Pack your bags: Mastercard expands travel suiteJune 23, 2022 | Purchase, NY
New WhatsApp communication, Covid alerts, hotel options and perks keep cardholders connected and protected on the go
The long-awaited return to travel appears on course. According to the Mastercard Economics Institute1, 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.
A Platform for Preferred Travel and Priceless Experiences.
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.
Mastercard Travel & Lifestyle Services Story Spotlight:
Helping Our Cardholders Plan Unforgettable Moments
Situation: A cardholder contacted Mastercard Travel & Lifestyle Services to help plan an unforgettable helicopter tour experience for his son who has Cerebral Palsy.
Cardholder Response: So much happened on our trip it's hard to know where to begin. Leaving from the São Paulo airport, my son was given a special greeting by the captain and the crew. It felt like an honor, sweet and sincere. I even held back tears knowing how much it meant to him. We went for the helicopter tour (it was extraordinary by the way) and on the way back we found a package in the room with a letter from our Lifestyle Manager. When I opened the package to see what was inside, I couldn’t hold back the tears this time. I cried when I saw the book, The Man Who Loved Boxes, and then again when I read it to my son. This was not a random gift, it was a chosen gift, thoughtful and generous, and it ended up having an even greater meaning. When I thought it was over, the hotel reception called to say a package had arrived, so they brought it to me and when I opened it, I found a pilot cap. My son loved it. Luckily, we can enjoy reliving these beautiful memories as our guide accompanied us and recorded everything with videos and photos.
New Travel Partnerships and Premier Programs.
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, research and collaboration across the ecosystem.
For World and World Elite cardholders, member registration for Mastercard Lifestyle & Travel Services can be found here.
1 Findings based on Travel 2022: Trends and Transitions report, which draws on aggregated & anonymized sales activity in the Mastercard network and a unique analysis of publicly available travel data.
2 Available for issuer implementation in North America, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, and markets in Latin America.
3 Now available in the U.S., Latin America, Caribbean and across issuers in Europe and Asia-Pacific.
4 Hyperlink accessible for cardholders in North America now and additional geographies will be live later this year.
5 Please refer to Eligible Issuer Card for Program Terms & Conditions.