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This AI Can Predict Where You’ll Spend Your Miles

This AI Can Predict Where You’ll Spend Your Miles
Joe Cortez

Predictive analytics are used in many retail operations in order to entice you to purchase more. Can it also be used to help you use your points and miles quicker towards that next big trip? A British bank is betting that computers know how you plan on using your miles – whether you know it or not.

Does artificial intelligence using predictive analytics know what you want to do with your points before you have it figured out? Britain’s HSBC is using algorithms to try and encourage flyers to use their points based on their redemption history.

Speaking to the Associated Press, HSBC revealed their results targeting cardholders to use points using data from their habits. Partnering with Maritz Motivation Solutions, the bank sent out 75,000 targeted emails to cardholders based around big consumer data. As a result, 70 percent of those targeted used their points towards what the computer suggested.

“It used to be ‘we saw you shop at Apple, so we are going to send you ads for Apple,” Jesse Wolfersberger from Maritz explained to the AP. “Now, you may not have spent a dollar at Apple previously, but because you spend at other retailers or fit the profile of an Apple customer we can target you.”

Using predictive analytics with AI is not a new phenomenon. Retailers like Amazon and Target have targeted users based on their purchase history and item usage, resulting in more engagement with customers and increased sales. But HSBC’s program is slightly different: instead of making suggestions based on purchasing habits, they are looking at previous points redemptions along with lifestyle data to let the computer suggest how to use points.

The AP notes that this can also work in favor of the frequent flyer as well. The potential exists where a flyer uses their card for airfare, airport purchases and other similar items, they could be more apt to be targeted for travel-related offers as well.

HSBC’s program is a pilot project, but more automation could be coming in the future. While American Express has used big data in the implementation of Amex Offers, it is unclear if other major credit card companies are mulling a similar shift to more data-based marketing.

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1 Comment

  1. sdsearch

    March 29, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    I don’t see how that could work for those people who pick their destination based on saver award availability, not on something determined before checking availability. If the AI program can’t predict which flights have save award availability for a given user for the date they end up wanting to travel, how can they predict where they’ll go? I had no idea I’d be going on half of my trips until I found that there award availability to there, and at least half of my trip plans were changed based on award availability results.

    This sounds like it works for people who are looikng for ideas on where to go and are open to going to “popular” destinations (like people who repeatedly go to beach destinations), not for people who go somewhere different every time, based upon a specific less-popular interest (like landscapes that are different form places they’ve been before) and base their final decision based on either saver award availability or sale prices on flights or something like that.

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