The importance of financial services to the travel industry cannot be overstated. Commercial and co-brand credit cards have helped both the travel suppliers (airlines, hotels), card companies (Visa, Amex), and issuing banks segment their common customers and understand consumer spending habits.
Just a decade ago, Netflix was known primarily as the disruptor of Blockbuster and pioneer of online subscriptions for specific products or services (in this case DVD delivery, but there were also shaving clubs, travel clubs and so on). Around 2007, Netflix decided to keep its subscription model but made the wise decision to transition from DVDs to streaming content.
Member clubs such as the $9 Fare Club offered by Spirit Airlines or Amazon Prime can be an ingenious way for travel and non-travel brands to diversify their loyalty offerings and drive a different kind of added value than a traditional loyalty program might offer.
In the past ten years, services like Airbnb, Lyft and Uber have gone from being the cool/new “disruptors” to being the face of a new economy – a “sharing economy,” as it’s called.