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Loyalty Program News / Hotel Loyalty Programs / Hotel News / Starwood Preferred Guests / Caesars Entertainment / Starwood Hotels / SPG / Total Rewards / → All Tags
Aside from redeeming and earning SPG points at the Westin Casaurina just off the Strip or at the Element Las Vegas way out in the Vegas burbs, there hasn't been much opportunity for Starwood Preferred Guests to make the most of their Vegas Vacation. Until now.
Yesterday, SPG and Caesars' Entertainment's players club program, Total Rewards, announced a new partnership that will give program members "the ability to both earn and redeem Starpoints and Reward Credits when staying at participating Starwood or Caesars Entertainment hotels."
This is tre similar to the sharing program launched over the summer by Hyatt Hotels and MGM Resorts. The SPG-Total Rewards program will officially launch on January 9 but you can sign up at spg.com/caesars or totalrewards.com/spg in the meantime.
The key word here though is "participating." Right now, about 1,100 Starwood properties are participating. That's most of Starwood's portfolio but it does leaves out about a few hundred hotels. Just FYI.
Below is the nitty gritty of what the program entails including point redemptions and the types of SPG Moments that you can purchase in Vegas. (HELLO, BRITNEY!!!)
As much as we love the idea of saving up loyalty points and redeeming them for free hotel stays, there's a couple of things that make that unrealistic. First of all, we'll never betroth ourselves to just one particular brand: when it comes to our hotels, we like to play the field. Secondly, it just takes too darn long to save up those points.
Preferred Hotel Group has now revamped their loyalty program, iPrefer, to do away with both of those problems and offer what Senior Vice President of Marketing, Casey Ueberroth, called at the program's New York launch "more of a gentle slope than a mountain climb" to rewards. The new program rewards travelers with points that can be exchanged for Reward Certificates redeemable like cash during stays at more than 450 one-of-a-kind participating hotels and resorts worldwide.It's a loyalty program for independent hotels.
Hotel WiFi / InterContinental Hotels Group / Hotel Loyalty Programs / Loyalty Program News / Hotel News / → All Tags
File this under Best News We've Heard All Year. InterContinental Hotels Group has just announced they'll begin offering FREE HOTEL WIFI to all its loyalty program members, regardless of tier status. Previously IHG didn't have any free WiFi exceptions, even for the uppermost members of their program, leaving IHG loyalists to choose from either Hotel Indigo or the Holiday Inn Express brands, which offer WiFi as a standard amenity.
The new perk is part of the massive overhaul IHG is doing to Priority Club Rewards which will soon be known as IHG Rewards Club when changes go into effect this July. And this is for every IHG hotel out there--more than 4,600 hotels in nearly 100 countries and territories.
IHG said the reason they decided to offer free WiFi to members was due to a recent survey they completed which said 43 percent of adults would choose not to stay in a hotel that charged for internet. Um. Yeah. We've been saying that for years. No matter, the change is real and it's happening.*
Starting in July, Elite members of the loyalty program will be the first to get free WiFi. Then beginning in 2014, all members will get free WiFi. The reason for the staggering is not immediately clear but we're gonna hold IHG to this no matter what. No take-backs allowed! Now, who else will copycat, and offer complimentary WiFi for loyalty program members? Starwood? Marriott? Hilton? Hyatt? We're waiting...
Hotel Loyalty Programs / Starwood Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Marriott Rewards / Starwood Preferred Guest / → All Tags
Marriott, Hilton, and Starwood Hotels have all made changes to their reward/loyalty programs as of late, and while there may be a silver lining here or there in terms of hotel participation and member benefits, the long and short of it is that your points won’t go as far. Here’s the down and dirty:
Citing pricing and popularity as the main motivations, Marriott rearranged its tier structure, moving 36% of its hotels into a higher point category while making only 1% less expensive. Marriott also created a new category for its 12 most popular properties, raising the cost of a night’s stay to 45,000 points from 40,000. These changes will go into effect on May 15th.
Changes are coming much earlier for Hilton on March 28th when it will add a 10th category for its top hotels and charge approximately 95,000 points per night. Stays during peak periods (i.e. the holidays) will see the harshest increases in point requirements, but Silver, Gold or Diamond elite status will enjoy a 5th night free when they book consecutive nights.
Hotel News / Starwood Preferred Guest / Hotel Loyalty Programs / Hotel Partnerships / Delta Airlines / → All Tags
A new partnership was announced this morning between Starwood and Delta Airlines, and it's a doozy. Starting March 1, SPG elite members will be eligible to earn one Starpoint for every dollar spent on a Delta flight—not to mention free checked bags, priority check-in, and priority boarding on eligible Delta flights for Platinum members.
And that's all in addition to the regular miles earned on flights. In other words, you're earning points before you even get to the hotel. Not a bad deal, eh?
Luckily, the partnership works both ways, so if you're a Delta Medallion member (which you actually have to be in order to participate in the program) who's staying at a Starwood hotel, then you automatically earn SkyMiles, as well as being entitled to late check-out and free WiFi (huzzah!).
The idea is to "provide elite members of both loyalty programs reciprocal benefits," and, as SPG Senior VP Chris Holdren states, "This partnership is the first of its kind. To have SPG Gold and Platinum members earning points on Delta flights is something that really hasn't been done before. You know that saying, 'A friend of yours is a friend of mine'? It kind of brings that idea to life."
For more info on Starwood's new "Crossover Rewards" partnership, read on!
Hotel Loyalty Programs / Hotel News / Hotel Restaurants / Loyalty Program News / Celebrity Chefs / → All Tags
We told you a few days ago that your 2013 goal should be to analyze your Hotel Loyalty Programs and for good reason. Everyone seems to be coming out the woodwork these days beefing up their perks. The newest is Starwood Preferred Guest’s Restaurant Week offer that has us giving New York's Restaurant Week and even the new dineLA a bit of pause.
Here's the deal, from now until February 10th, SPG members can enjoy a three-course prix-fixe lunch for $20.13 and dinner for $30.13 at about 75 participating restaurants in North America (although it's only two-courses in Hawaii properties--WUWT?).
And these are some pretty choice restaurants as well.
Take a look-see after the jump,
Hotel Loyalty Programs / Hotel News / Carlson Hotels / Loyalty Program News / Radisson Hotels / → All Tags
One thing we’re doing in 2013 is paying serious attention to the hotel loyalty programs we’ve signed up for over the years. It seems like we’re a member of damn near everything, given how easy it has been to register for most loyalty programs. Hey, if it means free minibar items (hey, Kimpton’s InTouch!) or WiFi (hola, Fairmont President’s Club?),then we’re ‘bout it.
However, there comes a time when we have to look at all our membership cards spilling out our travel wallet and ask the all-too-important question: What have you done for me, lately?
We just happened to be looking at our Club Carlson card, thinking we weren’t getting much out of our relationship, when we got news that Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, the company behind Radisson Blu, Radisson, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson, and Country Inns & Suites By Carlson, was launching the Club Carlson Triple Points Returns promotion. Members of the hotel’s rewards program would earn triple Gold Point for eligible nights through March 15, 2013.
We put the scissors down.
Being a rock star now has even more privileges.
The Hard Rock brand introduced its new loyalty program after the New Year, with members earning points for hotel stays and visits to Hard Rock cafes, shops, and casinos worldwide. You can register online or during your next visit to a Hard Rock franchise.
While the basic rewards program is free to join, there is a VIP option with an annual fee of $24.95 that comes with extra perks, such as earning points faster, priority seating at restaurants, and free hotel upgrades.
We're not sure how we feel about the concept of paying extra to be part of a rewards program -- it's a slippery slope -- but it's up to you. Which should you choose? We suppose it depends on how often you frequent Hard Rock businesses, and you can compare the specifics of both programs before you decide.
[Photos: Hard Rock]
We know you're hurting as the holiday bills start to roll in, but that doesn't mean you should sit on your wallet. Consider this article a gift from us, some extra justification for a winter getaway as January sets in and the pace of everyday life returns. We know you need a night out now more than ever.
Hilton HHonors launched a promotion yesterday that gives members double HHonors points or double airline miles for stays between January 7 and March 31, 2013. The participating brands are Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations.
We think this type of promotion provides the perfect excuse to plan a staycation. We're not suggesting you pony up for flights and the prices that come along with exotic destinations for the sake of a double miles kickback, but a modest weekend trip into the nearest city certainly makes sense. Notice the date range also includes Valentine's Day, so Hilton might be a good lodging option for those already planning a surprise overnight trip (hint, hint).
To earn the points, you must register before checking out of your stay at HHonors.com/Double. At that time, you'll be prompted to choose whether to earn double points or miles for the duration of the promotion, so be sure to think about it in the meantime as it appears to be one or the other.
[Photo:Hilton Hotels and Resorts]
Whether it's major hotel chains like Marriott or Hilton offering dedicated pride packages, a new booking site for on- (or off) -the-beaten path destinations, or even a "straight-friendly" hotel in NYC, the hotel industry is catering more and more these days to the lucrative gay travel market. But lucrative or not, we’re just happy to see a hotel (group) taking an inclusive stand.
Preferred has a dedicated website called “Preferred Pride”, with all listed hotels being either TAG-approved or a member of IGLTA, the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association. Each property, like North Carolina's divine Old Edwards Inn (pictured above), also stands for equality in its employment policies and services, and supports the LGBT community.
Hotel Booking SItes / Room 77 / Hotel Deals / Loyalty Program News / Hotel Loyalty Programs / → All Tags
We're doing our best to keep up with the ever-shifting landscape of hotel booking sites, but there's certainly been a lot to keep track of! The latest: Room 77, which made a name for itself by being able to match up guests with the exact room they want, is now allowing guests to earn loyalty points from bookings made through Room 77. In other words, you no longer have to choose between the convenience of window-shopping for hotel rooms and the satisfaction of using the hotel's loyalty program.
This harks back to a discussion topic we started in 2010 about whether it's possible to earn loyalty points for rooms gotten through blind booking sites like Hotwire and Priceline. The line was pretty blurry back then, as we're sure it still is now, but this looks like a sign that more hotels are giving in. What's more, all the friendly competition going on between the hotel booking sites right now means that guests are the ones who cash in. Who said we can't have our cake and earn points for eating it too?
Hotel Loyalty Programs / Loyalty Program News / Starwood Hotels / Starwood Preferred Guest / Starwood Ambassadors / Hotel Restaurants / Hotel Bars / → All Tags
Starwood just launched a brand new culinary program for SPG members that provides discounts at over 500 restaurants, bars and cafes, as well as other perks like online cooking classes taught by Starwood chefs. Just in time for the launch, Starwood built a brand new SPG Restaurants & Bars website, on which guests can type in the name of the city they're traveling to and find out what discounts they're eligible for.
But, as with any major points program, not all hotels are created equal. So we did a little digging to find out just which cities are offering the biggest bang for your buck.
Click below to find out which ones top our list!