Membership, loyalty or business card?

They all work differently and each one offers its own privileges

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There are plenty of different cards that reward business travellers for their loyalty. But not all of them work the same way, and each offers its own privileges. Let’s compare.

Whether it's a little plastic rectangle in your wallet or something stored digitally in your smartphone, these cards all offer certain benefits, both to the people who use them and the companies that offer them. Understanding how they work is key to making the right choice for you. 

The membership card: an excellent loyalty tool

Membership cards are generally registered to an individual at a cost, and they apply to many sectors. The principle: to retain the customer by encouraging him or her to use the same products or services regularly, offsetting the cost of the card. Added into the mix are numerous advantages, like discounts on transport, rooms and food, as well as privileged services. The major disadvantage is that members need to remain loyal in order to recoup the price of the card.

The loyalty card: deferred benefits

Often free, loyalty cards allow you to accumulate points in order to benefit from discounts and/or gifts when you reach a certain number. Some examples include Air France’s Flying Blue card or TheCard from Thalys. These allow you to accumulate miles and, after a certain number of trips, to enjoy discounts and free tickets. In the hotel sector, the ALL card provides access to many exclusive privileges: discounts, priority check-in, private sales events, and personalised customer services. Banking services are sometimes associated with these cards, so owners can use them as a method of payment and even for e-ticketing.  

The business card: ideal for professionals

Business cards are intended for professionals who travel a lot for their jobs. Whether the card is offered by large hotels or car rental companies (for example), after an initial cost, it offers many immediate advantages: significant discounts, priority access, special deals with other partners, unlimited mileage, etc.
The Business Plus card from Accor, which can be used by several employees from the same company, is priced at €170 per year for each employee. The cost can be recouped after 10 hotel nights, with discounts between 5% and 15% (and up to 20% on weekend nights) depending on the hotel category, and in thousands of locations around the world. There are also other advantages, such as room availability when booking at least three days before arrival or a 20% discount on car hire from Europcar. More so than with other types of cards, business cards are designed to make business travellers' lives a whole lot easier.

Published by Sylvie on 08/09/2017 Photo credit: © Abaca Corporate/Jacques-Yves Gucia.
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