Current Hotel Loyalty Promotions and News – updated January 5, 2011
Today is my birthday. Here is my birthday gift to you. I updated the current hotel loyalty promotions page on Loyalty Traveler blog. I didn’t think much had happened in the past six weeks, but this HELP sheet indicates otherwise.
2011 is rolling out promotions quickly. Still waiting for something new from Hyatt, Priority Club and Wyndham.
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 November 16 update are marked with an asterisk (*).
Sixty Second overview of current offers:
Hilton HHonors has its Q1 2011 extended stay offer of double points for two-night stays, triple points for three nights, and quadruple points on stays four or more nights. This offer is also combinable with a Delta Skymiles 1,000 miles per one-night stay; 1,500 miles for two nights and 2,000 miles for three nights or more. There is no earning limit for points or miles. Nearly 10% of Hilton properties opted out of this offer. Check the participating hotels list carefully.
Starwood Preferred Guest still has a fast-track to SPG Gold elite opportunity after just four stays at aloft, element and Four Points hotel brands by January 31, 2011. Elite status will last through February 2012. Priority Club still has a Platinum elite offer with five nights. And my favorite elite deal is Marriott Rewards Air China offer for Gold elite through February 2012 with 12 nights in 90 days.
Starwood’s ‘Great Weeks, Grand Weekends’ Q1 promotion, Jan 3 – April 15, offers double base points every night (4 points/$1) plus 500 additional bonus points per night for stays on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. There is no earning limit. Check the participating hotels list carefully since dozens of Starwood Hotels opted out of this offer.
Marriott MegaBonus, February 1 – April 30, most prevalent offer is one free night certificate for a category 1 to category 4 hotel after two hotel stays. Maximum two free nights can be earned during promotion period.
Choice Privileges, Jan 6 – March 2, triple points for online or phone bookings beginning with second stay. Platinum and Diamond elite members can register to earn an additional 500 points per stay. Choice Privileges will even double base points when booking through a third-party channel. Also check out Choice Privileges elite member enhancements for 2011 noted in this post. They really are enhancements.
Goldpoints Plus Country Inn & Suites 10,000 points for staying one night Sunday through Thursday. Jan 2 – Feb 17. Points & Cash reward nights at 5,000 points + cash can turn one-night’s bonus points into two discount nights at a Radisson Hotel.
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.
Hotel Brands: Sofitel, Pullman, M Gallery, Novotel, Mercure, Ibis, Adagio, All Seasons, Thalassa Spa.
Motel 6 is the primary Accor Hotels brand in USA, however, extremely limited A-Club hotel loyalty program participation.
Accor Hotels is the largest chain of hotel brands globally outside of the USA. A|Club hotel members are available in many locations where you will likely only find a Best Western or no other major hotel brand.
Accor A|Club Global Promotion Offers List – link (*This link allows searches by continent region)
Australia – Double Points Dec 1- Feb 28, 2011
Hotel Brand Tiers: Best Western, Best Western Plus, Best Western Premier
* Best Western International Offers webpage link. There has been no major 2011 Q1 US promotion announced yet. The link provides a variety of promotions internationally for Best Western hotels.
Best Western Rewards Elite Status Match Offer (February 19, 2010) This offer is ongoing and still available. Best Western is a particularly useful loyalty program when traveling outside the USA. Best Western and Accor A-Club have more hotels outside the USA than all the other major hotel programs combined including Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott and Starwood.
Program Change for Elites: Elite members earn 250 bonus points for stays in US/Canada or a welcome snack. (Aug 3, 2010)
Best Western Brand Tiers Change – Best Western is designating 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 (about 100 hotels).
Hotel Brands: Radisson Blu, Radisson, Country Inn & Suites, Park Inn, Park Plaza
* Country Inn & Suites - January 2 – February 17; U.S., Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama
- 10,000 bonus points for one-night stay on a Sunday through Thursday. (Limit one bonus per member)
- 3-day advance reservation required. Promo code = COUNTRY. Promotion link.
Goldpoints Plus program change – elite members earn 2,000 points for online booking. All general goldpoints members earn 1,000 points for online booking. (LT post July 18)
Hotel Brands: Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban, EconoLodge, Rodeway Inn, Ascend Collection.
Hotel Reward Partners: Preferred Hotels Group, Barcelo Resorts
* Jan 6 – March 2, 2011: Choice Hotels Triple Points beginning with second stay for online bookings or phone direct bookings at 800-4CHOICE (800-424-6423). Offer only eligible for USA members. Platinum and Diamond elite members earn an additional 500 bonus points per stay. General and Gold elite members earn double points for stays booked through third-party sites. Registration required.
* Choice Privileges Program Changes for Elite Members effective January 1, 2011:
These are truly program enhancements for elites.
Platinum elite qualification = 20 nights in a calendar year (formerly 25 nights).
Diamond elite bonus increased to 50% base points (formerly 40%).
Reward night booking window extended for Choice Privileges elite members:
- Gold = 50 days (formerly 40 days)
- Platinum = 75 days (formerly 60 days)
- Diamond = 100 days (formerly 90 days)
* Dec 1, 2010 – February 28, 2011: Choice Privileges offers Air Berlin TopBonus Double Miles
Preferred Hotels Group Reward Nights up to 50% off. Upper-upscale, luxury and boutique hotel room nights 20,000 to 30,000 points. Book between November 3, 2010 and January 19, 2011. (5-key promotion)
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 Special Offers website link
Hotel Brands: Hilton, Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites, Conrad, Waldorf-Astoria Collection, Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Home2Suites.
*Jan 3 – March 31 Hilton HHonors
Q1 2011 extended stay offer is double points for two-night stays, triple points for three nights, and quadruple points on stays four or more nights. Stay one night and you have no promotion bonus points. Nearly 10% of Hilton properties opted out of this offer. Check the non-participating hotels list carefully.
HHonors Q1 2011 Promotion Key Rank:
- 4-key promotion for three nights and longer stays.
- 3 key for two night stays.
- 1 key = no bonus points for one-night stays.
*Jan 3 – March 31 Hilton HHonors – Delta SkyMiles (promotion registration link)
The Q1 2x to 4x points offer is combinable with Delta SkyMiles 1,000 miles per one-night stay; 1,500 miles for two-night stays and 2,000 miles for three nights or longer. There is no earning limit for points or miles. There also does not appear to be a list of excluded properties for bonus SkyMiles promotion. (Loyalty Traveler post Jan 4)
*HHonors Point Stretcher Rewards posted for hotels through May 2011. 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. (Loyalty Traveler post Dec 3)
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 places all the HHonors reward charts in one post. (LT post Sep 13, 2010)
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)
HHonors Program change: Gold and Diamond members receive complimentary internet at all Hilton Worldwide hotels beginning September 1, 2010. (Hilton – Aug 2 press release)
Hotel Brands: Park Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Vacation Club, Hyatt Resorts, Andaz, Hyatt Summerfield Suites
* Dec 1 – Feb 28, 2011: AARP 10% off daily rate and complimentary room upgrade in U.S., Canada and Caribbean. Offer code AARP. AARP membership is available to persons 50 or older for $16/year.
* Diamond elite suite upgrade certificates from 2010 may be applied to hotel stays if used by February 28, 2011 for a stay later in 2011. Only catch – no reservation changes allowed after February 28 or the suite upgrade certificate is forfeited. Loyalty traveler post Dec 1.
Hyatt Gold Passport Program Change – No elite status matches will be given for elite membership in another hotel program. Elite status trial offer is at the discretion of individual hotel properties.
Hyatt Gold Passport Program change: Hyatt Gold Passport hotel award categories increased for 25% of hotels as of June 4, 2010. Loyalty traveler post.
Hotel Brands: InterContinental Hotels, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites, Hotel Indigo
5-key offer IHG Priority Club Instant Platinum Elite status and a $25 gift card after 5 nights within 90 days. (Nov 15)
* Points & Cash Program Change: Priority Club Points & Cash Reward nights increased the cost of 5,000 Priority Club points to $40 from $30. The cost to buy 10,000 points remains unchanged at $60. Loyalty Traveler post (Nov 19)
* Priority Club PointBreaks through January 31, 2010 are probably the best hotel loyalty program reward night value available at 5,000 points for a free night. The current list is a short 35 hotels and fills a void since the end of the last PointBreaks list in December. Loyalty Traveler post Dec 17.
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 five months.
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). Renewal fee is still $100.
Hotel Brands: Marriott, JW Marriott, Renaissance, Ritz-Carlton, Residence Inn, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, TownePlace Suites, SpringHill Suites, Edition, Autograph Collection, Marriott Vacation Club
* 5-Key Promotion: Register by April 30, 2011: Marriott Rewards Instant Gold Elite for 90 days with Air China special offer. Retain Gold elite through February 2012 after 12 nights within 90 days of registration. My Loyalty Traveler advice is sign up sooner, rather than later since this offer can be pulled anytime. Sign up for free Air China membership, then apply for Marriott Rewards Gold (normally requires 50 nights in calendar year). Loyalty Traveler post Nov 22.
*4-key promotion – Marriott MegaBonus (Feb 1 – April 30, 2011) various targeted offers with the basic offer being one free night after two stays. Limit of two free nights during promotion. Free night valid only for Category 1 to category 4 hotels. This offer does not require Visa payment like fall MegaBonus)
Active Marriott Rewards members may receive bonus points offers based on total nights stayed. There are several variations mentioned by members on FlyerTalk for 25,000 to 50,000 bonus points. Loyalty Traveler post Dec 27.
* Marriott Rewards Elite Rollover Nights extended for 2011. This is the third year Marriott Rewards offers 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 2011 and the 15 nights above Silver elite rollover to 2012 membership year. You will have earned Silver elite for 2013 from your 15 extra nights in 2011 rolled over to 2012. Confused? Don’t worry. This is a great benefit for elite members. (Loyalty Traveler 5-key offer. LT post Dec 23.)
Earn 5,000 Delta miles for a Marriott stay and Delta flight between Nov. 1 – Jan. 31, 2011. One bonus per Delta ticket, so one-way tickets are way to maximize offer if the price is not much more than roundtrip. (LT post Nov 6)
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.
1-Key offer – Marriott Rewards Instant Redemption Awards (March 24, 2010)
Preferred Hotels Group – I Prefer
I Prefer and Preferred Hotels Group special offers page.
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 Hotels brands: Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels, Le Meridien, Luxury Collection, St. Regis, Four Points, element, aloft.
* Jan 3 – April 15, 2011 SPG ‘Great Weeks, Grand Weekends’ offers double points + 500 points per night for Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Registration is required by March 31 and retroactively applies to all eligible stays for promotion period. (Loyalty Traveler ranking = 2-key offer for Mon-Wed; 3 key for Thur-Sun). Promotion registration link. Loyalty Traveler post Dec 15.
* Starwood hotels Website Enhancement – Website now allows comparison of four different rate types side-by-side for hotels in one location including promotion rates, AAA, breakfast rates, senior, government and reward nights. Loyalty Traveler post Nov 23.
* SPG Peak Season Rates Return for 2011. Category 5, 6 and 7 hotels relaunch peak season dates and a calendar of dates and participating hotels is posted here. Book by January 9 to lock in lower rates for your hotel stays. Loyalty traveler post Dec 6.
4-Key offer – SPG Fast-Track to Gold elite after 4 stays at Starwood’s Four Points, Aloft and Element brand hotels.
- October 1 – January 31, 2011
There are about 200 hotels in these three Starwood brands, mostly in U.S.
Gold elite status good through February 2012 and earns a 50% elite bonus points. This is a great time to grab cheap elite with SPG.
4-Key promotion – Free weekend night after 3 stays paid with MasterCard in Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa. Stay November 1, 2010 – January 31, 2011 at over 250 Starwood Hotels. Maximum one free night may be earned per member during this promotion. Great offer, but too bad limited to one free night.
Starwood Hotels Policy Change: Sheraton Hotel Club Lounges will be open 7 days a week in 2011.
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 and 2 elite stays 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); Sheraton 3rd Night Free Analysis (Nov 12)
3-key promotion SPG link: Pay Your Birthyear Rate -This promotion has been extended through 2011. Rates can be an incredible 5-key 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.
Brands: Wyndham, Wingate, Hawthorn Suites, Ramada, Days Inn, Super 8, Howard Johnson, Travelodge, Baymont Suites, Microtel, Knights Inn.
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 Points to Airline Miles Conversion Tables
Hotel Market Segments and Hotel Brand Profiles based on JD Power 2010 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study
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)