Will Airline Miles and Hotel Points Be Groupon’s Next Growth Driver?

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Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) is an online company that has managed to keep some relevance despite starting out as a daily deals website. The company now has another new angle, and that is having purchases through its system enhanced to lure buyers via airline miles and hotel rewards programs. The effort is not a universal launch across all airlines and hotels, but it seems likely that others might join in if they see a benefit that their rivals are getting. It also seems like a natural fit that a company offering deals and discounts would try to tie in with other rewards programs that many of the customers might already be part of.

News that the company is launching a new loyalty program could work, if customers feel that their points are worth much. Groupon has said that its users can now earn airline miles and hotel points from top frequent traveler programs if they use Groupon for local, travel or shopping deals.

To take advantage of the new loyalty program, Groupon users can visit the loyalty site and click on the loyalty program they choose to earn miles or points for with every Groupon purchase. After creating or logging in to a Groupon account, users can enter their loyalty program membership number and confirm that they agree to the terms and conditions. Then the users will receive a unique promo code to enter with every purchase to receive credit for miles or points.

The following eligible travel rewards programs are included:

  • American Airlines AAdvantage
  • Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Choice Privileges
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • La Quinta Returns

Note that Groupon is set to report its third-quarter earnings on Wednesday, November 1, 2017. This launch will not be reflected into the earnings report, and it seems as though the announcing of this at the end of October would mean that it is far too soon to factor any benefit or added costs here from this new program into fourth quarter or 2018 guidance.

Groupon’s press release said:

We’re excited to have more frequent interactions with our customers by providing them with even greater value when they shop through Groupon. Whether it’s finding a new local experience to try, booking a trip with the family or getting an early start on your holiday shopping, we’re offering incredible savings and airline miles or hotel points from your favorite loyalty programs. A win-win.

Groupon’s shares were indicated down 3-cents at $4.64 on Wednesday morning, versus a 52-week range of $2.90 to $5.37. Groupon has a consensus analyst target price of $4.65 from Thomson Reuters and its market cap is roughly $2.6 billion.