AI Promises Lift in Card Spend, Travel & Leisure Partners

Earlier this week, American Express announced the launch of a new reservations features for Amex Platinum and Centurion card members, directly available through smart phones. Though not a replacement for the vaunted Global Concierge service, the app offers direct access to thousands of the most exclusive tables worldwide, including Amex’s global Michelin partners, as well as more casual restaurants, bars, and lounges through existing booking partners. In the UK, for example, Amex will partner with Seven Room and Bookatable.

People would travel more, apply for cards with smart concierge app

Travel, especially leisure travel, often requires navigating new and novel environments—frequently in different cultures and different languages. It can be a little daunting for some. Where to go? What to do? What to eat? Where to stay?

Amex, whose foundations lie in travel-related services, bought reservation app Mezi earlier this year, so we at Maru/Matchbox wondered how consumers would react to having artificial intelligence (AI) help them sort through travel choices.

We asked people if they would “travel more if your credit card company were able to offer smart travel arrangements? By ‘smart,’ we mean an interactive app experience where you would get recommendations for activities, restaurants, hotels, car rentals, etc. Recommendations would be based on your past preferences and family profile and you could make all arrangements through the app itself.”

Six in ten said they would travel more with such an app – indicating an immediate lift in card spend as well as for the travel & leisure partners involved. The same number also agreed that they would “be more likely to apply for a credit card that offered smart travel arrangements.”   Now that we’ve gotten used to Netflix and Spotify’s recommendation engines, many of us are ready for AI to help us sort through travel solutions.

Just as people differ in what they want to do and where they want to go, so do people differ in the ways they want AI to help with their travel. While a majority would be happy for help with AI recommendations for restaurants and hotels, smaller numbers were interested in the other ways AI might assist.

AI: the travel agent of tomorrow

It seems that the time has come for AI in travel. It not only has the potential to increase the amount of travel people will do – with clear implications for lift in card spend as well as travel and leisure overall – it will also attract them to more products that give them access to this kind of help. Our recommendation engine suggests you test some ideas for ways to bundle travel AI into your offer!

For more information about this research and our approach for ensuring that your innovation pipeline  is linked to measurable results, please contact derek.sawchuk@marumatchbox.com

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