Tag: Loyalty Program News

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Shangri-La Starts a 'Points for Charity' Effort, But Who Really Benefits?

October 22, 2013 at 10:07 AM | by | Comment (1)

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.

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Got a Problem with Your Hotel Reservation? FaceTime With Starwood About It

September 19, 2013 at 9:34 AM | by | Comments (0)

Cannily timed to coincide with the launch of iOS 7 on Wednesday, Starwood has launched an all new iPad app aimed at members of its loyalty program, Starwood Preferred Guest.

The new app, which was built from scratch to run on the iOS 7, was created in response to a massive increase in mobile traffic for Starwood, and launched simultaneously in Chinese.

The company has optimized more than 50,000 images of their properties for iPad retina display, with the result that scrolling through the app is just like flipping through your favorite glossy travel magazine, except that you can make a reservation without leaving the app -- and with just one click, if you've preloaded your information.

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Does Your Loyalty Program Let You DJ a Nightclub? Hyatt's Gold Passport Will, Thanks to M life

August 8, 2013 at 5:16 PM | by | Comments (0)

Last month we were stoked to hear that Hyatt Hotels would be teaming up with MGM Resorts for a loyalty program partnership that would allow MGM's M life members to earn points at Hyatt Hotels (including Park Hyatt and Andaz Hotels) and for Hyatt's Gold Passport members to earn points at MGM properties, not just in Vegas but also the MGM Grand Detroit and starting in 2014, the Beau Rivage and Gold Strike Tunica in Mississippi.

But you can do so much more than earn points and tier credits. As a Hyatt Gold Passport member, you can use your Hyatt status to get access to some of these kickass M life Moments like selecting the Bellagio fountain songs, scuba diving in The Mirage aquarium, DJ-ing the Coast Nightclub at Beau Rivage or getting a private show from the male dancers of Thunder from Down Under. (Guess which one we'd pick?)

However, as with all loyalty programs and promotions, there's a lot of fine print to wade through. M life has set up a pretty comprehensive FAQ section (under Preferred Partners) but here are some of the major things to know:

1. Be a Member of Both Programs to Earn Tier Credits or Points. To earn Hyatt Gold Passport points at MGM properties and vice versa, you have to be a member of both Gold Passport and M life. At check-in at an MGM Resort, you need to tell the front desk that you would like to earn Hyatt points, in addition to M life tier credits. You also have to add both your M life and Hyatt Gold Passport numbers to your reservation. At check-in at a Hyatt Hotel, you must specify which program you would like to earn towards. In order to earn M life Tier Credits, again you must also be a member of both programs, add both numbers to your reservation, and advise the Front Desk you wish to earn Tier Credits.

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Today's The Day: The New IHG Rewards Club Is Here

July 1, 2013 at 10:33 AM | by | Comments (0)

Back in March, we were psyched to hear that InterContinental Hotel Group would be making major changes to their loyalty program, starting with a name change from Priority Rewards to IHG Rewards Club. But best of all, the program would start offering free WiFi to all members by July 2014.

Starting today, the program has officially made the name change and right now, elite members of the program will get free WIFi at any IHG hotel. IHG Rewards Club will also give members the ability to fast track their elite status by staying in three or more of IHG's hotel brands. Additionally, reward nights will count towards earning elite status and platinum elite members "extra" nights will roll over to next year so they can keep that coveted status.

This is all extremely good news for current IHG members and we wouldn't be surprised if it attracted a whole new crop of members either. Also not hurting is that IHG has over 4,600 hotels in nearly 100 countries and territories. Then again, we recently took a chance on Holiday Inn Express and we're not sure it was worth the double points we got for the stay. We'll stick with Hotel Indigo and InterContinental flagships in the future.

For more on the program changes and what each level of status gets you, go here.

[Screengrab: IHG]

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Are You Earning Airline Miles for Your Hotel Stays Instead of Free Nights?

Where: Various Locations
June 25, 2013 at 9:33 AM | by | Comments (0)

Back in May, we told you about a website called PointsHound that allows you to earn airline miles for your hotel stays. It seems this market is now beginning to catch on and grow, as another site called Rocketmiles has emerged in the same light, offering a minimum of 1,000 miles or points for each night's stay at a hotel. In some cases we saw, the rewards were as high as 5,000 a night.

Like PointsHound, using Rocketmiles a very simple process -- sign up, link your mileage accounts, and book through the site. Rocketmiles is currently partnered with American AAdvantage, Delta SkyMiles, HawaiianMiles, United MileagePlus, US Airways Dividend Miles, and Virgin America Elevate. Generally, hotel rewards points will not be earned in addition to your Rocketmiles preferred currency, however your stay will most likely count toward your elite status level (although the exact policy differs from hotel to hotel).

Are there any real differences between PointsHound and Rocketmiles? In terms of policies and site interaction, not really. But from the eyetest, PointsHound seems to have a bigger selection of hotels while Rocketmiles offers, on average, more points per night at fewer locations. The good thing for us is that we have both sites at our disposal, and together they make up a pretty good team with plenty of options should we want to pad our airline points accounts.

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You Can Now Earn Hyatt Gold Passport Points at MGM Resorts in Vegas

June 5, 2013 at 10:17 AM | by | Comments (0)

Love Vegas? Love Hyatt Hotels? Then life is about to get much sweeter for you.

Hyatt has announced a new partnership with MGM Resorts in Las Vegas which will allow members of Hyatt's loyalty program, Hyatt Gold Passport, to earn and redeem points at the 12 MGM resorts in Las Vegas. (Currently, the only Hyatt in Vegas is a Hyatt Place off the Strip.)

But the deal also works both ways.

MGM's players club, M Life can also earn M Life Tier Credits when staying at the more than 450 Hyatt hotels and resorts around the world.

“Our new relationship with MGM Resorts International underscores Hyatt’s focus on listening to guests and developing innovative strategies that set us apart and add value to loyalty program membership,” said Jeff Zidell, senior vice president, Hyatt Gold Passport. “We know The Las Vegas Strip is an important destination for our members, and now they will have the chance to earn points and redeem award nights at 12 outstanding resorts from Bellagio to MGM Grand to Mandalay Bay.”

Indeed, considering how often we go to Vegas, it looks like we're going to have to dust off our Hyatt Gold Passport card now.

The loyalty program partnership will begin on June 20 and stays at participating MGM Resorts can be booked through Hyatt.com, MLife.com or through individual MGM property websites. Below we've listed all of the participating hotels, all with links to recent stories on our sister site, VegasChatter.com, who has up-to-the moment stories on each property.

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Airline Points for Hotel Stays? PointsHound is Making It Happen

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Various Locations
May 14, 2013 at 12:01 PM | by | Comments (0)

Regardless of your approach to cashing in the hotel and airline loyalty points you accrue during your travels, one thing we can all agree on is that we want more of them. We've seen partnerships between industries before that helps to earn points even when we're not staying or flying -- such as credit cards -- but outside of the initial bulk reward one gets for signing up, the accumulation is anything but swift. Unfortunately, the $100 we spend at the grocery store every two weeks isn't going to get us very far in the way of a free ticket or night's stay.

So, what else is out there to aid in our crusade? A new booking engine recently launched known as PointsHound seeks to unite a myriad of loyalty programs, and although it's in the early stages of its operations, we think it has potential to really be a useful tool. Put simply: the site allows you to earn airline and/or hotel points when you book a hotel stay through the site.

When you sign up for PointsHound, you enter in your account information for the loyalty programs you're enrolled in. Right now, the site is partnered with the hotel reward programs of Hilton Honors, Hyatt Gold Passport, Marriott Rewards, Priority Club, and Starwood Preferred Guest. For airlines, it works with United Mileage Plus, Etihad Guest Miles, Virgin America Elevate, American AAdvantage, Baltic Miles, Club Premier KmP, Delta Skymiles, Hawaiian Miles, and US Airways Dividend Miles. You can also link your Best Buy Reward Zone account if you'd prefer to buy gadgets instead of earning more travel opportunities.

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A Short List of Even More Hotel Loyalty Programs To Join

May 2, 2013 at 1:47 PM | by | Comments (3)

Hotel Hermitage in Monte Carlo, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World

Last week we rounded up the known loyalty programs of boutique hotels and the other day, in our annual WiFi report we listed the loyalty programs of some of the bigger chains. Today we're exploring yet another way to get free WiFI and other complimentary perks during your next hotel stay--by joining the loyalty programs of various hotel collections.

· Destination Hotels & Resorts: The privately held hospitality management company has nearly 40 independent, luxury and upscale hotels, resorts and golf clubs in its portfolio such as Terranea Resort near Los Angeles and the MileNorth Hotel in Chicago. Their Destination Delivers loyaly program gives members 10 percent off the best available rate, complimentary room upgrades or late check-outs (based upon availability), VIP status (varies by property but includes an F&B amenity, welcome gift and other perks) and 20 percent off a two-night stay for their birthday month.

· Epoque Hotels: The Epoque Hotels collection consists of hundreds of truly boutique hotels throughout the world from Beijing to Barcelona and Brisbane. Becoming a member of Club Epoque gets you six percent of the total cost of your hotel stay put into your Epoque Bank which you can use towards future reservations (once you hit $50.) You also get early check-ins/late check-outs, the right to gift your bank to someone else and credit for when someone you referred also makes a reservation through Epoque Hotels. As for free WiFi, Club Epoque doesn't offer that perk because all their hotels already have free WiFi.

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A Quick Reference Guide to Boutique Hotel Loyalty Programs

April 25, 2013 at 3:29 PM | by | Comments (4)

Hotel loyalty programs are a complex world to navigate. There are so many to choose from with different levels of membership and so many different qualifying night stays. Not to mention so many of them are paired up with credit cards that offer even more ways to earn points for future stays.

We've looked at the programs of the big hotel brands before (admittedly, it's due for a major update) and we constantly keep you updated with the latest news here but today, we're looking at the smaller boutique hotel chains and what their programs offer.

Hyatt Gold Passport: Andaz Hotels are part of Hyatt's Gold Passport Rewards program. It's free to join, you earn five points per eligible stay and you can redeem free nights without blackout dates. After five eligible stays or 15 eligible nights, you can reach Platinum status which gets you automatic upgrades, 2pm late check outs and free in-room internet. Diamond membership requires 25 eligible stays or 50 eligible nights and gets you even more perks like 4pm checkouts and welcome point bonuses. Like most hotel loyalty programs, Hyatt has a ton of promotions throughout the year. Be sure to sign up for these to maximize your point earnings.

IHG Priority Club: Hotel Indigo is part of IHG's Priority Club which will be called IHG Rewards Club come July. Hotel Indigos already offer free WiFi, but once you hit the loyalty program's elite level you can get free WiFi at any IHG property throughout the world. The earning points structure varies from brand to brand within the company but Hotel Indigo stays will net you 10 points per every US dollar spent.

Joy of Life Club: JDV Hotels' Joy of Life loyalty program is free to enter and automatically gives members free WiFi as well as room upgrades if available (although most JDV properties already have free WiFi). You can also earn one point per $1 US dollar at participating JDV hotels and two points per $1 at participating JDV spas. We love the membership level monikers too: Joy Seeker (0-2,499 points), Joy Enthusiast (2,499-9,999 points), and Joy Aficionado (10,000+ points). Getting to the Enthusiast or Aficionado level will get you early check-ins and late check-outs and invites to JDV's JoyFest celebrations. But if you can get to the Aficionado level, then you can earn double points. For what it's worth, the participating hotels do not include sister hotel brand, Thompson Hotels.

InTouch: Like the Joy of Life Club, Kimpton's InTouch is free to join and automatically grants its guest free WiFi in the rooms, as well a chance to "raid the minibar" up to $10 ($15 in NYC) during every stay and a $30 in-room spa credit. It takes seven stays or 20 nights to earn a free reward night and if you complete 15 stays or 45 nights you can join the InnerCircle level which gets you upgrades, your fave snacks on arrival, a treat from the hotel chef, a complimentary night at new hotels and the CEO's email. That is for real!

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IHG Gets With the Program: Free WiFi to All Loyalty Club Members

March 27, 2013 at 12:32 PM | by | Comment (1)

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...

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SPG Rolls Out Restaurant Promo Competing with NYRW

Where: Various Locations, United States
January 23, 2013 at 9:55 AM | by | Comments (0)

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,

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Club Carlson Pumps Up Points On Stays

January 17, 2013 at 12:07 PM | by | Comments (0)

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.

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