Shangri-La Starts a 'Points for Charity' Effort, But Who Really Benefits?
With the holiday season just a month or so away (sorry to be the bearer of bad news), Shangri-La is giving members of its Golden Circle rewards program the opportunity to help out two Hong Kong based charities, Oxfam Hong Kong (which aids poverty and disaster relief) and MedArt (which brings care to those in long-term confinement, such as prisons, psychiatric institutions, hospices, homes for the elderly, etc).
For every 1,000 points given by a member, Golden Circle will donate $20 to one of the charities on the member’s behalf. The minimum donation starts at 2,000 points and can be increased by increments of 1,000 up until a maximum of 10,000, equivalent to a $200 cash donation. Members may donate by visiting the “Redeem Points” section on Golden Circle's website.
The donated points are forfeited from your account in exchange for the donation made by Golden Circle. How much these points are actually worth varies. For example, at a Shangri-La "collection A" hotel, a standard room is worth 1,000 points/night. At the highest tier of hotels, "collection G," a standard room is worth 20,000 points. So, a guest who donates 2,000 points sacrifices a two-night stay and the hotel donates $40 to charity.
Would it be a better option to just donate the $40 yourself? It would cost you less in reality while doing the same amount of good. It seems the hotel is really getting the better end of the deal here considering room rates at a collection A hotel, such as the one in Baotou, start at about $130/night, meaning Shangri-La is saving itself more money than it's donating.
But that's for you to decide - perhaps you'll feel twice as good knowing you're helping both the charity and the hotel by handing over your points.
[Photo: Conde Nast Traveler ]