It’s a bit like booking an economy ticket and sitting in first class
Many factors influence your hotel choices: location, price, star rating...Yet what you should truly focus on is how much bang you get for your buck. Thanks to Hotel Reward Programs, you can take your experience further by gaining access to upgrades and perks, making the best out of your stay. You are obviously welcome to ignore this, and pay for a standard room without considering the extra advantages. But did you ever say no to a free bottle of champagne?
What are Hotel Rewards Programs?
The hospitality industry is a competitive one. As a way to attract loyal customers, hotel chains run loyalty programs which give special discounts, upgrades, and extras. This is meant to ensure that when people travel around the world, they will pick the same hotel chain to collect redeemable points. Most of the Rewards programs offered by hotels use a point system as indicators, where customers can earn 5-10 loyalty points on every dollar spent. Another reward system used is booking-based, which gives a certain amount of points per booking. To start redeeming rewards one usually needs a few hundred points, and rewards improve as one accumulates points. This brings us to the subject of the tier system, basically the hotel version of levels in video games. As one earns points, one’s status changes and becomes eligible for better perks.
This sounds like a business traveler affair…
Indeed, many loyalty programs are geared towards business travelers. The reasons are simple: it is easier for a business to book the same hotel, the price is not as much of a factor, and many company policies forbid the use of sharing economy platforms when on business. So if one is (un)lucky enough to travel for work, a loyalty program makes a lot of sense. That being said it makes sense also for the leisure traveler. Many hotel programs are linked to travel partners, making it easier to earn a lot of points. They also offer branded credit cards, where one can earn points for one’s next vacation while spending with the card. Another reward gained through hotel rewards programs can be fractional shares, which, considering travel and tourism make over 10% of the global GDP, is a good deal.
But what kind of rewards do hotels offer?
Considering 61% of travelers choose a programs according to the range of rewards they offer, hotels have expanded their perks to offer late check-ins/outs, a free extra night, free room service, free breakfast, a free bottle of champagne on arrival, and so on. This is also a strategy to compete with the increasingly popular sharing economy solutions to hospitality. Hotels know how much experiences count, and thus really work to make hotel stays personalized and unforgettable.
Why will your future self thank you?
Surprise! You have just been upgraded to a suite. The best thing about getting perks is not expecting them, and hotel reward programs are very good at providing a personalized experience while making a stay very comfortable. Although hospitality sharing economy platforms are attractive and unique hotel experiences are actually very different: delicious breakfasts, more flexibility, and just the general feeling of being pampered. When both traveling for business and leisure, these extras can really make a difference.
- Mattress run: checking in at a hotel for the sole purpose of achieving a higher hotel loyalty program status
- It is recommended to use hotel reward points within 12 months of earning them
- Millennial leisure travelers have more interest in using sharing-economy versus traditional options, but loyalty programs could change that as millennials age