People often ask me right off the bat whether the Independent Boutique Collection’s InnDependent InnCentives loyalty program is sustainable. I assure them that it is because of its transparency, simplicity and experience. Created by independent hotel owners for independent hotel owners, IBC knows what it means to drive business and run a profitable independent hotel. IBC doesn’t enter into agreements or make suggestions unless it has tried the service or product first. In the case of InnDependent InnCentives, it is free to both guests and hoteliers and it is simple.

Guests who book 12 nights on ibchotels.com automatically earn one free night, using technology that allows them to book the free night at the property/time of their choice.

The guest gets the free night. The hotel gets the rate it wants. Everyone is happy. No blackout dates. No rules and regulations. For guests and hoteliers used to the traditional programs, InnDependent InnCentives is a breath of fresh air – something for, well, free.

Where I’m coming from

In my past life, I was a consultant and Marriott Rewards aficionado. I racked up hundreds of thousands of points and redeemed them for my one-year anniversary. I proudly entered the hotel expecting top-notch service, and what did I get but a room with ants. In addition, I was told “Well, what do you expect? You are using points during high season.” The hotel’s attitude was annoyance because they were not getting top dollar. My feeling was embarrassment and I was hurt because I thought my loyalty would be rewarded.

Years later, as a mid-level independent hotel owner, I recognized the need for points and loyalty. I was dismayed by the programs out there (or lack thereof) for independent mid-level hotels, so what did I do? I created InnDependent InnCentives.

When you redeem your free night with InnDependent InnCentives during the normal booking process via web/mobile (and an app due later this month), we actually send the hotel the entire room rate. This means you’re providing revenue for the hotel; you’re not an expense. This allows the hotel to celebrate you for what you are – an awesome guest and a loyal IBC member.

Why we do this

We know that redeeming points is a big deal to you. We do everything in our power to reflect our gratitude for your loyalty back to you. We do that by taking care of the people who are taking care of you, welcoming you, fluffing your pillows, and making your trip special.

We don’t do things differently for the sake of being different. We do things less ordinary so we can create a friendlier world for travelers and hoteliers alike.

– By Pamela Barnhill