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The Standard’s new CEO explains why it doesn’t have a loyalty program — yet

Nov. 05, 2021
5 min read
white building with yellow and white chairs, plunge pool, lush greenery
The Standard’s new CEO explains why it doesn’t have a loyalty program — yet
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In a world filled with hotels, it’s not always easy to stand out from the competition. That’s not necessarily the case for Standard International, the New York-based brand that’s turned the idea of what a hotel could possibly be on its head.

Known for its ultra-trendy properties in hip destinations like New York City, Downtown Los Angeles and Miami Beach, the brand’s boutique-like properties are fun, witty, design-forward and irreverent. They’re places to be seen, to experience and, when it’s time, to retreat into the room or a dimly-lit corner.

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At The Standard High Line in New York earlier this year, Madonna performed a surprise show to celebrate the reawakening of New York City at Le Bain, the rooftop club with hot tub access and lines down the block. The now-closed Standard Hollywood was where Carrie Bradshaw stayed in "Sex and the City."

“Everyone is welcome,” Amber Asher, the company’s newly appointed CEO and former president, told TPG. “And we are much more than just a hotel. One of the special aspects of all of our properties is that we have such diverse experiential offerings.”

You might not run into Madonna but, according to Asher, there’s still plenty to do, from swimming with manta rays and enjoying CBD-based wellness treatments in the Maldives to having your star chart read before soaking in an outdoor bathtub in Miami.

“There is no other hospitality brand that invites and encourages unabashed adventure and fun.”

The Standard, an 18-story luxury boutique hotel above the famous High Line park in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan, New York City.

Now, the brand is placing new pins on the map with the opening of a handful of locations around the globe, including in Hua Hin, Thailand’s answer to the Hamptons, on Dec. 1; Ibiza in Spain come April 2022; and The Standard, Bangkok Mahanakhon, located in the tallest building in Bangkok, on May 10, 2022.

Other future hotels include locations in Singapore, Melbourne, Brussels, Dublin and Lisbon.

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“When I started with the company, Standard was a single brand with four hotels, all in the U.S.,” Asher explained. “Now, as a company, Standard International has almost 20 hotels across the world under three distinctive, very special brands: The Standard, Bunkhouse and Peri.”

The company’s other two brands, Bunkhouse and Peri, shy away from the cosmopolitan spotlight in favor of a more laidback, local approach. Bunkhouse has Instagram-worthy properties like The Austin Motel and the chic trailer park-inspired El Cosmico in Marfa, Texas, where guests can beat the Texas heat by soaking in a cool watering trough.

Peri, a boutique hotel chain in Asia, has locations in Hua Hin and near Thailand’s Khao Yai National Park.

(Photo courtesy of Standard International)

“We went from a small, founder-led company to a global force in hospitality,” Asher continued. “From a brand standpoint, specifically, we are vastly more inclusive, tech-forward, socially active and caring for our guests and team members than we ever have been. All while preserving and enhancing the creative and social elements that we have always stood for.”

Independent of the major hotel groups with expansive loyalty programs, The Standard and its sister brand have held off from creating one. For many travelers, its lack of a loyalty program is an instant turn-off. For The Standard, it’s all by design.

“We never have had a traditional loyalty program, but then again, we have never been traditional. We believe loyalty is earned every day by being our guests’ favorite place to stay,” she said, adding that there’s no current plan for a program. “We do think a lot about it and also often discuss what membership would look like for The Standard. But if and when we do it will be unlike any other — just like everything The Standard does.”

(Photo courtesy of Standard International)

As Asher takes the reins of Standard International and the world continues to open, the brand has its eyes on even more locations to plant its flag, presumably plastered with its signature, bright red, upside-down logo.

“Would also love to have a Standard in Mexico City, Paris, Tokyo and Sydney — all locations we have been targeting,” she said. “Secretly, or not so secretly, I would love to bring The Standard to Detroit, where I am from, and be a part of its renaissance.”

Brands like The Standard continuously set trends that influence the entire industry. Personally, I’d be excited to see how it would execute a loyalty program, especially as it continues to expand. No matter where The Standard lands next, it’s one to keep your eyes on.

And Asher agrees. “We’ve been around over 20 years, but we’re just getting started."

Featured image by (Photo courtesy of Standard International)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Rewards Rate

5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 150,000 points
    120,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.