2015-Q3 promotions and deals hotel loyalty programs

August 2015 Hotel Promotions Guide

a screenshot of a website

Here is my big list of current hotel loyalty promotions for bonus points, free nights and rate discounts in the major hotel chains. There are also links to stories on some of the big program changes in 2015 for each hotel chain and loyalty program.

This is a copy of the August 2015 Hotel Promotions Guide page on Loyalty Traveler website.

Loyalty Traveler August 2015 Hotel Promotions Guide

Here is a summer 2015 recap of how I have been using points, followed by an updated edition of August 2015 Hotel Promotions Guide with current offers, analysis and program news.

The end of Club Carlson Visa free night benefit on reward stays as of June 1, 2015 made Radisson Blu Royal Copenhagen and The May Fair London my home for July 2015 as I burned 310,000 points for 10 reward nights. I have eight more Radisson Blu hotel nights lined up in Amsterdam and Stockholm for 2016. You can still find great 2-for-1 and 4-for-2 weekend rates as a Club Carlson Gold elite, still a benefit for Club Carlson Visa card members.

Choice Privileges points provided me with enough hotel discounts in June and July that I purchased another 50,000 points for $385 in August to get a big discount on the cost of hotel stays in Norway next month.

In July 2015, I redeemed 15,000 points for my first Wyndham Rewards free night since the changes making all hotels worldwide 15,000 points. I have also had a GoFast night for 3,000 points and a cash component to get a nice hotel rate discount in Asheville, North Carolina. I had a free night stay in a great location at Wyndham Beacon Hill Boston with a high floor view of the Charles River. That was a good redemption value for a Saturday night when rates were averaging around $300 per night around the city, on a weekend with a six-day music festival happening on Boston Common.

Next month, I am booked into a Best Western hotel in the Arctic region of Norway.

Chain hotels offer opportunities to get big discounts on hotel rooms using points. Or in the case of Best Western, I have a $100 e-credit from a successful Best Rate Guarantee claim in June.

One of the articles I wrote in May is about the changes to mid-scale hotel loyalty programs like Choice Privileges, Wyndham Rewards and Best Western Rewards. I think we are seeing a pivotal point in the development of the mid-scale chain hotels, making them truly good value hotel loyalty programs as the higher end market segment hotels like Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott and Starwood focus more effort on their high stay customers. I call this change the ‘Airbnb effect’ which disproportionately has made an impact on mid-scale hotel chains than the higher end hotels.

Loyalty Traveler – Airbnb effect makes 2015 year of the midscale and economy hotel chains (May 18, 2015).

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August 2015 Hotel Promotions

Accor Hotels – Le Club Accorhotels

Hotel Brands: Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Grand Mercure, Novotel, Mercure, Suite Novotel, The Sebel, Ibis, Ibis Styles, Adagio, Thalassa Sea & Spa.

Accor Hotels Brand Profile – Loyalty Traveler

Accor Hotels offers numerous promotions by global region and country that can be found on their website.

Accor Hotels Summer Hotel Sale. Book by August 17 for stays by September 6, 2015. Prepaid and nonrefundable rates.

Normal earn rate for Le Club Accorhotels is 10 EUR = 25 points for all brands, except Ibis and Adagio earn 50% rate. 500 bonus points is equivalent to spending an extra 200 EUR for the stay.

2000 points = 40 EUR as a fixed rate value in Le Club Accorhotels that can be used to pay for Accor hotel stays.


Best Western Rewards

Hotel Brands: Best Western, Best Western Plus, Best Western Premier

Earn 1,000 bonus Best Western Rewards points per stay May 26 to September 7, 2015. Promotion registration required, but good news is bonus points apply retroactively for eligible stays made during promotion period. There is no earning limit for this offer. Member must have account set to earn points. Loyalty TravelerBest Western 1000 points per stay May 26 to Sep 7 (May 29).

Best Western Bonus Offers is a page with hotel specific bonus points promotions like double points.

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Choice Privileges

Hotel Brands: Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, Ascend Hotel Collection, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn.

Current Choice Privileges promotion: Choice Privileges 8,000 points or $50 gift card for 2 stays May 7 to August 19  (May 15, 2015)

Choice Privileges Program Guide

Choice Privileges Points Plus Cash Reward Nights – the concept is simple. You need 8,000 points in your account and you can pay $7.50 per 1,000 points for additional points needed. A hotel reward night at 16,000 points can be bought for 8,000 points + $60.

Loyalty Traveler – Choice Privileges launches Points Plus Cash rewards (Jan 23, 2015)

Loyalty Traveler – Choice Privileges Points Plus Cash Trick (Jan 30, 2015)

Choice Privileges Points Plus Cash model is closest to the IHG Rewards Club model. This also means members can build points balances buying and canceling hotel reward stays at the rate of $7.50 per 1,000 points, rather than the normal purchase price of $11 per 1,000 points. Members can buy up to 250,000 points per year using Points Plus Cash Rewards.

Nordic Choice Club is the loyalty program for Nordic Choice Hotels in Scandinavia and Baltic region.Choice Privileges members in North America can redeem points for Nordic Choice Hotels, however, earning points requires membership in Nordic Choice Club. Nordic Choice Club has more hotels than any other hotel chain in the region and partners with Sokos in Finland to provide over 230 hotels in Nordic Europe for earning loyalty points.

Loyalty Traveler – Nordic Choice Club Guide for North Americans

Choice Hotel BRG free night claim

Choice Hotels free night with approved Best Rate Guarantee. Here is a post on my experience claiming a successful Best Rate Guarantee with one free night (Feb 28, 2014).


Club Carlson Promotions

Hotel brands: Radisson Blu, Radisson, Radisson Red, Park Plaza, Park Inn, Country Inn & Suites, Quorvus Collection.

Club Carlson Current Promotion: Loyalty Traveler 2,000 bonus points per night for online and mobile hotel bookings for hotel stays booked and completed July 7 to September 27, 2015.

Radisson Hotel MegaPoints rate for 10,000 bonus points per night allows Club Carlson members to potentially pick up 10,000 bonus points for as little as $20 more per night. My post lists all the participating Radisson Hotels for this offer. I used the MegaPoints rate at Radisson Vancouver Airport on April 18 to earn over 20,000 points when stacked with triple points promotion on a $132 rate.

Loyalty TravelerList of Radisson hotels with Club Carlson MegaPoints rate for 10,000 bonus points.

Club Carlson Program News

Reward Alert: Club Carlson announced on April 3, 2015 the elimination of the Club Carlson Visa member free reward night on reward stays of 2 or more nights. Members had until May 31 to book reservations for stays from June 1 and later using the free night benefit. The new benefit changes to one free night in the USA with $10,000 in Club Carlson Visa card spend. Big blow to probably the best value loyalty benefit in the hotel industry for the past couple of years.

Club Carlson Visa members can earn 30,000 bonus points for one stay paid with Club Carlson Visa by August 31, 2015.

Loyalty TravelerClub Carlson Visa eliminates bonus award night benefit June 1, 2015 (April 6)

Loyalty Traveler – Hotel stay examples stacking Club Carlson promotions to rack up points and miles (September 22)

Club Carlson Gold elites 2-for-1 and 4-for-2 rates in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Loyalty Traveler – May 29, 2014.

Carlson 2-for-1 Gold rate


Club Carlson Car Rentals

AVIS – Earn 9,000 to 10,000 Club Carlson points with an AVIS 4-day rental through December 31, 2015.

Alamo Car Rental – Earn 1,500 Club Carlson points per day through December 31, 2015. Use Contract ID 7015940. The rate went up $3.00 with a frequent flyer points fee for earning Club Carlson points.

National Car Rental – Earn 1,500 Club Carlson points per day through December 31, 2015. Use Contract ID 5030270. The rate went up $3.00 with a frequent flyer points fee for earning Club Carlson points.

AVIS Airport Location Rentals

AWD Number for Club Carlson = G639300

9,000 points Coupon Code = MUHA021

  • Offer of 9,000 total Gold Points is valid on rentals of three days or longer at participating Avis airport locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Bonus Gold Points are in addition to the base points you receive each time you rent with Avis. 9,000 total Gold Points offer reflects 8,250 bonus points plus 750 base points earned.

Club Carlson Avis MUHA021

FrequentFlyerBonuses.com and LoyaltyLobby.com list a 10,000 points rental car bonus points offer from Club Carlson. The primary offer on the Club Carlson website is 9,000 points on a 4-day or longer Avis rental. This is 8,250 bonus points + 750 normal rental points for 9,000 Club Carlson points.

I did not find a direct link to the Club Carlson Avis offer, but it works. I checked Kelowna, British Columbia Canada and found the 10,000 bonus points offer for a 4-day car rental by entering MUHA002 in the coupon code box.

Club Carlson Avis MUHA002

Here are main T&C as posted on Loyalty Lobby.

  • 1,750 bonus points is valid on rentals of 1 day in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • 4,250 bonus points is valid on rentals of 2 days in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • 6,750 bonus points is valid on rentals of 3 days in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • 9,250 bonus points is valid on rentals of 4+ days in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Bonus Gold Points are in addition to the base points you receive each time you rent with Avis. 10,000 total Gold Points offer reflects maximum of 9,250 bonus points plus 750 base points earned.
  • Rental must begin by December 31, 2015.
Club Carlson Program Info

Club Carlson Hotel Brands Profile by Loyalty Traveler (Jan 8, 2014).

Club Carlson Hotel Loyalty Program Basics by Loyalty Traveler (Jan 8, 2014)

Analysis of Club Carlson award category increases at 114 hotels on March 15, 2014 (Feb 24, 2014)

Hilton HHonors Promotions

Current Promotion: Hilton HHonors Double Points or Double Miles March 1 – May 31, 2015 Promotion extended through August 31, 2015.

Loyalty TravelerHilton HHonors extends double points to August 31 (May 29, 2015)

Hilton HHonors repeats its standard promotion offer for double points or double miles. I analyze the three earning options during the promotion period in my article.

Loyalty Traveler – Hilton HHonors Double Points or Miles March 1 to May 31, 2015

HHonors News: Hilton HHonors announced in January 2015 it will only run two global promotions per year and focus on targeted member promotions. Some HHonors elite members have reported lucrative promotion offers like 100,000 points and double elite credit. You may want to check for emails from Hilton HHonors and look over your account for targeted offers.

Hilton news: Hilton purchased Parc 55 San Francisco in February, along with four other hotels in Florida for $1.76 billion using the proceeds from the sale of Waldorf Astoria New York to Chinese investors.

Loyalty Traveler – Parc 55 San Francisco Hilton Hotel part of Hilton $1.76 billion purchase of five hotels

Hilton free internet access

for all HHonors members begins August 2015.

Loyalty Traveler – Hilton Free Wi-Fi for all HHonors members begins August 2015 (March 2, 2015)

@Play – Hilton HHonors lined up with Live Nation to bring concert tickets as an option for your points.

Loyalty Traveler – Hilton and LiveNation band together for five years (Jan 16, 2015)

Hilton HHonors Loyalty Traveler Guide (July 16, 2014)

Loyalty Traveler post: Loyalty Traveler Hilton HHonors Points and Money Rewards table (July 16, 2014) – Hilton does not post a table for Points and Money Rewards on its website.

Loyalty Traveler post: Warning: Do Not Trust HHonors Rewards Pricing Tool (July 3, 2014)

Loyalty Traveler post: Hilton HHonors 39 award category changes and 56 new hotels (July 3, 2014)

Loyalty Traveler post: Marriott beats Hilton for category 1 and 2 hotels in USA (July 7, 2014)

Loyalty Traveler post: Hilton HHonors Seasonal Reward Rates clarified (Jan 24, 2014).

Loyalty Traveler post: Tutorial: Finding HHonors Points & Money and Standard Rewards (Jan 28, 2014).

Loyalty Traveler table: Hilton HHonors Points & Money Rewards table (there is no table on the Hilton HHonors site showing the cost of Points & Money Rewards by hotel category. I created this one.)

Hyatt Gold Passport promotions

Hyatt Gold Passport Sweet Dreams, Sweet Rewards June 1 – September 30 is a member targeted promotion with different offers. My personal offer was stay 20 nights for 50,000 bonus points.

There are three other versions of Hyatt Sweet Dreams, Sweet Rewards reported on FlyerTalk.

  • One stay earns 3,000 bonus points.
  • 10 Nights earn 20,000 bonus points.
  • 25 nights earn 65,000 bonus points.

There are no links provided since these are targeted offers for your own account. Check your email.

Loyalty Traveler – Hyatt Sweet Dreams Sweet Rewards June 1 to September 30 Promotion (June 3, 2015)

Until August 31, 2015: Hyatt Buy Points with 30% bonus reducing the rate from $24.00 per 1,000 points to $18.47 per 1,000 points. Loyalty TravelerIs buying Hyatt points with 30% bonus points a good deal? (August 9, 2015)

Hyatt Hotels – Free Wi-Fi for all Hyatt guests around the world as of February 2015. Free internet benefit does not require Hyatt Gold Passport membership and there are no Hyatt booking channel restrictions. All Hyatt guests get free Wi-Fi access on an unlimited number of devices. Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond and Platinum elite members receive complimentary upgrade to premium Wi-Fi service, where available. Hyatt’s reach is 573 hotels.

Hyatt Guest of Honor Diamond elite benefit

Hyatt introduced new benefits for Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond members on March 1, 2015. Hyatt’s Guest of Honor benefit allows guests staying on a reservation booked with a Diamond member’s points to receive the Diamond member benefits for the hotel stay. This means I can book my parents into a Hyatt Hotel using my points and they will receive Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond benefits like late check-out, room upgrade and free breakfast.

Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond members also receive two United Airlines one-time Club Passes annually.

Loyalty Traveler – Hyatt New Diamond Benefits (February 18, 2015)

Hyatt Gold Passport News: Loyalty Traveler – Hyatt Award category changes Jan 22, 2015 with 22 hotels up and 48 down (December 10, 2014)

Hyatt Gold Passport News: Loyalty Traveler – Hyatt drops My Elite 20% Discount Rate and 5,000 points Bed Type Guarantee (Dec 11, 2014)

Hyatt Mobile app promotion page and download links Expired bonus points offer, but I’ll keep the link up for Hyatt mobile app download. Hyatt mobile app earned 1,000 points per booking Oct 1- Dec 31, 2014.

Loyalty Traveler – Mobile apps for hotel discounts and bonus points: Hyatt, Club Carlson, Expedia, TravelPony (Oct 5, 2014)

Hyatt Gold Passport Program

Hyatt Gold Passport introduced Points + Cash Rewards Jan 7, 2014.

Loyalty Traveler post Jan 7.

Hyatt Points-Cash Table

The main problem is Points + Cash availability is not an online function. You have to call Hyatt to book Points + Cash reward stays.

IHG Rewards Club

Buy IHG Rewards Club points by August 31 for a Mystery Bonus offer with up to 100% bonus points. Kelley got the 100% bonus offer bringing the price of points down to $5.75 per 1,000 points. My mystery bonus was the lowest bonus at 50%. Each IHG Rewards Club member will have a bonus offer of 50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, 90% or 100%.

Full list IHG PointBreaks July 27 – Oct 31, 2015 reward night hotels at 5,000 points.

IHG Share Forever May 1 – September 7, 2015 is a promotion with individually targeted tasks for IHG Rewards Club members. My offer is a nights based deal.

IHG Points Offered at Each Goal Post

1 night = 1,000 bonus points.

4 nights = 5,000 bonus points.

  • Promotion bonus total = 6,000 points.

7 nights = 4,000 bonus points.

  • Promotion bonus total = 10,000 points.

10 nights = 8,000 bonus points.

  • Promotion bonus total = 18,000 points and the ability to gift IHG Rewards Club Gold elite to another person.

14 nights = 50,000 bonus points or two free nights.

  • Promotion bonus total = 68,000 points or 2 free nights + 18,000 points.

24 nights = 60,000 bonus points.

  • Promotion bonus total = 128,000 points or 2 free nights + 78,000 points.

Loyalty Traveler – IHG Rewards Club Share Forever promotion assessment (April 22)

14 nights is a lot of nights over four months for 2 free nights, but a decent bonus. Unfortunately, this offer does not align with my Club Carlson summer travel burn points plan.

Expired: IHG Set Your Sights January 1, 2015 to April 30, 2015 earns up to 50,000 bonus points for completing tasks in your targeted offer. My tasks require a minimum 6 nights with two 2-night weekends and 2 stays at Crowne Plaza. Kelley’s tasks require a minimum 3 nights including one weekend stay at a Holiday Inn.

Loyalty TravelerOur IHG Set Your Sights tasks for 50000 points Jan 1-Apr 30, 2015


Loyalty Traveler – IHG mobile app and bonus points breakfast package for Into the Nights. This post has the link for finding bonus points and breakfast package rates for hotels where they may not appear in a regular search. Some hotels offer 5,000 points for as low as $10 more than Best Flexible Rate.

IHG link to find hotel package rates for Bonus Points with Breakfast. Offers are generally 1,000 bonus points + breakfast; 5,000 bonus points; 5,000 bonus points + breakfast. These are often a good deal for a one-night stay to buy 5,000 points at a discount (rate is generally $20 to $40 more) if you need breakfast for the hotel stay.

Loyalty TravelerIHG Rewards Club adds elite tier at 75 nights, lowers qualification for Gold and Platinum and adds points expiration policy (April 13, 2015).

300 IHG hotels went up in points price for reward nights on May 1, many of those by 10,000 points, while 150 hotels dropped in price by 5,000 points.

Loyalty Traveler300 hotels up, 150 down in IHG Reward Night Points Changes May 1, 2015 (April 27)

Loyalty Traveler Overview of IHG Rewards Club (Jan 6, 2014) – IHG Rewards Club in 2014: History, Award Nights and Elite Status

Kimpton Hotels and Kimpton Karma Rewards

Kimpton Hotels was purchased by InterContinental Hotels Group recently. There are currently no plans to merge Kimpton Karma Rewards with IHG Rewards Club. The two loyalty programs continue to function separately and IHG Rewards Club members receive no elite recognition at Kimpton Hotels. It remains to be seen how closely Kimpton Hotels will integrate with IHG loyalty programs.

Kimpton Karma Rewards Exclusive Offers provide some good discount hotel rates across the USA for bookings made in August.

Loyalty Traveler – Kimpton Karma Member Exclusive Rates offer good discounts (August 10, 2015)

Kimpton offers evening wine social, complimentary bicycle usage, pets stay free and now has introduced Nightcap Program for 17 hotels with more to join program in 2015.

Loyalty TravelerKimpton Hotels Nightcap Program free liquor social

Kimpton News – most of the San Francisco hotels dropped out of Kimpton Hotels in July 2015.

Marriott Rewards Promotions

Marriott has not announced a system-wide promotion since the latest Marriott Rewards MegaBonus ended April 30, 2015.

Marriott stays in Europe earn 2,000 Avios bonus points per stay .June 1-September 13, 2015.

Marriott India special rates for suites and meals is a rate deal available to December 31, 2015 (May 27, 2015).

Marriott PointSavers hotels has about 35 hotels in USA, Caribbean and UK offering reward nights at one category discount. A category 5 hotel at 25,000 points per night is only 20,000 points with PointSavers award. These award discount rates also apply to 5th night free. More than half the hotels available in summer 2015 were located in the UK. These offers change seasonally and I expect new hotels to be added by September 1.

Marriott Rewards News:

Marriott Rewards category changes effective March 19, 2015

Some 1,400 Marriott Rewards hotels, about 1 in 3 hotels worldwide, are changing category with 75% up in reward category and 25% down. Of those going up, nearly 90% are located in the USA.

Loyalty TravelerMarriott Rewards March 19, 2015 hotel category changes are bad news.

Loyalty TravelerChecking out 52 Marriott brand hotels going down March 19, 2015 in reward night category

Loyalty TravelerMarriott Rewards category increases March 19, 2015 are 90% USA hotels

26 Protea brand hotels in South Africa join Marriott Rewards

Loyalty Traveler – 26 South Africa hotels joined Marriott Rewards February 23, 2015

Marriott announced its plans to double size in Europe by 2020 primarily through Moxy and Courtyard brands.

Loyalty TravelerMarriott to Moxy and Courtyard Europe

Marriott Rewards Points Expiration Policy Announced

Marriott introduced a policy that points expire after two years of inactivity beginning January 1, 2016. This means you will lose your points earned before January 1, 2014 if you do not have any Marriott Rewards activity in your account between then and next January 1.

Loyalty TravelerMarriott Rewards points expire after two years of inactivity effective February 1, 2016

Loyalty Traveler – Marriott Rewards free WiFi worldwide begins January 15, 2015 (December 10, 2014)

Free Night offer for New Members of Marriott Rewards, Earn one free category 1-5 hotel night certificate after two stays within 90 days of enrollment. This offer is reported stackable with MegaBonus free night offer. Loyalty Traveler post: New Marriott Rewards members earn one category 5 free night certificate after two stays in 120 days (Feb 6, 2014). Category 5 hotels include several hotels around the world that will run $300+ per night.

Loyalty Traveler post: Marriott beats Hilton for category 1 and 2 hotels in USA (July 7, 2014)

Loyalty Traveler post – Marriott Rewards Hotel + Air Package Rewards for United and other airlines (Feb 5, 2014)

Loyalty Traveler post – Tutorial: Marriott’s Cash + Points Rewards with 5th Night Free (Jan 28, 2014)

Marriott Points & Miles Deals – http://www.marriott.com/specials/mesSearchResults.mi

Ritz-Carlton Rewards

Double Elite Nights for Ritz-Carlton stays in 2015.

Loyalty Traveler – Ritz-Carlton Rewards double elite nights in 2015 for Ritz-Carlton hotel stays (Jan 15, 2015).

Starwood Preferred Guest

Current SPG Promotion: SPG Make It Count Weekend Night promotion for 1,000 bonus points per stay that includes a Friday, Saturday or Sunday from June 1 to August 31, 2015. Loyalty TravelerSPG weekend night 1,000 points to August 31, 2015 and preview of Sheraton free nights offer (June 2).

Current SPG Promotion: Sheraton free weekend night after 5 nights by Sep 30 (August 9, 2015)

SPG Special Rate: Pay Your Birth Year Rate (Pay fixed rate for first night and pay your birth year for nights 2 and 3.) Example, 1970 means $70 per night. Rate is adjusted at check-in. Loyalty TravelerWhen Starwood Birth Year Rate is a deal and an upgrade (May 9, 2015)

Starwood News: Best Rate Guarantee changed to a 20% discount on lower rate for approved claims or 2,000 bonus Starpoints and match lower rate.

Loyalty Traveler – Starwood Best Rate Guarantee now cuts 20% off lower rate (Jan 6, 2015)

Starwood Hotels has a new 10th hotel brand named Tribute Portfolio. Think Luxury Collection without the historical building setting. The idea is to have a Starwood brand for newer independent hotels to match Marriott Autograph Collection and Hilton Curio Collection. Luxury Collection hotels as a brand tend to be older restored buildings. We won’t know the scope of Tribute Portfolio until there are more properties to compare.

Tribute Portfolio launched with one hotel, Royal Palm South Beach Miami.

Earn 2,000 bonus Starpoints per stay at a Tribute Portfolio hotel, up to 10,000 bonus points through July 15, 2015.

Tribute Portfolio Perfect 10 Promotion registration required.

Tribute Portfolio 10K promotion July15

Coming soon: Tribute Portfolio hotels will be available in Asheville, NC; Nashville, TN; Charleston, SC; and Savannah, GA, and many more exciting destinations.

Basically, you can earn 2,000 bonus Starpoints with a stay at Tribute Portfolio member Royal Palm South Beach Miami for this promotion. No word if any of the other Tribute Portfolio hotels will open by July 15.

Royal Palm South Beach Miami is SPG category 6 at 20,000 points per night. Rates start in the $349 range for dates in May and June 2015.

Starwood Preferred Guest And Caesars Total Rewards Partnership

SPG has teamed up with Caesars Entertainment to reward points to each other’s members. This deal allows members to earn SPG points at Caesars properties. Redemption rates are generally poor using SPG points for Caesars Hotels.

Loyalty Traveler posts on SPG and Caesars partnership:

Caesars and Starwood Preferred Guest partner for points earning (Jan 21, 2014)

Redemption Value analysis using SPG points for Caesars award stays in Las Vegas (Jan 21, 2014).


Loyalty Traveler – My geographic lists for SPG category changes March 10, 2015

Loyalty Traveler post: Tutorial: SPG Browse Dates and Rates Feature (Jan 30, 2014)

Loyalty Traveler Guide to SPG Airline Partners, Transfers and Airline Direct Deposit program (July 1, 2014)

Loyalty Traveker – Starwood Preferred Guest Cash and Points Awards Guide

Hyatt beats Starwood in USA for category 1 and 2 hotel awards (July 3, 2014)

Wyndham Rewards

Wyndham Hotel Brands: Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Wyndham Grand, Wyndham Garden, Tryp by Wyndham, Wingate by Wyndham, Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham, Microtel Inn & Suites, Ramada Worldwide, Baymont Inn & Suites, Days Inn, Super 8, Howard Johnson, Travelodge, Knights Inn, Dolce Hotels & Resorts.

Wyndham Rewards made major changes to its hotel loyalty program in May 2015. The value of Wyndham Rewards points for hotel stays has greatly improved. I wrote a series of articles in May 2015 analyzing the changes.

Loyalty Traveler – Berlin trophy travel with incredible new Wyndham Rewards points value (May 10) – this article looks at the value of all 7,000+ Wyndham brand hotels worldwide changing to 15,000 points per reward night.

Loyalty TravelerLoyalty brilliance in the new era of Wyndham Rewards (May 12) – a look at how the changes in Wyndham Rewards make lower end hotels more desirable for points stays with new GoFast reward nights for 3,000 points + cash payment of $25 to $95 per night.

Loyalty TravelerWyndham Irvine SNA Airport high points value with Go Fast award stay (May 12)

Loyalty Traveler – Pick up a quick 9,000 Wyndham Rewards points for about $110 to $130 (May 14) – Wyndham Rewards members can buy 5,000 points for $55 in a calendar year. Wyndham Rewards also offers 3,000 bonus points on your first stay and a minimum 1,000 points earning for any hotel stay in the new program. Earning 9,000 points for about $110 to $130 is fairly easy and those 9,000 points can easily save over $200 on three GoFast reward nights.

Meet the New Wyndham Rewards (May 2015 loyalty program relaunch)

One of the biggest hotel loyalty program developments of the past month is the restructured Wyndham Rewards hotel  loyalty program. The two primary changes are all hotel reward nights are 15,000 points per night, regardless if the hotel is a $40 average rate Super 8 in the middle of nowhere or a $500 per night weekend room at the Wyndham Santa Monica on the beach in Los Angeles. More useful for hotel discount savings are the new GoFast reward nights, a cash and points reward for 3,000 points + $25 to $95 per night. The GoFast rewards can be high value for points with savings in the $20 to $30 per night range easy to find. For me, the value of Wyndham Rewards points has changed from an average of about $6 to $9 per 1,000 points in the old program to $20 to $30 per 1,000 points with the new rewards choices.

Loyalty Traveler Research and 2015 News

Loyalty TravelerClub Carlson Visa eliminates bonus award night benefit June 1, 2015 (April 6)

Loyalty TravelerMy geographic lists for SPG hotel award category changes March 10, 2015

Loyalty TravelerMarriott Rewards March 19, 2015 hotel category changes are bad news.

Marriott also introduced a policy that points expire after two years of inactivity beginning January 1, 2016. This means you will lose your points earned before January 1, 2014 if you do not have any Marriott Rewards activity in your account between then and next January 1.

Loyalty TravelerMarriott Rewards points expire after two years of inactivity effective February 1, 2016

2015 sees expanded free internet access in Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott and Starwood Hotels. Pretty much every major hotel chain, even Hilton, now has a free internet access worldwide policy for loyalty members across more than a dozen hotel chains. Hilton free internet access for all HHonors members begins August 2015.

Loyalty Traveler – Hilton Free Wi-Fi for all HHonors members begins August 2015 (March 2, 2015)

Loyalty Traveler – Free Internet Rules for 2015 across major hotel brands (Feb 5, 2015)

2015 Cancellation Policy changes with Hilton, Marriott and Starwood.

The other major trend is a change in cancellation policies with Hilton, Marriott and Starwood announcing Day Before Arrival policies worldwide for hotel reservation cancellation without penalty. Hilton and Marriott require cancellation by 11:59pm day before arrival and Starwood requires 6pm day before arrival.

Global Airline Passenger Traffic Data 2014 (Dec 12, 2014) Europe and Asia have more airline traffic than North America.

Average rates for most and least expensive hotel chain brands in Q3 2014 (Dec 8, 2014)

Difficulty of getting IHG Best Price Guarantee claim approval for international hotels

Which Hotel Programs count award stays for elite membership?

Hyatt and Starwood brands average room rates compared (based on 2014 Q-1 average rates by brand)

Average Hotel Rates for Hilton and Marriott brands

Use Google Flights to find low cost routes around Europe

Finding low airfare routes with Skyscanner

Norwegian Air USA to Europe under $500 round trip August-September 2014 (July 24, 2014) Norwegian Air $89 checked bag fee OAK-Stockholm comes with assigned seat and meals

InterContinental Chicago O’Hare rebranded to Loews Chicago O’Hare and YouFirst Benefits (July 25, 2014)


For current airfare deals, see Loyalty Traveler’s Airfare Deals page.

Airfare deals are low economy prices to travel to airports of the world. I try and only publish airfares that tend to be in the lowest 25% available during the year based on the typical price for airline routes. The best deals in air travel generally are gone within 24 hours in the constantly changing gamble of actually buying an airline ticket that is essentially nonrefundable.


Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests.