Hotel Loyalty Programs and Perks
Did You Know?
In my current position, I travel quite a bit, averaging 150+ nights in a hotel each year. Given this travel schedule, I gradually signed up for just about every hotel loyalty program available. The reason in most cases was simple as signing up meant you get free WIFI at the hotel. That may have changed as technology has advanced, but if you travel a lot for work there are a lot of benefits to be had from joining a loyalty program. Below are a few programs that I have enjoyed, that might be of interest.
When traveling extensively, it is common to settle on a preferred brand of hotel based on amenities or consistency in just getting a good night’s sleep on the road. Based on my experience, Marriott International Inc. (Tii:MAR) has been my go-to brand as I often travel to large metropolitan areas as well as smaller cities. Their breadth of hotel availability and generous loyalty program keeps me coming back. Marriott is a large-cap hotel operator with a myriad of brands from the namesake Marriott to luxury brands like the St. Regis and Ritz Carlton, to value priced brands like Fairfield or Residence Inn. The Marriott Bonvoy program offers points for stays, and elevated benefits the more you stay, including bonus points, free welcome amenities, VIP experiences and dedicated customer service. This program also offers the opportunity for lifetime benefits based on having years of elite status and total nights stayed, which have added even more benefits for myself and my family the past several years. In fact, we embarked on a family trip to Paris recently and had our hotel stay and a few experiences covered by loyalty points while we were there.
InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (Tii:IHG) is another large-cap hotel chain and parent company of InterContinental Hotels, as well as a stable of brands that many may find familiar, such as Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and recently acquired Kimpton. In addition to points for hotel stays and free WIFI, as you stay more frequently and increase your status in the IHG Rewards Club, you earn more benefits, such as bonus points for stays to free snacks or cocktails at the bar. Like many programs, you can use the points you accumulate for free or discounted stays.
Last, but not least, Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (Tii:HLT) is a holding company that includes the namesake Hilton brand as well as luxury brands like the Waldorf Astoria to more value oriented brands like Embassy Suites, DoubleTree and Hampton Inn. The Hilton Honors program like many others offers points on stays and free WIFI, and increasing benefits the more you stay, including bonus points, free breakfast or even access to the executive lounge at specific hotels. With more than 570 locations across six continents, it's no wonder why the chain is a popular destination for both business travelers and tourists alike.
The next time you plan a trip away from home for business or pleasure, consider all the benefits that you might enjoy through the rewards programs offered by a variety of hotel chains.