Jun112012

Hotel chains with AARP discounts

Hilton HHonors offers AARP members 10% off Best Available Rate (BAR). This is the same discount generally offered to AAA auto club members. The competitive advantage here is Marriott Hotels dropped AARP discounts about ten years ago. You need to be 62 years of age to get the Marriott senior discount.

BAR is defined as “a rate available to the general public that does not require pre-payment and does not impose cancellation or change penalties and/or fees, other than those imposed as a result of a hotel property’s normal cancellation policy.”

Group discounts and most hotel promotional discounts when they state things like 20% off rates are based on the BAR rate.

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50 is the new senior

AARP is a membership organization for persons 50 years of age and older. AARP has a sufficiently large membership to have group bargaining power and that is evident in the number of hotel chains offering AARP member discount rates.

The advantage of AARP compared to AAA is the low annual membership fee of $16 per year. I am 52 and I have both AAA and AARP memberships. Although I have not yet booked a hotel using an AARP rate. After writing this article I think I have to be better at checking senior rates.

So my main question is what hotel chains offer AARP discounts?

I could not find a recently published article detailing which hotel chains offered AARP discounts, so I went through the top ten hotel chains in the USA to see their current affiliation with AARP.

Best Western = AARP 10% or more discount.

Choice Hotels = AARP up to 10% discount.

Carlson Rezidor Hotels Group = No AARP discount. Senior = 60 years.

Hilton Worldwide = AARP up to 10% discount on BAR.

Hyatt Hotels = AARP 10% discount. Hyatt offers up to 50% off with senior rates for persons 62 and older. Odd though that the T&C for senior rates does not define the age. The 62 age requirement is found when booking a senior rate.

InterContinental Hotels Group = AARP member or 62 years of age for 10% discount at hotels in USA. IHG is more subtle in its terminology and probably avoids compensating AARP with this generalized language.

Discounts on the non-discounted room rate at any participating hotel in the U.S. will be available to guests who are 62 years of age or older or with valid membership ID of a retired persons organization.

La Quinta Inns & Suites = AARP discount up to 10% and for seniors 65 or older there are special discounts.

Marriott International = No AARP discount. Senior Discounts of at least 15% are available for persons 62 and older.

Starwood Hotels = AARP discount up to 20% off BAR.

Wyndham Worldwide = AARP discount 10% or more.

 [Update June 14, 2012 – A representative for AARP sent me this link showing AARP discounts by hotel brand.]

Loyalty Traveler Rate Analysis for Starwood Hotels AARP discount

Sheraton Denver West Hotel is one of my favorite hotels in Denver. The location is at the gateway to the high mountains of I-70 and for some reason I just seem to have a great time every stay at Sheraton Denver West.

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Sunday, June 17 = $99 for AARP rate or $142 for AAA rate.

Best of all is the AARP/senior rate has a day of arrival cancellation policy with no penalty.

There is value in AARP annual membership when it comes to discount hotel rates. And with some hotel chains you can access the AARP senior discount rates a full 12 years before most age-based senior rate discounts kick in at 62 years of age.

 

Ric Garrido, writer and content owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. You can follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

 

About Ric Garrido

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

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Comments

  1. Ric – you do not need to be 50 to be an AARP membership. I can’t recall the exact term but you can become basically an honorary member at any age. We all learned about this when Chase offered their 5% unlimited cash back AARP members credit card. I am 39 and got AARP membership for the card and have since used it at Grand Hyatt New York and a Choice Hotels place in LIC (Verve) to get 10% discount with flexible rate.

  2. I always assumed the AAA and AARP rates were the same. Now that I have seen your example, I will have to start checking the AARP rate too.

  3. Your article has completely missed the point . First AARP is “NO FRIEND TO REAL SENIORS “62 and above” or anyone else for that matter . AARP sold every senior in this country under the bus with their back door deal with Obamacare .And thus ALL FUTURE SENIORS TOO !!!

    They have “raped” seniors with high insurance rates ….and their Medicare Advantage monopoly .They get HUGE kick backs as one of largest sellers of insurance in the country .And they were promised more if they endorsed Obamacare …which they did . How you likin’ Obamacare so far seniors ???????? Check their top execs salaries ….thats where the money went for your denied claims . Now they are out there DILUTING Senior Discounts or trying to in the hotel industry and the travel industry as a whole .

    I applaud Mr Marriott and Marriott Corp for “no AARP Discount ” …..as AARP has diluted this benefit by allowing anyone to join .I have been in Travel Management going on 35 years ….airlines before that . AARP has destroyed travel discounts for seniors …..try and get a decent one since anyone who buys their discount card can also .Isn’t that a pyramid scheme or very close .

    Marriott has been Senior Friendly for over 10 years .
    Mr Marriott said “As a senior citizen you shouldn’t have to pay a fee and join a group to prove your a senior ….you are already a member ” And your drivers license , passport or medicare card proves it .

    Send Mr Marriott a HUGE THANK YOU …stay at a Marriott . I encourage all my senior clients to do so .
    Its a “family oriented company”.They will reward your loyalty .

    Donna Meisenholder
    35 Years in Travel Management

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