Loyalty Traveler Heads to Chicago to reveal what is behind door #3

After three weeks creating Powerpoint presentations on hotel loyalty programs for the Chicago seminar, I found myself with a book’s worth of  storyboard information. Loyalty Traveler’s director’s cut is some 350 slides illustrating the rise and fall and rebound romance between loyalty travelers and the hotel industry over the past three years.

The actual Chicago presentation is planned as a quick-paced, jump-cut version to keep momentum with only about 30% of the story and a lot of cutting floor travel left in the Loyalty Traveler vault for future presentations.

Last May I quickly came up with a 10 minute description of what I thought I could present in Chicago on hotel loyalty programs.

Actual Scheduled Time is Sunday 11AM to 12:45 PM

Ric Garrido Quote “Are you getting at least 100% return on investment for your annual hotel spend? If you are not getting $6,000+ in hotel stay value for $3,000 in hotel spend, then you are probably not aware of the best promotions or program benefits for your travel style.

* Cheap Elite (How little can I spend and maintain top-elite status?)

* Surveying top-elite status across hotel programs (Who gets what at hotels when you are elite?)

* Comparative value of points across programs. (What does 1,000 points buy in award value?)

* Advice for finding the lowest hotel rates that still earn points (tips for finding low rates on hotel’s corporate websites, including Special Offers, Twitter and Facebook.)

* Advice for finding lower hotel rates when a cheap room is more important than points (Forget the points! Employee rates; cheap night deals).

* How online travel agencies fit into the hotel loyalty program world and when to use an online travel agency

* Hotel mattress runs (Tips on planning and how to not ruin a vacation trip with someone you love)

* Survey of Points-to-Miles exchange rates across hotel programs (If SPG is your only miles exchange program, then you are missing out on some better deals.)

* Buying points (Tips and advice)

* Best value awards (Cash & Points, Hotel + Miles packages, PointBreaks/Savers/Stretchers)

* Aspirational hotel loyalty awards (Paradise with an ocean view!)

* Hotel Loyalty Planning for 2011 (What will happen after two years of unprecedented loyalty promotions?)

Several of these items just didn’t work for me in creating this presentation. Online travel agencies, hotel mattress runs, and non-loyalty program information was cut.

Here are previews of the scenes to be shown at the Chicago Loyalty traveler seminar on Hotel Loyalty Programs:

  1. Make Loyalty Count, or Is an Upgrade Really Behind Door #3? From SmarterTravel to Smarter Traveler
  2. Why Loyalty Travelers Make Ourselves the Target
  3. Quantitative easing – Show me the Discount!
  4. Elite Meet
  5. Doctors and Masters Agree: Nerd Methodology on the Value of a Point
  •         The Doctor’s treatment is more elegant, but Loyalty Traveler was on the mark.   Hey, I only have a Masters in Science.

     6.  The Promotion Variable = All the Difference

  • Eureka – I’ll show a never seen before on Loyalty traveler blog way to compare promotion value across hotel loyalty programs.

     7.  Hotel Mile Age  (if time allows)

I guess it’s time to book hotel rooms for my trip.

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 »


  1. One of the highlights of the weekend for me will be actually meeting Ric along with the rest of you. I have never seen such detailed analysis of programs as we get here on the Loyalty Traveler blog.

    I’m curious to see how he has paired down all he knows into a 1 hour and 45 minute presentation.

    I’m so glad Ric is onboard for this event.

    Rick I

  2. I will be attending the Chicago DO, but will not be able to attend your session. Will you be able to post a summary of your presentation? It would be much appreciated!

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