Hotel Loyalty – what is it and is it worth it?

When Blogger Hubby and I travel we try to find a reasonably priced hotel rooms hopefully using a coupon, a discount code or a reduced price through a secondary source such as hotels.com.  We didn’t care if we stayed in a Hampton Inn, a Days Inn or a Marriott or even a clean Red Roof Inn.

Recently I have reconsidered my earlier stance primarily due to Club Carlson, the loyalty program of Radisson, Country Inn and Suites and Park Inns.  As I mentioned in this post they ran a promotion to end all promotions, at least in my opinion and I have learned the benefits of rewards when you have brand loyalty.

At the Chicago Seminar that I attended last October, I listened to Mommy Points talk about Hyatt status.  I thought it was nice but we aren’t the type to stay at a Hyatt – much too expensive for me……or so I thought.  Mommy Points explained that to get status with a hotel you need to have a certain number of  nights OR stays.  If you stay 2 consecutive nights it is considered one stay.  If you stay one night, it is also considered one stay.  Hyatt, for instance, allows you to earn diamond status when you have 25 stays or 50 nights.  But really, they are counting each of those 50 individual nights as 50 stays so you really only need 25 single nights.  Mommy Points explains it all in this video she did for the travelchannel.com.

Once you attain status, you have many different perks depending on your level of status.  With Hyatt, for example, website lists the following perks that are available for those who have Diamond status:  You can “get the best room that is available upon check-in excluding suites (though the upgrade fairy may visit and grant you one of those); you have exclusive access to the Regency Club or Grand Club lounge featuring complimentary continental breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvres where you will enjoy daily complimentary full breakfast in hotels without a club lounge; and you can treat yourself to a suite upgrade at the time of reservation four times annually on eligible paid nights.  Imagine being in a beautiful suite while vacationing in Hawaii where you receive a special welcome point bonus or food and beverage amenity; a nightly room refresh; Receive the confirmed bed type at check-in; complimentary in-room Internet access  (in some hotels that is a $25 charge per day); expedited check-in at a dedicated area for elite members  (no more waiting in long lines); and the ability to extend your stay until 4:00 p.m. with a late check out request; and the ability to book reservations through an exclusive Diamond line.”

hyatt

I’ve been working on getting my status with one of the hotel chains.  I book nights when their rates are the lowest, generally Friday or Saturday nights.  If I was working on Hyatt status, I would book with a Hyatt House (generally less expensive) and do it on a Friday evening.  If you are planning to travel upcoming, building status at a hotel is well worth the investment that you make.  For example, my son-in-law will stay with Marriott for several days but always checks out each day and then in again to get the stay credit.  Others that I know will go to different Marriotts every night to get the stay credit.  This works as long as there are several Marriotts from which to choose.

Finally, most hotels with co-branded credit cards will also give you status though not top tiered status but rather gold status (generally second from the top).

Always sign up for hotel loyalty cards and use them even if you don’t have credit.  You are recognized when you check in to a hotel and you never know what perks you might receive.  When we traveled to Niagara Falls last year, we were just beginning our association with Club Carlson and since we were loyalty members, we were given an upgraded room that had a magnificent view of the Horseshoe Falls.

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