Travel invented loyalty as we know it. Now it’s time for reinvention.

Travel brands didn’t invent loyalty programs, which have been traced to as far back as the 18th century. But ever since the first major airline frequent flier programs appeared in the early 1980s—soon to be followed by similar programs from hotel chains—the travel industry has become known for letting customers accumulate redeemable “miles” and “points.” Modern-day voyagers are deeply familiar with loyalty-related concepts such as status tiers, members-only lounges, and point-earning credit cards.

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