By SAM KEMMIS of NerdWallet
Sticking with one airline, hotel or car rental brand and avoiding others is the basic premise of brand loyalty. The benefits are clear: more points toward future award travel and elite status benefits. Yet, brand loyalty means eschewing other options, which could cost less or be more convenient. High-level elite perks can make a huge difference for frequent business travelers, but lower-level perks might not be worth the effort for semi-frequent leisure travelers. Plus, brand loyalty could mean missing out the adventurous side of travel, such as unique local accommodations.