The Economy/Budget segment of the hotel market scale is sometimes where the price of a hotel room forces your hand. These are brands with average daily rates usually under $75 per night and generally in the $40 to $65 range in most locations. Do you really want to spend $200 to stay in a nice airport hotel when you can have that bed for six hours of sleep at a $40 to $65 rate before you hop back on the plane?
These JD Power economy-budget brand circle ratings are quite useful to me for helping choose a budget hotel brand. I honestly can’t remember the last time I stayed in one of the eleven brands listed in the JD Power 2010 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study for the Economy/Budget segment.
When I drove cross-country three times in the 1990s I am sure I visited several of these brands. Those road trips in the 90s were one of the motivators for getting into loyalty travel as a means to better hotel stays.
Loyalty traveler commentary:
The economy/budget segment of hotels is dominated by Wyndham Rewards and Choice Privileges.
Wyndham Rewards is the major economy/budget segment hotel loyalty program with six of the eleven JD Power rated brands of Microtel Inns and Suites, Howard Johnson Express, Super 8, Days Inn, Travelodge and Knights Inn. One of the better features of Wyndham Rewards is the good points-to-miles exchange rate for converting Wyndham Rewards points into airline miles.
EconoLodge and Rodeway Inn are hotel brands participating in Choice Privileges. The primary disadvantage with these budget brands is a 50% reduction in points earned for stays. Most Choice Privileges hotel brands earn 10 points per $1, but only 5 points per $1 is earned with EconoLodge and Rodeway Inns. Wyndham Rewards earns 10 points per $1 for all its economy/budget brands.
Red Roof Inn and Americas Best Value Inn are independent chains with their own loyalty programs.
Motel 6 is the ugly stepchild of French-based Accor Hotels. Motel 6 currently has a limited time offer participating in Accor’s A-Club hotel loyalty program for the opportunity to redeem 2,000 A-Club points for $60 cash vouchers valid at North America Motel 6 properties through October 31, 2010. In general, Motel 6 and Accor’s European budget brand hotels do not participate in the Accor A-Club hotel loyalty program.
Hotel Brands ordered by Number of Hotels in North America
Super 8 Motel (Wyndham Rewards) = 2,137 hotels; mostly in North America, although growing rapidly in China. (ADR = $56.67) Super 8 is the largest economy hotel brand in North America. Free breakfast, free internet and loyalty points or miles are added benefits of this JD Power three circle rated brand.
Days Inn (Wyndham Rewards) = 1,858 global properties (ADR $62.24). Properties offer free internet and most offer a complimentary breakfast and swimming pool.
Motel 6 (Accor A-Club limited participation) = 1,000+ properties in North America. Motel 6 locations.
Americas Best Value Inn (Value Club) = 900 hotels in North America. Hotel locations search. Hotel Directory. Americas Best Value Inn hotel loyalty program – Value Club does not appear to be a points-based program, but rather a value-added on stays program which is common to luxury and independent upscale market brands. Value Club rates give a 15% room discount to members and an opportunity for a complimentary upgrade and late checkout.
EconoLodge (Choice Privileges) = 785 hotels (2010 ADR $51.21). Free wi-fi, continental breakfast and USA Today on weekdays.
Howard Johnson Inns and Express Inns (Wyndham Rewards) = 500+ hotels globally. (ADR = $61.22) Howard Johnson Hotels and Inns operate in three different market segments with some properties in the midscale and some in the economy segment in North America. Internationally in Asia and Latin America the brand tends to be positioned in the midscale to upscale market. I was unable to locate a breakdown of this brand by market segment.
Travelodge (Wyndham Rewards) = 460 hotels in North America. The brand is mostly an economy segment hotel in the U.S. but midscale with food and beverage market segment for hotels in Canada.
Rodeway Inn (Choice Privileges) = 381 hotels (2010 ADR $47.06). Free local calls, continental breakfast, and morning newspaper on weekdays.
Knights Inn (Wyndham Rewards) = 340 hotels in North America. This chain falls squarely in the budget hotel market segment with an average daily rate at $42.46, significantly below the other Wyndham Rewards hotel brands. You apparently get what you pay for with a JD Power hotel guest satisfaction rating of two circles and ranked last on the economy/budget hotel segment report.
Microtel Inns and Suites (Wyndham Rewards) = 320 hotels in North America. (ADR = $56.72) This brand has won the JD Power Hotel Guest Satisfaction Award for Economy/Budget brands 9 years in a row, achieving the only JD Power 5 circle rating for an economy/budget hotel brand in the 2010 study. Microtel Inns founded in 1989 are newly constructed properties rather than rebranded hotels which may account for the overall high satisfaction with the brand.
The Microtel brand was purchased by Wyndham in July 2008. A Microtel Inn promotion is currently in play to celebrate the JD Power achievement. Book a Microtel Inn room between August 9 and September 12 and you could win a free night, a $25 Visa gift card or a $50 Visa gift card. Nine prizes in each category for 27 prizes each week to be awarded.
Wyndham Hotels property numbers and ADR data taken from this Wyndham Hotels 2009 10K Report.
Choice Privileges data taken from Choice Hotels 2010 Q2 June 30 financial results.
Related Loyalty Traveler posts on JD Power 2010 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study