by Vincent I. Porter
Hotel Loyalty Rewards Programmes
Much like airlines, hotel chains such as Starwood, Hyatt, Hilton, Best Western, and many others have created loyalty rewards programmes. While the hotel isn’t what’s getting you to your destination, it’s likely that you’ll be staying in one when you’re there. Hotels don’t give you miles, but rather they award you points for stays. Some will give you a fixed point number per night, per room category; others look at the dollar amount you spend on your room and allocate points based on your spend. In a way, these programmes are more complex and intricate than airline programmes that traditionally have awarded you points based on the distance flown; but even airlines are starting to change their point systems.
Hotels are present in a far more competitive environment. While there may only be one or two airlines serving the city you are travelling to; hotels are usually much more plentiful. Because of this, hotels have to do everything they can to get you to book their room. Often this means that the hotels will compete on price. If you are a member of their loyalty programme, and you have reached an elite tier, you will find that the benefits can be quite rewarding, even if you’ve booked the cheapest room.
Hotels like airlines will over-sell their rooms, which means that they will do what they can to fill every room. Now you may not have paid for the suite, but if the hotel can make the sale of a regular room they’re not going to let the room go empty just because they didn’t get full price for it. Being a top-tier elite member in their programme could mean that they decide to give you the suite as a reward.
So next time you are considering where to stay; look at your overall patterns and see what loyalty programme might be a good fit, and give you some very nice benefits for those nights spent away from home.