HotelChatter Annual WiFi Report 2013: Loyalty Programs
LOYALTY PROGRAMS: It pays to be a loyal member of a particular hotel brand. You can earn points, use points, get late checkouts and upgrades to the suites. But now there's another reason to join a hotel's loyalty program--free WiFi. Most programs don't even require a minimum stay to get his perk. Others do ask that you spend 15 nights or more with them. See who you'd rather sleep with for free WIFi below.
Always Free, For Members
· Carlson Rezidor Hotels: The Club Carlson loyalty program offers complimentary internet to all its members and is free to join.
· Kimpton Hotels: Simply become a member of their Kimpton InTouch loyalty program and you're on your way to free internet.
· JDV Hotels: The majority of Joie de Vivre's properties offer free WiFi in the public areas and guestrooms. But for the few holdouts that still charge, all members of the Joy of Life Club (JDV's loyalty program) get complimentary internet access, regardless of status level.
· Omni Hotels: Most Omni properties charge a fee for WiFi access; however, signing up for the Omni Select Guest loyalty program which is free to do earns you complimentary WiFi at all levels.
· Fairmont Hotels: There is a fee for internet in guestrooms, but if you are a member of the Fairmont President's Club (membership is free) you can get complimentary internet access during your stay.
· Loews Hotels: Most Loews hotels have it free in their lobbies but it becomes free in-room for members of their YouFirst loyalty program which only requires one stay (so essentially your first time at a Loews you qualify for the free WiFi.)
· Swissotels: With the revamped Swissotel loyalty program, Swissotel Circle, the program now gives members complimentary internet (although some Swissotels offer it free anyways.)
· Wyndham Hotels: Wyndham's ByRequest program is free to join and offers complimentary internet to members.
Always Free, For Elite Members
· IHG: Recently, the IHG Priority Club announced that starting in July, their elite members will receive free WiFi at any IHG property in the world. (They will also change the program name to IHG Rewards Club.) The benefit will be extended to all members come 2014. The Gold Elite level requires 15-49 eligible nights a year while the Platinum Elite level requires over 50 eligible nights a year.
· Hilton Hotels: Hilton offers free WiFi for Gold and Diamond members of their HHonors loyalty program. It take 36 nights to achieve Gold level.
· Hyatt Hotels: Hyatt offers free WiFi for Platinum and Diamond members of the Hyatt Gold Passport program. The Platinum level requires 15 eligible nights in a calendar year. Diamond requires 25 nights.*
· Marriott Hotels: For the Marriott brands that don't offer free WiFi in the rooms, the Gold and Platinum levels of the Marriott Rewards program can sign on for free. But it takes 50 nights to achieve Gold status. (Gold and Platinum members of Ritz-Carlton Rewards also get free internet access.)
· Starwood Hotels: Starwood Preferred Guests loyalty program offers Platinum members free WiFi at all Starwood Hotels. Platinum level takes 50 nights to reach. Gold members can now get free WiFi as one of three options at check-in. The other two are bonus Starpoints or a free drink at the bar. Gold level takes 10 nights to reach.
*There are other ways to reach the elite levels of these loyalty programs from signing up for credit cards to participating in different promotions throughout the year. We've chosen just to represent the amount of nights you would have to stay in the brands' hotels to break into the upper echelon.
Have you logged on in a hotel recently? Let us know your Best and Worst Hotel WiFi Experiences Here.