Hotel Loyalty Programmes

Loyalty and rewards programs have become popular in today’s society. Since Green Shields stamps created their loyalty programme back in 1958, consumers have been increasingly looking for quality, value as well as loyalty to their chosen brands. In 1981 we saw the birth of one of the most well-known travel loyalty programs with American Airline's launching their Frequent Flier programme.

Since then, airline frequent flyer programmes have become extremely well-received due to the allure of their most popular awards of free flights. Although these rewards programmes will continue to be popular consumers are also looking for loyalty with their chosen hotel brands across the world. Over the years, hotels chains have been improving their reward programmes and benefits and awards are now more plentiful with high rewards for loyal customers.

Most large hotel chains now offer loyalty programmes. The hotels to participate in are those that suit your tastes, budget and travel patterns. Do you spend more per room night and stay in upmarket hotel earning a higher reward or save money by spending less and stay in a more budget hotel receiving fewer loyalty points?

Unlike most airline frequent flyer programmes, which offers frequent flyer miles, the value of a hotel “point” varies. For example, choose a Best Western and you will earn 10 points for each $1.00 USD spent on the nightly rate whereas a Sheraton, will earn you just 2 points per $1.00 USD spent but this includes the full hotel bill, which covers any food or beverage costs.

Also, when redeeming points the Best Western offers free nights from 8,000 rewards points, while Starwood’s Preferred Guest programme divides its broad range of hotels brands into seven categories, with a free room ranging from as little as 3,000 Starpoints for category one to 35,000 for category seven. When it comes to redemptions, some programmes proclaim to have “no blackout dates”, which may be true. But then they impose “capacity controls” on free rooms (usually during peak travel periods), which effectively block access to available rooms.

Best Western Rewards

Earn 10 points for every €1 on the room rate booked or earn Airline Miles with between 250-600 miles earned per stay depending on the chosen destination. Rewards are not earned on meals or extras. Rewards can be redeemed for shopping vouchers, days out, dining vouchers or free nights.

Accor Le Club

This hotel group cores brands are Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure, Pullman, MGALLERY, Grand Mercure, Suite Novotel, The Sedel, Mama Shelter, Adagio, Adagio Access, IBIS (or Thalassa Sea & Spa) IBIS Styles, IBIS Budget & Hotel F1. Their ‘Le Club’ loyalty scheme has four status tiers – Classic, Silver, Gold & Platinum. The rewards vary depending on the level of member access to private sales to room upgrade, guaranteed room availability (if booked at least 3 days in advance and executive lounge access. There are some hotels within their chain that are exempt from the rewards programme and details of these at listed on their website.

Hilton Rewards

Earn 10 Hilton HHonors Base Points for every eligible €10 spent on your room at Hilton Hotel & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotel & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy By Hilton, Curio by Hilton, Doubletree By Hilton, Tapestry Collection By Hilton, Embassy Suites By Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton By Hilton, Tru By Hilton, Homewood Suites By Hilton, Home2 Suites By Hilton or Hilton Grand Vacations. Unlike the Best Western Group, Base Points can be earned on other room charges like telephone calls or room service. However, the number of Base Points differs from brand to brand.

You can move up tiers of Member, Silver, Gold and Diamond. Rewards can vary from discounted rates, Spa Treatments, Experiences like concerts and excursions to free nights or points can be donated to charity.

IHG Rewards

IHG’s main loyalty programme is called “Rewards Club”. Rewards Club has four status tiers - Club, Gold, Platinum, and Spire. Status can be gained either through the number of nights you stay, or the number of points you earn (the number of qualifying points you earn generally depends on how much you spend). IHG® Rewards Club members – who are also members of a partner airline frequent-flyer club – may choose to earn miles instead of points for every qualifying stay. Mileage earning rates may vary per airline. You can earn 10 points per $1 USD booked with Intercontinental Hotel and Resorts, Hualuxe Hotel & Resorts, Crowne Plaza Hotel & Resorts, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn Resorts & Holiday Inn Vacations. 5 points for every $1 USD is awarded for stays at Staybridge Suites & Candlewood Suites. Points can be redeemed for late check outs and free unlimited access to a free upgrade and a 50% bonus. Points can also be used to purchase a variety of branded items from their IHG Rewards Club website. Items include a Dyson Hairdryer, Apple Smart Watch and Mountain bikes.

Marriott Rewards

Marriott’s award-winning rewards programme offers 10 points per $1 USD across their brands with exception of Residence Inn Marriott & Towneplace Suite Marriott, which offers 5 points per $1 USD spent. Points can also be earnt with purchases made with their Rewards partners HERTZ, Diners Club International and others. You can choose to collect Air miles of up to 2 miles per $1 USD if preferred. Just some of the options points can be redeemed for are; free nights, upgrades, sports, lifestyle & entertainment experiences, car hire, travel, shopping & charities.

Starwood Rewards

Starwood Preferred Guest Programme (SPG) offers guests the opportunity to earn points on their stays in up to 1500 hotels within the group. The brands within this group are; Sheraton, Westin, St Regis, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, Le Meridian, Design Hotels, Tribute Portfolio, Element, aloft & Four Points. You can earn 2 Starpoints per $1 USD spent. Gold and platinum preferred guests receive 3 Starpoints per $1 USD spent. Points are also awarded on food and beverages as well as purchases through their Starwood partners. Once Gold or Platinum status is achieved members’ keep this status for life. Gold members can still increase their status to Platinum. Benefits of the SPG Club include free nights, upgrades, 5th night free, sporting and other lifestyle events and experiences, flights and car rental. A good travel management company will ensure you receive the most competitive price whilst at the same time ensuring you receive the relevant reward at your chosen hotel. Booking Partners can sign their clients up for Rewards or add to existing rewards to their hotel reservation at the time of booking. Just notify us of your existing member number when discussing your requirements.

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