Priority Club Rewards Identifies 25 Percent of US Members as ‘Swingers’

World’s Largest Hotel Loyalty Program Releases Survey on How Priority Club Members Earn and Burn Their Points

ATLANTA, Feb. 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Priority Club(R) Rewards, the customer loyalty program of InterContinental Hotels Group (NYSE:IHG) (ADRs), (IHG), today released 2004 survey data voluntarily submitted from its 23 million members worldwide revealing how members earn and redeem their reward points for free travel and merchandise.

Using the Points Psychology survey for the third consecutive year, Priority Club Rewards polled its members to reveal the primary categories of behavior. The survey provided respondents with an analysis of their personality type and helpful tips on making the most of loyalty programs they may join or already belong to ( ). The chart shows the 2004 results:

2004 Results Description Tips

Sherlock (32%) Bargain hunter, Select a program with
Constant search for frequent bonus promotions
best bonus program, and a large partner pool
True loyalty program or that offers you the
player ability to purchase
additional points or
combine yours with your

Swinger or Wants both points and miles, Join comprehensive
Sophisticate Point connoisseur, programs offering
(26%) Savvy points user everything from
hotels to flights to
merchandise – anything
that will let you earn
points or miles, and
doesn’t require you to
cash either in right away.

Stasher (18%) Saving for a rainy day, Pick programs with no
Aspires for dream vacation point expiration, and join
a program with
personalized services,
like a personal shopper or
travel planner.

Snob (11%) Perks Professional, Opt for programs that
Deserves recognition, count points (not
Desires special service just nights or stays)
and upgrades toward Elite status
and offer complimentary
arrival perks or
guaranteed room
availability for top-tier

Slacker (6%) Indifferent, Select a program with
Doesn’t care about immediate perks — like
gathering points, extended checkout or a
Most programs are weekday newspaper — and
“too much hassle” look for easy-to-
understand programs with
low redemption levels.

Shepherd (6%) Miles “junkie” Choose global hotel
Wants all their programs programs that offer
to provide airline miles multiple airline
partnerships or that allow
you to convert points into
airline miles while taking
advantage of double- and
triple-point offers.

The largest category represented is Sherlocks, with 32 percent of respondents. These consumers are constantly searching for the best deals and are extremely price sensitive. Swingers represent the second largest category (26 percent) — members who jump from program to program seeking a variety of options for collecting and spending their points. The smallest groups identified are Slackers (6 percent) who don’t care about gathering points and Shepherds (6 percent) who concentrate on converting any and all of their points into airline miles.

“As we continually improve and tweak Priority Club Rewards to be more valuable to our members, we find it helpful to determine the patterns for how they earn and use their points,” said Steve Sickel, senior vice president, Loyalty Marketing, InterContinental Hotels Group. “Some road warriors want anything but more travel and choose to provide their families with free merchandise like a flat-screen television or new bicycles to compensate for a frequently traveling parent. We want to make sure that we continue to assemble rewards and offerings that our members value, and also show them how much we appreciate their return business.”

Based on answers to questions like “what’s in your wallet?” or “why do you participate in loyalty programs?” respondents were placed into one of the six distinct behavioral classifications, similar to the well-known Myers & Briggs personality test often used in the workplace for team-building and management training.

Dr. William G. Emener, a licensed psychologist and chair of the Department of Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling at the University of South Florida who assisted Priority Club Rewards in developing the Point Psychology survey, evaluated the initial member responses and helped create the behavioral classifications.

“Behavior patterns exhibited in the personalities of Sherlocks, Swingers, Snobs, etc., will occur elsewhere in these members’ lives as they make important, everyday decisions like how to spend their money,” explained Dr. Emener.

Priority Club Rewards reviewed thousands of members’ responses as well as patterns of points and miles collection and redemption, and then categorized the respondents. Whether using airline, hotel or other travel or retail frequency programs, members who understand their behavioral tendencies can better select and utilize loyalty programs that offer features and options matching their preferences.

“Our members are learning that being smart about collecting points can be very beneficial,” said Sickel. “Priority Club Rewards is fortunate to be large enough to respond to the varying wants and needs of both the business and leisure traveler and offer many options for the different behavioral types represented within Points Psychology.”

Enrollment in Priority Club Rewards is free and guests can enroll by logging on at, by calling 1-888-211-9874 or at any InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites or Candlewood Suites hotel worldwide.

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