With the travel and leisure industry under pressure in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, some companies are enhancing and extending rewards programs to attract and retain customers. Caesars Entertainment and Wyndham Resorts are doing just that.
Wyndham said it’s extending through 2021 a partnership with Caesars where members of both loyalty programs can redeem rewards at properties operated by both companies.
Through the affiliation, Wyndham Rewards members have the ability to earn and redeem points at participating Caesars Rewards destinations across the U.S. and Canada when they book direct through Wyndham channels,” according to the companies. “They also have the option to transfer Wyndham Rewards points to Caesars Rewards credits, or vice versa, at a 1:1 ratio, up to 30,000 points per year.”
News of the perks extension with Wyndham comes as Caesars inches toward reopening its roughly 30 domestic integrated resorts following a more than two-month shutdown forced by COVID-19. One of the largest operators on the Las Vegas Strip, the company said Caesars Palace and Flamingo will be the first of its venues there to reopen.
Nevada casinos are slated to reopen on June 4. But the extended Caesars/Wyndham pact is relevant for other reasons, because analysts and industry observers are saying regional gaming markets will recover more rapidly than Las Vegas. That’s because travelers will be reluctant to hop on planes in the wake of COVID-19.
Speaking of airlines, that industry, perhaps even more so than gaming, is decimated by the virus. Some carriers already slashed flights to Las Vegas, among other route reductions, while furloughing tens of thousands of workers and grounding hundreds of jets.
As is the case with gaming companies and hoteliers, airlines are altering loyalty programs to adapt to the coronavirus world. Like Caesars and Wyndham, some airlines are expanding partnerships with retailers and other businesses to increase perks to members of their programs. That at a time when air travel is slumping. Others are making it easier to retain various status tiers in bids to retain customers.
Choice Hotels, which operates several economy properties in Las Vegas, said it’s delaying the expiration of its loyalty points from May 31 to Dec. 31, 2020, while reducing requirements for members to attain gold and platinum status.
Caesars Rewards is one of the gaming industry’s most popular loyalty programs, and features six tiers – gold, platinum, diamond, diamond plus, diamond elite and seven stars.
“Platinum and Diamond members of both programs may match to the corresponding level of their non-primary program—Platinum to Platinum, Diamond to Diamond—while Caesars Rewards Seven Stars members may match to Wyndham Rewards Diamond,” said Wyndham and the gaming company.
Members of the four highest levels of Caesars Rewards can claim benefits such as eliminating resort fees, 15 percent discounts on rooms, and guaranteed rooms in Atlantic City and Las Vegas when booking with at least three days notice.