Apr122011

La Quinta Returns Loyalty Profile

La Quinta Inns and Suites are midscale limited service hotels. La Quinta Inns with 808 hotels in its portfolio are geographically widespread throughout the United States  across 46 states. There is one hotel at Vancouver Airport in Canada and several hotels scheduled to open in April and May 2011 in Mexico.

13 other hotel brands in addition to La Quinta Inns were rated in the 2010 JD Power North America Hotel Ratings for Midscale Limited Service. Drury Hotels was the winner in this hotel class and high rankings for Hampton Inn & Suites (Hilton HHonors), SpringHill Suites and Fairfield Inn (Marriott Rewards)  and Wingate (Wyndham Rewards) indicate the hotel market segment La Quinta Inns competes in for frequent guests.

The JD Power 2010 guest ratings also place La Quinta Inns just behind Holiday Inn Express (Priority Club), Comfort Suites (Choice Privileges) and Country Inn & Suites (Club Carlson).  

La Quinta ranked higher than

  • Baymont Inn and Ramada Inn (Wyndham Rewards),
  • Comfort Inn (Choice Privileges) but keep in mind that Comfort Suites rank higher in JD Power survey at same level as Holiday Inn Express.  

La Quinta Returns

La Quinta Inns are in a hard space for a midscale limited service brand with the majors Hilton, IHG, and Marriott each having larger numbers of hotels with Hampton Inn (1,700 hotels), Holiday Inn Express (2,000 hotels), Fairfield Inn (658 hotels) and SpringHill Suites (274 hotels).

Earn RateLa Quinta Returns members earn 10 base points per dollar at all hotels. La Quinta Returns has six airline partners and members can earn 250 miles per stay instead of points.

Airline Partners (standard earn rate = 250 miles)

  • American AAdvantage
  • Continental OnePass
  • Delta Skymiles
  • Mexicana Go (Poor partner choice since MexicanaGo members cannot currently redeem points from accounts.)
  • Southwest (earn 600 points per stay).
  • US Airways

Buy Points

Members can purchase up to 40,000 points in a calendar year at $11.00 per 1,000 points. This feature can only be accessed through member account login.

Member benefits and Elite Status

Silver is the basic membership level and includes membership benefits:

  • Late check-out

Gold

  • 10 nights in a calendar year. Benefits begin with stay following qualifying stay.
  • 20% bonus points.
  • 2 free room upgrade certificates per year.
  • Free Faxes

Elite

  • 25 nights in a calendar year qualification. (La Quinta Returns Elite uses no metal or gem adjective, just Elite.)
  • 30% bonus points.
  • Guaranteed room availability.
  • Complimentary bottled water.
  • Complimentary room upgrades based upon availability at check-in.

 

Redemption Burn Rates

La Quinta Inns number 808 properties currently. The chain has a consumer favorable distribution of hotels in six reward tiers.

La Quinta Returns Hotel Reward Tiers 

  • Tier 1 (6,000 points) =   49 hotels (6.0%)
  • Tier 2 (8,000 points) =   279 hotels (34.5%)
  • Tier 3 (11,000 points) = 328 hotels (40.6%)
  • Tier 4 (15,000 points) = 119 hotels (14.7%)
  • Tier 5 (18,000 points) = 30 hotels (3.7%)
  • Tier 6 (24,000 points) = 3 hotels  (0.4%)

La Quinta Returns has a good distribution of its 808 hotels among the six reward tiers with 81% of hotels in lowest three tiers. 

Hotel spend for a  6,000 points Tier 1 reward night:

  • Silver members earn 6,000 points for the lowest tier reward with $600 in hotel spend.
  • Gold members earn 6,000 points for the lowest tier reward with $500 in hotel spend.
  • Elite members earn 6,000 points for the lowest tier reward with $462 in hotel spend.

Hotel spend for a  15,000 points Tier 4 reward night:

  • Silver members earn 15,000 points for the tier 4 reward with $1,500 in hotel spend.
  • Gold members earn 15,000 points for the tier 4 reward with $1,250 in hotel spend.
  • Elite members earn 15,000 points for the tier 4 reward with $1,154 in hotel spend.

La Quinta Returns may have slightly lower reward levels than comparable hotel rewards in Hilton HHonors, IHG Priority Club and Marriott Rewards. Priority Club likely has faster points earn opportunity and Marriott Rewards has a large number of hotels in its low reward categories. Hilton HHonors is likely higher reward cost than La Quinta Returns. 

Hotel Resort partner rewards 

La Quinta Returns partners with 33 independent 4-star and 5-star hotel resorts around the USA and Puerto Rico for Hotel Resort reward nights starting as low as 20,000 points per night and up to 60,000 points per night.

 

Sample resorts 

                Terranea Resort™ Ranchos Palos Verdes, California  

  • 35,000 Points (per night) through April 30, 2011
  • 55,000 Points (per night) from May 1-December 31, 2011

                L’Auberge Del Mar San Diego, California

  • 35,000 Points (per night) through April 30, 2011
  • 55,000 Points (per night) from May 1-December 31, 2011

 

                The Stonebridge Inn Snowmass Village, Colorado

  •             25,000 Points (per night) through April 30, 2011
  •             50,000 Points (per night) from May 1-December 31, 2011

 

                Bahia Mar Beach Resort Fort Lauderdale, Florida

  •             20,000 Points (per night) through September 30, 2011
  •             40,000 Points (per night) from October 1-December 31, 2011

 

                The Reach Resort Key West, Florida

  •             30,000 Points (per night) through April 30, 2011
  •             60,000 Points (per night) from May 1-December 31, 2011

 

                El Conquistador Resort Fajardo, Puerto Rico

  •             30,000 Points (per night) through April 30, 2011
  •             60,000 Points (per night) from May 1-December 31, 2011

 

La Quinta Returns Points-to-Miles Exchange 

American, Continental and Delta exchange at 6,000 LQR points for 1,000 miles.

Southwest = ? The website appears to have omitted the exchange rate for Southwest Rapid Rewards.

La Quinta Discount Room Rates 

La Quinta has  several group discount categories in addition to AAA including 10% for small business members (must apply for business membership), 10% AARP, 10% Sam’s Club members, and possibly even greater discounts for seniors 65 and older. 

Weekend Deals

La Quinta has a website calendar showing discount rates for the next three weekends with sale rates for hundreds of hotels around the country.

Loyalty Traveler impressions

La Quinta Returns is a good program for those times when you find yourself wanting a lower priced midscale hotel with a good hotel rewards program. The benefits of La Quinta Returns rival Choice Privileges, Best Western Rewards and Wyndham Rewards. You may want to maintain Priority Club, Hilton HHonors or Marriott Rewards as your primary program for better developed loyalty programs, more extensive geographic coverage and greater opportunities for upper-upscale hotel stays. But when price matters and that Holiday Inn Express or Hampton Inn wants $159 compared to La Quinta at $89, then rest assured you will get decent redemption value from points earned in La Quinta Returns.

La Quinta Airline Miles Promotions

Triple Continental OnePass miles = 750 miles per stay February 7 to April 30, 2011.

Double Delta Skymiles = 500 miles per stay through September 30, 2011.

Triple US Airways miles = 750 miles per stay through July 31, 2011.

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.

More articles by Ric Garrido »

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Comments

  1. I have stayed a LQ for many years and was a loyal member of the returns program but recently the so-called reward program which is suppose to offer free nights when you earn a # of points has been changed. So when you go to redeem your points for example a rm will be 8000 points + $5 up to $35.00, or 15000 points + $5 up to $35 plus taxes, at more expensive Lqs its up to $50+ points. So basically its not really a free night when they make an additional $5-$35 or even more when you use the points. Its a scam. Due to this I will no longer be staying at La Quinta Inns.

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