Taj Innercircle just sent all its members email regarding that the Innercircle program has been enhanced and is all new again when really nothing much has changed.
The earning ratio continues to be the same. So what has really changed?
Taj InnerCircle is saying that they’ve simplified the earning rate for members. This is really nothing but just a percentage conversion of the existing earning ratio. In the past earning was like this:-
Copper tier 1 TIC point/ INR 125
Silver 1 point/ INR 100
Gold 1 point/ INR 70
Platinum 1 point/ INR 60 spent.
Now, it is just converted into a percentage, and for a new program, almost everything is still the same.
For simplicity sake, I am going to take an example of Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur. Remember, you don’t earn any points on taxes or free nights.
Usually, a room for Umaid Bhawan would sell around Rs 35000 a night plus 28% GST.
|Rs 35000/125 = 280 TIP
|4% of Rs 35000 = Rs 1400
|Rs 35000/100 = 350 TIP
|5% of Rs 35000 = Rs 1750
|Rs 35000/70 = 500 TIP
|7.1% of Rs 35000 = Rs 2485
|Rs 35000/60 = 583 TIP
|8.3% of Rs 35000 = Rs 2905
Value of 1 point was Rs 5 earlier.
280 TIP = Rs 1400.
350 TIP – Rs 1750 and so on.
Hence the monetary value or earning hasn’t changed at all. Just that you are able to directly calculate the amount of cashback you would be getting in actual Rupees instead of TIC points.
What has really changed?
The only 2 things that have been amended and are not all new again are :
- Members can now earn points for up to a maximum of 5 rooms,
Earlier members were able to earn value for only 1 room. Now members earn for 5 rooms at a time. This is massive change for someone like me who takes multiple rooms when traveling with family.
- Increase in the number of upgrades:
Earlier Gold members would get 2 complimentary upgrade vouchers and Platinum members 5. This has now increased and Gold members are now eligible for 20 upgrade vouchers and Platinum have unlimited complimentary upgrades.
Does unlimited upgrade entice me? I think not.
Amount of points earning per Rs 10,000
Hyatt Globalist = Rs 864. (Free night comes earlier and hence value can be higher).
SPG Platinum = Rs 936 (SPG introduces Member’s Exclusive which can increase the earning massively.)
Taj Platinum = Rs 830
Taj never runs a crazy promotion for which I would do a mattress run with them. They don’t have global promotion as of yet to earn more points/Rs.
Would I shift my business to Taj Inner Circle? Where is it lacking?
Now, Earning Taj Platinum is 30 nights target for me. I am not aware that Taj runs any status matches. However, due to various credit cards, getting Taj Gold status is easy. Taj has a lot of catching up to do as a loyalty program with reference to its global competitiveness. Taj isn’t number 1 hotel even in India. Thanks to Marriott take over of SPG, Marriott is number one now. They have the widest footprint.
The best way for Taj was to make their loyalty program so lucrative that Indian audience would give them their money rather than spend it on International brands. I know there are many Taj loyalist who would swear by Taj hospitality and their top-notch service. Taj consistently ranks as top hotels in the world. However, that makes them destination for holiday hotels vs business hotels. It’s quite a feat that their hotel was number 1 hotel in the world in 2016.
In regular Taj hotels, Platinums are not entitled to breakfast. Suite upgrade is subject to hotel’s merit at the check-in. Taj also has very analog service and I don’t consider their website very effective except for booking. They still don’t have 24/7 helpline for their customer.
Another pain point is that you can only use Taj points at Taj only. If you decide to earn points with Taj program. I would always recommend earning points to the Airline partner than earning on Taj system unless you are regular at Taj.
What do you feel about the New version of Taj program? What do they have to do to gain your loyalty? Tell us what are some real enhancements you would like to see in the Taj InnerCircle program.