Hotel Loyalty Programs

Hotel Loyalty Programs


There are an ever increasing variety of ways to book hotels and accommodation online. A simple search for a hotel may reveal a whole list of websites and agencies keen to make the booking. With increased transparency and many companies offering “Best Rate Guarantees” it is common to find the same property costing the same rate from all sources.

There are though major differences between booking direct with hotel chains and booking on other websites. Those who book direct will be able to participate in the hotel chain loyalty program. These all operate around the same structure. They offer both rewards based on hotel stays purchased, typically free nights or airline miles, and benefits for the member during a stay. These benefits typically improve the more you stay, with members receiving an “elite status” or tier level based on the number, or value, of their stays over the previous year. Using an agency website will not allow participation in these programs, but may offer their own form of rewards.

We explain here each of the major hotel chains’ loyalty program, highlighting the areas that are good and bad with each, and how they compare with each other. Recommendations are offered for who would benefit most, helping travellers to work out which schemes will be of most use to them.

It is generally useful for travellers to participate in a number of schemes, especially as most offer benefits just for signing up. Care should be taken to choose which are the best schemes to concentrate on for multiple stays, as the benefits of elite status vary widely. No matter which loyalty programs are used though, participation in the schemes run by agencies and booking websites is important too, as these will cover not only the branded chain hotels, but also many smaller independent hotels, inns and hostels around the world.

Hilton

Hampton Inn

Operation of program / description

Hilton operate one of the largest and best known hotel chains globally with brands including Hilton, Conrad, Waldorf Astoria, Doubletree, Garden Inn, Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites. The loyalty program is known as Hilton HHonors. Points are awarded for stays based on total spend, with 1 point for every 10$ of spend. Members can in addition earn airline miles with a variety of airlines with each stay, or trade these in for additional hotel points. These points can then be redeemed for free nights, with rates ranging from 5,000 up to 90,000 points per nights depending on location and season.

Obtaining higher status and its benefits

Hilton offers an increasing scale of silver, gold and diamond tier statues for regular customers. Silver adds a few useful benefits including a later checkout and a second guest free regardless of room rate, but the gold and diamond levels are very rewarding offering customers some of the best benefits of any of the hotel chains. Gold members will receive free breakfast and room upgrades on every stay. Diamond member can add to this access to the executive lounge and room upgrades, when available, including to larger suite rooms. These levels are reached after 30 nights are for gold and 60 nights for diamond.

Advantages

Hilton have an extensive collection of properties throughout the world, with over 4,300 hotels operating in 94 countries. Availability of rooms to book using reward points is generally very good, and if no rooms are available at standard rates there will often be options for members that want to use a higher number of points to book a room in a higher category.

Hilton are the only chain to allow members to earn both hotel points and airline miles simultaneously. They run regular promotions offering bonus points for hotel stays, and for air miles earned. To date, these have been offered throughout the majority of the year, and can often double the earnings rate. There are also occasional promotions to earn extra for weekend stays; good for the leisure traveller. Silver and above members also receive discount on reward night stays, with one night free when four are booked together.

Base membership come with a number of in-property benefits, including late checkout, and these are well recognised and always offered. Hilton are well known for respected membership of the program, and will often offer additional benefits.

Disadvantages

Compared to some other schemes, Hilton tend to have fewer properties at the lower end of the price / quality scale. In the United States they do have many such properties in lesser quality brands such as Hampton, Homewood Suites or Candlewood Suites, but outside the United States these are much fewer in number.

Redemption rates at the upper end of the scale are higher than with most other chains. In major business locations, there can be very high numbers of higher level members, making those upgraded rooms or suites much harder to get.Regular promotions can often have a large number of properties which choose not to participate; always read the terms and conditions fully.

Overall recommendation

For the very regular travel, Hilton offers one of the best schemes guaranteeing a number of benefits at the higher levels. The mid and upper tiers (gold and diamond) benefits are some of the best offered by any chain. For everyone though, the chance to earn both hotel points and airline miles can be very rewarding, particularly when taking advantage of the regular bonus promotions offered.For a medium to high volume traveller, and certainly for one who travels globally and prefers medium to high end hotels, this is probably the single best loyalty program.

Intercontinental Hotels Group

Holiday Inn Resort Phuket

Operation of program / description

Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) are one of the largest global hotel operators, with brands including Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Indigo Hotels. The loyalty programme is called IHG Rewards Club. Points are awarded for stays based on spend, at a rate of 10 points per $ (this is reduced at their budget end Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites properties to 5 points per $), and redemption rates then range from 10,000 to 50,000 points per night. Members can choose to earn airline miles instead of hotel points, but there is no option to mix both.

Obtaining higher status and its benefits

Based on number of points earned or nights stayed, member move up to gold and platinum levels. Gold offers late check out, bottled water and a newspaper. Platinum brings room upgrades. There are however no guaranteed benefits, such as included breakfast, that chains such as Hilton offer. The status is only really of use at the higher end properties such as Crowne Plaza and Intercontinental, where benefits such as room upgrades can be offered.

Advantages

IHG have a huge portfolio of hotels globally, and are expanding fast, particularly in Asia. They cater well to all budgets, ranging from high end Intercontinentalbrand hotels down to lower cost, but consistent quality, Holiday Inn Express properties. Recognition of membership is good, and small additional benefits, like restaurant discounts, or complimentary bar drinks, will often be offered to Rewards Club members.

There are also “Points Break” promotions each quarter, where a number of hotels globally are offered for the significantly reduced rate of 5,000 points per night. This can be some of the best point redemption options amongst all chains.

Disadvantages

There are no guaranteed tangible benefits for higher status members (no free breakfast, lounge access etc.). IHG tend to offer fewer promotions for earning bonus miles than other chains, meaning earning points can be slow.

Overall recommendation

The scheme is worth participating in, especially for the global traveller as the range of locations is extensive. For the mixed business and leisure traveller the scheme is good as well, as there are a range of brands for different needs and budgets. Regular redemption promotions mean even basic members can soon be earning free nights. For the regular traveller though, there is limited benefit in reaching the higher status levels, and such loyalty would be better rewarded with some of the other hotel schemes.

Club Carlson

Radisson Berlin

Operation of program / description

The Carlson group includes several brands of hotel such as Radisson, Radisson Blu, Park Plaza and Park Inn. The loyalty program is known as Club Carlson and members earn 20 points per $ spent, and reward nights are available from 9,000 points up to around 60,000 points. Most properties also offer rooms for a combination of points and cash, making it easier for less regular travellers to earn free nights.

Obtaining higher status and its benefits

Members progress through silver, gold and concierge status levels based on number of nights stayed. Benefits of gold status include room upgrades, but only the concierge level offers breakfast. One of the best benefits is the ability for gold and concierge member to book 2 nights for the price of 1 at hotels in Europe for stays at the weekend, although availability can be very limited.

Club Carlson also offer an easy status match offer for members who have high level status in any other major chain. Top level in other chains is typically matched to Club Carlson gold level for one year.

Advantages

This is one of the more rewarding programs, members tend to earn reward nights quicker than with other schemes. They also offer room redemptions using a combination of points and cash, making it easier and faster to redeem. Hotel coverage in Europe in particularly good, and the free night offer for gold members there can be very generous.

Disadvantages

Club Carlson run regular promotions for bonus points (often double or triple points for stays), but these tend to be region specific and short in duration. To take advantages of them, you need to keep up to date. In property benefits at the higher levels are lacking compared to other chains. Properties are very limited in certain parts of the world, e.g. Asia and South America.

Overall recommendation

With faster earning of reward nights than other schemes this is a good program to participate in for the less frequent traveller, particularly in Europe or the United States. Limited coverage in some parts of the world though make it less useful for the regular traveller, and there is also limited benefit in aiming for the higher status levels.

The free night offer for gold members in Europe however can be very beneficial for leisure travellers based in Europe, and for those in that situation this would be a good program to aim for gold or higher membership (no other program has such an offer as standard).

Accor Hotels

Novotel Moscow City

Operation of program / description

Accor operate a wide variety of hotels under a range of brands including Ibis, Novotel, Mercure and Sofitel. The loyalty programme is known as Le Club. Points are awarded based on spend, with 2 points per Euro being offered at most properties, and half this at the budget focussed Ibis brands. Unusually amongst hotel programmes, points are used directly as cash discount on future purchases, with 2000 points giving a 40 Euro discount.

Obtaining higher status and its benefits

Members progress through silver, gold and platinum level based on points earned or number of nights stayed. Silver level is earned in 10 nights and offers free internet in all hotels, late checkout and welcome drinks. Gold adds room upgrades, and platinum adds early check in and access to executive lounges in the higher brand properties. Status is easy to earn with regular promotions and elite benefits are reliably offered, although other chains may offer better benefits for top level members.

Advantages

Accor have a good range of levels of properties, including luxury options with Sofitel and reliable 4 star options with Pullman and Mercure. They are especially interesting for their budget properties in the Ibis, Ibis styles and Ibis budget ranges. These can sometimes be very economical options to stay, but still offer the quality and reliability of a strong brand backing, and allow earning of reward points to redeem for more luxurious properties.

Geographical coverage is very strong in Europe and they are growing in Asia. They run regular sales offering good discount on the purchase price of rooms, as well as regular (often region specific) promotions to earn bonus points.

Disadvantages

Accor have much more limited coverage outside Europe and Asia than most of the other hotel schemes. The numbers and choices at the upper end is quite limited as well.

Accor is one of the easiest chains to earn status with as they offer regular point promotions that count towards earning status. A member desiring status can easily obtain it if they look out for such promotions as they come up. Accor also offer a “status match” option where they will gift higher level status to those whose have it with other hotel programmes.

Overall recommendation

The scheme is highly recommended for those travelling in Europe or Asia. Very limited coverage in the Americas mean it is probably best for travellers there to concentrate elsewhere. They are also one of the strongest programmes at the budget end, with Ibis brand properties in most cities they operate in.

With a simple redemption method based on value of points the scheme is very easy to understand and reliable to use. This will appeal to many members.

Marriott

JW Marriott Marquis Dubai

Operation of program / description

Marriott operate one of the most established hotel chains globally. The flagship Marriott brand is joined by high end Ritz Carlton and JW Marriott hotels, and lower quality options including Renaissance, Courtyard, Fairfield Inns, Townplace Suites and Protea hotels. The loyalty programme is known as Marriott Rewards and stays are rewarded at a rate of 10 points per $ at all brands except Residence Inn and Townplace Suites (mainly United States only midscale brands) which award at a rate of 5 points per $. There is an option to earn airline miles with many major airlines as an alternative to hotel points (generally at a lower value than earning hotel points). Rewards points are redeemed for hotel nights based on category of hotel, ranging from 7,500 to 40,000 points per night. Free internet is offered at the basic entry level (just for signing up to the program).

Obtaining higher status and its benefits

Members progress through silver, gold and platinum levels based on number of nights stayed. Silver is reached in just 10 nights and offers late checkout and discount offers. Gold at 50 nights offers room upgrades, lounge access and breakfast at most of the higher end properties. Platinum at 75 nights only adds a reservation guarantee (48 hours) and an arrival gift.

Marriott also have a “fast track” offer where you can reach elite status within a fewer number of stays over a concentrated period of a few months. This can be a good way for the new traveller with many hotel stays planned to quickly reach status.  And for those that fail to requalify due to lower stays in one year, they offer a program to buyback status for cash.

Advantages

Marriott have good global coverage, though there is a strong focus on the United States. They offer a variety of brand covering high end, moderate and budget stays. With the addition of Protea hotels in Africa, Marriott now offer one of the best ranges of properties for travellers in that continent. They are consistently rated highly for their quality of customer service, and ability to deal with issues by email quickly.

Disadvantages

Whilst they do have global presence, coverage is more limited outside the Americas and other hotel chains perform better. Whilst they have a presence in most major locations globally, they often lack a range of options that other chains may provide. The options at the lower, budget in particular are more limited.

The benefits of higher level status are good, but qualification criteria are high. 75 nights to reach the top level of platinum is one of the highest of any hotel program, and there is very little differentiation between gold and platinum in terms of guaranteed benefits.

Promotions to earn bonus points or to redeem for fewer points are less regular than with some other chains, but they do sometimes have good global promotions such as their “MegaBonus” offers which gives one night (at a lower brand property) free when you stay two times at any property.

Overall recommendation

With a focus on major cities, and higher end properties globally, this scheme is better for the business traveller than the leisure traveller. This is supported by the high requirements to reach and to maintain top level status. The benefits though for those with such high volumes of use are some of the best of any programme, and recognition of such elite status by hotels is generally very good.

For the less regular traveller, it is still a scheme worth joining for its entry level benefit of free internet. Less regular promotions to earn or redeem points though mean it can take more time to earn free nights.

Best Western

Best Western Hotel Universo

Operation of program / description

Best Western operate a portfolio of just over 4,000 hotels under the brands Best Western, Best Western Plus and Best Western Premier. Over half of these hotels are in the United States. The loyalty program, Best Western Rewards, awards points based on the stay value, at a rate of 10 points per $. Free night awards range from 8,000 to 36,000 points.

Obtaining higher status and its benefits

Compared with other chains, higher status levels are easier to obtain with Best Western. Members progress to goldelite level after 10 nights, platinumelite after 15 nights and diamondelite after 30 nights. Gold elite level only adds a small bonus to earned points, whilst platinum and diamond levels room upgrades and welcome drinks or snacks at hotels.Best Western also offer an instant “status match” for members holding elite status with other major chains.

Advantages

Coverage of hotels in the United States is very good, and properties are often found in smaller towns where the larger hotels do not have a presence. The budget focus of the chain will appeal to some. As well as redeeming reward points for hotel stays, there are many options to exchange for airline miles or for store vouchers; good for less frequent hotel users.

Disadvantages

Benefits from the elite levels are limited when compared to other chains. Both recognition of status at the hotels and the service received from customer support can be bad.Compared to other chains, few promotions are run to earn additional points, and those that are tend to be not very rewarding.

Overall recommendation

Just as Best Western hotels are seen as more of a budget option, so the loyalty program as well operates much as a lower budget option. Benefits at the higher level are limited, and customer service is notably lacking compared with most of the other hotel chains. Nevertheless, this remains a useful program for the more budget focussed business or leisure traveller; particularly those based in the United States.

Hyatt

Grand Hyatt Dubai

Operation of program / description

Hyatt operate around 600 hotels globally, but with around 400 of these in the United States, with main brands of Hyatt, Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Place and Hyatt House. The loyalty program is known as Hyatt Gold Passport. Members receive 5 points per $ spent, and redemptions for free nights range 5,000 to 30,000 points per night.

Obtaining higher status and its benefits

Platinum status is awarded after 5 stays or 15 nights and diamond after 25 stays or 50 nights. Platinum offers minor benefits such as bonus points, faster internet (base level internet is free for all) and same category “best available” room. Diamond offers much stronger benefits including late checkout, room upgrades, executive lounge access and food/drink amenity. Diamond members also receive 4 free stay upgrades to suite room per year.

Advantages

For the casual traveller, Hyatt is a strong brand and offers a good opportunity to earn and redeem reward points. Redemption rates at most locations are reasonably priced and availability of rooms tends to be good. The real advantages though come for the top level diamond members. The guaranteed benefits offered here are some of the best of any hotel program, and Hyatt are the only chain to offer guaranteed suite upgrades (all other program upgrades are based on availability at time of arrival); this can be very beneficial, especially for longer stays or leisure stays.

Disadvantages

One of the major disadvantages of the Hyatt program is the limited number of properties. This is one of the smallest chains, with a strong focus on the United States market. There are properties in major cities globally, but options are limited (there are for example only 3 properties in the UK, where most other chains have an extensive presence). Properties are also focused at the upper end of the quality scale, with no real moderate or budget brands. The loyalty program too offers few benefits except at the top level. Hyatt also tend to run fewer promotions to earn bonus points than many of the other programs, and there is no offer or discount offered for reward stays.

Overall recommendation

For the frequent traveller in the United States or major cities overseas where Hyatt are located the rewards program can  be good. At the top level, it offers some of the best benefits of any. For the more global, or the leisure traveller, however the lack of options both in global locations and in range of brand quality mean this is not likely to be a worthwhile program. The rewards program too only works for the most frequent travellers, with weak low and mid-tier benefits.

Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels

Operation of program / description

Choice hotels operate a lower end focussed chain of properties including the brands Comfort Inn, Quality Inn, Sleep Inn, Clarion and Rodeway Inn. They have a global presence, though are traditionally focussed on the United States. The loyalty program is Choice Privileges, and members earn 10 points per $ at all but the lowest brands, which award 5 points per $. Basic membership of the program gives complimentary internet access and a late checkout.

Obtaining higher status and its benefits

Gold status is awarded after 10 nights and platinum after 20 nights. These offer small bonuses on points earned but no other real benefits. Diamond at 40 nights adds space available room upgrades at properties which can offer this.

Advantages

There are often quite generous, but small scale, offers such as a free night after two stays, but few opportunities to earn bonus points or redeem for fewer points. In many locations (extensively in the United States, and many others countries including several in Europe and Japan, India and China in Asia) they often have good options of small, budget focussed properties in city centre locations. The free benefits of basic membership are good.

Disadvantages

The budget focus will put many off this program. One of the advantages of the larger chains is the ability to earn points for cheaper / mid-range stays and redeem for free nights at the more luxurious properties. The loyalty program too offers few benefits for higher level members, along with relatively high requirements for the top level.

Overall recommendation

For the budget or leisure traveller who is travelling significantly in the United States, or one of the other countries with a number of Choice properties, this can be a sensible program. The ability to earn and redeem points at these lower end properties can be useful. The loyalty scheme though makes little sense, with only the top level offering a tangible room upgrade benefit, and many of the properties have limited opportunities for such upgrades in any case (budget properties do not tend to offer a wide range of upper end room types, only similar standard rooms).

Starwood Hotels

Westin

Operation of program / description

Starwood operate a diverse, global range of hotels under brands including Sheraton, Westin, Le Meridien, St Regis, W Hotels, Four Points and Element. This is a medium sized chain containing around 1000 hotels in 93 countries. The loyalty program in known as Starwood Preferred Guest. Points are awarded at a rate of 2 points per $ spent, and free night redemptions range from 3,000 to 35,000 points. Some hotels also offer the opportunity to redeem for less points and some cash. There is also the option to convert points to around 30 major airline programs (most at a rate of 1:1).

Obtaining higher status and its benefits

Gold status is awarded after 10 stays and platinum after 25 stays. Gold offers a late checkout and upgrade within the same category, and platinum offers upgrades, free continental breakfast and lounge access where available. For the very regular traveller, additional benefits are offered. 10 suite upgrades are given after 50 nights stayed, and double points after 75 nights.Basic members (no status) receive the useful benefits of free internet and a later checkout.

Advantages

Redemption rates at the lower end are low compared to other programs, making this a good scheme to redeem for the budget focussed leisure traveller. Recognition at the upper levels is good. There are regular promotions for bonus points, but often a large number of properties choose not to participate in these.

Disadvantages

Earning and redemption rates are typically poorer than with many other programs, meaning less free nights. Status benefits are not good except at the top level of platinum. There are many global locations with little or no coverage. Over half of properties are located in the United States, and coverage outside there is skewed towards the luxury end.

Overall recommendation

Starwood offer some of the best benefits for the frequent and very frequent traveller. For those staying 50-100 nights this is likely the best scheme available. It is let down though by its lesser coverage outside the United States than other programs, but for those who travel regularly in the United States or where there are Starwood properties, it is a great scheme. The valuable benefits offered for a basic member, and the good value free night redemptions possible at the lower end make it worthwhile for others too.

Wyndham hotels

Ramada Jumeirah Hotel

Operation of program / description

Wyndham hotels comprises a large group of lower priced brands, including Days Inn, Howard Johnson, Ramada, Baymont Inns, Super, Travelodge and Super 8 hotels. The loyalty program, Wyndham Rewards, offers 10 points per $ spent, and free nights range from 5,500 to 50,000 points.

Obtaining higher status and its benefits

Members obtain gold status after 20 nights. This offers enhanced points earning and priority customer service and attention at hotels, but no in-property benefits such as offered by other chains.

Advantages

This is the largest single hotel chain, with 7,000 properties in 50 countries. This obviously brings good opportunities for regular stays to earn free nights. Free night redemptions at the lower end are very good value. Points can also be converted to airline miles with a number of major airlines for those that do not want free hotel nights.

Disadvantages

Coverage is some areas is very limited, with many countries outside the Americas with no properties. There are no luxury brands and the majority of the brands focus at the budget end, making it not possible to redeem points at more expensive or luxurious properties. There are many properties which choose to not participate in promotions, and some that do not participate in the rewards program at all (especially outside the United States). Members need to check this carefully. There is very little recognition for regular customers and no in property benefits.

Overall recommendation

For the budget focussed traveller this is a good scheme to focus on to earn and redeem points. There are often many choices of properties in locations where they operate. In major markets, such as the United States and China, they are also found in many smaller towns as well as the major cities. The absence though of any real elite scheme or benefits for regular customers mean other chains may be more attractive for the frequent traveller.

Fairmont hotels

Fairmont Dubai

Operation of program / description

Fairmont operate a high end focussed portfolio of hotels across 19 countries. The loyalty program in known as Fairmont Presidents Club. Unlike other programs, benefits are based on status and no reward points are offered. Members do though receive 500 airline miles per stay, with a number of major airlines.

Obtaining higher status and its benefits

Members reach premier status after 10 nights and platinum status after 30 nights. There are no points earned as is typical with most other chains. Members earn some air miles per stay but the focus of the program is on elite benefits. Premier members receive a third night free when booking two nights, one standard and one suite room upgrade, bonus miles earned and discounted golf services. Platinum level adds two more upgrades, early arrival and late checkout, turndown service and 100% bonus miles. All members receive free internet, health club access and shoe shining service. In addition, platinum members are rewarded with a free night stay after 40 nights, and one further night for each additional 10 nights stayed.

Advantages

High end (platinum) benefits are very good. There is still no guaranteed benefits like breakfast, lounges or unlimited upgrades, but members are generally treated very well, and the ability to earn free nights at this level is good. For those wanting luxury options, Fairmont offer a reliable, highly respected, chain of properties.

Disadvantages

Clearly, this is a high end scheme focussed on a relatively small number of countries. For some this will appeal, but for many there will be little benefit in achieving status as options are so limited. Fairmont also do not run as many, or as generous, promotions as other chains.

Overall recommendation

For the regular traveller wanting high end accommodation in specific locations, the Fairmont program is one of the best around. It has a strong reputation of recognising and rewarding regular customers, and benefits and free nights offered are very generous once platinum status is reached. For those wanting more variety in brands or locations though, there is little benefit.

Websites / Agency sellers

There are several websites and travel agency sellers which offer some form of loyalty scheme. Unlike the hotel chain schemes themselves, these cannot offer benefits during a stay at a hotel, but instead focus on discounts or free nights for regular customers.

In general it can be a good idea to have a preferred one of these schemes as well as membership or status with some of the specific hotel loyalty programs. There are of course many hotels which are not members of international chains, and this can be a convenient and rewarding way to book such places. This is particularly true outside of North America and Europe.

There are a number of such major booking agencies and websites that do have some form of loyalty program. The selection below are some of the best global sites, which offer some form of benefit to the regular customer.

Hotels.com

Hotelscom

Hotels.com is one of the most rewarding of the online booking websites. Members get a free night stay with every 10 purchased nights, based on the average of the nightly rate paid.

Global coverage is good, but often does not include as many cheaper / low-end properties as other sites. It is beneficial to check more than one site for the best options and prices. Pre-payment at time of booking is normally taken (though bookings are often still cancellable afterwards), meaning that any credit card or PayPal can be used for payment. Paying at the hotel, this is often not possible.

Hotels.com also offer a simple form of elite status for members, with silver status being awarded after 10 nights booked and gold status after 30 nights. There are no hotel benefits offered with this however, nor any increased earning. Members are given priority treatment, guarantees and advance participation in sales.

Booking.com

Booking.com has one of the most extensive ranges of hotels amongst the booking websites. In particular it includes cheaper hotels, bed and breakfast properties and hostels that many of the other sites exclude.

Booking.com has a very limited form of loyalty program. After several stays (amount is not defined but members will be contacted) members are given “genius” status which can offer small additional discounts at some hotels, and some additional benefits such as free internet or breakfast. These are clearly marked when searching hotel options. There are no rewards points or free nights offered however.

Agoda.com

Agoda.com is another website offering a wide range of independent and chain hotels globally. They are noteworthy for having enhanced ranges of hotels in Asia where they operate a number of partnerships with local agencies. They offer a simple rewards scheme, where members earn reward points for booking. These can then be used for discounts off future prices, typically working out at about a 4% rebate. Note though that points expire at the end of the year they are earned, and you much reach a minimum level to redeem.

Agoda also offer preferential customer service and access to sale for regular customers, but no increased rewards earning.

Expedia.com

Expedia offer another extensive booking system. Global coverage is good, with a number of partnerships, but they often tend to have fewerlower cost properties than sites such as booking.com and agoda.com. They offer a rewards program which gives 1 point per 2$ spent on hotels. These can be used for future discounts at a rate of $25 for 3500 points. After 7 nights members receive silver status and after 14 nights, gold status. These offer preferential service and also a small bonus on points earned, but still the program is less rewarding than hotels.com or agoda.com. Expedia have another advantage however over the previously listed hotel only booking sites. They also allow the booking of flights, which can also earn rewards points (at a rate of 1 point per 5$ spent).

Date posted: 16th April, 2015

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