Hotel Loyalty Winter 2009 Promotions Are Out

Hotel loyalty programs have posted 2009 offers in the past week.  Within a few days of the SPG 2009 promotion beginning January 7, four other promotions have been released.

Is there a little Hyatt-Expedia love conduit going on with the frequentflier?

Hyatt has still not detailed their promotion on their website, however, promotion details were leaked through Tim Winship and www.SmarterTravel.com. 

The theme for winter 2009 seems to be nights, except for Marriott who went with stays. 

Ironically Marriott is the only program that bases elite status only on nights.

Here is the quick 2009 rundown:

Hilton HHonors – December 23 update:  Even Hilton HHonors is in the hotel loyalty promotion game for 2009.  Yesterday an offer for double base points on HHonors participating hotels globally was posted.  The promotion is still missing details such as a working link to participating hotels and an accounting procedure for double base points.  Double base points may mean a total of 20 points per dollar with the Points and Points earning style and a bonus to equal double base points.  Double Base points may mean 20 points and Miles, or 20 points and an additional 5 points per $1 if Points and Points.  The promotion fine print is still not posted to explain how double base points works. 

January 7, 2009 updateYesterday I received an email from HHonors regarding the Double Base points promotion.  The earnings are even better than I suggest above.

During the promotion a member selecting Points & Points will earn 10 base points per $1 in hotel spending + 20 bonus points per $1 for 30 points per $1. 

January 13 update: Hilton HHonors reissued its Double Base Points promotion press release on January 12.  Originally, the January 7 press release stated HHonors members selecting Points & Points would earn 10 base points + 20 bonus points per $1 in eligible spending, or 30 points per $1.  The reissued press release on January 12 says this was incorrect and HHonors members selecting Points & Points will earn only 25 points per $1.

A member selecting Points and Miles will earn a total of 20 points per $1 + miles.

Way to go Hilton HHonors! 

HHonors still isn’t playing the open promotion loyalty game.  HHonors used to be the program that offered astute members the opportunity to earn a free night or much more every year  just by changing your online account email address every three months or signing up for a charitable contribution as a virtual walker in charity fund drives.  HHonors dropped out of the high bonus promotions game a few years ago.  Fortunately the other hotel chains have not followed HHonors lead.

Hyatt Gold Passport – As reported by Tim Winship in Frequentflier.com and Expedia-owned SmarterTravel.com, Hyatt Gold Passport has put together a promotion offering up to 20,000 points for 8 nights during the promotion period of January 9 – April 30, 2009.  Hyatt’s promotion is still not posted on its website as of December 22, 2008. 

Comparing Points Across Programs:

Gold Passport operates a points earned system of 5 points per $1 with Hyatt Hotels compared to Marriott Rewards and IHG Priority Club being 10 points per $1.  Hilton HHonors is 10 points per $1 + airline miles, or 15 points per $1.  Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) is 2 points per $1.  Elite members earn additional bonus points.

Hotel Loyalty Program 2009 promotions:

Hilton HHonors – double base points globally

Promotion dates: January 6 – April 6, 2009

Registration required before reservations to be eligible for bonus.

https://www.hiltonhhonors.com/globaldoublepoints

Offer: Double Base Points at Hilton brand hotels globally

 

 

 

 

Hyatt Gold Passport – up to 20,000 points 

Promotion dates: January 9 – April 30, 2009

Registration required.  Webpage not active as of 12-22-08.

2 nights = 2,000 bonus points

4 nights = 4,000 bonus points  (6,000 cumulative)

6 nights = 6,000 bonus points  (12,000 cumulative)

8 nights = 8,000 bonus points  (20,000 cumulative)

20,000 bonus points is equivalent to points normally earned with $4,000 spending.  8 nights will earn 20,000 bonus points with this offer.

 

Earning: 8 nights @ $100 night = $800 to earn 20,000 points. 

Redemption: The highest Hyatt category 5 hotel is 18,000 points per night. My stay this past weekend at the Hyatt Highlands Inn, Carmel Highlands, CA would have cost $675 on a AAA discount rate for the ocean view room.

 

 

IHG Priority Club – up to 30,000 points or 10,000 miles

Promotion dates: January 12 – April 30, 2009

Registration required. https://secure.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/pc/1/en/c/10/content/dec/teaser/pc/0/en/lp/promolp/q109/usenptsmiles.html

 

Offer: 3 nights = 3,000 bonus points or 1,000 bonus miles

 

3,000 bonus points is equivalent to points normally earned with $300 spending.  3 nights will earn 3,000 bonus points with this offer.  30,000 bonus points is equivalent to points normally earned with $3,000 spending.  30 nights will earn 30,000 bonus points with this offer.

 

Earning: 30 nights @ $80 per night = $2,400 in hotel spending to earn 30,000 points.

Redemption: 1 night at the InterContinental Monterey will cost 30,000 points.  Crowne Plaza free night will be 25,000 points.

 

Marriott Rewards – up to 25,000 points

Promotion dates: February 1 – April 30, 2009

Registration required. https://www.marriott.com/rewards/promotionRegistration.mi?promotion=MGS9&psrc=MRTR

 

Offer: 2,500 points per stay starting with second stay.  Some Marriott Rewards members may receive a different offer for earning between 15,000 to 50,000 points.  My wife has no elite status with Marriott Rewards and she received a 25,000 points offer.

 

25,000 bonus points is equivalent to points normally earned with $2,500 spending.  11 nights (11 one-night stays) will earn 25,000 bonus points with this offer.  

Earning: 11 stays @ $100/stay = $1,100 to earn 25,000 points. 

Redemption: 1 free night at Category 5 hotel = 25,000 points.

Starwood Preferred Guest – up to 110,000 points

Promotion dates: January 7 – April 30, 2009

Registration required. http://www.spgpromos.com/nights/index.cfm?EM=VTY_SPG_NIGHTS_PROMOTION

 

 

Offer: 500 bonus points per night.  5,000 additional bonus points earned for 10 nights.  A total of 10,000 bonus points will be earned for every 10 nights.

 

Analysis: 10,000 bonus points is equivalent to points normally earned with $5,000 spending. 10 nights will earn 10,000 bonus points with this offer.   The 10-night bonus may be earned multiple times.

 

Earning: 10 nights @ $100 night = $1,000 to earn 10,000 Starpoints. 

Redemption: 10,000 points = 1 free night Category 4 hotel or Category 4 Cash&Points award is 4,000 points + $60.  

 

Conclusion:

The SPG promotion looks best overall compared to the other offers.  Hyatt is basically a free night anywhere after 8 nights and ranks second.  Sure the Hyatt offer is good, but I can spend the next 8 nights in Hyatt Hotels over this Christmas break and earn 4 free nights anywhere in the world with the perennial Faster Free Nights promotion.  One free night after 8 nights isn’t as enticing.  The main advantage to Hyatt points is the ability to upgrade room nights to suites using points.

These promotions actually look to be an attempt by the hotel chains to lower points distribution in the face of widespread declining revenue among the hotel industry.  Historically there is nothing too spectacular about these opening promotional blasts for 2009.

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