Hilton HHonors offers AARP members 10% off Best Available Rate (BAR). This is the same discount generally offered to AAA auto club members. The competitive advantage here is Marriott Hotels dropped AARP discounts about ten years ago. You need to be 62 years of age to get the Marriott senior discount.
BAR is defined as “a rate available to the general public that does not require pre-payment and does not impose cancellation or change penalties and/or fees, other than those imposed as a result of a hotel property’s normal cancellation policy.”
Group discounts and most hotel promotional discounts when they state things like 20% off rates are based on the BAR rate.
50 is the new senior
AARP is a membership organization for persons 50 years of age and older. AARP has a sufficiently large membership to have group bargaining power and that is evident in the number of hotel chains offering AARP member discount rates.
The advantage of AARP compared to AAA is the low annual membership fee of $16 per year. I am 52 and I have both AAA and AARP memberships. Although I have not yet booked a hotel using an AARP rate. After writing this article I think I have to be better at checking senior rates.
So my main question is what hotel chains offer AARP discounts?
I could not find a recently published article detailing which hotel chains offered AARP discounts, so I went through the top ten hotel chains in the USA to see their current affiliation with AARP.
Best Western = AARP 10% or more discount.
Choice Hotels = AARP up to 10% discount.
Carlson Rezidor Hotels Group = No AARP discount. Senior = 60 years.
Hilton Worldwide = AARP up to 10% discount on BAR.
Hyatt Hotels = AARP 10% discount. Hyatt offers up to 50% off with senior rates for persons 62 and older. Odd though that the T&C for senior rates does not define the age. The 62 age requirement is found when booking a senior rate.
InterContinental Hotels Group = AARP member or 62 years of age for 10% discount at hotels in USA. IHG is more subtle in its terminology and probably avoids compensating AARP with this generalized language.
Discounts on the non-discounted room rate at any participating hotel in the U.S. will be available to guests who are 62 years of age or older or with valid membership ID of a retired persons organization.
La Quinta Inns & Suites = AARP discount up to 10% and for seniors 65 or older there are special discounts.
Marriott International = No AARP discount. Senior Discounts of at least 15% are available for persons 62 and older.
Starwood Hotels = AARP discount up to 20% off BAR.
Wyndham Worldwide = AARP discount 10% or more.
[Update June 14, 2012 - A representative for AARP sent me this link showing AARP discounts by hotel brand.]
Loyalty Traveler Rate Analysis for Starwood Hotels AARP discount
Sheraton Denver West Hotel is one of my favorite hotels in Denver. The location is at the gateway to the high mountains of I-70 and for some reason I just seem to have a great time every stay at Sheraton Denver West.
Sunday, June 17 = $99 for AARP rate or $142 for AAA rate.
Best of all is the AARP/senior rate has a day of arrival cancellation policy with no penalty.
There is value in AARP annual membership when it comes to discount hotel rates. And with some hotel chains you can access the AARP senior discount rates a full 12 years before most age-based senior rate discounts kick in at 62 years of age.
Ric Garrido, writer and content owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. You can follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.