In most cases, “nothing in life is free.” However, when it comes to hotel loyalty programs, there are many benefits and points-earned privileges one can enjoy. To start, every major hotel chain has its own loyalty program – and for free. So, whether you travel extensively for business or pleasure, signing up for your favorite hotel chain – or two, or three – has perks.
According to US News and World Report, the Marriot Bonvoy loyalty program has been ranked #1 for the third year in a row. Why you ask? With properties located in 130 countries, ranging from luxury to special collections to longer stay accommodations, there is something for everyone. And the program goes beyond the Marriot name alone.
Program participants can earn benefits staying at property brands such as The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, W Hotels, Edition, Sheraton, Renaissance Hotels, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, as well as 30 cruise lines worldwide. Benefits include special room rates/upgrades, free night stays, amenities, mobile check-in, late check-out, VIP experiences, complimentary wi-fi, as well as access to many extraordinary experiences worldwide, such as concert/sports tickets, red carpet events, and private dining experiences at some of the world’s best restaurants. You can even earn points using American Express or Chase Visa Marriot credit cards, and use points on more than 40 airlines worldwide. The list goes on!
According to the Wyndham Rewards program website, members can redeem points at “more than 30,000 properties worldwide.” That’s a lot of properties! Whether staying at a Ramada, La Quinta, Dolce Hotels and Resorts, Days Inn, program participants can earn a free-night stay faster than any other hotel chain. And all-inclusive property free-stays include meals, drinks, and amenities. You can’t beat that! Plus, higher status (Gold, Platinum, or Diamond) is easier to acquire since qualifying nights rollover into the next year – only increasing access to more benefits faster.
What else does the program offer? Members can earn points by traveling with Amtrak, by car with Avis or Budget, as well as several airlines, including American and United, which offer miles too. For more exciting benefits, program members can link their Caesars Entertainment Rewards program. And of course, purchases made with the Wyndham Rewards Visa can be used for all sorts of travel benefits, including tours, activities, retail, and so much more.
World of Hyatt
Formerly Hyatt Gold Passport, the World of Hyatt loyalty program is available to travelers who visit cities in the United States, Canada, Europe, Mexico, and Asia. Although one of the smaller hotel programs, with more than 700 properties, members generally earn more points per stay than other loyalty programs offer.
Brands within the program include Hyatt Place, Hyatt House, Hyatt Centric, Hyatt Regency, Grand Hyatt, and Park Hyatt, as well as others such as Andaz, Miraval Resorts, and The Unbound Collection by Hyatt. Member tiers are Member, Discoverist, Explorist, and Globalist, whereby one qualifies depending on how many nights, base points, or meetings/events they book each year.
Besides the usual benefits earned, such as, car rentals, free nights/upgrades, FIND experiences (private entertainment experiences), Exhale Spa and Fitness, and points earned for everyday purchases such as dining and flights, Elite status members who also participate in the American Airlines AAdvantage program can simultaneously earn points and miles. For those who earn 1 million base points over the life of their membership, they receive lifetime status as the highest tier of Globalist. Small, but mighty loyalty program for sure!
Beyond the above three featured loyalty programs, which are considered the cream of the crop, there are many other reward programs out there. Radisson Rewards, Hilton Honors, Choice Privileges, IHG Rewards Club, Omni Select Guest, and many others can be found in US News and World Report’s 2019-2020 Best Hotel Rewards Program. Where will your loyalty lie?