March 2013 has hotel loyalty program members in shock with major hotel award category changes announced by four major hotel chains including Hilton HHonors, Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest and Wyndham Rewards.
This was the opening paragraph of last month’s update:
Award cost increases to SPG Cash & Points and Priority Club reassignment raising hundreds of hotels in popular destinations by 40% leaves a foreboding mood for the typical hotel award reassignments coming in 2013 for SPG and Marriott hotels globally.
If you are looking for the deals, then Choice Privileges and Best Western Rewards may be the best chains to stay for the upcoming months. Both of these programs earn a free night after two (Choice Privileges) or three stays (Best Western Rewards).
March 2013 hotel loyalty promotions
Le Club Accorhotels - Accor Hotels offers a variety of global regional bonuses and rate discounts. The program tends to have regionalized rate and bonus points promotions. The links currently show dozens of bonus and rate discount offers around the world.
Le Club Accorhotels hotel loyalty program program is unique in that 2,000 points are redeemed for $60/40EUR hotel credit vouchers.
**** January 1-April 15 Triple Aeroplan Miles at Accor Hotels worldwide.
- 1 Euro = 2 points earned at Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Grand Mercure, Novotel, Suite Novotel, Mercure hotels.
- 1,000 EUR Accor hotel spend = 2,000 LeClub Accorhotels points
- Standard points-to-miles conversion: 2 Accor points = 1 frequent flyer mile.
- Aeroplan Triple Miles: 2 Accor points = 3 Aeroplan miles.
- 2,000 points = 3,000 Aeroplan miles or USD$60 or 40 EUR hotel credit voucher.
Best Western Rewards
***** Feb 11-April 14: Earn one free night after 3 Best Western hotel staysanywhere globally. Although you can earn the free night voucher with stays worldwide, the free night is only valid for US, Canada and Caribbean. Free night voucher expires June 30, 2012 so plan to use it quickly. Promotion registration required before first stay.
Best Western promotion link: www.bestwestern.com/spring
It is fairly easy to book three 1-night stays at different Best Western hotels or stay at one Best Western hotel on non-consecutive nights and earn the free night voucher for $200 to $250. Winter rates of $65 to $75 after tax can be found in many locations among the 2,000+ hotels in the USA. There are 4,100+ Best Western hotels globally.
There are Best Western hotels where the free night voucher can be worth $200 to $250 for one night in some resort areas and urban centers.
This promotion gets 5 stars, my highest value rating. This offer has the potential to pay back what you put into it and get four hotel nights in the process. Loyalty Traveler post: Best Western free night after 3 stays Feb 11-Apr 14, 2013(Jan 28, 2013)
**** Earn 8,000 points after two stays February 28 – May 15, 2013. Loyalty Traveler post: Choice Privileges 8,000 points every two stays Feb 28-May 15, 2013
Think 8,000 points for a free night at many Choice brand hotels in Europe.
March 2013 Update: I am not seeing Choice Privileges discount award nights so far in 2013 for London or Paris center city hotels at the 8,000 points level like in 2012. There are still some 8,000 and 10,000 points hotels in the suburbs, but in 2012 there were many central city Choice hotels for 8,000 points. This Loyalty Traveler post shows the value of 8,000 Choice privileges points in Paris (March 26, 2012) was quite the hotel savings.
Choice Privileges Program Change: Barcelo Resorts partnership ended Dec 31, 2012. No more redemptions at Barcelo Resorts using Choice Privileges points. LT post Nov. 7: Choice Privileges redemption for Barcelo Resorts ends 12/31
**** Club Carlson Triple Points January 8 – March 15, 2013. Earn 60 points/$1 at Club Carlson brand hotels worldwide for stays at Radisson Blu, Radisson, Country Inn & Suites, Park Inn and Park Plaza hotels. Registration required prior to bonus points for stays. Loyalty Traveler post Jan 8, 2013 Triple Club Carlson points Jan 8-Mar 15, 2013.
Credit Card Benefit: Club Carlson Visa by U.S. Bank launched December 1, 2012. This card is one to consider, if only for its awesome hotel award discount for last night free on award stays of 2 nights or more. Credit card members can book a 2-night award stay for the price of one award night for any Carlson Rezidor hotel worldwide. Loyalty Traveler post December 1, 2012: Up to 50 free award nights annually with Club Carlson Visa.
**** 3-Day Avis Rental earns 7,500 Club Carlson Points; valid through Dec 31, 2013.
Program Changes: Hilton HHonors hotel award category reassignment and seasonal award rates effective March 28, 2013. Loyalty Traveler post: Hilton HHonors major award devaluation March 28, 2013 (Feb 19, 2013).
**** January 7-March 31, 2013 Double Your HHonors for 2x Points or 2x Miles.
Loyalty Traveler post – Double Your HHonors Points or Miles 2013 Q-1 (Dec 28, 2013)
Teacher Alert: Hilton HHonors $6,000 Teacher Treks Travel Grants(Loyalty Traveler post Jan 23, 2013) – Enter by March 15 for a chance to win an HHonors paid vacation for you and a $2,500 school site grant.
HHonors Program Change: HHonors Elite Status Qualification Program Change effective January 1, 2013. LT post Dec 4, 2012 Hilton HHonors increases Gold and Diamond elite tier qualification in 2013.
HHonors Gold elite requirements as of January 1, 2013:
- 20 stays, up from 16 stays.
- 40 nights, up from 36 nights.
- 75,000 base points ($7,500 in hotel spend), up from 60,000 base points.
HHonors Diamond elite requirements as of January 1, 2013:
- 30 stays, up from 28 stays.
- 60 nights, no change.
- 120,000 base points ($12,000 in hotel spend), up from 100,000 base points ($10,000).
Hotels.com Welcome Rewards
Welcome Rewards loyalty programfor hotels.com has a standard earning rate of 1 free night for 10 paid nights. The free night has a value equal to the average rate paid for the 10 qualifying nights.
Hyatt Gold Passport
*** 3,000 bonus points every 3 nights, up to 45,000 bonus points March 1 – May 31, 2013. Hyatt Gold Passport Visa card members earn 20% additional bonus for 3,600 points every three nights. Loyalty Traveler post: Hyatt More Possibilities promo registration open and Freddies Voting (Feb 18, 2013).
Hyatt Hotel Category Reassignment: 17 hotels change award category in Hyatt Gold Passport effective February 7, 2013. Award bookings made before changes can be modified at former rates through March 15, 2013. Loyalty Traveler post December 22, 2012 – 17 Hyatt hotels change category Feb 7, 2013.
Hyatt Stay Certificates expand to 7 award tiers. Loyalty Traveler has two Jan 14 posts on the value of buying Hyatt Stay Certificates. Hyatt Stay Certificates for cheaper rates and Finding Hyatt Stay Certificate Availability Online.
Hyatt Visa Card Enhancements: Effective October 1, 2012
Hyatt Gold Passport members receive elite nights and stays credit upon reaching $20,000 and $40,000 annual spend thresholds.
- Spend $20,000 = 2 stays and 5 nights elite credit toward Diamond status (new card feature as of October 1, 2012). Diamond status requires 25 stays or 50 nights in a Jan-Dec calendar year.
- Spend $40,000 = 5 stays and 10 nights elite credit toward Diamond status (new card feature as of October 1, 2012). Note: the 5 stays and 10 nights is total elite credit including the $20,000 elite credit stays and nights.
- Cardmembers earn 2 points for every $1 spent at restaurants, on airline tickets when purchased directly from the airline, and at car rental agencies (new card feature as of October 1, 2012).
Loyalty Traveler post October 9, 2012: Hyatt Visa big spenders get elite nights and stays credit as of Oct. 1, 2012.
Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond Challenge- Earn Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond elite status with 12 nights in 60 days (normally 25 stays or 50 nights in calendar year). As Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond for 2013 you receive 4 confirmed suite upgrades, each upgrade e-certificate good for stays up to 7 nights. Start the Gold Passport Diamond Challenge first and then get the credit card once you have Diamond status to get confirmed suite upgrades for your credit card free nights. FlyerTalk discussion thread on Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond challenge.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) Priority Club Rewards
Priority Club PointBreaks through March 31, 2013.
Priority Club 2013-Q1 Night Bonuses January 7 – April 30, 2013.
Priority Club emails targeted quarterly nights bonus points offers. Sign up for only one offer and no changes allowed. Members are usually successful in earning points for one of the offers, even if you were not individually targeted for the specific offer.
Registration page for entering a Nights Bonus Points code.
- 5,000 bonus points. Stay 2 Nights for 2,500 bonus points. Stay another 2 nights for 2,500 more points (Code 5521).
- 5,000 bonus points. Stay 3 Night for 2,500 bonus points. Stay another 3 nights for 2,500 more points (Code 5528).
- 10,000 bonus points. Stay 4 Nights for 5,000 bonus points. Stay another 4 nights for 5,000 more points (Code 3411). [my offer]
- 15,000+ bonus points. Stay 5 Nights for 10,000 bonus points. Earn another 5,000 points for each additional set of 5 Nights. (Code 3414).
- 20,000+ bonus points. Stay 10 Nights for 15,000 Bonus Points. Earn another 5,000 points for each additional set of 5 Nights. (Code 3415).
- 25,000+ bonus points. Stay 15 Nights for 20,000 Bonus Points. Earn another 5,000 points for each additional set of 5 Nights. (Code 3416)
This FlyerTalk thread lists a set of other Priority Club bonus points promotion codes you may be able to earn from IHG hotel stays.
Priority Club restructured hotel award categories on January 18, 2012.The new system divides hotels into 9 award categories ranging from 10,000 points to 50,000 points.
Loyalty Traveler posts:
Loyalty Lobby posted a list of current and former Priority Club reward night ratesfor 4,300 hotels. Priority Club members can request the lower award rate until March 18, 2013 for hotels that increased in award points cost.
Priority Club Rewards Elite Qualification changes for 2013
Priority Club restructured the way it counts points for elite qualification as of January 1, 2013. Points are now categorized as “elite qualifying points” and “non-elite qualifying points”. Priority Club Platinum elite by points is far harder in 2013 on only cheap hotel stays without making points package purchases for elite qualifying bonus points.
Elite qualifying points are base points, bonus points package rates and partner activity points (includes credit card bonus points and points purchases via Points.com).
Non-elite qualifying points are all promotional and elite bonus points and purchased points like those bought for Points & Cash reward stays. Loyalty Traveler post December 13, 2012 – Priority Club makes earning Platinum elite more difficult in 2013.
La Quinta Inns & Suites
Over 800 hotels earn 10 points/$1 and award nights range from 6,000 points to 24,000 points per night.
Looks like I need to update my profile of the La Quinta Returns program for 2013. Loyalty Traveler post: La Quinta Returns Loyalty Profile (April 12, 2011).
Program News: Marriott Rewards 2013 hotel award category reassignment effective May 16, 2013.
Loyalty Traveler posts:
Marriott Rewards May 16, 2013 hotel category reassignment: An Overview (Feb 13, 2013).
Ritz-Carlton Tier Changes May 16, 2013 mostly impact USA hotels (Feb 14, 2013).
***** Marriott Rewards – Winter MegaBonus 2013: February 1 – April 30, 2013. Earn one free night certificate at a category 1-4 hotel every two stays; maximum 3 free nights. Free night certificate is valid for 12 months from issuance. Some members may have been targeted with a different bonus points offer. Loyalty Traveler post December 21, 2012 – Four Marriott MegaBonus Offers Feb 1-Apr 30, 2013.
1. Stay 2 times, Get 1 CAT 1-4 Certificate (Maximum 3 free night certificates)
2. Stay 2 times, Get 1 CAT 1-5 Certificate (Maximum 2 free night certificates)
3. Stay 15 Nights Get 25,000 Points or Stay 20 Nights Get 40,000 Points
4. Stay 20 Nights Get 35,000 Points or Stay 25 Nights Get 50,000 Points
**** Marriott MegaMiles 2013: Double Miles with Marriott MegaMiles: February 1- April 30, 2013
Loyalty Traveler post: Marriott Rewards MegaMiles Feb 1-Apr 30, 2013(Jan 22, 2013)
Note to members: You must have your Marriott Rewards account earning preference set to miles in order to see Marriott Rewards miles promotions. You may not see MegaBonus points promotions for your account when your account is set to earn miles. And you may not see MegaMiles offers when you account is set to earn points.
Marriott Rewards lowers Lifetime Elite qualifications
Lifetime Milestones as of January 1, 2013
• Platinum Elite: 750 nights + 2 million points (25% fewer nights)
• Gold Elite: 500 nights + 1.6 million points (37.5% fewer nights)
• Silver Elite: 250 nights + 1.2 million points (58% fewer nights)
For more details, visit MarriottRewards.com/Lifetime. Loyalty Traveler post: Marriott Rewards lowers lifetime elite qualification Jan 1, 2013(Dec 18, 2012).
Marriott Rewards makes elite rollover nights permanent program benefit for 2013. Loyalty Traveler post December 20, 2012 – Marriott Rewards elite rollover nights permanent benefit for 2013.
Gaylord Resorts are Marriott International’s 14th brand. Loyalty Traveler post Oct 31: Gaylord Resorts are Marriott’s new 14th brand.
Starwood Preferred Guest
SPG Program Changes: SPG hotel award category reassignment effective March 5, 2013. Loyalty Traveler post: SPG award category reassignments March 5, 2013 (includes 266 hotels list) (Feb 22, 2013).
SPG Program Changes: SPG Cash & Points awards increase effective March 5, 2013.
Loyalty Traveler analytical posts on SPG Cash & Points award changes:
** SPG Power Up earns 18,000 points after 20 nights January 15-April 15, 2013.
Earn 2,000 points after every four nights, up to 16 nights, and 10,000 bonus points after 20 nights. Seems to me like Hyatt and SPG are powering their way beyond promotion bonuses. This is a weak offer in my opinion.
Loyalty Traveler post: SPG Power Up: Earn 4K every 4 nights Jan 15-April 15 (Jan 15, 2013).
***SPG35B special rate for 500 bonus points and free breakfast in 25 states and eastern Canada to March 31, 2013. Loyalty Traveler post: SPG35B rate for breakfast and 500 points in 25 states to March 31 (Feb 20, 2013).
***** SPG allows members to receive elite stay and night credit for up to 3 rooms per stay when they are reserved and paid by the SPG member. Loyalty Traveler June 19, 2012 post on earning SPG elite credit for multiple rooms.
Program Changes: Wyndham Rewards restructures hotel awards globally to 8-tier award system effective March 14, 2013. Loyalty Traveler post Wyndham Rewards changes to 8 award tiers March 14, 2013 (Feb 19, 2013).
Until February 28, 2013: Buy Wyndham Rewards points with 25% bonus points.Buy up 50,000 points for $440. Points can be exchanged into 20,000 miles in several frequent flyer programs. $22 per 1,000 miles is a reasonable rate.
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.
The rest of this post contains links for Hotel Loyalty Program resources and major program news from the past year. There are also links to my travel destinations posts of the past six months and miles-to-points transfer rates across different hotel loyalty programs.
Loyalty Traveler Destination Posts
- Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas (Dec 5, 2012)
- St. Regis Princeville, Kauai (Dec 8, 2012)
- St. Regis Princeville, Kauai–Part 2, Really (Dec 11, 2012)
- Wild California Condors of Big Sur (Dec 12, 2012) I photographed two condors feeding on beached sea mammal corpse.
- Hilton Miami Downtown hotel review (Dec 26, 2012)
- Miami Light, Camera, Refraction photo essay (Dec 26, 2012)
- Where and What is Bal Harbour, Florida? (Dec 31, 2012)
- St. Regis Bal Harbour – The Hotel (Jan 2, 2013)
- St. Regis Bal Harbour – The Room (Jan 3, 2013)
- Once in a Blue Moon Marriott Autograph Collection, Miami Beach (Jan 11, 2013)
- Conrad Miami (Jan 26, 2013)
September 2012 was a travel month for me with trips to Manhattan-New York, Barcelona, Spain and a hosted Costa Brava tour (60 miles north of Barcelona) after the TBEX Europe conference in Girona, Spain.
SPG Amex Star trips and New York. Airfare, hotel stays were free courtesy of SPG Amex Stars gig. Thoughts are my own.
On my own in Barcelona, Spain and Travel Blog Exchange TBEX12 Europe, Girona, Spain with 4-day Costa Brava Tourism post-conference sponsored trip.
- Oh My Gaudi, I’m in Barcelona(Sep 18, 2012)
- Street life in Barcelona and La Mercè Festival(Sep 19, 2012)
- W Barcelona Extreme WOW Suite(Sep 19, 2012)
- Tranquilo life in Poblenou, Barcelona(Sep 27, 2012)
- Best Western Alfa Aeropuerto Barcelona(Sep 30, 2012)
- Parc Güell: Gaudi’s vision in the hills of Barcelona(Oct 1, 2012)
- Four Points Diagonal Barcelona on the Poblenou(Oct 3, 2012)
- Holiday Inn Express-City 22 Barcelona(Oct 9, 2012)
- Loyalty Traveler walks to Wall Street and finds democracy past and present (Oct 19, 2012)
TBEX12 Girona, Spain and Costa Brava Tourism Board sponsored tour
- Catalunya Castells Human Towers–TBEX12 @CostaBrava(Sep 20, 2012)
- TBEX Girona, the Pyrenees and Beaches of Costa Brava(Sep 24, 2012)
- Walking Costa Brava at Lloret de Mar (Sep 25, 2012)
- Traveler Impressionism in Costa Brava, Spain(Sep 29, 2012)
- Tossa de Mar, Costa Brava–Blue Paradise(Oct 11, 2012)
- Hotel Diana, modernist boutique in Tossa de Mar, Spain(Oct 12, 2012)
- Gastronomy–The Science of Eating Food @Club-Hotel Giverola, Tossa de Mar, Costa Brava(Oct 15, 2012)
- Mountaintop defenders of Castell de Montsoriu in Arbucies, Spain(Oct 17, 2012)
- Lloret de Mar, down by the seaside in Costa Brava(Oct 23, 2012)
- Sant Pere del Bosc Hotel & Spa–Lloret de Mar, Spain(Nov 6, 2012)
- Balneari Prats Hotel & Spa, Caldes de Malavella, Spain (Nov 10, 2012)
5-Star Promotion Scale
Loyalty Traveler ranks the consumer value of some hotel loyalty promotions on a Five–Star Scale.
Five ***** = one of the best hotel loyalty promotions of the year.
Four ****= high value rebate on the cost of hotel stays.
Three ***= good value hotel loyalty promotion or rate offer
Two **= a bonus value if you play, but not necessarily worth going out of your way.
One *= There is limited or no value. You are likely paying more than the bonus value.
Rate discounts and loyalty program bonuses are two types of hotel chain incentives to consider when booking travel.
Rankings are subjective and subject to change. Your specific travel pattern may result in some promotions ranking more favorably for you.
When assigning a rank I take into consideration the following factors and probably more:
- The opportunity for significantly high-value return on hotel spend in terms of future hotel rebate in free nights and discounted hotel nights.
- Past loyalty program offers and rates for the specific hotel chain and loyalty program.
More hotel promotion offers and loyalty program links
Accor Hotels – Le Club Accorhotels
Hotel Brands: Sofitel, Pullman, M Gallery, Novotel, Mercure, Ibis, Adagio, All Seasons, Thalassa Spa.
Accor Hotels is globally the largest chain of hotel brands outside of the USA. Accor also has the largest proportion of hotels as non-participants in its loyalty program compared to all other major global hotel chains. Hotels in economy and budget hotel market segments do not participate in Accor’s hotel loyalty programs.
Accor A|Club Global Promotion Offers List – link (This link allows searches by continent region)
Accor Hotels A|Club bonus offers
Best Western Hotels – Best Western Rewards
***** Elite Status Match: Best Western Rewards Elite Status Match Offer This offer is ongoing and still available. Best Western is a particularly useful loyalty program when traveling outside the USA. LT post Feb 19, 2010.
Facebook Fans: Best Western runs weekly promotions on its Facebook page. Any Best Western frequent guest should check out Best Western Facebook for prize giveaways and contests. Best Western also has flash sales 12pm-4pm Eastern some weeks.
Sign up for Best Western International email notices in your member account preferences to receive emails for flash sale links.
Loyalty Traveler Research – Aspirational Best Western Hotels for Free Night Certificates (March 28, 2012)
Best Western Brand Tiers Change – Best Western in 2011 designated about 25% of the chain’s higher quality hotels in the 4,000+ hotel chain as Best Western Plus (about 800 hotels) and Best Western Premier (mostly outside USA).
Carlson Hotels – Club Carlson
Hotel Brands: Radisson Blu, Radisson, Country Inn & Suites, Park Inn, Park Plaza
Club Carlson online booking bonus – Club Carlson general members earn 1,000 bonus points for online booking. Silver and Gold elite members earn 2,000 bonus points for online booking. Concierge elite members earn 3,000 points. Club Carlson Benefits table link.
Club Carlson Gold Elite member exclusive 2-for-1 hotel weekend rates and 4-for-2 discount rates for Europe, Middle East and Africa. LT post January 27, 2012. These rates earn points.
Club Carlson for Business offers small to medium businesses a special program for hotel rate discounts and a Club Carlson business account for earning additional points from employee hotel stays. Employees also maintain their own personal accounts and earn points normally as a Club Carlson member.
Loyalty Traveler – Overview of Club Carlson loyalty program (Feb 23, 2012)
Loyalty Traveler – Club Carlson Hotel Category Reassignment Analysis (May 20, 2012)
Club Med resort credit for goldpoints. $100, $250 and $500 credit. (March 10, 2011).
Choice Hotels – Choice Privileges
Choice Hotels Brands: Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban, EconoLodge, Rodeway Inn, Ascend Collection.
Choice Privileges Hotel Reward Partners:
Preferred Hotels Group
Choice Hotels Best Rate Guarantee policy offers one free night for approved claims. Loyalty Traveler analysis March 12, 2012.
Loyalty Traveler Research – Choice Privileges: Booking High Value Reward Nights in Europe (March 26, 2012)
Choice Privileges reward night cost analysis. Using a spreadsheet of 2010 reward cost, I calculated the percentage of hotels in various reward levels worldwide from 6,000 points to 40,000 points. This is the only breakdown of hotel reward tiers I have ever seen for Choice Hotels. Loyalty Traveler post May 1, 2011.
Nordic Choice Club hotel loyalty program covers 140 Choice hotels in Scandinavia and Baltic regions of Europe. Choice Privileges members currently do not earn points for hotel stays in Scandinavia, although hotel stays are available for points. Nordic Choice Club offers points and benefits for hotels in this region. Choice Privileges members planning frequent travel in Scandinavia may want to compare the benefits of Nordic Choice Club to Choice Privileges. (LT post Sep 9, 2010)
Drury Hotels – Gold Key Club
Drury Hotels are the #1 rated midscale limited service hotel brand by J.D. Power Guest Satisfaction Survey six consecutive years including 2010 and 2011. This hotel brand is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri and properties are primarily located in Midwest and South.
1,000 bonus points for enrollment in Drury Gold Key Club (ongoing).
Expedia.com – Expedia Rewards
Expedia’s loyalty program, Expedia Rewards, earns points for air, hotel and travel package bookings. This is a gamechanger for online travel agencies. Booking airfare through Expedia is a no brainer method for earning additional travel rebates since frequent flyer benefits are unaffected. Hotels are a different matter though since no hotel loyalty points with programs like SPG, Marriott, Hilton and most others are earned for Expedia bookings.
Expedia Rewards offers the ability to earn points when booking travel for other people like family members and friends. And Expedia vacation packages often allow a hotel night to be added for the same price as airfare alone; particularly when traveling to Las Vegas. Loyalty Traveler Analysis March 28, 2011.
Fairmont Hotels and Fairmont President’s Club
Fairmont Hotels has fewer than 100 upper-upscale and luxury hotels globally, but in many locations the Fairmont is the top rated hotel.
Tip: Sign up for Fairmont President’s Club to receive special monthly discount rates for Fairmont Hotels. These limited time sales can be significant rate savings.
Four Seasons Hotels
Four Seasons are the leading luxury hotel brand. This hotel chain does not have a points-based loyalty program.
Four Seasons Special Offers website link
Global Hotel Alliance – GHA Discovery
GHA Discovery is a hotel loyalty program alliance for 15 independent hotel brands including Omni Hotels, Pan Pacific, Kempinski Hotels, First Hotels, Anantara Resorts, Tivoli Hotels, The Doyle Collection, Marco Polo Hotels, Park Royal, The Leela Palaces, Shaza Hotels, Mokara Hotels & Spa, Mirvac Hotels, Tangram (Erbil, Iraq) and Lungarno Collection.
Accor Hotels bought Mirvac in May 2012. This might impact GHA membership in the future?
Overview of GHA Discovery, elite membership benefits and local experiences, Loyalty Traveler post January 30, 2011.
Hilton Hotels – Hilton HHonors
10 Hilton HHonors Hotel Brands: Hilton, Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites, Conrad, Waldorf-Astoria Collection, Hampton Inn, and Home2Suites.
Hilton Worldwide by Numbers provides data on the number of hotels in each Hilton brand and geographic distribution. LT post April 6, 2012.
Program Change: HHonors Diamond elite enhancement guarantees breakfast, room upgrade, executive lounge access and welcome amenity points. LT post Jan 26, 2012.
Redeem: HHonors Points & Money Rewards Analysis – Loyalty Traveler post October 3. This post shows the HHonors Points & Money rate table that was removed from HHonors website within a few hours after publishing this Loyalty Traveler post. Recently there have been Points & Money anomalies in the copay amounts for Conrad Bali and Hong Kong (Loyalty Traveler May 22, 2012).
Redeem: HHonors Premium Rewards Analysis – Do HHonors Premium Room Rewards Prevent GLON/AXON Rewards at some Hilton Hotels? – Loyalty Traveler post October 13, 2011. This October 10 post also looks at using HHonors flexible dates tool to find low Hilton rates and Premium Room Rewards. Loyalty Traveler Research October 10.
HHonors Representative responds to Hotels only offering Premium Room Rewards issue. LT post October 14, 2011.
HHonors Redemption tip: A unique feature of HHonors is the ability to buy all needed points for a reward stay at time of booking hotel reward through Hilton reservations. This bypasses the annual limit on purchased HHonors points. Update:I am not sure this still works. The T&C of Hilton HHonors appears to have changed since I initially reported this loophole.
***** Elite Status Promotion: Hilton HHonors Gold elite fast-track for Carlson Wagonlit Travel customers. Earn HHonors Gold elite after four stays within 90 days of promotion registration. This offer has an end date of 12/31/2013 so might be best to wait until January 2013 to register for Gold elite through 2014. Loyalty Traveler post Sep 6, 2011.
***** Elite Status Promotion: HHonors Gold VIP elite after 4 stays or 9 nights in 90 days at U.S. hotels with Hilton HHonors MVP. Promotion registration required.
Redeem: FlyerTalk sticky thread on all different types of HHonors rewards.
Hotels.com Welcome Rewards
Earn a free night for every 10 nights in Welcome Rewards.
Hyatt Hotels – Hyatt Gold Passport
Hotel Brands: Park Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Vacation Club, Hyatt Resorts, Andaz, Hyatt House (AVIA and Hotel Sierra acquired Sep 1, 2011. Hotel Sierra and Hyatt Summerfield Suites were rebranded as Hyatt House in 2012.)
**** Earn Hyatt Gold Passport for dining and spa services as a non-guest at participating Hyatt Hotels. Loyalty Traveler post April 4, 2012.
Gold Passport Diamond Challenge- Most beneficial perhaps is to tie this offer into a Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond Challenge for 12 nights in 60 days (normally 25 stays or 50 nights in calendar year). As Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond for 2012 you also will receive 4 confirmed suite upgrades. Start the Gold Passport Diamond Challenge first and then get the credit card once you have Diamond status to get confirmed suite upgrades for your credit card free nights. FlyerTalk discussion threadon Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond challenge.
Gold Passport Enhancement – Diamond members receive 50% bonus on Welcome Amenity pointsif points do not automatically post after stay. Loyalty Traveler post November 5, 2011.
InterContinental Hotels Group – Priority Club
Hotel Brands: InterContinental Hotels, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites, Hotel Indigo.
IHG Special Rate Offers
***** Europe Rate Discount through Dec 12, 2013 offer high discounts, but these rates do not earn Priority Club points.
IHG Friend & Family Hotel Rates (Steve Sickel). Steve Sickel is senior Vice President Relationship Marketing for InterContinental Hotels Group. During the hotel recession of 2009 he offered this link to FlyerTalk members for booking discount friends and family rates. This link is still active. And we are all friends of Steve’s. Here is a FlyerTalk thread discussing this rate deal. The link in Steve Sickel’s name leads to the offer page for a voucher to complete. Some guests mention the hotel wants the completed voucher at check-in. These rates do not qualify for points or stay credit. One of the best features of this offer is the ability to book high category rooms at steep discount.
IHG First Night Free Best Rate Guarantee new policy. LT post Sep 22, 2011.
IHG Priority Club Last Minute Reward Nights are posted on Tuesday, the week before the first full weekend of the calendar month. Hotels are only posted for three days and must be booked by Thursday prior to the Friday through Sunday first full weekend of the month. http://boardingarea.com/blogs/loyaltytraveler/2012/10/02/priority-club-50-reward-nights-oct-5-7/
InterContinental Ambassador Accelerator - 20,000 points after 15 nights at InterContinental Hotels. Registration required.
Kimpton Hotels – Kimpton InTouch
Loyalty Traveler posted an outline of Kimpton’s InTouch program showing how 21 stays in 2011 can potentially earn 7 free nights at any Kimpton Hotel. This strategy still works. (LT post Jan 11, 2011)
La Quinta Hotels – La Quinta Returns
La Quinta Inn is owned by Blackstone Group, the owner of Hilton Worldwide.
**** Using La Quinta points for Waldorf-Astoria luxury hotel stays – Loyalty Traveler analysis March 19, 2012.
Hotel chain and hotel loyalty program overview by Loyalty Traveler April 12, 2011.
Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) – Leaders Club Rewards
LHW Hotel Special Offers link
Marriott Hotels – Marriott Rewards
Hotel Brands: Marriott, JW Marriott, Renaissance, Ritz-Carlton, Residence Inn, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, TownePlace Suites, SpringHill Suites, Edition, Autograph Collection, Marriott Vacation Club, AC Hotels.
Note to Marriott Rewards members: You must have your Marriott Rewards account earning preference set to miles in order to see Marriott Rewards miles promotions.
Marriott Rewards Program Enhancement: Platinum members receive free suite upgrades for hotels in Asia Pacific Region. Loyalty traveler post August 17, 2012.
Marriott Platinum Elite fast-track challenge. Loyalty Traveler post March 15, 2012 describes the terms for a Marriott elite challenge.
Loyalty Traveler Opinion Piece: My Take on the Value of Marriott Rewards Points- (March 26, 2012)
Marriott Rewards Hotel Category Assignment Changes for 2012
Marriott Rewards PointSavers – PointSavers reduce the points cost of a free night by one hotel category. For example, category 5 hotel requires only 20,000 points per night priced at category 4 rate. 5thnight free rewards rate also applies to PointSavers rate.
***** Marriott Rewards Elite Rollover Nights become permanent program feature for 2013. 2012 was the fourth year Marriott Rewards offered elite rollover nights for elite qualifying nights over your earned elite membership. For example: Silver elite requires 10 nights in calendar year and Gold elite takes 50 nights. Stay 25 nights in 2012 and the 15 nights above Silver elite rollover to 2013 membership year. You will have earned Silver elite for 2013 from your 15 extra nights in 2012 rolled over to 2013. Rollover nights from 2012 to 2013 are deducted from 2013 end-of-year total nights to determine rollover nights for 2014. And you only get rollover nights based on the status you held the year before. Gold elite in 2012 with end-of-year 40 nights will not receive any 2013 rollover nights since did not requalify as Gold elite. Confused? Don’t worry. This is a great benefit for eligible elite members. Loyalty Traveler post Jan 6, 2012 – Marriott Rewards extends Elite Rollover Nights for 2012 stays and Loyalty Traveler post December 20, 2012 – Marriott Rewards elite rollover nights permanent benefit for 2013.
Marriott Rewards Program Change: All Marriott Rewards members receive complimentary internet at Asia-Pacific region hotels. Loyalty Traveler post May 2, 2011.
Omni Hotels – Omni Select Guest
Preferred Hotels & Resorts – I Prefer
Hotel brands: Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Preferred Boutique, Summit Hotels & Resorts, Sterling Hotels, Sterling Design.
- I Prefer benefits include complimentary internet, room upgrades and early check-in, late checkout.
- Preferred Offers I Prefer and Preferred Hotels Group special offers page.
- NOTE: Members of Choice Privileges and Red Lion R&R Club can use points in those programs for free nights at participating hotels within Preferred Hotels Group.
Red Lion Hotels – R&R Club (44 hotels in western U.S.)
Red Roof Inn – RediCard
(Marriott Rewards partner brand. You may only hold membership preference in either Marriott Rewards or Ritz-Carlton Rewards, not both programs. Most Ritz-Carton Rewards promotions require the member to be RCR member as of the date the promotion is announced.)
Starwood Hotels – Starwood Preferred Guest
Starwood Hotels brands: Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels, Le Meridien, Luxury Collection, St. Regis, Four Points, Element, Aloft.
*** SPG Restaurants and Bars – a new feature offers 10% to 20% discounts for dining and drinking at participating Starwood Hotel restaurants and bars. Loyalty Traveler post April 3, 2012.
SPG Program Changes effective March 1, 2012:
SPG Gold members
· Hotel Stay Welcome Gift – Choose from Starpoints (up to 250 points/stay) or free internet or free beverage.
SPG Platinum members
· Hotel Stay Welcome Gift – Choose from Continental Breakfast for entire stay or Starpoints (up to 500/stay) or local gift.
· 50+ nights Platinum members only – 10 Suite Night Awards.This is in addition to the existing and continuing policy of complimentary upgrades upon arrival for SPG Platinum elites that has been a long time competitive edge of Starwood preferred Guest.
· 75+ nights Platinum members only – Earn 4 points per dollar on hotel spend.Lower tier Platinum members earn 3 points/$1 on hotel spend.
· 75+ nights Platinum members only– Your24 check-in at any hour and maintain room for 24 hours. Check in at 9pm and the room is yours until 9pm 24 hours later.
· 100+ nights Platinum members only – Personal Starwood Hotels Ambassadorto help travel planning.
Ongoing Starwood Hotels & Resorts Rate Discounts:
**** Pay Your Birth Year Rate – This promotion has been extended through December 31, 2013. Rates can be an incredible 5-key savings or no savings depending on the hotel and your birthyear. LT post Jan 30, 2012 and SPG Pay Your Birth Year discount in 2013 (Feb 8, 2013).
**** Starwood Hotels Discount Rates for hotel stays 2 to 6 nights.
**** Starwood Resorts Discount Rates for hotel stays 2 to 6 nights.
These Starwood extended stay discount rates for 2 to 6 nights have been around for several years, but are not well advertised on Starwood site. Third Night Free tends to be the best discount rate. Important to check other rates (AAA, Senior, Special Offers) as these discounts are generally based on the Best Available Rate (BAR) and may not be the lowest overall rate for some hotels. Loyalty Traveler rate analysis Sep 21, 2011 – Better Know a Rate Z3H and Z3R and other extended stay promo codes.
**** BeattheTimer.com for discount Starwood rates in Europe, Middle East and Africa (Starwood EMEA Discounts at BeattheTimer.com).
Starpicks discount rates for following three to six weeks post each Tuesday. Prepaid, nonrefundable and no changes. Must book by Friday each week.
SPG Member Benefit – Award Stays Earn SPG Elite Qualification Credit as of October 1, 2011. Loyalty Traveler analysis Sep 29, 2011.
***** SPG allows members to receive elite stay and night credit for up to 3 rooms per stay when they are reserved and paid by the SPG member. Loyalty Traveler June 19 post on earning SPG elite credit for multiple rooms.
Loyalty Traveler analysis of Starwood Preferred Guest Airline Direct Deposit program for Mileage Plus membersand others interested in earning miles rather than points from hotel stays. (August 4, 2011)
Starwood Preferred Guest Hotel Category reward assignment changes for 2012 took effect on March 1, 2012. 183 hotels went up and 138 went down. My LT post “Analysis of SPG Hotel Category Changes March 1, 2012” (Feb 21, 2012) has a list ordered by city, state and country for changes.
Stash Hotel Rewards
Stash Rewards is a three year old loyalty program for over 100 independent upscale hotels in the U.S. Loyalty Traveler post Jan 19, 2011. Hotel partners of Stash Rewards in Monterey and Washington D.C. are great choices for hotel travelers seeking independent hotels with loyalty benefits. Stash Rewards offers points for many high quality independent hotels that previously had no loyalty program affiliation.
Stash Hotel Specials for Bonus Points and Low Redemption Rate Hotels
Swissotel Hotels and Resorts – Swissôtel Circle
Swissôtel Circle is the newly relaunched loyalty program for Swissotel Hotels and Resorts as of August 15, 2011. The Swissotel Circle loyalty program includes 30 Swissotel Hotels, Fairmont Hotels and Raffles. This Sep 9, 2011 Loyalty Traveler post is an overview of the hotel loyalty program, elite levels and benefits.
Voila Hotel Rewards
Loyalty Traveler profile of Voila Hotels program international loyalty program for 250 independent hotels.
Wyndham Worldwide – Wyndham Rewards
Wyndham Brands: Wyndham, Wingate, Hawthorn Suites, Ramada, Days Inn, Super 8, Howard Johnson, Travelodge, Baymont Suites, Microtel, Knights Inn, Tryp, Dream, Night.
Wyndham Rewards changed its U.S./Canada award chart from four tiers to seven tiers in January 2013. Some hotels like Wingate Manhattan Midtown climbed from 16,000 points to 45,000 points with no prior warning. So far the changes appear limited to New York City, but with seven tiers, Wyndham Rewards has thousands of hotels to fill them.
Feb 2013 Update: Wyndham Rewards changed their hotel award structure again in February 2013 to eight tiers globally. Loyalty Traveler post: Wyndham Rewards changes to 8 award tiers March 14, 2013 (Feb 19, 2013).
Travelodge Canadais now participating in Wyndham Rewards.
Loyalty Traveler Research
Hotel Points to Airline Miles Conversion Tables
- Table of 69 airline partners for the Top 10 global hotel loyalty programs(Aug 22, 2012)
- American Airlines Points-to-Miles Exchange Rates for 9 Hotel Programs. (Feb 5, 2012)
- American Airlines Points-to-Miles Exchange Rates for Elites and Credit Card members(Feb 6, 2012)
- Delta Skymiles hotel points-to-miles rates in 9 hotel programs. (Feb 7, 2012)
- United Mileage Plus hotel points-to-miles rates favor Marriott, Club Carlson, Wyndham(Feb 8, 2012)
- Hotel Loyalty Program Airline Partners: 10 programs compared on one spreadsheet. (Feb 9, 2012)
- Why Change hotel points into airline miles?(Feb 9, 2012)
- Hotel points conversion into Southwest Rapid Rewards points favors Marriott, Choice and Hyatt (Feb 10, 2012)
Hotel Points Buy, Gift and Transfer Rules for major hotel loyalty programs. Loyalty Traveler post December 5, 2011.
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.