Sep192010

Hotel Loyalty Promotions Summary 9-19-10

Current Hotel Loyalty Promotions and News – updated September 19, 2010

The frequent guest has the choice of many hotel loyalty promotions with little guidance to their relative value. Here is Loyalty Traveler’s summary of current hotel loyalty promotions and limited time rate offers for the frequent guest. Newly added offers since the last September 8 update are marked with an asterisk (*).

The September 15 launch of Ritz-Carlton Rewards hotel loyalty program is a major development from this week. Marriott Rewards members can now earn points and receive elite stay credit and benefits for Ritz-Carlton hotel stays. The cost for single night reward stays has dropped by as much as 33%. The downside is the change in rewards to a 5th night free program and new reward categories were expanded from two tiers to five tiers. The cost for some 7-night rewards has increased by 20% to 68%. For 20 hotels in Tier 1 the cost of reward nights has decreased.

Hilton HHonors, Goldpoints Plus and Wyndham Rewards are still the only major hotel loyalty programs that have not announced a primary Fall 2010 promotion at this time. Priority Club and Hyatt Gold Passport have the best deals so far for fall hotel stays in my opinion.

Loyalty Traveler ranks the consumer value of hotel loyalty promotions on a Five Key Scale.

Five Keys = one of the best hotel loyalty promotions of the year.

Four Keys = high value rebate on the cost of hotel stays.

Three Keys = good value hotel loyalty promotion or rate offer

Two Keys = a bonus value if you play, but not necessarily worth going out of your way.

One Key = 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 key rank I take into consideration the following factors and probably more: 

  • The opportunity for significantly high-value return on hotel spend in terms of a future hotel rebate in free nights and discounted hotel nights. 
  • Current loyalty program promotions and offers from other hotel chains.
  • Past loyalty program offers and rates for the specific hotel chain and loyalty program.
  • Current economic conditions in the hotel location and travel industry.

 

Accor A-Club

*Sweepstakes: A-Club 2nd Birthday – Enter by September 19 and select the prizes you would like to win. New members to A-Club will receive 1,000 bonus points after first hotel stay by Dec. 19, 2010. 365 prizes including free upper-upscale Sofitel Hotel weekend hotel stays, up to 100,000 points, and $600 in A-Club vouchers are birthday gifts. Drawing is October 22, 1010.

Limited Time Offer: Motel 6 is accepting A-Club $60 vouchers at over 1,000 North America hotels for stays from June 1-October 31.

 

Best Western Rewards 

3-key promotion – 2,000 bonus points per night at 315 hotels in Southeast U.S. from August 24 – September 26, 2010. This may be earned for up to four nights for 8,000 bonus points. Registration is required.

3-key promotion – 1,250 miles with American Airlines or Air Canada Aeroplan after two stays Sep 12-Nov 21. Earn 750 bonus miles every second stay. There is no cap on the number of times this bonus may be earned, unlike the concurrent promotion for triple points. Registration is required and you need to set your BW account earning preference to miles to see these promotion offers.  LT promotion post (Aug 22)

2-key PromotionDouble or Triple Points, Sep 12 through Nov 21, 2010. Earn triple points (30 points/$1) on your second stay booked through Bestwestern.com. Earn double points if reservation not booked online. This bonus is earned only one time, except elite members also earn triple points on 4th stay. Promotion code is FALL10 or for AAA BestWestern Preferred members AAAFALL10. Promotion registration required. LT promotion post (Aug 22)

Best Western Rewards Elite Status Match Offer (February 19, 2010)

Program Change for Elites: Elite members earn 250 bonus points for stays in US/Canada or a welcome snack. (Aug 3, 2010)

 

Carlson Hotels – Goldpoints Plus

* 1,000 bonus American Airlines AAdvantage miles per Radisson Hotel stay between September 15 and November 15, 2010.

Goldpoints Plus program change – elite members earn 2,000 points for online booking. This change doubles the regular 1,000 online booking bonus for goldpoints elite members. (LT post July 18)

 

Choice Hotels – Choice Privileges

3-key promotion (4-key for platinum and diamond elite members) – Earn 8,000 points for every two stays between August 26 and November 3, 2010 at Choice Hotel brands of Ascend Collection, Cambria Suites, Clarion, Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites, Quality Inn and Sleep InnPromotion may be earned four times for 32,000 points. Choice Privileges Platinum and Diamond Elite members may earn 8,000 points every two stays unlimited times.

Platinum and Diamond elites have the choice of a triple points alternate offer for every stay beginning with second stay.

3-key promotion – Choice Privileges hotel brands of EconoLodge, MainStay Suites, Rodeway Inn and Suburban Extended Stay have a double points promotion for every stay during the same period of August 26-November 3, 2010. These brands normally earn 5 points/$1 so double points = 10 points/$1.

*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)

 

Four Seasons Hotels

* $100 dining/spa credit at six participating California hotels for using Gowalla. Visit three location recommendations from Four Seasons concierge through Gowalla location-based social media site during a stay of two or more nights through November 19 to earn a $100 credit.

 

Hilton HHonors 

*HHonors Point Stretcher Rewards posted for hotels through December 2010. Point Stretchers require 40% fewer points than standard HHonors rewards. Use the drop-down menu to see participating hotels in different Hilton brands. This is the largest set of hotels I recall in several years offering Point Stretcher discount reward dates. (LT post Sep 9)

*HHonors Comprehensive Reward Charts – Members have difficulty locating the various reward charts on the Hilton HHonors sites, particularly VIP Rewards and Waldorf-Astoria rates. This Loyalty Traveler post puts all the HHonors reward charts in one place.

* Cheaper Hilton Reward nights using Priority Club points – this Loyalty Traveler analysis developed from the Priority Club Anywhere Challenge. Hotels Anywhere allows Priority Club members to spend points for hotels in other chains. My study shows there are numerous Hilton Hotels requiring fewer Priority Club points than Hilton HHonors charges its members in HHonors points for the same reward. (LT post Sep 17)

4-key promotion – up to 10,000 Delta Skymiles Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQM) for stays of two or more nights between September 1 and December 10, 2010.

HHonors Program change: Gold and Diamond members receive complimentary internet at all Hilton Worldwide hotels beginning September 1, 2010. (Hilton – Aug 2 press release)

3-Key promotion Double Points or Double Miles July 7-September 30, 2010. This is the standard promotion for HHonors. There are some good miles opportunities. You must remain with your choice for the duration of the promotion once you select double points or double miles. (July 6)

 

Hyatt Gold Passport

4-key promotion – ‘Great 10K’ Fall 2010 offer awards 10,000 Gold Passport points for every 5 nights September 15 – December 15, 2010. Nights do not need to be consecutive nights. Stay every night in a Hyatt Hotel and you can earn 180,000 bonus points. Register online beginning September 15 at goldpassport.com/welcome10k. LT post Aug 25. This promotion may be combined with the 3,000 AA miles per stay offer below (60,000 AAdvantage miles).

4-key Promotion – 1,000 bonus miles per night for up to 30,000 bonus miles through September 30, 2010 with a choice of nine airlines. Amtrak, ANA, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, Lufthansa Miles & More, Southwest, Thai, United, US Airways. Southwest Airlines earns 1 bonus Rapid Rewards credit per night. Bonus miles are in addition to regular 500 miles per hotel stay (or 0.5 Southwest credit). Member must choose miles as earning preference which excludes earning most G bonuses or hotel specific points bonuses.

4-key promotion = 60,000 AAdvantage miles. 2,500 bonus miles per stay with American Airlines AAdvantage through October 15, 2010. This offer may be repeated for up to 20 stays. Bonus miles are in addition to regular 500 miles per stay. 60,000 AAdvantage miles registration link. Loyalty Traveler post July 16.

Program change: Hyatt Gold Passport hotel award categories increased for 25% of hotels as of June 4, 2010. Loyalty traveler post.

 

InterContinental Hotels Group – Priority Club

5-key promotion – Sweet Dilemma – Free night after two stays or double points/miles for stays between September 20 and December 31, 2010. Registration is required and member must choose to earn free nights or double points/miles. There is a limit of five free nights after ten stays. Free nights stays must be used between December 1, 2010 and May 31, 2011. Asia-Pacific region IHG hotels are not participating in free nights portion of this promotion. A big drawback to the free nights offer is members will not earn any base or elite points for the remainder of 2010, even if the free night offer is maxed out after ten stays. IHG loyalists may prefer double points or miles.

* Contest – Priority Club Anywhere Challenge –  Correctly identify a place from photo and written clues to win 500 to 2,000 Priority Club points each week through October 29. Answer correctly on Tuesday and win 2,000 points, Wednesday 1,500 points; Thursday 1,000 points and Friday 500 points. Answers post on Monday for the previous week’s challenge.

* Cheaper Hilton Reward nights using Priority Club points – this Loyalty Traveler analysis developed from the Anywhere Challenge. Hotels Anywhere allows Priority Club members to spend points for hotels in other chains. My study shows there are numerous Hilton Hotels requiring fewer Priority Club points than Hilton HHonors charges its members in HHonors points. (LT post Sep 17)

5-key offer Priority Club “Crack the Case” individually targeted promotion terms. My Crack the Case offer is a 5-key promotion, however, the best offers appear to be for Priority Club members who did not stay too frequently over the past year. Members who received this promotion have until May 31, 2011 to fulfill the tasks for bonus points. You need to already be a Priority Club member and check your email offer for your own Crack the Case promotion terms.

My offer was 162,000 points for five tasks and a 91,000 points bonus for completing four of the challenges: PC credit card enrollment 60,000 points; stay two Saturdays; stay in two brands, complete a hotel stay profile survey; stay 10 room nights. I can potentially receive 157,000 Priority Club points for just two Saturday hotel nights in two different brands over the next nine months.

5-key offer Priority Club PointBreaks 5,000 points per night awards to October 30 (Aug 2, 2010)

3-key promotion – Sep 1-Dec 30 – Stay two consecutive weekend nights (Fri, Sat or Sun) at an IHG brand hotel in conjunction with a flight and get reimbursed for one roundtrip checked baggage fee up to $50. (Aug 17)

Europe IHG Rate Discount: 2 nights for the price of 1 for hotel stays through September 27, 2010. The InterContinental Budapest was available for $83 per night when I first posted this offer. These rates are prepaid and nonrefundable, but there are some fantastic savings if you want to prepay your hotel stay. (May 25)

3-key promotion 1,000 Points for Android Application Bookings to September 30.                  (LT post July 17)

2-key promotion: Ambassador members receive 25,000 points for a two-night stay at participating InterContinental Hotels (June 1-September 30). Unfortunately most hotels are asking a significantly higher rate ($50 to $100 per night over lowest available) for this offer. Bonus may be earned three times for 75,000 points.  (May 11)

IHG Friend & Family Hotel Rates (through Dec 26, 2009)

Program Change: Ambassador Annual Membership Fee Increased from $150 to $200 as of July 1, 2010. You can also buy Ambassador membership for 32,000 Priority Club Rewards points (formerly 24,000).

 

Joie de Vivre Hotels – Joy of Life Club

3-key promotion – Earn both Virgin America Elevate points and Joy of Life points for the remainder of 2010. LT post July 22.

 

Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) – Leaders Club Rewards 

3-key promotionEarn 1 free night after every 5 hotel stays in 2010. Must stay in at least two different hotels. Bellagio in Las Vegas is LHW member. (April 13, 2010)

 

Marriott Rewards

*Program change – Free internet worldwide for Gold and Platinum Marriott Rewards members beginning January 2011. This expands the complimentary internet benefit offered to elites for hotel stays in the Americas since May 2010.

3-key promotion – Marriott Triple Airline Miles October 1-December 31, 2010. You need to set your Marriott Rewards earning preference to miles to register for this promotion. Marriott Rewards has 30 airline partners and miles are earned at the rate of 2 miles/$1 for full-service Marriott brands (3x miles = 6 miles/$1) and 1 mile per $1 for other Marriott brands (3x miles = 3 miles/$1). The Triple Miles promotion has just five participating airlines: Air Canada, Continental, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Jet Airways. Loyalty Traveler post Aug 26.

Marriott Sweepstakes – Win 7 nights at JW Marriott and a 7-night Caribbean cruise. Online entry required at CrusiesOnly.com between September 1 and October 31, 2010. The hotel stay and cruise may be done in separate trips. The cruise is a balcony stateroom on Norwegian Epic. Prizes expire Nov 30, 2011 if not used by then. (Sep 2)

4-key promotion – Marriott MegaBonus (Sep 15-Jan 15, 2011) various targeted offers with the basic offer being one free night after two stays paid with Visa. Limit of two free nights during promotion. Free night valid only for Category 1 to category 4 hotels.

Active Marriott Rewards members may receive bonus points offers based on total nights stayed or 5,000 points for every two stays. There are several variations mentioned for 25,000 to 50,000 bonus points. 

1-Key offerMarriott Rewards Instant Redemption Awards (March 24, 2010)

 

Ritz-Carlton Rewards

* 5-key promotion – New members to Ritz-Carlton Rewards earn one free night for two stays through December 31, 2010. Limit of two free nights after four stays. You are not eligible for this offer if you are a current or past member of Marriott Rewards. I provided a guide to how new members can get $2,500 in Ritz-Carlton Hotel rooms for under $1,000. (LT post Sep 18)

* Ritz-Carlton Rewards loyalty program launching Sep 15 (LT post Sep 14)

* Reward Changes in new Ritz-Carlton Reward Tiers (LT post Sep 15)

* Ritz-Carlton rewards Hotel + Air Packages Analysis (LT post Sep 16)

 

Starwood Preferred Guest

* Sweepstakes – Westin Hotels “Travel and Be Well” sweepstakes. Enter between September 15-October 15 with a pledge to take a vacation. 200 prizes of 48,000 points, enough for a five night Category 5 Westin Hotel reward will be chosen October 18. (LT post Sep 15)

* SPG Platinum members only – register for an extra Starpoint during stays from October 1-December 31. Platinum members will receive two elite bonus points for every $1 in hotel spend for stays completed after requalification for 2011 Platinum status (25 stays or 50 nights in 2010). (LT post Sep 16)

2-key promotion – Every Night Counts Double/Triple Points for stays from Sep 8-Dec 15, 2010. Earn double points beginning with your first night and triple points (applied retroactively) after10 nights during the promotion period. Registration is required by October 31, 2010. The FAQ state this promotion is combinable with other SPG promotions.

There are over 150 hotels globally not participating in this promotion, so check the list carefully. The list of non-participating Starwood properties are posted on FlyerTalk.

Every Night Counts does not thrill me as the primary Fall 2010 SPG promotional offer.  Spend $2,000 on 10 or more nights during the promotion and you will only earn 8,000 bonus points with triple points. That is nothing to get too excited about.

4-key promotion – Earn 10,000 bonus points at Starwood Resorts for a stay of four or more nights between Sep 1 and Dec 19, 2010 at any of 131 participating resorts globally. This bonus may be earned multiple times. Only stays after promotion registration are eligible for bonus. Register by Sep 30. 

SPG Blackberry app Sweepstakes – Win 100,000 points by downloading SPG Blackberry app between August 1-September 30, 2010. Two winners will be chosen from entries October 15.

Limited Time Rate offer – 20% Discount with MasterCard payment at over 60 Starwood Hotels in Latin America. Reservations must be made by September 30, 2010 for hotel stays through December 15, 2010. This rate plan also includes a welcome amenity and a kids eat free offer. This may be the lowest rate at some hotels, however, check other rate plans for better deals. Loyalty Traveler rate analysis (August 31).

Starwood Preferred Guest – American Express credit card changes effective October 14, 2010. The annual fee is increasing to $65 from $45 for renewals beginning Oct 14. Benefit changes include 5 elite nights credit each year. This will have no effect for members who qualify on stays. The SPG50 certificate will be discontinued in favor of a 3rd night free offer at Sheraton Hotels. Loyalty traveler post (August 24)

4-Key Promotion – (through Sep 30) Earn a free night at any Aloft or Element Hotel after three stays at an Aloft or Element brand hotel by September 30, 2010. (Aug 10, 2010)

4-Key Promotion – (through Dec 30) 3,000 Bonus Points for Sunday night stay at 11 NYC area Starwood Hotels through December 30. (Aug 13, 2010)

3-Key Promotion – (through Dec 31) 3rd Night Free or Two Free nights on six-night stay in Europe, Africa, and Middle East when paying with MasterCard

SPG program change: Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards is new airline partner. Exchange rate for points-to-miles transfer is 1,500 Starpoints = 1 Rapid Rewards credit. Free roundtrip flight requires 16 credits. SPG members may also earn 0.5 credits per stay through SPG Airline Direct Deposit. (August 19, 2010)

SPG Southwest Airlines BonusFour Points hotel stays earn double Southwest Rapid Rewards credit through September 30 (1 credit per stay instead of regular 0.5 credit).

Starwood and Harrah’s Total Rewards double dip opportunity:  For the remainder of 2010 members of Harrah’s Total Points may earn both Harrah’s points and Starpoints for Starwood Hotel stays. (Aug 6, 2010)

4-Key Promotion – SPG Rewarding Returns offers members a choice after 5 stays by December 31, 2010. Promotion choices are 25% off an award up to five nights at any category 1 to 5 hotel for redemption by July 31, 2011. Discount may be combined with “5th night free award”. Other choices are $50 hotel credit certificate or 4,000 Starpoints. Loyalty Traveler post July 14.

There are variations of this offer including only requiring one stay by August 31 for targeted members. Points offer ranges from 2,000 to 8,000 points, and some members may have a free night choice. Offers are targeted.

Promotion registration is required at https://www.spgpromos.com/rewardingreturns/index.cfm.

3-key promotion SPG link: Pay Your Birthyear Rate (This promotion can be an incredible savings or no savings depending on the hotel and your birthyear.) LT post 4/28/2009

3-key discount rates Starwood Hotel Rate Discount Codes for Multiple Night Stays

These offers are for rate discounts on stays of 2 to 6 nights. Third night free tends to be one of the best discount rates. 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. 

Starpoints Airline Direct Deposit is Better for United, Continental, and Singapore miles (March 25, 2010)

 

Wyndham Rewards

4-Key promotion: Earn up to 25,000 American AAdvantage miles after 9 stays from April 30 to September 30, 2010. Wyndham, Wingate, and Hawthorn Suites brands only. Earn 3,000 bonus miles after 3 stays. Earn 7,500 miles bonus after 6 stays. Earn 10,000 bonus miles after 9 stays. Combined with the normal 500 miles per stay, you can earn 25,000 AAdvantage miles after 9 stays. (June 15, 2010)

 

Airline-Hotel Partner Bonuses:

American Airlines 

Earn up to 10,000 AAdvantage bonus miles for ten hotel stays between September 1 and November 15, 2010. Earn 3,000 AAdvantage miles after three hotel stays and 1,000 bonus miles for each additional stay up to ten stays during promotion period. This offer is combinable with Hyatt 60K offer (ends 10/15/10), Wyndham 25K offer (ends 9/30/10), and Fairmont double miles offer (ends 11/15/10).

 

Loyalty Traveler Research Articles

Hotel Loyalty Credit Cards and the Value of Hotel Points

Hotel Rewards Credit Cards Comparison of Benefits (September 1) 

Hotel Credit Cards Comparison by Value of Points (September 2) 

Hotel Credit Card Comparison using NerdWallet.com Value of Points (Sep 5) 

Loyalty Traveler’s Three Rules for the Value of Hotel Points (Sep 7)

 

Hotel Points to Airline Miles Conversion Tables

Hotel Points-to-Miles Conversion Tables for 9 hotel programs and 7 U.S. airlines (March 30, 2010)

 

Hotel Market Segments and Hotel Brand Profiles based on JD Power 2010 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study

Overview JD Power 2010 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study (Aug 10)

Loyalty Traveler comments on JD Power Luxury Segment and luxury hotel brands  (Aug 11, 2010)

Loyalty Traveler comments on JD Power Upscale Segment Hotel Brands (Aug 11)

Loyalty Traveler Comments on JD Power 2010 Midscale Full Service Brand Ratings (Aug 13, 2010)

Loyalty Traveler comments on JD Power 2010 Midscale Limited Service Brands (August 15, 2010)

Loyalty Traveler comments on JD Power 2010 Economy/Budget Hotel Brand Ratings (August 16, 2010)

Comments on JD Power 2010 Extended Stay Hotel Satisfaction Index (Aug 17)

 

Hotel Rates Survey for USA States, Cities, and Average Hotel Rates Worldwide

* Hotels.com 2010-Q2 – Global Hotel Price Index – This is a great resource for finding where hotel rates are high and low around the world. There are tables of USA average hotel rates by state and major cities. (Sep 14)

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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