YOU’VE GOT MONEY! SM MILEPOINT.COM TO LAUNCH ONLINE SHOPPING
VENTURE USING FREQUENT FLYER MILES
MINNEAPOLIS - MilePoint.com today announced the first program that allows frequent flyers to convert their miles and points into a new online currency, MilePoint MoneySM, which can be used toward the purchase of goods and services from more than 100 online merchants.
Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines, Continental Airlines, US Airways, America West and TWA are the initial airlines that have committed to participate in the program, along with Hilton HHonors Worldwide. Membership in these loyalty programs totals more than 45 million unique individuals who have accrued an estimated 1.6 trillion miles and points.
MilePoint is working in association with the web’s largest e-tailer, Amazon.com, and SkyMall with over 100 retailers including Sharper Image, Orvis, The Wine Enthusiast, Hammacher Schlemmer and Frontgate. MilePoint is in discussions with numerous major online merchants that are anticipated to sign on before launch.
To capitalize on the holiday 2000 buying season, the site will be available for online transactions by the end of October. Currently the website - www.milepoint.com - is accessible to frequent flyers who want to find out more about becoming a MilePoint member and to online retailers who want to determine what is required to become a MilePoint merchant.
“Airlines and hotels have been looking for new ways to create more value for their customers’ accumulated miles. By turning miles and points into online money, we will literally release billions of dollars of purchasing power into the online marketplace,” said Bob Crandall, chairman of MilePoint’s board of advisors, and former chairman and CEO of American Airlines. Crandall added, “This is the natural and logical evolution of the current frequent flyer programs.”
MilePoint converts each mile into MilePoint Money at a two cent per mile rate, which equates to more than $32 billion in online purchasing power from the current audience of over 45 million individuals. MilePoint’s proprietary and patent pending operating system, Cambio TechnologySM, manages the conversion of miles into online currency.
Mark Lacek, chief executive officer of MilePoint, said that we will deliver “the largest and most demographically desirable audience the Internet’s online merchants have ever seen. Based on an average frequent flyers’ accumulated miles, many members will have hundreds of dollars just waiting to be spent online. Some members will literally have thousands of dollars.” Lacek said that frequent flyer demographics show over 74% have access to the Internet, 88% shop online and have a median household income of $74,000.
Using MilePoint will be very easy. Frequent flyers register their airline and hotel account numbers in a secure environment at the MilePoint.com website and shop at the MilePoint MallSM. When transacting at a MilePoint merchant, the member can apply their MilePoint Money as partial payment toward their purchase during the check-out process. MilePoint forecasts that an average of 10% and up to 25% or more of a member’s purchase can be paid for by converting their miles.
MilePoint.com was co-founded in October of 1999 by Mark Lacek, Bill Jansen and Bruce Samuel. Lacek is a respected loyalty marketing industry veteran who helped establish the very successful Northwest Airlines WorldPerks program. He left in 1991 to start The Lacek Group, a Minneapolis-based loyalty marketing firm that grew to over $40 million in billings. The company was recently acquired by advertising holding company WPP and its Ogilvy One division.
Other industry leaders in executive or senior advisory roles at MilePoint include A.B. “Sky” Magary, former president of the Shuttle by United, Bob Coggin, former executive vice president of marketing at Delta Air Lines, Bob Briggs, former president of National Car Rental, Randy Petersen, renowned loyalty expert and publisher and editor of industry trade publication “Inside Flyer,” Bill Jansen, MilePoint’s chief technology officer and architect of the Cambio Technology, and Bruce Samuel, MilePoint’s chief financial officer and previously chief financial officer of The Lacek Group.