Tag: Loyalty Program News

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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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What's Happening With SLS Hotels' Loyalty Program?

January 3, 2013 at 3:34 PM | by | Comments (2)

With our eyes on the next slew of SLS Hotels to open (New York and Las Vegas) as well as a few other hotels from the sbe group, we thought we'd check in on the status of the sbe PREFERRED loyalty program.

Initially introduced back in October 2011, the program allowed members to earn rewards points at sbe properties, including restaurants and nightclubs such as Katsuya and Hyde. However, they stopped taking new members last July after "reaching capacity." They also did away with the rewards points. Sbe promised to re-evaluate the program to "provide you with the best possible hospitality experience." But it looks like that's still an ongoing process.

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Start Spreadin' The News! SLS New York Opens Next Year

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 444 Park Ave South [map], New York, NY, United States, 10016
July 18, 2012 at 12:56 PM | by | Comment (1)

Oh boy, we hope the neighbors who are suffering from the Gansevoort Park's rowdy pool parties are stocking up on more ear plugs. That's because another party spot is coming to the block in mid-2013--SLS New York.

The NY Post reports that Sam Nazarian has announced that the Philippe Starck-designed SLS outpost for the Big Apple will open at 444 Park Avenue South, which is literally just a block away from the Gansevoort. The hotel will have 190 rooms, presumably with Ciel toiletries in the bathrooms.

While our source inside SLS says a José Andrés restaurant at the ground-level is not confirmed, we hope it happens as we can't imagine SLS without José. There will also be rooftop scene of some sort and we hear that the S bar brand might be revived. There might even be an outpost of Hyde at the hotel,too.

But that's not all Nazarian has planned for NYC. He's also expanding the LA's Umami burger chain with five Umamis set to open within the next 18 months. (Hint: put one in the SLS and make it a "secret" spot.) He's also hoping to spin off the Redbury Hollywood in SoHo or Tribeca or even open up a second or third SLS hotel down there.

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What's That Formula One Car Doing In The W Barcelona's Lobby?

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Passeig Joan de Borbó , Barcelona, Spain, 08039
May 9, 2012 at 10:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

No, the W Barcelona hasn't turned into one of those European shopping malls with cars being raffled off by pretty women in tight dresses. The answer is pretty simple, actually: Starwood is gearing up to announce a new partnership to sponsor the Mercedes-Petronas Formula One team, and just in time for the press conference tomorrow, an actual formula one race car has been put on display in the lobby, for guests to admire.

We're used to just seeing cool art, a cocktail bar, and maybe some of that weird signature W grass in lobbies. But a race car? That'll do nicely!

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Book A Room On Room 77, And You'll Be Rewarded (Handsomely)

April 13, 2012 at 9:38 AM | by | Comments (0)

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?

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