Rewards member a day. “That’s not an
impossible dream. In fact, 80 per cent of [Best Western hoteliers] are already meeting that goal. And, unlike our
competitors, Best Western will continue to reward our hoteliers with a rebate
for each new enrolment,” Dowling said.

Dorothy Dowling (right) is interviewed by Kelly Dalton of Best Western.

Dorothy Dowling (right) is interviewed by Kelly Dalton of Best Western.

Restaurant partners and pay anywhere

Dowling announced that Best Western Rewards will enhance
their rewards program in 2019 by adding restaurants as earn partners. “This enhancement allows
Rewards members to earn points by eating at participating restaurants in their
home communities. And with this new
partnership, Best Western Rewards members will earn while they eat. Best of
all, they’ll stock up on Rewards points and
free nights…even when they’re home.”

She also said that with BWR
Pay, Rewards members will soon be able to use their rewards to buy just about anything. Wherever Apple Pay and Android
Pay is accepted, Best Western Rewards members will be able to convert their
points toward purchasing whatever they want.

“For example, let’s say one of our Rewards
members, Luke, has racked up over 100,000 points. Luke can redeem
them toward a Best Western Travel Card or a free room night – which is still
the number one driver of customer engagement,” Dowling said. 

“But with BWR Pay, Luke can
convert his points and use them on his mobile wallet. From there, he
can make purchases, either in-store or online, anywhere Apply or Android Pay is
accepted. It’s Luke’s choice…which is exactly what our customers want.”

Shout out to Canada's Perry Batke

Last year, Dowling closed her remarks in a very special way by writing thank you notes and reading them out loud, Tonight Show style, to some people who’ve made a significant impact on her and the brand. This year she continued the tradition, and one of those shout-outs was to Perry Batke, general manager of the Best Western Premier Denham Inn & Suites and the Best Western Plus Edmonton Airport hotel.

“Thank you, Perry Batke, fellow Canadian and friend, for your business leadership and constant willingness to invest in your hotels and our brand. You are the gold standard for what is means to be a GM. Thank you for embracing Best Western’s Master Sales Class and for your commitment to building a revenue culture at your properties.”