Identification of the catalyst characteristics correlating with the key performance parameters including selectivity and stability is key to the rational catalyst design. Herein we focused on the identification of property-performance relationships in the methanol-to-olefin (MTO) process by studying in detail the catalytic behaviour of MFI, MEL and their respective intergrowth zeolites. The detailed material characterization reveals that both the high production of propylene and butylenes and the large MeOH conversion capacity correlate with the enrichment of lattice Al sites in the channels of the pentasil structure as identified by 27Al MAS NMR and 3-methylpentane cracking results. The lack of correlation between MTO performance and other catalyst characteristics, such as crystal size, presence of external Brønsted acid sites (BAS) and Al pairing suggests their less pronounced role in defining the propylene selectivity. Our analysis reveals that catalyst deactivation is rather complex and is strongly affected by the enrichment of lattice Al in the intersections, the overall Al-content, and crystal size. The intergrowth of MFI and MEL phases accelerates the catalyst deactivation rate.