Tag Archives: Hotel Loyalty Programs

Abarth Park Hyatt Hotel

Hyatt Launches New Loyalty Program

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has overhauled its loyalty program with the launch of “World of Hyatt.” Set to roll out in 2017, World of Hyatt will replace the existing program, Hyatt Gold Passport. In the updated version, members fall into one of three tiers: Discoverist, Explorist and Globalist.

Points can be redeemed for dining and spa experiences, a free night’s stay at five Hyatt brands, and suite upgrades for elite members. World of Hyatt launches March 1, 2017.

In a JD Power report this year ranking the most popular hotel loyalty and rewards programs among travelers, Hilton’s HHonors took the top spot, followed by Marriott Rewards and IHG Rewards. Hyatt Gold Passport ranked ninth.

Marriott-Starwood Merger: Loyalty Program Impact

The Marriott and Starwood merger is finally complete, with the deal clearing all regulatory hurdles. With any uncertainty put to rest, it is time to consider the host of new implications for loyalty members for what will become the most valuable hotel loyalty program in the world.

Nearly a year after announcing plans to acquire Starwood Hotel & Resorts, Marriott International is now officially the world’s largest hotel company, a merger that expands the brand’s portfolio as well as the benefits that loyalty members can now reap. Yes, so far the news appears to be good and you may already have received proactive news on this if you have points with either Marriott Rewards or Starwood Preferred Guest. Most significantly, Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson announced in a letter to members of both loyalty programs that a joint loyalty program won’t be ready till 2018.

To appease nervous guests who had racked up a healthy number of points with either, Marriott announced that members will have their status matched across both programs, giving them access to brands and destinations previously unavailable.

For instance, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) members will now be able to reap benefits at luxury brands like the Ritz-Carlton and Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, while Marriott Rewards members can now accrue points for stays at the Sheraton, Aloft, St. Regis and W Hotels.

Likewise, Marriott Rewards members now have access to new destinations like the Maldives, Santorini, Greece and Bora Bora, while SPG members have access to Aruba, Serchio Valley in Tuscany and Kruger National Park in South Africa.

Overall, that translates to 30 hotel brands, 5,700 hotels and 1.1 million rooms in over 110 countries, says Marriott International.

Guests who book directly through the Marriott mobile or SPG app will also receive free in-room wifi. We’re not sure free wifi in this day and age is that impressive though.

World’s Best Loyalty Reward Programs 2016

Frequent fliers have spoken and voted Marriott, Southwest and Air France/KLM among the best travel brands for their loyalty programs at this year’s edition of the Freddie Awards. On the elite rewards program front, Hyatt dominated, along with American Airlines and El Al.

Winners of the awards were announced out of Las Vegas Thursday and are based on the results of three million ballots that are cast annually.

For the 26th edition, Air France/KLM and Le Club Accorhotels emerged as the big winners, taking home five Freddie Awards each for Europe and Africa.


Awards are divided by regions – Americas; Europe and Africa; and Middle East, Asia and Oceania.

This year, Southwest broke American Airlines’ four-year winning streak, taking the award for Program of the Year for the Americas.

Marriott took the title of loyalty program of the year for the ninth consecutive year.

The awards are named after Sir Freddie Laker, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1978 for his contribution to commercial aviation and the British economy.

Laker’s long list of accomplishments includes the founding of Britain’s first all-jet air carrier Laker Airways Ltd. in 1966, which eventually became the largest individually and privately owned airline in the world.

He is also credited with founding the world’s first no-frills transatlantic service dubbed “Skytrain,” which flew between London and New York in the late 1970s.

Here is the full list of winners:



Program of the Year: Southwest Airlines – Rapid Rewards

Best Elite Program: American Airlines – AAdvantage

Best Promotion: Avianca – LifeMiles

Best Customer Service: Southwest Airlines – Rapid Rewards

Best Redemption Ability: Avianca – LifeMiles

210 AWARD: Avianca – LifeMiles


Program of the Year: Marriott Hotels – Marriott Rewards

Best Elite Program: Hyatt – Gold Passport

Best Promotion: MGM – M life

Best Customer Service: Marriott Hotels – Marriott Rewards

Best Redemption Ability: Marriott Hotels – Marriott Rewards

210 AWARD: MGM – M life



Program of the Year: Air France/KLM – Flying Blue

Best Elite Program: Lufthansa – Miles & More

Best Promotion: Air France/KLM – Flying Blue

Best Customer Service: Air France/KLM – Flying Blue

Best Redemption Ability: Air France/KLM – Flying Blue

210 AWARD (which honors an up-and-coming program among smaller operators): Norwegian Air – Norwegian Reward


Program of the Year: Accor Hotels – Le Club Accorhotels

Best Elite Program: Starwood – Starwood Preferred Guest

Best Promotion: Accor Hotels – Le Club Accorhotels

Best Customer Service: Accor Hotels – Le Club Accorhotels

Best Redemption Ability: IHG – IHG Rewards Club

210 AWARD: IHG – IHG Rewards Club



Program of the Year: Virgin Australia – Velocity

Best Elite Program: El Al – Matmid Club

Best Promotion: El Al – Matmid Club

Best Customer Service: Virgin Australia – Velocity

Best Redemption Ability: Virgin Australia – Velocity

210 AWARD: Jet Airways – JetPrivilege


Program of the Year: Accor Hotels – Le Club Accorhotels

Best Elite Program: Hyatt – Gold Passport

Best Promotion: Accor Hotels – Le Club Accorhotels

Best Customer Service: IHG – IHG Rewards Club

Best Redemption Ability: IHG – IHG Rewards Club

210 AWARD: ITC Hotels – Club ITC

Hilton and Marriott Top Hotel Rewards Ranking

A new report reveals Hilton and Marriott to be the top hotels in terms of rewarding guests for their loyalty. Looking through the responses of nearly 3,100 consumers in the US, the Hilton HHonors and Marriott Rewards program tied for first with an overall satisfaction score of 741, out of a maximum 1,000. These were improvements to the brands’ score compared to the previous year, and it also marks the second year that Hilton HHonors has taken the top rank in the report from the market research group J.D. Power.

The report measures customer satisfaction based on six factors: account maintenance and management; ease of redeeming points; ease of earning points; variety of benefits; reward program terms; and customer satisfaction. The overall satisfaction with hotel loyalty programs also spiked across the board, improving from 701 in 2015 to 711 this year.

“At Hilton, customer experience is at the heart of everything we do. Our team members around the world are passionate about delivering impeccable, personalized service to our guests and that is why it’s an honor to once again be recognized by J.D. Power,” said Mark Weinstein, senior vice president and global head of Loyalty & Partnerships, Hilton Worldwide, in an article by BusinessWire.

These are the top hotel rewards programs as ranked by J.D. Power:

1. Hilton HHonors
2. Marriott Rewards
3. IHG Rewards
4. La Quinta Returns
5. Best Western Rewards
6. Choice Privileges
7. Omni Hotel Select Guest
8. Club Carlson
9. Hyatt Gold Passport
10. Fairmont President’s Club

Kristofer Hivju

Wyndham Hotel Group launches new rewards program

Kristofer Hivju

The massive Wyndham Hotel Group has launched a simplified rewards program to bring users faster and cheaper benefits.

Starting this week, the new program offers a flat redemption rate of 15,000 points for a free night at any of its 7,500-plus hotels with no blackout dates, bucking the traditional loyalty model that staggers redemption rates for different hotel categories, from budget to luxury.

Users of the free-to-join loyalty program can now earn a minimum of 1,000 points per overnight or 10 points per dollar spent, whichever is more.

Points can also be cashed in for a discounted hotel room rate once the 3,000-point threshold is reached. Previously, the company charged between 5,000 and 45,000 points per room in nine tiers.

Wyndham has also kicked off a summer special where member can earn 3,000 bonus points after just one qualified stay, now until September  7.

The new rewards program has also kicked off with a multi-million dollar campaign starring Kristofer Hivju from “Game of Thrones.”

crowne plaza gurgaon

Redeem your hotel loyalty points for iPads!

crowne plaza gurgaon

InterContinental Hotels Group, which includes brands like the Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and the InterContinental, has expanded their redemption program so that loyalty members can now redeem points for iPads, coffeemakers, and game consoles.

The redemption program puts it in line with airlines that allow loyalty members to trade in points for everyday merchandise like household goods, appliances, gadgets and brand name items.

With 4,700 hotels and 82 million IHG Rewards Club members worldwide, the hotel group has the world’s largest loyalty program.


To promote the launch, IHG has created a ‘gift guide’ of ideas that includes an iPad; Karen Millen ladies watch; Nespresso Krups Citiz and Milk; Nintendo Wii Mini and Fitbit One, an activity and sleep tracker.

Meanwhile, this summer US News and World report named Marriott Rewards the best hotel rewards program for its flexibility, followed by IHG, and Best Western Rewards.



Which Travel Rewards Program Should You Join?


Your odds of finally accruing enough points to get a free flight or free night’s stay are best if you’re a loyalty member of JetBlue and Marriott, according to a new report that did the number crunching for US airlines and hotels.

In US News & World Report’s 2014-2015 Best Travel Rewards Programs report, JetBlue stole the top spot from last year’s winner, Southwest Airlines.

To determine the best airline reward programs, analysts evaluated flight volume, geographic coverage, free flight options, ease of earning a free round-trip flight and additional benefits the programs had to offer.

Editors also considered the carrier’s score on Airline Quality Rating, which measures on-time arrivals, lost or mishandled baggage and complaints.

JetBlue TrueBlue program members earn points for every dollar spent on flights. But flyers can also earn points on Emirates and Hawaiian Airlines, as well as hotel stays and car rentals on their retail partners.

There are no blackout dates for JetBlue flights.

Marriott Rewards

In the hotel category,  topped the list for a consecutive year, after analysts looked at everything from network size to property diversity, geographic coverage and the ease of earning free nights.

Guests can accrue points at sister hotel chains across 70 countrie that include the Ritz-Carlton, Courtyard Marriott, Renaissance and JW Marriott.

Rules are also less rigid than other rewards programs, with no blackout dates for redeeming free nights on standard rooms.

Here are the top three airline rewards programs in the US:

1. JetBlue TrueBlue
2. Southwest Rapid Rewards
3. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Top three hotel reward programs:

1. Marriott Rewards
2. IHG Rewards Club
3. Best Western Rewards

For the full list visit http://bit.ly/1svlLoZ.

SPG for glass

Use Google Glass App to Book Starwood Hotel Rooms

SPG for glass

Starwood Hotels & Resorts has unveiled new details on its SPG app for Google Glass, which will allow loyalty members to search for hotels using voice commands, book their room and get real-time, GPS-enabled directions.

When the SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) app emerges from beta, it will allow users to perform the same functions as laptops and smartphones.

In addition to searching among 1,100 hotels around the world, users can look up nearby attractions and amenities using simple voice commands.

Potential guests can also take a virtual tour of the hotel rooms and suites, call the hotel, look up their account information, review their reservations and check their Starpoints. Finalizing bookings requires a simple tap. Geolocating software will also provide real-time directions.

Earlier this year, the Starwood group announced plans to turn smartphones into ‘keyless keys,’ allowing Starwood Preferred Guests to open their rooms by simply scanning their phones to the door.

Elsewhere in the travel industry, Virgin Atlantic became the world’s first airline to use the wearable technology earlier this year, when it armed ground staff with Google Glass to check in passengers.

Virgin Atlantic Google Glass

Marriott Rewards

The top 10 hotel loyalty programs for 2014

Marriott Rewards

Hotel guests have given top marks to the Marriott chain for its loyalty program, which was ranked the top in overall customer satisfaction.

Marriott Rewards received an overall customer satisfaction score of 707 on a 1,000-point scale, according to the first hotel-program survey by market research company J.D. Power.

Loyalty programs were weighted on five factors: account maintenance, ease of points or miles redemption, ease of earning points or miles, reward program conditions and customer service.

Marriott includes brands such as the Ritz-Carlton, Bvlgari, JW Marriott, Renaissance Hotels, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, and Gaylord Hotels.

Second was IHG, which includes Candlewood Suites, Holiday Inn, Hotel Indigo, Intercontinental Hotel & Resorts, among others. It received a score of 704. Third was Delta Hotels Delta Privilege, which is based in Canada.

Here are the Top hotel loyalty programs for 2014:

  1. Marriott Rewards
  2. IHG Rewards Club
  3. Delta Priviledge
  4. La Quinta Returns
  5. Drury Gold Key Club
  6. Hilton HHonors
  7. Choice Privileges
  8. Club Carlson
  9. Fairmont President’s Club
  10. Starwood Preferred Guest
Vivienne Tam Slippers

Vivienne Tam Does Slippers for Hilton

Vivienne Tam Slippers

Vivienne Tam has designed a pair of slippers featuring a “Water Dragon” motif for Hilton Hotels & Resorts’ Chinese hospitality program, Huanying.

The signature slippers will be available beginning this month exclusively for guests of Hilton Huanying, the Hilton Worldwide program offering tailored welcome experiences for Chinese travelers at 70 participating hotels in 23 countries.
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Starwood SPG

Starwood launches ‘Richest Elite’ traveler benefits

Starwood SPG

International hotel chain Starwood has unveiled a major revamp of its Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program, targeting elite travelers with a host of new benefits.

The chain, which operates Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels, Le Meridien and St Regis, says that it’s responding to the global uptick in travel to target the ‘sophisticated’ market, which it believes has become ‘jaded’ about traditional schemes.

Among the most notable aspects of the change is a new service called Your24, which will let frequent travelers pick their own check-in and check-out times within a 24-hour timeframe — so if you check in at one property at 10 PM, you won’t have to check out until 10PM the next day.
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Trump Card

The New Trump Card Privileges Program

Trump Card

Trump Hotels has announced a new loyalty program for its luxury-loving members, promising unique benefits to guests who hand over their Trump Card.

The Trump Card Privilege Program was unveiled by the luxury chain January 25 as a way for Trump to compete with other brands such as Ritz-Carlton and Fairmont, which both offer their own elite loyalty programs.

Unlike its competitors though, the Trump Card is sold on the well-known faces behind Trump, promising access to “once-in-a-lifetime experiences associated with the Trump family and lifestyle.”
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Starwood's Preferred Guest

Starwood Preferred Guest points most valuable

Starwood's Preferred Guest

Starwood’s Preferred Guest program has topped a list of the ‘best value’ reward programs from US website NextAdvisor.

Preferred Guest, a loyalty program which rewards hotel guests for their stays in Starwood-operated brands such as W Hotels, Sheraton, Westin, Le Meridien and St Regis, offered a worth of $0.021 per point when redeemed for a hotel stay.

It isvconsiderably higher than competing programs such as Marriott Rewards and Hilton HHonors, whose points were worth $0.008 and $0.005 respectively.
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Intercontinental sydney bedroom

InterContinental launches half-price points deals

Intercontinental sydney bedroom

Members of the InterContinental hotels loyalty program are to be offered the chance to snap up last-minute hotel deals on points, the company announced August 1.

Last Minute Rewards will offer Priority Club members the chance to redeem hotel nights for 50 percent fewer points than they would otherwise be offered at.

The promotion will be valid at nearly 90 select hotels around the world, including properties in popular holiday destinations such as Orlando, Florida; Berlin; Paris; Shanghai; Bangkok; and Seoul.
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hotel WiFi

Revealed: the heroes and villains of hotel wifi

hotel WiFi

Despite the internet now being a basic necessity for just about everything, getting hold of it while traveling can prove frustrating and expensive.

Many hotels around the world, safe in the knowledge that business travelers with expense accounts will shell out ludicrous sums for just an hour’s worth of connection, continue to charge exorbitant rates — sometimes over €20 daily — despite the fact that surveys show that travelers are crying out for free connections.

HotelChatter, which this week released its 7th annual Hotel WiFi Report revealing the best and the worst when it comes to US and international hotels and the worldwide web, believes free WiFi is on the rise as hotels listen to their customers.
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Carlson Conference Logo

Carlson launches new loyalty program

Carlson Conference Logo

International hotel chain Carlson is to relaunch its loyalty club with new rewards and perks for guests.

The firm announced February 14 that Club Carlson will replace its old Goldpoints Plus program from March 31 as it aims to compete with similar programs such as InterContinental’s Priority Club and Hilton’s HHonors.

Members will be able to redeem their points at an expanded number of Carlson properties, which includes Radisson, Country Inns & Suites and Park Inn hotels, as well as 80 Club Med resorts for members that join in the US and Canada and Carlson Wagonlit vacations for US members.
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Voila hotel rewards

Loyalty programs for independent hotels

Voila hotel rewards

Independent hotel loyalty program Voilà announced that it has landed in the US January 11, setting the scene for increased competition in a new market that allows guests to earn points for staying in non-chain hotels.

Voilà, which allows consumers to earn loyalty points at some 250 independent four and five star hotels in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, debuted its program at two hotels in New York, The Court and The Tuscany.

Guests staying at either of the mid-market hotels, which do not belong to any of the major chains, will be able to earn points to redeem at one of Voilà’s other hotels worldwide, in much the same way that guests can earn free nights using programs such as Hilton HHonors or InterContinental’s Priority Club.
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Free internet at Marriott hotels

Marriott has announced that internet access is to be free for Gold and Platinum-tier members of its Marriott Rewards loyalty program.

The announcement gives the brand’s most loyal customers access to free internet in any Marriott hotel around the world — although you’ll need to stay around 50 nights to reach that Gold level.

Compared to the free internet offered to all by Radisson Hotels, Holiday Inn Express and Andaz hotels (to name a few), Marriott’s decision is a step in the right direction, but only a starting one.
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Ritz Carlton introduces loyalty program

Luxury hotel chain Ritz-Carlton introduced its new loyalty program September 15, revealing some of the high-end names it has partnered with.

Ritz-Carlton Rewards goes “far beyond providing complimentary stays and airline flights,” offering a broad selection of unique travel experiences.

Fashion names already confirmed for the program include clothing brand Vera Wang and retailer Neiman Marcus.
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