Hotel Loyalty Cards

Hotel Loyalty Cards


A hotel loyalty card enables you to accrue points every time you check in and spend cash, mostly by staying over there for one or more nights. Every once in a while, you are in a position to redeem these points for a variety of reasons, which include: room upgrades, food discounts, car hire discounts among other benefits such as air miles. Simply, there are a lot of benefits.

Each chain of hotels offers a different kind of loyalty programs. Deciding the best for you starts with understanding where you travel most in the world and the types of hotels you stay in. After this, you can choose the benefits that suit you most.

Below is a review of the main players in the market:

Hyatt Gold Passport

Hyatt Gold Passport

Hyatt is one of the most rewarding hotel loyalty programs. Currently, they do not offer award categories and this translates to constant points across all the Hyatt Parks in Sydney, Tokyo, Paris, Maldives, Zurich and in the Grand Hyatt in New York City. When booking for award nights, Hyatt lets you confirm for 50 percent more that you would pay for a regular room (you have to stay for at least three nights). Starwood, which has the second best offers, charges double for a standard room. With only 6000 points, you get four nights in a suite when upgrading from the standard rooms while still paying the “Hyatt Daily Rate”. For this, Starwood may require 80,000 points.

Hyatt’s Diamond level is the topmost level and the best in suite upgrades and breakfast. You are guaranteed to full breakfast for about four guests registered at the hotel. Better still, the Chase Ultimate Rewards loyalty points can be transferred one-to-one with Hyatt. These points are earned from Ink Plus, Chase’s Sapphire Preferred and Ink Bond cards).

Starwood Preferred Guest

Starwood Preferred Guest

Starwood are the second best players in loyalty programs thanks to their executive hotels in Zurich, Bora Bora, Zurich, Rome and the Maldives. They own high-end properties and elegant hotels than any other players in the market. There system of ‘no capacity controls’ on award nights ensures that whenever a standard room is available, you can get it on points. Redeeming for the hotels rooms cost a high number of points while earning the points is slow. However, this is covered by the fact that you carry the most popular hotel program credit card, Starwood Preferred Guest American Express.

Hilton HHonours

Hilton HHonours

This is perhaps the best hotel loyalty program for travelers who do not stay in hotels long enough to earn points. By purchasing and paying the annual fee, $95, for the Citi Hilton Reserve card, you gain instant access to the benefits of the elite status. This means that you can instantly get upgrades, free internet and also full breakfast. The points were devalued in March 2013 and do not give you as much as they used to. However, they remain the best for those who stay for a short period, not enough to earn them the elite status. Their properties are scattered all over the world.

Marriott Rewards

Marriott Rewards

Marriott hotels are found everywhere. The hotels are simply ubiquitous and they have a reputation of consistency. Though they are doing some restructuring of their loyalty programs, they are not known for their generosity. To get to the elite status level, you need to have a threshold of 75 nights and worse still, you are not guaranteed late check-out as is the case with Hyatt and Starwood.

The hotel has introduced 7 days a week guaranteed breakfast but still the offer does not apply to their resorts and Courtyard properties.

IHG Rewards

IHG Rewards

This is the reward program for the Intercontinental, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and other related chains. Currently, it is commonly known as the Priority Club. The hotel offers great earnings for hotel stays but their failure is in offering an option to redeem more points when on reward stay to get a room upgrade. The elite members do not have many benefits like in other programs.

Managing Points

First and foremost, hotel loyalty cards are of two types; those that are free and those that attract a particular fee. Mostly, points are calculated based on the merit of how much one spends in one or more of the participating hotels. Some loyalty cards allow the points to be measured directly on the point-to-dollar ratio while others reward customers with a voucher equivalent to the value of standard points (for instance a voucher worth $50 for 2000 points and so on). The more money you spend, the more points you accrue and the more rewards you stand to receive.

Other hotels (InterContinental) provide a certificate and one-off discount that can be used within a year. Other loyalties such as the Priority Privilege programs can be limiting because they only allow members to access the discounts within specific areas and hotels within Australia and New Zealand.

Date posted: 21st April, 2015

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