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The perks of being a loyal customer

Businesses work hard to attract new customers and retain the loyal ones. One way to accomplish that goal is through an effective loyalty program
Thanks to the frequent traveler programs offered in the hospitality and tourism industry, loyal customers can enjoy many perks. Drawing from my travel experience in December, I wrote an article entitled "It Pays to Be Loyal Customers" on Multibriefs.com earlier. While I am not going to repeat the whole discussion here, I am going to share part of the article here: 
Being a premier gold member of United, for example, I can also enjoy the following perks:
  • Free lounge access for international flights
  • Eligible to choose an Economy Plus seat with extra legroom upon reservation
  • Eligible for a free upgrade to United First for regional flights, starting 48 hours before departure
  • Two free checked bags of up to 70 pounds each for international and some domestic flights
  • Priority access for TSA
  • Priority boarding, right after the First and Business Class passengers
  • Priority baggage handling (as a result, I usually need not to wait for my checked bags at all)
  • Complimentary Gold Status with Marriott International, which comes with perks of Marriott and Starwood Hotels such as room upgrades (if available), lounge access (with free breakfast and evening reception), complimentary Wi-Fi and some others.
Many of those perks are not cheap if we have to pay with cash, but they make travel a lot easier. In fact, as a traveler's elite status moves up, s/he can enjoy even more and better perks. Now, the question is how to become an elite member of a frequent traveler program?
There are many frequent traveler programs available even though it has become more difficult for travelers to earn points or miles from those programs. The key is to choose the brand that we have easy access and stick to it, including:
  • To earn miles with one account only — for example, to earn mileage from the 28 partnered airlines of Star Alliance using only one of the airlines that we use most often (in my case, I choose United). Likewise, we should earn mileage with only one airline among all SkyTeam partners or OneWorld airlines.
  • To open a credit card of the airline that we fly most often, which will also provide such perks of free checked bag(s) in domestic flights and priority boarding.
  • One may reach a silver status by flying 25,000 miles a year (approximately two round trips between North America and Asia or Europe; or roughly four round trips between L.A. and New York City).
  • It usually takes twice as much effort to gain a gold status as compared to the silver status.
I hope you find my tips helpful here. Now, if you are not yet an elite loyal customer to any brands, would you consider becoming one in 2017? For those who travel often, what additional suggestions will you make to the ones who want to become an elite loyal customer in 2017?
* The picture was downloaded from King of Celebrities Blog

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