Mastercard expands travel suite
The long-awaited return to travel appears on course. According to the Mastercard Economics Institute, if flight booking trends continue at the current pace, an estimated 1.5 billion more passengers globally will fly in 2022 compared to last year — and tourists are spending 34% more on experiences than before the pandemic. To support a smooth return, Mastercard expanded its Mastercard Travel & Lifestyle Services platform with new partnerships that focus on seamless travel experiences and priceless moments for cardholders, including WhatsApp servicing, Covid alerts and perks like lounge access when flights are delayed.
Mastercard Travel & Lifestyle Services is a travel planning and booking gateway, granting World and World Elite cardholders access to exclusive guarantees, amenities and upgrades, 24/7 concierge and premium offers and entertainment from top travel brands. With the experience economy in full swing, travelers can ignite their inner wanderlust through the Inspiration Module with exclusive city guides informed by local experts and member favorites. For service at the tap of a button, the program now offers WhatsApp servicing – currently available in several geographies2 around the world and globally by year’s end – where members can message Lifestyle Managers about travel and concierge requests from their phone.
With pivotal perks like Lowest Hotel Rate Guarantee and Mastercard Hotel Stay Guarantee, cardholders enjoy free nights and preferential treatment across more than 4,000 4- and 5-star portfolio properties worldwide. While in destination, travelers can book once-in-a-lifetime Priceless Experiences from a dream vacation to London and Paris featuring Michelin-starred restaurants to luxury glamping in Sweden's Blekinge archipelago to a visit to the top of New York City’s One World Observatory.
In addition to the preferential experience of Mastercard Travel & Lifestyle Services, Mastercard has forged a number of new partnerships to offer benefits that alleviate travel stress and support more enjoyable journeys. They include:
- Convenience: For delayed flights or relaxing in peace, cardholders have access to a global network of over 1,100 airport lounges. Recent expansions include Mastercard Flight Delay Pass, now available in geographies worldwide3 for complimentary lounge access on qualifying delayed flights. Also newly launched is FastTrack in Europe to beat the queue and Mastercard Travel Pass in Canada for a hassle-free airport experience.
- Connection: Launched first in Asia Pacific and to other regions within the year, select cardholders now have access to complimentary global roaming data packs for use in more than 200 destinations, with a 15% Mastercard discount on top-ups through Flexiroam.
- Care: Cardholders can opt-in to receive real-time notifications and the latest in COVID restrictions and requirements including testing locations and pricing through Sitata.
- Comfort: Accessible anytime, anywhere, the new mycardbenefits.com4 is a digital insurance platform for Mastercard cardholders to immediately see - and seamlessly process - claims for the insurances included on their card — such as car rental, lost luggage replacement, cell phone and trip cancellation.
- Cash Rewards: Shop and receive cash rewards with Mastercard Travel Rewards at hundreds of marquee merchants in 19 destinations and thousands of online offers for unique savings5.
“Many of us eagerly await the chance to satisfy our love for travel, but it can be stressful to plan a trip with so many uncertainties about what traveling will look like,” said Mastercard’s Stephanie Meltzer-Paul, executive vice president, Global Loyalty. “At Mastercard, we’re here to support every step of the journey — from planning to booking to transportation to experiences in destination — so travelers can focus on what really matters. After two years of disruptions, we know that time with our loved ones is truly priceless.”
In addition to servicing cardholders directly, Mastercard is helping governments, businesses, and brands understand shifting consumer trends and preferences, in order to design and test programs and incentives. From market analysis and insights to marketing solutions and consumer engagement strategies, Mastercard services provide customers what they need to welcome back travelers. Most recently, the Tourism Innovation Hub in Spain was launched to develop tailored products and solutions to support a sustainable, inclusive return to travel through innovation.