I received an invitation to take a survey from Kimpton in my inbox. I normally ignore such requests, but since I am so fanatical about Kimpton, I truly wanted to give them my honest feedback (especially since I want to tell them how good of a job they’ve been doing!
About 25% into the survey, I came across this question:
Immediately, I am lead to believe that there were significant changes in store for the program. With the IHG merger announcement that was made earlier this year, changes would be inevitable, and switching to [or integrating] a points-earning system seemed logical and expected.
Still, the above images didn’t speak to me as Kimpton. Advertising the potential to earn 10x on room costs + free wifi seemed kind of blah and had me thinking: “what about all of the other sweet benefits?” “will this replace them?” “free wifi is expected at most hotels nowadays… how is this special?”. My mind wandered as I honestly answered the questions and provided them with my feedback.
Then I came to this screen:
I’d like to first give Kimpton the benefit of the doubt: Will earning points be in addition to the Kimpton Karma Rewards structure? Or -gasp- would this replace everything we know about how we earn free nights via stay/night credits?
I’d like to believe that maybe this really is an enhancement, allowing guests to earn money to use towards their stay in the form of spa credits, restaurant charges, etc… but it’s never safe to assume, and I hate being disappointed.
Using the model that was presented above (earning 10 points per dollar for room cost only), and seeing that 10,000 points equals $70 towards your stay, means there’s a very likely possibility that there’s a devaluation coming our way.
Lets take an example and say the average room cost is $100 per night:
$100 x 10 points per dollar = 1,000 points. If this earnings-model replaces the current model, this means that you would have to stay 10 nights to get a measly $70 to use towards a future stay.
Under the current Kimpton Karma Rewards program, you can earn a free night after 7 stays, and you can earn another 2 free nights on top of that simply by staying at 10 unique properties (which is extremely generous).
Kimpton is one of the two hotel programs that I go out of my way to qualify for top-tier status. That speaks volumes about how good they are.
For the rest of the hotel programs, I am content with mid-level stays that can be obtained in ways not involving paid nights and stays (more on that later). Though reward program changes are inevitable with the impending merger with IHG, I would hate to see a serious devaluation to Kimpton Karma Rewards.
What are your thoughts?