Sixty Second overview of current offers:
Hotel program changes continue with Hilton HHonors introducing a Points & Money option for hotel rewards. In typical Hilton fashion the changes are announced before they are implemented. Several weeks since announcing new reward redemption options of Points & Money and Upgrade rewards there is still little evidence on the booking website revealing these new features for new reservations. I am waiting to see some example Points & Money rates to evaluate the program offer.
Starwood Preferred Guest launches Getaway Free for a free Starwood Resort night at over 200 locations after 3 stays at Starwood Hotels worldwide on May 1. This may be the best promotion of 2011 since there is no certainty we will see a return of Hyatt’s free night after every two stays.
Starwood Preferred Guest also changed its elite status match practice to a “Stay Challenge” format effective April 1. 2011. You must request a stay challenge from SPG customer service. 15 nights in 90 days for SPG Platinum is reported to be the norm.
Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond elite trial period takes 12 nights in 60 days to retain Diamond. The difference from SPG is Hyatt gives the member Diamond privileges during the 60 day trial period while earning status with hotel stays. SPG gives Platinum elite benefits after the 15 nights.
Best promotions to check out for May 2011:
- Starwood Resorts – Getaway Free night after three stays at any Starwood Hotels (5-key).
- Red Lion Inn – 5,000 points per stay + breakfast to May 31 (5-key).
- IHG 2 nights for price of 1 is another great deal for Europe (5-key).
- Accor 3 nights for two is good Europe hotel deal (4-key).
- Accor 10th Anniversary World Tour monthly prizes March – December 2011 (4-key).
- Club Carlson Stay Twice and earn one free night April 15- June 15 (4-key).
- Hyatt 10,000 points after 5 nights and 2,500 points for every additional 2 nights April 1 – June 30 (4-key).
- Hilton HHonors – Triple Virgin Atlantic miles April 1 – June 30 (4-key). This offer can be combined with HHonors 1,000 points per night promotion.
- Ritz-Carlton – $100 gift card for 5 nights March 15 – June 30 (3-key).
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 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.
HELP SHEET #6 – April 29, 2011
Offers marked with an asterisk (*) were added since the last March 31 update.
Hotel Brands: Sofitel, Pullman, M Gallery, Novotel, Mercure, Ibis, Adagio, All Seasons, Thalassa Spa.
* Accor 3 nights for price of 2 in Europe. Accor has around 2,000 hotels in Europe. 4-key hotel rate. (LT Post April 19)
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.
Accor 10th Anniversary World Tour Giveaway – One monthly trip consisting of Round the World flights and hotel stays in 10 cities over 30 to 40 days. Ten prizes each month for a hotel stay. (11 prizes each month from March through December 2011). LT post March 30.
Accor A|Club Global Promotion Offers List – link (This link allows searches by continent region)
Hotel Brand Tiers: Best Western, Best Western Plus, Best Western Premier
* Best Western and American Airlines AAdvantage or Air Canada Aeroplan = 3,000 miles after 3 stays and 1,250 miles per additional stay. New members earn 250 bonus miles free for promotion registration. (4-key promotion) LT post April 16.
Best Western International Offers webpage link. 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
Stay Twice, Earn a Free Night – April 15 – June 15, 2011. Limit of one free night during promotion period. All hotels participate and free night may be redeemed at any hotel through December 31, 2011. Loyalty Traveler post March 30. 4-key promotion.
Club Carlson new loyalty program replaces goldpoints plus on March 31.
These Loyalty Traveler posts describe changes with Club Carlson:
* Club Carlson Hotel Category Reassignment Analysis – Overview and Category 1 Hotels (April 7) – This post has links to posts for each Club Carlson Hotel Reward category with tables showing the new Club Carlson reward category and the former Goldpoints Plus reward category.
Club Carlson Hotel Reward Category Analysis (Feb 28) This post shows the number of hotels in each category and changes from 2010 level for different global regions.
Club Med resort credit for goldpoints. $100, $250 and $500 credit. (March 10).
Goldpoints Plus program change – elite members earn 2,000 points for online booking. All general goldpoints members earn 1,000 points for online booking. This will change to add 3,000 points for Club Carlson Concierge elite April 2011. (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
$50 Gas Card or 8,000 points for two stays March 3 – May 4. Earn bonus two times if registered or five times if Platinum or Diamond elite. Loyalty Traveler post (March 1). 3-key offer.
Refer-a-Friend promotion – Choice Privileges members who refer a new member receive 500 points after new member’s first stay and the new member receives 500 bonus points after first stay. Loyalty traveler post Jan 31.
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)
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)
* Triple points – Stay three times at Drury Hotels between April 1 and May 31 and earn triple points for all three stays. LT post (April 11).
Expedia Rewards – Expedia’s new loyalty program earns points for air, hotel and travel package bookings. This is a gamechanger for online travel agencies. Booking airfare through Expedia is a no brainer method for earning additional travel rebates since frequent flyer benefits are unaffected. Hotels are a different matter though since no hotel loyalty points with programs like SPG, Marriott, Hilton and others are earned for Expedia bookings.
Main Expedia Rewards benefits are the ability to earn points when booking travel for other people like family members and friends. And Expedia vacation packages often allow a hotel night to be added for the same price as airfare alone; particularly when traveling to Las Vegas. Loyalty Traveler Analysis March 28.
Tip: Sign up for Fairmont President’s Club to receive monthly special discount rates for Fairmont Hotels.
Four Seasons Special Offers website link
Global Hotel Alliance – GHA Discovery – Hotel loyalty program alliance for 12 independent hotel brands including Kempinski, Omni Hotels, Pan Pacific, First Hotels, Mirvac, Anantara Resorts, Tivoli Hotels, The Doyle Collection, Marco Polo Hotels, Park Royal, The Leela Palaces, Shaza Hotels.
Overview of GHA Discovery, elite membership benefits and local experiences, Loyalty Traveler post January 30.
Hotel Brands: Hilton, Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites, Conrad, Waldorf-Astoria Collection, Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Home2Suites.
* Hilton HHonors Triple Miles with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club for stays April 1-June 30. This is a 4-key promotion allowing 3,000 miles per Hilton brand hotel stay. LT post March 29.
** Hilton HHonors has triple bonus miles offers with 8 airlines for stays April 1 – June 30. My blog post has promotion registration links for Alitalia, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, British Airways, Emirates, Miles & More, Olympic, Turkish Airlines and Virgin Atlantic. LT post April 28.
* Hilton HHonors 2011-Q2 promotion for 1,000 bonus points per night April 1-June 30. Registration is required. All Hilton brand hotels worldwide participate. 2-key promotion. Loyalty Traveler post March 25.
Conrad Hotels 25th Anniversary Free Night March 1- June 30. Book by June 12. Free night is based on a paid stay of two to six nights, depending on Conrad hotel. My analysis indicates this offer is a savings at most Conrad hotels. Loyalty Traveler post March 23. 3-key rate offer.
Home2Suites opens first hotel of Hilton’s new extended stay brand in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Unfortunately this new hotel brand becomes the first HHonors brand with a lower earn rate for points and miles. Loyalty Traveler post March 21.
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
Hyatt Spring Promotion – April 1 – June 30. This 4-Key offer is 10,000 points after 5 nights and 5,000 points for every two nights thereafter, up to a maximum 60,000 bonus points after 25 nights. LT post March 7. 4-key offer.
Update on Hyatt Property Specific Bonuses: Jeff Zidell Hyatt VP, told me on March 8 the ‘property level bonus’ program is being evaluated and reinvented. We will probably only see regional hotel bonus offers until July. Specific property level bonuses that typically offered 1,000 to 2,000 points in G1, G2, and G3 offers may be gone for good. We’ll see.
Hotel Brands: InterContinental Hotels, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites, Hotel Indigo
* IHG 2-for-1 rate offers in London and Europe for stays through June 30. (5-key rate offer) LT post (April 13)
* IHG Double Points or Double Miles (May 16 – August 15, 2011) – 2-key offer. LT post April 21.
InterContinental Hotels in Europe 5th Night Free rate July 14 – Sep 11, 2011. These rates are about 20% off Best Flexible Rate and equivalent to Advance Purchase rate. Loyalty Traveler post March 16.
* Complimentary InterContinental Ambassador membership ($200 value) after three stays at InterContinental Hotels by July 31, 2011. My Loyalty Traveler post argues for spending 32,000 points or $200 for Ambassador membership and earning benefits on three stays.
* Priority Club PointBreaks through May 15, 2011 are probably the best hotel loyalty program reward night value available at 5,000 points for a free night. Many of the hotels are discounted 80% from their normal 25,000 points for a reward night. The current list had 70 hotels on April 26. Loyalty Traveler post April 26. (5-key offer.)
IHG Priority Club relaunch previews new reward option for Last Minute Hotel Nights at 50% points of standard reward night. Other changes are primarily cosmetic with new mobile apps, card redesign and website changes. Loyalty traveler post March 29.
* IHG Priority Club partnership with Las Vegas Resorts – The Venetian and The Palazzo become InterContinental Alliance hotel partners as of April 1, 2011. Priority Club points can be earned and burned (40,000 points per night) for hotel stays and InterContinental Ambassador benefits apply. Earn 6,000 bonus points for a three night stay (April 11).
Through May 15 – Spring Break Promotion for 7,500 points on two-night stays at more than 100 hotels in Florida, California, Texas, Hawaii, Mexico and Costa Rica. IHG Spring Break Promotion Code = ISGSB. Loyalty Traveler post (Feb 13) 2-key offer.
Priority Club Any Hotel Anywhere American Express gift cards increased in price.
New Price for Any Hotel, Anywhere Cards Loyalty Traveler post Jan 25.
- $100 = 33,000 points (formerly 29,000)
- $125 = 39,000 points (formerly 34,000)
- $150 = 45,000 points (formerly 39,000)
- $200 = 60,000 points (formerly 49,000)
- $250 = 72,000 points (formerly 59,000)
3-key offer IHG Sweetheart Deal – $100 Visa card rebate for a three-day or longer stay at any IHG hotel worldwide within 90 days of 2011 wedding in U.S. or Canada. (LT Jan 11)
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)
Cheaper Hilton Reward nights using Priority Club points – 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)
IHG Friend & Family Hotel Rates (Steve Sickel). Steve Sickel is senior Vice President Relationship Marketing for InterContinental Hotels Group. During the hotel recession of 2009 he offered this link to FlyerTalk members for booking discount friends and family rates. This link is still active. And we are all friends of Steve’s. Here is a FlyerTalk thread discussing this rate deal. The link in Steve Sickel’s name leads to the offer page for a voucher to complete. Some guests mention the hotel wants the completed voucher at check-in. These rates do not qualify for points or stay credit. One of the best features of this offer is the ability to book high category rooms at steep discount.
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.
Priority Club Points Exchange Value and Points.com – Loyalty traveler research (Jan 20) into the exchange value of Priority Club points into airline miles through Points.com
Kimpton Hotels – InTouch
Loyalty Traveler posted an outline of Kimpton’s InTouch program showing how 21 stays in 2011 can potentially earn 7 free nights at any Kimpton Hotel. (LT post Jan 11)
La Quinta Hotels – La Quinta Returns
Hotel chain and hotel loyalty program overview by Loyalty Traveler, April 12.
Leaders Club Rewards program changes: Membership fees for Leaders Club Rewards dropped to $100 annual for Access level. Access membership includes complimentary breakfast for two each day of stay and free internet. Unlimited membership is $1,200 annually. Loyalty traveler post Feb 3.
Hotel Brands: Marriott, JW Marriott, Renaissance, Ritz-Carlton, Residence Inn, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, TownePlace Suites, SpringHill Suites, Edition, Autograph Collection, Marriott Vacation Club, AC Hotels.
* Marriott $50 Bonus Bucks per night, up to $100 per stay at 16 hotels in 10 U.S. states through May 31, 2011. Bonus bucks are valid worldwide for most charges. LT post April 18.
AC Hotels is Marriott’s newest hotel brand. AC Hotels are a Madrid-based hotel chain now partnered with Marriott and brings 90 new upscale hotels in Spain, Italy and Portugal into the Marriott Rewards system. This brand is projected to expand in Europe and Latin America. Loyalty Traveler post March 27.
Marriott Hotels Europe 3rd Night Free Special offer rate with breakfast March 6 – May 30. Promotion code = C9E and look for rate description “European Spring 3 for 2, American Breakfast Daily”. 170 hotels participating in Europe. Stay three nights Thursday to Sunday or Friday to Monday. Loyalty Traveler March 10. 3 to 4 key offer depending on location and rate.
Marriott Rewards Hotel Category Assignment Changes for 2011 (Loyalty Traveler March 2)
* Marriott Rewards PointSavers –PointSavers reduce the points cost of a free night by one hotel category. For example, category 5 hotel requires only 20,000 points per night. 5th night free applies to PointSavers rate. http://www.marriott.com/rewards/marriottRewardsPointSavers.mi
Marriott Points Redemption Strategy using $1,000 in Marriott Cheques. This post explains how Marriott elite members may buy $1,000 Marriott Cheques for 135,000 points. You can then pay for hotel stays and earn points and elite credit on paid stays you actually purchased indirectly with points. Loyalty Traveler post Jan 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.)
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.
Preferred Hotels Group – I Prefer
I Prefer and Preferred Hotels Group special offers page.
Red Lion Hotels – 44 hotels in western U.S.
* 5,000 bonus points + Breakfast for stays by May 31. Free nights are only 10,000 points with R&R Club. 5-key promotion.
Ritz-Carlton $100 Ritz-Carlton gift card after 5 nights or $250 gift card after 10 nights during March 15 – June 30, 2011. No registration required. Loyalty Traveler post March 17. 3-key promotion.
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.
** Starwood Preferred Guest – Stay 3 and get a free Starwood Resort hotel night from May 1-July 31, 2011. Free nights are good for over 200 Starwood Resorts including several category 6 and one category 7 resort. Free nights are valid until December 21. LT post April 15.
Starwood Preferred Guest Hotel Category reward assignment changes for 2011 took effect on March 1. My LT post (Feb 22) has a list ordered by city, state and country for changes.
Starwood Hotels data on number of hotels in each brand and average rates by brand and global region. Loyalty traveler post Feb 4.
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. There are monthly calendars to locate days when Cash & Points nights are available at a specific hotel 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.
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.
Stash Hotel Rewards
* Stash Hotel Rewards New Member Enrollment 1,000 bonus points link.
Stash Rewards is a one year old loyalty program for over 100 independent upscale hotels in the U.S. Loyalty Traveler post Jan 19. Loyalty Traveler has found the hotel partners with Stash Rewards in Monterey, Napa and Washington D.C. are great choices for hotel travelers. Stash Rewards offers points for many high quality independent hotels that previously had no loyalty program affiliation.
* Stash Hotel Specials for Bonus Points and Low Redemption Rate Hotels
Voila Hotel Rewards
Loyalty Traveler profiled Voila Hotels program in light of the recent signing of two New York former Starwood W Hotels as the initial hotel members in the USA for this international loyalty program for 250 independent hotels.
2,500 points for every two-nights, up to maximum 10,000 bonus points after 8 nights at Voila hotel properties February 25 – May 31, 2011. Loyalty Traveler post March 3.
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
* Loyalty Traveler Analysis of Hotel Rewards Credit Cards (March 19, 2011)
* Elite Status Benefits with Hotel Loyalty Credit Cards (March 21, 2011)
Hotel Credit Cards Comparison by Value of Points (September 2, 2010)
Hotel Points to Airline Miles Conversion Tables
* Hotel Points to Miles Conversion Rates for Aeroplan Bonus – This post shows the conversion rates for airlines using Aeroplan’s bonus offer through April 30, 2011 for 5,000 bonus miles on hotel points transfers equaling 25,000 Aeroplan miles. Loyalty Traveler post March 22.
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 – Full Year 2010 – 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.