Jan092012

Hotel Loyalty Promotions and Links 2012 Update #1

2012 HELP SHEET #1 – Hotel Loyalty Promotions.

The major offers from each hotel loyalty program are listed first. The number of asterisks from 1-5 indicates my rating for this offer with 4 or 5 being the best value offers in my opinion. This January 9, 2012 Loyalty Traveler post is the first update for 2012 hotel loyalty promotions and includes about 20 new promotion offers and Loyalty Traveler research posts since the December 7, 2011 update.

Main Q-1 2012 promotions from Top Ten hotel loyalty programs:

Accor A|ClubStay 3 nights and pay for two through January 16, 2012 at 85 participating hotels.

*** Best Western Rewards – December 1 – January 31, 2012 – 2,000 bonus points per night for maximum 8,000 bonus points after 4 nights on stays in US and Canada from . Loyalty Traveler post December 1, 2012.

*** Choice Privileges – December 1 – February 29, 2012 2x points for stays  or Points + Miles.

*****Club Carlson – December 1 – January 31, 2012 receive 9,000 points rebate on each award stay for up to 45,000 points.

*** Hilton HHonors – January 1-March 31, 2012. HHonors More Points promotion offers 1,000 bonus points per night and 5,000 bonus points per two-night weekend stays with Thu-Fri, Fri-Sat or Sat-Sun.

***** Hilton HHonors – December 1-April 30, 2012. Must book hotel stay by Jan 31, 2012. Resort Escapes offers one free night globally after 5 consecutive nights at participating Hilton Resorts December 1-April 30, 2012. Must book hotel stay by Jan 31, 2012. Maximum two free nights. LT post Dec 4, 2011.

***** Hilton HHonors 30% points rebate for Points & Money and Premium Room Rewards booked by January 31, 2012 for stays by June 30, 2012. LT post Dec 8.

Hyatt Gold Passport – No new major bonus offer yet. Primary bonus opportunities are for hotels in China and Southwest Asia.

*** InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards – No major promotion announced. Priority Club members may register for one of the quarterly stay promotions running January 1-March 31, 2012. You can only register for one offer so pick the target you are most likely to reach. Stay 3 nights = 5,000 bonus points. Stay 7 nights = 10,000 bonus points. Stay 15 nights = 15,000 bonus points.

**** Marriott RewardsMegaBonus 2012 February 1 – April 30, 2012. Earn one free night every two stays; maximum two free nights. Select Marriott Rewards members received targetted offers for three free night maximum and 25,000 to 50,000 points after 15 to 25 nights. LT post Jan 7, 2012.

**** Marriott Rewards MegaMiles January 1-April 30, 2012 earns 2,000 bonus miles per Marriott brand stay beginning with second stay. Maximum 50,000 bonus miles. Loyalty Traveler post December 7, 2012.

***** Starwood Preferred Guest – November 29- March 15, 2012 – Two free nights at participating Asia Pacific hotels after 9 nights in Asia Pacific hotels from November 29- March 15, 2012 when stays are paid with a MasterCard. One free night after 5 nights. Maximum 2 free nights. Loyalty Traveler post December 2, 2011.

*** Starwood Preferred Guest – Better by the Night – January 9-April 8, 2012 offers double points (2 bonus points/$1) for two night stays and triple points (4 bonus points/$1) for three night and longer stays. LT post Jan 9, 2012.

**** Wyndham Rewards –  Nov 17 – Feb 1, 2012 – Gift Me promotion for U.S., Canada and Mexico resident members for 6,500 bonus points after 2nd, 4th and 6th stays at any Wyndham brand globally Nov 17 – Feb 1, 2012. Online booking bonus is 1,000 points for first 3 stays. Total 22,500 bonus points for 6 hotel stays. LT post November 18.

***** Wyndham Rewards Nov 17 – Feb 1, 2012 offer for European resident members only is 10,000 bonus points on 2nd, 4th and 6th stays for 30,000 maximum bonus points.

Most hotel loyalty promotions are two to four months in duration.

Links to my Loyalty Traveler posts provide more detail and promotion analysis for each offer.

The easiest way to quickly see a list of all hotel loyalty promotions discussed on Loyalty Traveler is to check my Loyalty Traveler Facebook page. All Loyalty Traveler post links feed into Twitter and all my tweets feed into Loyalty Traveler Facebook.

 

Accor HotelsA-Club

Hotel Brands: Sofitel, Pullman, M Gallery, Novotel, Mercure, Ibis, Adagio, All Seasons, Thalassa Spa.

Le Club Accorhotels to replace A|Club loyalty program for Accor. Ibis incorporates All Seasons and and Etap to become mega-brand. Loyalty Traveler post on changes Sep 18, 2011.

Motel 6 is the primary Accor Hotels brand in USA, however, extremely limited A-Club hotel loyalty program participation.

Accor Hotels is globally the largest chain of hotel brands outside of the USA. Accor also has the largest proportion of hotels as non-participants in its loyalty program compared to all other major global hotel chains. Hotels in economy and budget hotel market segments do not participate in Accor’s hotel loyalty programs.

Accor A|Club Global Promotion Offers List – link (This link allows searches by continent region)

Accor Hotels A|Club bonus offers

 

Amtrak Guest Rewards (loyalty program allows transfers to Choice Privileges and Hilton HHonors points)

 

Best Western HotelsBest Western Rewards

*** Promotion: Best Western Rewards2,000 bonus points per night for maximum 8,000 bonus points after 4 nights on stays in US and Canada from December 1 – January 31, 2012. Loyalty Traveler post December 1, 2012.

***** Elite Staus Match: 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. LT post Feb 19, 2010.

Best Western Brand Tiers Change – Best Western in 2011 designated 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, mostly outside U.S.).

 

Carlson HotelsClub Carlson
(formerly Goldpoints Plus loyalty program)

Hotel Brands: Radisson Blu, Radisson, Country Inn & Suites, Park Inn, Park Plaza

***** Redeem Promotion: Earn 9,000 bonus points for every Club Carlson hotel award stay December 1 – January 31, 2012. Bonus may be earned five times for a 45,000 points rebate on reward stays. Loyalty Traveler post November 29, 2011.

New Business ProgramClub Carlson for Business offers small to medium businesses a special program for hotel rate discounts and a Club Carlson business account for earning additional points from employee hotel stays. Employees also maintain their own personal accounts and earn points normally as a Club Carlson member.

These Loyalty Traveler posts describe changes with Club Carlson launch March 31, 2011:

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 Loyalty program Launches March 31 – Replaces goldpoints plus (Feb 14)

Club Carlson Reward Category Changes March 31, 2011 (Feb 18)

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).

Club Carlson online booking bonus – Club Carlson general members earn 1,000 bonus points for online booking. Silver and Gold elite members earn 2,000 bonus points for online booking. Concierge elite members earn 3,000 points. Club Carlson Benefits table link.

 

Choice HotelsChoice Privileges

Choice Hotels Brands: Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban, EconoLodge, Rodeway Inn, Ascend Collection.

Choice Privileges Hotel Reward Partners:
Preferred Hotels Group, Barcelo Resorts

*** Promotion: Choice Privileges 2x points or Points + Miles for stays December 1 – February 29, 2012. Loyalty Traveler post November 30.

Choice Privileges reward night cost analysis. Using a spreadsheet of 2010 reward cost, I calculated the percentage of hotels in various reward levels worldwide from 6,000 points to 40,000 points. This is the only breakdown of hotel reward tiers I have ever seen for Choice Hotels. Loyalty Traveler post May 1, 2011.

Choice Privileges Program Changes for Elite Members effective January 1, 2011:

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, 2010)

 

Drury HotelsGold Key Club

Drury Hotels are the #1 rated midscale limited service hotel brand by J.D. Power Guest Satisfaction Survey six consecutive years including 2010 and 2011. This hotel brand is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri and properties are primarily located in Midwest and South.

1,000 bonus points for enrollment in Drury Gold Key Club (ongoing).

*** 500 points Online Booking Bonus Promotion January 1-April 30, 2012. Normal rate is 100 points per online reservation.

 

Expedia.com – Expedia Rewards

Expedia’s loyalty program, Expedia Rewards, 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 most others are earned for Expedia bookings.

Expedia Rewards offers 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, 2011.

 

Fairmont Hotels and Fairmont President’s Club

Fairmont Hotels offer upper-upscale and luxury hotels in fewer than 100 hotels globally.

Tip: Sign up for Fairmont President’s Club to receive special monthly discount rates for Fairmont Hotels.

 

Four Seasons Hotels

Four Seasons Special Offers website link

 

Global Hotel AllianceGHA DiscoveryHotel loyalty program alliance for 14 independent hotel brands including Omni Hotels, Pan Pacific, Kempinski Hotels, First Hotels, Mirvac, Anantara Resorts, Tivoli Hotels, The Doyle Collection, Marco Polo Hotels, Park Royal, The Leela Palaces, Shaza Hotels, Mokara Hotels & Spa, and Lungarno Collection.

Overview of GHA Discovery, elite membership benefits and local experiences, Loyalty Traveler post January 30, 2011.

 

Hilton HotelsHilton HHonors

10 Hilton HHonors Hotel Brands: Hilton, Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites, Conrad, Waldorf-Astoria Collection, Hampton Inn, and Home2Suites.

*** Promotion: Hilton HHonors – January 1-March 31, 2012. HHonors More Points promotion offers 1,000 bonus points per night and 5,000 bonus points per two-night weekend stays with Thu-Fri, Fri-Sat or Sat-Sun.

***** Promotion: Hilton HHonors Resort Escapes offers one free night globally after 5 consecutive nights at participating Hilton Resort December 1-April 30, 2012. Must book hotel stay by Jan 31, 2012. Maximum two free nights. LT post Dec 4, 2011.

Program Change: HHonors Southwest Airlines partnership ends January 1, 2012. No more earning Southwest Rapid Rewards points with HHonors. LT post October 14.

Redeem: HHonors Points & Money Rewards Analysis Loyalty Traveler post October 3. This post shows the HHonors Points & Money rate table that was removed from HHonors website within a few hours after publishing this Loyalty Traveler post.

Redeem: HHonors Premium Rewards AnalysisDo HHonors Premium Room Rewards Prevent GLON/AXON Rewards at some Hilton Hotels? – Loyalty Traveler post October 13. This October 10 post also looks at using HHonors flexible dates tool to find low Hilton rates and Premium Room Rewards. Loyalty Traveler Research October 10.

HHonors Representative responds to Hotels only offering Premium Room Rewards issue. LT post October 14.

HHonors Redemption tip: A unique feature of HHonors is the ability to buy all needed point for a reward stay at time of booking hotel through Hilton reservations.

***** Elite Status Promotion: Hilton HHonors Gold elite fast-track for Carlson Wagonlit Travel customers. Earn HHonors Gold elite after four stays within 90 days of promotion registration. This offer has an end date of 12/31/2013 so might be best to wait until January 2012 to register for Gold elite through 2013. Loyalty Traveler post Sep 6.

***** Elite Status Promotion: HHonors Gold VIP elite after 4 stays or 9 nights in 90 days at U.S. hotels with Hilton HHonors MVP. Promotion registration required.

Hotel News: Hilton Hotels in 2011. Loyalty Traveler survey of 34 Hilton Hotels recently opened (LT post Sep 14).

Hotel News: Doubletree Hotels in 2011. LT post Sep 17.

Program Change: HHonors Point Stretcher Rewards discontinued for 2012.  Point Stretchers required 40% fewer points than standard HHonors rewards. No official word yet on HHonors web site, but FlyerTalk thread indicates these rewards are dead and have been replaced with Points & Money Rewards. LT post Jan 6, 2012.

Hotel News: Home2Suites, Hilton’s second extended stay brand, opened its first hotel in 2011 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, 2011.

Redeem: 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)

 

Hotels.com Welcome Rewards

Earn a free night for every 10 nights.

 

Hyatt HotelsHyatt Gold Passport

Hotel Brands: Park Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Vacation Club, Hyatt Resorts, Andaz, Hyatt House (AVIA and Hotel Sierra acquired Sep 1, 2011. Hotel Sierra and Hyatt Summerfield Suites were rebranded as Hyatt House in 2012. Four AVIA upper upscale hotels are currently still called AVIA.)

**** Hyatt Rate Discount – November 14-February 29, 2012 – AARP members and Costco members have special rate offers for a $25 per night credit for hotel dining and purchases charged to room in addition to 10% off Hyatt Daily Rate (BAR is unrestricted rate). Loyalty Traveler post November 21. Costco member LT post November 22, 2011.

Gold Passport EnhancementDiamond members receive 50% bonus on Welcome Amenity points if points do not automatically post after stay. Loyalty Traveler post November 5.

Program Update: Hyatt House new brand to replace Summerfield Suites. LT post Sep 20.

Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond elite member enhancements and 43 hotel reward reassignments (25 hotels went up in reward cost, 18 went down) effective September 1, 2011. LT post July 28, 2011.

Hyatt adds annual anniversary free night benefit for Hyatt VISA card renewal members valid for one night in category 1 to category 4 reward hotel. LT post August 5, 2011.

 

InterContinental Hotels GroupPriority Club

Hotel Brands: InterContinental Hotels, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites, Hotel Indigo.

Program Change: Priority Club Reward Tiers Change on January 18, 2012. Over 1,000 hotels will increase in reward price. Members will have 60 days (March 18?) to redeem points at the old reward level for hotel stays. Loyalty Traveler post Jan 3, 2012.

***** Priority Club PointBreaks through January 31, 2012 are probably the best hotel loyalty program reward night value across all hotel chains and available at 5,000 points for a free night. 52 hotels in USA. 49 hotels rest of world. Many of the hotels are discounted 80% or more from their normal 25,000 to 40,000 points for a reward night.  Loyalty Traveler post November 22, 2011.

IHG First Night Free Best Rate Guarantee new policy. LT post Sep 22.

IHG Priority Club Last Minute Reward Nights are posted the week before the first weekend of the month. Hotels
are only posted for a few days and must be booked by Thursday prior to the Friday through Sunday first full weekend of the month dates. LT post January 4, 2012. IHG Priority Club relaunch previews new reward option for Last Minute Hotel Nights at 50% points off standard reward night.  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.

InterContinental Ambassador Accelerator – 20,000 points after 15 nights at InterContinental Hotels. Registration required.

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, 2010)

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.

Priority Club Points Exchange Value and Points.comLoyalty traveler research (Jan 20, 2011) into the exchange value of Priority Club points into airline miles through Points.com

 

Kimpton HotelsKimpton 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 HotelsLa Quinta Returns

Hotel chain and hotel loyalty program overview by Loyalty Traveler April 12, 2011.

 

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

Leaders Club Rewards program changes: Membership fees for Leaders Club Rewards dropped to $100 annual for Access level. You can also buy Access level membership for 10,000 American Express Membership Rewards points. 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.

LHW Hotel Special Offers link

 

Marriott HotelsMarriott Rewards

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 Rewards MegaMiles January 1-April 30, 2012 earns 2,000 bonus miles per Marriott brand stay beginning with second stay. Maximum 50,000 bonus miles. Loyalty Traveler post December 7, 2012.

**** Marriott RewardsMegaBonus 2012 February 1 – April 30, 2012. Earn one free night every two stays; maximum two free nights. Select Marriott Rewards members received targetted offers for three free night maximum and 25,000 to 50,000 points after 15 to 25 nights. LT post Jan 7, 2012.

Marriott Rewards Program Change: All-inclusive Resort Rewards discontinued. LT post October 21.

New Autograph Collection Hotels are joining Marriott Rewards with six Boscolo Hotels in Italy, Prague and Budapest. LT post August 1.

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. AC Hotels start earning Marriott Rewards points beginning November 8, 2011.

***** AC Hotels free night offer – New members enrolling in Marriott Rewards while staying at an AC Hotel by January 31, 2012 will be registered for exclusive free night promotion. One additional stay at any Marriott hotel brand will earn a free category 1-4 hotel certificate valid for 6 months from issue date.

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 priced at category 4 rate. 5th night free rewards rate also applies to PointSavers rate. LT post Sep 26, 2011.

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 2012. This is the fourth 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 2012 and the 15 nights above Silver elite rollover to 2013 membership year. You will have earned Silver elite for 2013 from your 15 extra nights in 2012 rolled over to 2013. This applies to Marriott credit card nights too. Rollover nights from 2011 to 2012 are deducted from 2012 end-of-year total nights to determine rollover nights for 2013. Confused? Don’t worry. This is a great benefit for elite members. (Loyalty Traveler 5-key offer. LT post Jan 6, 2012.

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.

Program Change: All Marriott Rewards members receive complimentary internet at Asia-Pacific region hotels. Loyalty Traveler post May 2, 2011.

 

Omni HotelsOmni Select Guest

 

Preferred Hotels & Resorts – I Prefer

Hotel brands: Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Preferred Boutique, Summit Hotels & Resorts, Sterling Hotels, Sterling Design.

  • I Prefer benefits include complimentary internet, room upgrades and early check-in, late checkout.
  • Preferred Offers I Prefer and Preferred Hotels Group special offers page. Members of Choice Privileges and Red Lion R&R Club can use points in those programs for free nights at participating hotels within Preferred Hotels Group.

 

Red Lion Hotels – 44 hotels in western U.S.

 

Red Roof InnRediCard

 

Ritz-Carlton Rewards
(Marriott Rewards partner brand. You may only hold membership in either Marriott Rewards or Ritz-Carlton Rewards, not both programs.)

Ritz-Carlton Rewards Visa – 50,000 points enrollment offer and Gold elite first year. Maintain Gold elite with $10,000 annual spending. Three confirmed Club level upgrades per year and other benefits. Loyalty Traveler post June 13.

Ritz-Carlton Rewards loyalty program launching Sep 15, 2010 (LT post Sep 14, 2010.)

Reward Changes in new Ritz-Carlton Reward Tiers (LT post Sep 15, 2010.)

Ritz-Carlton rewards Hotel + Air Packages Analysis (LT post Sep 16, 2010.)

 

Starwood HotelsStarwood Preferred Guest

Starwood Hotels brands: Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels, Le Meridien, Luxury Collection, St. Regis, Four Points, Element, Aloft.

***** Starwood Preferred GuestTwo free nights at participating Asia Pacific hotels after 9 nights in Asia Pacific hotels from November 29- March 15, 2012 when stays are paid with a MasterCard. One free night after 5 nights. Maximum 2 free nights. Loyalty Traveler post December 2, 2011.

*** Starwood Preferred Guest – Better by the Night – January 9-April 8, 2012 offers double points (2 bonus points/$1) for two night stays and triple points (4 bonus points/$1) for three night and longer stays. LT post Jan 9, 2012.

Website Change – Starwood Hotels webpages now include Guest Reviews. Loyalty Traveler Oct 22 post shows how to post a hotel review from your Starwood Hotel stay.

New SPG Member Benefit – Award Stays Earn SPG Elite Qualification Credit as of October 1, 2011. Loyalty Traveler analysis Sep 29.

Loyalty Traveler Research on using SPG website Compare Rates and Calendar Tools to find low Starwood rates. LT post Oct 10.

Starpicks discount rates for following three to six weeks post each Tuesday. Prepaid, nonrefundable and no changes. Must book by Friday each week.

Loyalty Traveler analysis of Starwood Preferred Guest Airline Direct Deposit program for Mileage Plus members and others interested in earning miles rather than points from hotel stays. (August 4, 2011)

Starwood Preferred Guest Hotel Category reward assignment changes for 2011 took effect on March 1, 2011. My LT post (Feb 22, 2011) 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 Preferred Guest – American Express credit card changes effective October 14, 2010. The annual fee increased to $65 from $45 for renewals  Oct 14, 2010. Benefit changes included 5 elite nights and 2 elite stays credit each year. The SPG50 certificate was discontinued in favor of a 3rd night free offer at Sheraton Hotels. Loyalty traveler post (August 24, 2010); Sheraton 3rd Night Free Analysis (Nov 12, 2010)

Pay Your Birthyear Rate -This promotion has been extended through 2012. Rates can be an incredible 5-key savings or no savings depending on the hotel and your birthyear. LT post 4/28/2009

**** Starwood Hotel Rate Discount Codes for Multiple Night Stays.

These offers for rate discounts on extended stays of 2 to 6 nights have been around for several years, but are not well advertised on Starwood site. 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. Loyalty Traveler rate analysis Sep 21, 2011 – Better Know a Rate Z3H and Z3R and other extended stay promo codes.

 

Stash Hotel Rewards

Stash Rewards is a two 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 and Washington D.C. are great choices for hotel travelers seeking independent hotels with loyalty benefits. 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

 

Swissotel Hotels and ResortsSwissôtel Circle

Swissôtel Circle is the newly relaunched loyalty program for Swissotel Hotels and Resorts as of August 15, 2011. The Swissotel Circle loyalty program includes 30 Swissotel Hotels, Fairmont Hotels and Raffles. This Sep 9, 2011 Loyalty Traveler post is an overview of the hotel loyalty program, elite levels and benefits.

 

Voila Hotel Rewards

Loyalty Traveler profile of Voila Hotels program international loyalty program for 250 independent hotels.

 

Wyndham WorldwideWyndham Rewards

Wyndham Brands: Wyndham, Wingate, Hawthorn Suites, Ramada, Days Inn, Super 8, Howard Johnson, Travelodge, Baymont Suites, Microtel, Knights Inn, Tryp.

**** Wyndham RewardsGift Me promotion for U.S., Canada and Mexico resident members for 6,500 bonus points after 2nd, 4th and 6th stays at any Wyndham brand globally Nov 17 – Feb 1, 2012. Online booking bonus is 1,000 points for first 3 stays. Total 22,500 bonus points for 6 hotel stays. LT post November 18.

**** Wyndham Rewards offer for European resident members only is 10,000 bonus points on 2nd, 4th and 6th stays for 30,000 maximum bonus points .

 

Loyalty Traveler Five ***** Promotion Scale

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

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

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

Three *** = good value hotel loyalty promotion or rate offer

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

One * = 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 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.
  • Past loyalty program offers and rates for the specific hotel chain and loyalty program.

 

Loyalty Traveler Research Articles

Hotel Points Buy, Gift and Transfer Rules for major hotel loyalty programs. Loyalty Traveler post December 5, 2011.

PointHub.com gives loyalty travelers Cash vs. Points Hotel and Airline Recommendations (August 11, 2011). This new beta version website shows the cost in loyalty points for a free hotel night alongside the hotel rate and makes a recommendation for your travel dates. Airlines are also rated.

Room77.com hotel room views compared to my photos. Loyalty Traveler website analysis June 22.

Comparing the value of hotel program points – compares Hyatt, Priority Club and Hilton programs, then discusses how I planned summer travel using free night promotions. (May 2, 2011)

 

Hotel Loyalty Credit Cards and the Value of Hotel Points

Best Hotel Credit Cards for Low Spenders (August 5, 2011)

Loyalty Traveler Analysis of Hotel Rewards Credit Cards (March 19, 2011)

Elite Status Benefits with Hotel Loyalty Credit Cards (March 21, 2011)

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). These tables are a bit outdated and I plan to update the tables for January 2012.

 

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 »

Comments

  1. Normally I agree with almost all your posts, however I am in disagreement with this post. All the current hotel promos SUCK!!!

    There are no 5* hotel promos going on right now. Unless you are just going based on 5* being “one of the best hotel promos of the year”, and this being the start of a new year, so whatever is best gets 5 stars. But that masks how bad the current promos are and doesn’t allow comparison to previous year’s promos. IMHO, only REALLY good promos such as Hyatt FFN, SPG FRN/FWN, PC/IC Crack the Code (in conjunction with Sweet Dilemna), Carlson 50k bonus, etc are worthy of 5-stars. Maybe throw Marriott FFN (capped at 2 Free Nights) & Hilton FFN (4 stays = 1 night) in at 4 Stars, possibly 5 stars in the past when the free nights were valid for 1 year. But none of the current Q1 2012 promos come anywhere close to the true 5-star promos I have mentioned above.

    Yet you have FIVE current promos listed as 5-star:
    1) Carlson 9k rebate: Basically only 5-star if you plan on staying one night on a weekend at Radisson Orlando in the next 3 weeks.

    2) 1 Night for 5 consecutive RESORT nights? No thanks, not even as good as what I would consider to be 4-star Hilton FFN where 4 stays anywhere gets you the same thing.

    3) Hilton 30% rebate on Premium rooms: Create a big devaluation by offering these premium rooms and then offer a 30% discount. Sorry I can’t agree with that as being a good promo. Yes there are a few gems here and there, but they take some digging to find.

    4) SPG Asia Mastercard: Not a terrible promo. But the nights required for this keep creeping up yearly. Can’t support it with 5-stars IMHO.

    5) Wyndham 10k bonus pts for 2 stays for Europeans. Again, decent promo, but not nearly as lucrative as the similar Wyndham promo from last summer. I’ve give this 4-stars max.

    Again, if you are only making these 5-stars cuz it is a new year and you HAVE to offer 5-stars, I guess I can give you a pass, but will you go back and downgrade these later in the year if/when better promos come around? I’d stick with a consistant methodology & ranking system, and IMHO all the current hotel promos are just garbage. Now is a time period to be burning all the pts that we earned during the good times of the past few years (as well as to burn all the Hilton Q3FNs/Q4FNs that we have from last quarters Hilton promo)……………….and keep our fingers crossed that a REAL 5-star hotel promo comes around in Q2.

  2. Need to update Club Carlson for triple points! I realize the comprehensiveness of this post but it is getting very had to read! A shorter post on the promos of the Big 5 (Starwood, Hilton, Priority Clubk, Hyatt, Marriott) would be nice. And/or a shorter post on the BEST (rated 5) promos YOU recommend.

  3. @gpapadop – I post the complete page of promotions, links and other info periodically to maintain a record of what was happening in the hotel loyalty world in any specific month.

    There would be no previous record of past promotions if I only updated my page Hotel Promotions at the top of Loyalty Traveler without including the page as a regular post. The regular post (this post) remains in the archives whereas the “Hotel Promotions” Page post (at top of Loyalty Traveler)is replaced each time the page is updated and there is no record of the former versions for readers or for me when I want to go back and check out old promotions.

    I will do a separate post on the best major hotel promotions. It is better that I waited since two of the major promotions were announced in the past two days since this summary post.

  4. @gregorygrady – In my opinion the 5* promotions of the past three years are unlikely to be repeated in 2012.

    This is how I used to describe the criteria for my promotion rankings:
    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.

    The key bullet I think is in play right now is the current economic conditions in the travel industry.

    The hotel industry took its biggest losses in decades from 2009 to 2011. The second half of 2011 saw strong growth in room rates. The year ended with nearly 5% room rate growth in the USA and record occupancy.

    Hotel loyalty promotions offering free nights were quite rare before 2009 and I think we are seeing the hotel loyalty programs pull back on the lucrative promotions for 2012.

    Even in the last three years the promotions tended to be weakest in Q1 and pick up for spring and summer. We will see if that pattern follows in 2012.

    Hilton Free Resort Night – The current 5* offers I have listed show my bias for free nights. I can stay at a Hilton in Phoenix for 5 nights and get a free resort night in Bora Bora or Barbados or Nassau.

    That is a 10,000 points per night bonus when my 5 night stay earns a 50,000 points free night. That is 5* in my book and does not require hotel hopping to maximize the offer.

    SPG Free Resort Night – Perhaps 5 nights to earn a free night is a bit high compared to 2009-2011, but I don’t recall SPG offering any free night promotions from 2003-2008.

    Club Carlson 9K rebate – I also favor reduced redemption rewards. This may not be a reason to go out and burn points, but for thousands of people who were planning to redeem points anyway the cost is less for those same hotel nights. Club Carlson regularly offers 50% off reward nights in Europe and that is a particularly attractive deal and definite 5* offer. For those of us traveling in America it is a nice deal to get points back for a reward stay.

    Hilton 30% rebate on Premium Rewards may not be a good deal since the room rates are overpriced in my opinion. My 5* rating is for the Points & Money Rewards which reduces the cost of a reward night by 65% points for a daily cash supplement. That is a great deal for HHonors members wanting to save points on reward stays.

    I cheer when Wyndham Rewards offers any kind of decent promotion. They are not that common. The ability to earn 30,000 points with Wyndham is a big bonus for that program. This is the program that the management stated to the hotel industry in a 2011 conference that the elimination of loyalty programs would be a good thing for the industry.

    Unless the financial system unravels again and hits hotel industry occupancy with declines in 2012, then the free night offers of 2009-11 are not likely to return in 2012 without a higher stay threshold or more limited geographic participation. Rates are going up and loyalty promotions are likely to be less than stellar when compared to recent years.

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