#elitematters and Accor is ALL in on it

#elitematters and Accor is ALL in on it

When Accor ALL first won this category in 2020, it was almost considered a fluke given that Marriott/Starwood had ruled the category for many years. But with this back-to-back win, it is clear that Accor ALL is all in on status. Granted, it was their lowest rating among the four Freddie Awards they won this year, it was mere fractions in comparison to their y-u-g-e win in Program of the Year. Perennial category winner Marriott (with assistance from Starwood) finished second with the now usual group of MeliáRewards, Hilton, and IHG right behind. This is MeliáRewards’ second category in which they finished in a #3 spot. Good on them. However, let us note that there is a rating drop below Marriott Bonvoy in the #2 spot of 1.1 points before MeliáRewards claims the #3 spot. We do not think it is good to see such a gap in ratings in this important category so high up. In fact, there is less than a 1.1 point rating drop from the #3 spot to the #10 spot.

TRIVIA: When Accor ALL first won this award in 2020, they broke a streak of 17 consecutive years in which either Marriott or Starwood won this category.

Full Voting Results

RankBest Elite Program – Hotels (Europe & Africa)Rating
1ALL Accor Live Limitless9.10
2Marriott Bonvoy8.23
4Hilton Honors6.97
5IHG Rewards6.81
6Wyndham Rewards6.68
7World of Hyatt6.60
8GHA Discovery6.52
9Leading Hotels of the World Leaders Club6.51
10NH Rewards6.37
11Radisson Rewards6.35
12Best Western Rewards6.30
13Choice Privileges6.18
There can only be one winner—Accor does it ALL

There can only be one winner—Accor does it ALL

Program of the Year has its own cache as an award—best of the best. This year, Accor ALL won this award just as they have the previous six Freddie Awards making them an eight-time winner. They wrestled away the title from Starwood Preferred Guest in 2013 and haven’t looked back except in 2014 when IHG Rewards Club bested everyone. If you have but one Freddie Award, this is likely the one to earn but in counting their wins up this year it is but one of four for them to have taken home. In a category this important, all finishes matter, and Marriott Bonvoy, winner of the Program of the Year in the Americas finished in the number two spot. Accor ALL also finished well for Program of the Year in Middle Eat & Asia where they finished in the number two spot. Following right behind Marriott were Hilton and IHG with 210 Award winner GHA Discovery closing out the top five programs. In numbers six and seven, MeliáRewards and Radisson Rewards were close with their own cigars. As we look over all the finishers here, we’re most intrigued with IHG, a former winner who quite recently announced a complete refresh of their program. Similar to the refresh of Aeroplan in the airline program arena, a refresh can often move s needle. Let’s hope the race is on because members often win when the competition is new and close. One final observation: ALL’s rating of 9.16 is the highest rating of any of the three hotel Program of the Year wins. That deserves a virtual standing applause.

Full Voting Results

RankProgram of the Year – Hotels (Europe & Africa)Rating
1ALL Accor Live Limitless9.16
2Marriott Bonvoy8.19
3Hilton Honors7.01
4IHG Rewards6.96
5GHA Discovery6.67
6Radisson Rewards6.65
8Wyndham Rewards6.51
9World of Hyatt6.43
10Leading Hotels of the World Leaders Club6.30
11Best Western Rewards6.23
12NH Rewards6.18
13Choice Privileges6.17
Shangri-La earns its first Freddie Award recognition ever

Shangri-La earns its first Freddie Award recognition ever

This category is all about learning and earning. Shangri-La earns its first Freddie Award recognition ever and comes at the start of a complete program refresh, including rebranding from Golden Circle to just Circle. Was this change part of why they popped up in value rating in 2022? We don’t know but will certainly be looking for their presence next year. Wyndham Rewards finished second this year which should not be a surprise given that they won the award in 2020. GHA Discovery finishes in third position only 4/100ths of a point behind Wyndham Rewards. We’re fairly sure GHA is pleased with this finish given that they won the category 210 Award in the Europe & Africa region. Radisson Rewards claims the #4 spot and Trident Hotels and their Trident Privilege program close out the top five ratings. Trident actually won the award in 2017.

ITC Hotels which won the region award for this category both in 2016 and 2019 is a big winner this year by claiming Freddie Awards in four categories including Program of the Year. We’re always glad to see programs gain confidence in their loyalty offerings.

Full Voting Results

Rank210 Award – Hotels (Middle East & Asia/Oceania)Rating
1Shangri La Golden Circle6.59
2Wyndham Rewards6.39
3GHA Discovery6.35
4Best Western Rewards5.90
5Radisson Rewards5.84
6Trident Hotel Trident Privilege5.48
Club ITC wins second consecutive Best Redemption Ability award

Club ITC wins second consecutive Best Redemption Ability award

This is one of four Freddie Award wins that Club ITC has taken home this year and won with a rating of 8.97 which is the second-highest category rating across all the regions. It is also their second consecutive award in this category having also won in in 2020. There are three programs with ratings in the 8.X range in this category which is good news for members. The Accor ALL and Marriott Bonvoy programs were rated #2 and #3 respectively. Anything beyond an 8.X rating deserves more effort by those programs. Remember people—these are earn & redeem loyalty programs. This is also one of the four categories (Program of the Year, Elite, and Promotion) in which the three top highest-rated programs are the same in each category. That is consistency. But let’s go straight to the bottom shall we: World of Hyatt in the #9 slot is simply out of character with a program that seems to have so much more going for it. But since members matter, Hyatt should look at this report card and address what seems to be a weakness in their program. As for Best Western in the #10 rating, well, you have to start somewhere though the somewhere shouldn’t be a bottom rating.

Full Voting Results

RankBest Redemption Ability – Hotels (Middle East & Asia/Oceania)Rating
1Club ITC8.97
2ALL Accor Live Limitless8.84
3Marriott Bonvoy8.29
4Taj InnerCircle7.55
5Shangri La Golden Circle6.77
6IHG Rewards6.60
7Hilton Honors6.43
8Wyndham Rewards6.41
9World of Hyatt6.30
10Best Western Rewards5.90
11Radisson Rewards5.90
12Trident Hotel Trident Privilege5.88
Marriott Bonvoy wins its first ever award in this category for this region

Marriott Bonvoy wins its first ever award in this category for this region

Marriott Bonvoy wins its first-ever award in this category for this region. They finished a close second for this award in the two other regions proving that Bonvoy does have a passion for serving its members globally. What is interesting is that Bonvoy becomes the fourth different program to win this award in the past five Freddie Awards seemingly to prove that the category is competitive. But there are others that can claim this crown in years to come, Accor ALL finished a close second only 2/100ths of a point behind and they have won this category before as well as winning it in Europe. But it is not just about these two programs, Club ITC has proven themselves to be a regional powerhouse of loyalty with many other Freddie Awards wins in other categories, and also just like Accor ALL, they have won this category in past years. But after Club ITC in the number three rating, it drops off quickly with almost a full point rating average before Taj InnerCircle picks it up just in front of Shangri-La Circle. Puzzling for us is seeing IHG, Hyatt, and Hilton floundering in the #7 through #9 positions at least two full ratings points off the winner. Puzzling you ask? Well, truth be known, these three programs have claimed a Freddie Award in this category in years past, IHG in 2015, Hyatt in 2013, and Hilton in 2009. Why the fall in ratings? Is it that other programs stepped it up or have these three dialed the support down? Our guess is that these three have dialed it down since it is all about their own ratings from members, not their performance against other programs. Let’s hope they are reading this and learn something about their past.

Full Voting Results

RankBest Customer Service – Hotels (Middle East & Asia/Oceania)Rating
1Marriott Bonvoy8.63
2ALL Accor Live Limitless8.61
3Club ITC8.40
4Taj InnerCircle7.65
5Shangri La Golden Circle7.02
6GHA Discovery6.54
7IHG Rewards6.49
8World of Hyatt6.45
9Hilton Honors6.38
10Wyndham Rewards6.18
11Best Western Rewards5.95
12Radisson Rewards5.69
13Trident Hotel Trident Privilege5.64
Club ITC claims highest rated Best Promotion award

Club ITC claims highest rated Best Promotion award

Club ITC claims the Best Promotion award honor becoming the fifth different winner in the past six Freddie Awards in this category. Club ITC also earned this award with the highest rating for the award across all other regions with a 9.01 final rating. The secret to their win? Appealing to the need for status: Members were able to earn status by staying one-third fewer nights or one-third less revenue in 2021. Silver status was earned after just 4 nights or INR 40,000 revenue, while Platinum required just 20 nights or INR 200,000 revenue. Right behind them were other great promotions including #2 Accor ALL with their activation booster: Members could earn up to €120 in points, with 1 to 3 stays of 2 nights or more booked between September 23 and November 4 for stays through December 31 earning up to 6,000 Reward points (This promotion finished #2 in Europe) and #3 Marriott Bonvoy with their Better Two-gether promotion: Earn an unlimited amount of double bonus points for stays of two nights or longer at more than 7,500 participating properties and double elite night credits making elite status much faster to achieve especially when combined with Marriott Bonvoy cobranded credit cards, between February 16 – April 27, 2021 (This promotion finished #2 in the Americas). After Marriott, the promotion ratings fall sharply with the next seven promotions all rated within a .75 point variance.

Full Voting Results

RankBest Promotion – Hotels (Middle East & Asia/Oceania)Rating
1Club ITC9.01
2ALL Accor Live Limitless8.69
3Marriott Bonvoy8.35
4IHG Rewards6.51
5Hilton Honors6.39
6World of Hyatt6.24
7Wyndham Rewards6.21
8GHA Discovery6.19
9Choice Privileges6.03
Club ITC wins overall Best Elite award with 9.05 rating

Club ITC wins overall Best Elite award with 9.05 rating

This category win by Club ITC is but one of four this year for this program and Best Elite along with Program of the Year certainly puts them in the #admired category itself. As in many other categories this year, the three highest-rated programs remain the same with Accor ALL and Marriott Bonvoy following right behind. Club ITC does become the fourth winner in this category in the past four Freddie Awards with Marriott, Hyatt, and Starwood being the previous three winners. And yes, you read this correctly, Hyatt won the Best Elite award in 2019 … this year they finished in ninth place with a rating over 2.5 points off of the 9.05 rating that Club ITC earned the award with. Regional programs from Taj, Shangri-La, and GHA are bunched right behind the top three with IHG, Hyatt, and Hilton not faring well in this region where service and status matter most.

TRIVIA: ITC Hotels has a franchise agreement to operate most of its hotels as part of The Luxury Collection of Marriott International. It is a smaller chain of only about 100 hotels and in case you’ve ever wondered … “ITC” stands for Imperial Tobacco Company.

Full Voting Results

RankBest Elite Program – Hotels (Middle East & Asia/Oceania)Rating
1Club ITC9.05
2ALL Accor Live Limitless8.78
3Marriott Bonvoy8.35
4Taj InnerCircle7.54
5Shangri La Golden Circle6.86
6GHA Discovery6.62
7IHG Rewards6.54
8Hilton Honors6.36
9World of Hyatt6.31
10Wyndham Rewards6.17
11Radisson Rewards6.06
12Best Western Rewards6.00
13Trident Hotel Trident Privilege5.37
Program of the Year honors goes to Club ITC

Program of the Year honors goes to Club ITC

In somewhat of a coming-out party, Club ITC wins the biggest prize of the year with this Program of the Year honor that perfectly goes along with three other Freddie Awards they have won in 2022. Their winning rating of 9.05 matches exactly that of the same rating for their Best Elite award as well. Club ITC becomes the fourth program to win this award in the past five Freddie Awards with the only repeat being IHG which won in both 2018 and 2019. This category also features the same top three finishers as in four other categories with Club ITC, Accor ALL, and Marriott Bonvoy all displaying their consistencies. As mentioned, IHG won this award in 2019, 2018, and 2013 but this year could do no better than a #6 finish, 2.5 points off the rating of winner Club ITC. And what of other past winners? Hyatt who won in 2014 could do no better than a #10 finish with a rating of 6.30. We’d rather see a program consistently in the top-five year after year and perhaps not even winning the award than to see a program seesaw up and down through the top ten. But then … that’s just us thinking out loud.

Full Voting Results

RankProgram of the Year – Hotels (Middle East & Asia/Oceania)Rating
1Club ITC9.05
2ALL Accor Live Limitless8.82
3Marriott Bonvoy8.39
4Taj InnerCircle7.53
5Shangri La Golden Circle6.59
6IHG Rewards6.49
7Wyndham Rewards6.39
8Hilton Honors6.35
9GHA Discovery6.35
10World of Hyatt6.30
11Best Western Rewards5.90
12Radisson Rewards5.84
13Trident Hotel Trident Privilege5.48
KrisFlyer wins their first ever Freddie Award and it’s Program of the Year

KrisFlyer wins their first ever Freddie Award and it’s Program of the Year

This category has had one of the longest and most consistent streaks for a winner ever with Virgin Australia Velocity winning the category eight of the past nine years (El AL won the award in 2017). So the win by Singapore KrisFlyer represents a huge shift in the value of loyalty programs in the Middle East & Asia/Oceania region. And Singapore did it with their usual aplomb garnering a 9.23 rating by their members. In the #2 spot with a rating of 8.90 is Vistara Club Vistara followed by Garuda Indonesia GarudaMiles with a member rating of 8.23. And where are past winners of this important category? Velocity has dropped to #7 two full points + behind the winning category rating and El Al did not even make the top ten. For Velocity, it is quite the fall as they are now ranked below that of rival Qantas who finished in the #6 spot. The bright star of the Australian airline loyalty marketplace—Air New Zealand landed a quite respectable #4.

TRIVIA: Vistara Airlines (#2) is actually a joint venture between Tata Sons (a privately held conglomerate in India) and Singapore Airlines. Their headquarters is in Gurgaon, also known as Gurugram, (a suburb of New Delhi which is an urban district within the city of Delhi) which is also the headquarters for Freddie Award winner Club ITC.

Full Voting Results

RankProgram of the Year – Airlines (Middle East & Asia/Oceania)Rating
1Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer9.23
2Vistara Club Vistara8.90
3Garuda Indonesia GarudaMiles8.23
4Air New Zealand Airpoints8.03
5Korean Air Skypass7.62
6Qantas Frequent Flyer7.57
7Virgin Australia Velocity7.15
8Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Miles7.08
9Malaysia Airlines Enrich7.08
10Emirates Skywards7.00
11Qatar Airways Privilege Club7.00
12Air India Flying Returns6.92
13JAL Mileage Bank6.59
14Asiana Airlines Asiana Club6.59
15Air China PhoenixMiles6.50
16ANA Nippon Airways Mileage Club6.50
17Air Arabia Air Rewards6.27
18Gulf Air FalconFlyer6.22
19Cathay Pacific Asia Miles6.22
20China Eastern Airlines Eastern Miles6.20
22Thai Royal Orchid Plus5.97
23EVA Airways Infinity MileageLands5.93
24Etihad Guest5.92
25AirAsia Big5.73
26China Airlines Dynasty Flyer5.72
27Oman Air Sinbad5.71
Singapore KrisFlyer sweeps another category win with Best Elite program

Singapore KrisFlyer sweeps another category win with Best Elite program

KrisFlyer works on sweeping the Freddie Awards in the Middle East & Asia/Oceania region with this impressive win, nearly a half-point higher rating from their members than #2 Vistara Club Vistara. As with Program of the Year, Garuda Indonesia GarudaMiles closes out the top three with their 8.24 rating by members. The first true Middle East airline loyalty program in this category is Saudia Alfursan easily outdistancing Emirates Skywards in #8. And what of perennial category winner Virgin Australia Velocity? They are in full command of the #9 spot. Another Asian loyalty program that hovers in the top half is the Korean Air Skypass program, in this category ranked at #6. The top Chinese loyalty program emerges from Air China PhoenixMiles landing in the #13 spot.

Full Voting Results

RankBest Elite Program – Airlines (Middle East & Asia/Oceania)Rating
1Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer9.10
2Vistara Club Vistara8.64
3Garuda Indonesia GarudaMiles8.24
4Saudia Alfursan7.84
5Air New Zealand Airpoints7.70
6Korean Air Skypass7.48
7Qantas Frequent Flyer7.45
8Emirates Skywards7.11
9Virgin Australia Velocity7.01
10Asiana Airlines Asiana Club6.98
11Malaysia Airlines Enrich6.98
12Qatar Airways Privilege Club6.94
13Air China PhoenixMiles6.91
14Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Miles6.90
15JAL Mileage Bank6.80
16Air India Flying Returns6.75
17ANA Nippon Airways Mileage Club6.55
19Gulf Air FalconFlyer6.21
20Air Arabia Air Rewards6.17
22China Eastern Airlines Eastern Miles6.16
23Etihad Guest6.02
24Thai Royal Orchid Plus5.96
25EVA Airways Infinity MileageLands5.91
26AirAsia Big5.71
27Oman Air Sinbad5.71
28China Airlines Dynasty Flyer5.59