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This is a new feature that I will do monthly after I have done the updated hotel promotions post. I will have a post about hotel promotions that I will take advantage of.

Yesterday, I made an updated post of hotel promotions for this quarter. Here are the five that I am taking advantage of and I think that you should too:

1. Marriott Rewards – Free night certificate after two stays for up to 3 certificates

marriott-rewards-fal-2012-megabonus

– This is an excellent promo for free night certificates. Only drawback is the categories where they can be used (category 1 to 4). Very useful in the Asia/Middle East but not so in the Americas.

2. Hilton HHonors Virgin Atlantic Promotion for 15K Bonus Miles

hilton-hhonors-virgin-atlantic-4th-quarter-offer

– Hilton apparently doesn’t have Hilton HHonors point promotion for this month, but you can make your own by taking advantage of this Virgin Atlantic one. If you have FIVE stays at Hilton HHonors properties (no Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites, or Home2 Suites), you will receive 15000 bonus Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles in addition to 5000 base miles. You can transfer Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles then to Hilton HHonors points and you will receive 40000 Hilton points for 20000 miles.

3. Priority Club Promotions here and here

priority-club-roles-to-rooms

– There are number of promotions that you can always take advantage of. Some of these “unpublished” but I have listed them all here on LoyaltyLobby. I will do the Q4 stay promo combined with the Roles to Rooms. With other bonuses, I will earn in excess of 50K Priority Club points for 7 stays. You can do even better if you start with a “fresh” account.

4. Starwood Better By the Night + IOS Bookings Bonus + Air Canada Aeroplan Bonus

spg-better-by-the-night

You can actually combine all these promotions. The Better By The Night is lackluster but ok when you make the hotel booking using SPG’s iPhone app for 500 extra points per stay. You can combine these two with the Aeroplan bonus of 5K miles for 5 stays.

5. Radisson Free Night Promo: Stay One Night, Get One Night

club-carlson-radisson-1-for-1

You can get a free night award just for staying for a night by December 31, 2012 at any Radisson/Radisson Blu property in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. The free night award is valid until December 31, 2013.

Conclusion

It appears first that there are no truly outstanding promotions out there, but these four are definitely worth taking advantage of.

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Here our monthly blog post about hotel loyalty promotions. You can now find an updated list just by clicking the “Hotel Promotions” tab. This will be updated throughout the month when promotions expire and new ones are announced.

loyaltylobby-hotel-promotions

Accor Hotels – Le Club

Le Club Accorhotels is offering bonus miles for Air Canada Aeroplan, Delta SkyMiles, and Lufthansa Miles & More members until October 31, 2012.

le-club-accorhotels-aeroplan-triple

Le Club Accorhotels Airline Offers: Air Canada Aeroplan, Delta SkyMiles & Lufthansa Miles & More

You can get instant Platinum status with Le Club Accorhotels just by signing up to the program.

le-club-accorhotels-sign-up-august-2012-benefits

Accor A-Club / Le Club Accohotels Instant Platinum Status for New Accounts Still Available

Best Western Rewards

Best Western’s fall promotion for double/triple points is starting on September 23rd and ends on November 18th, 2012. You can read more about this promo by following the link.

Best Western Rewards Fall 2012 Promotion Double or Triple Points

Carlson Hotels – Club Carlson

You can get a free night voucher for every two night stay at the Country Inns & Suites locations in the United States and Canada. This offer is valid from October 1 to November 30, 2012.

club-carlson-country-inns-suites-fallstay-offer

Country Inns & Suites Bonus Offer: Stay for Two Consecutive Nights and Get a Free Night Certificate

You can get triple points + 2000 bonus points by booking a breakfast package. This promotion is valid until December 31st, 2012 at selected Radisson & Radisson Blu locations.

radisson-breakfast-package

Book Breakfast Package Rate & Get Triple Gold Points at Select Radisson & Radisson Blu Hotels

You can get triple American Airline miles (1500) for Radisson/Radisson Blu stays worldwide until December 20th, 2012.

Triple American Airlines AAdvantage Miles for Radisson/Radisson Blu Stays

Club Carlson is celebrating 25 years of Country Inn & Suites by giving 25K bonus points for two night stays until October 14, 2012.

club-carlson-country-inn-suites-25-years-2

Club Carlson: Country Inn & Suites 25 Years – Get 25000 Bonus Points For 2 Nights Stay

Here are few other interesting posts about the Club Carlson program:

There is an elite offer for 2 for 1 and 4 for 2. You need to be a Gold or Concierge member to take advantage of these discounts that are valid in Europe, Middle East Africa.

Club Carlson Gold/Concierge Elite Member Offer – Stay 2 Pay 1

Club Carlson Gold/Concierge Elite Member Offer – Stay 4 Pay 2

You can get a Club Carlson Gold through a status match or being a shareholder:

Carlson Hotels – Club Carlson Status Match

Club Carlson Gold Status for Rezidor Shareholders

If you have a friend or family member working for any Carlson hotel, you maybe eligible for the Friends & family discount:

Carlson Hotels Friends & Family Discount

Choice Privileges – Choice Hotels

Choice’s fall 2012 promotion is valid until November 14th, 2012. You will earn at the minimum 8000 points for every two stays.

choice-fall-2012-promotion

Choice Hotels Fall 2012 Promotion for Maximum of 8000 Bonus Points for Every Two Stays

Hilton HHonors

Hilton is offering maximum of 15K bonus Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles for 5 stays. You can always transfer the bonus + base miles back to Hilton HHonors for total of 40K HH points. This promotion is valid until December 31, 2012

hilton-hhonors-virgin-atlantic-4th-quarter-offer

Hilton HHonors Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Bonus Offer – 15K Bonus Miles for 5 Stays

Hilton has a promotion with Miles & More (Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian etc) for up to quadruple miles until December 31, 2012.

Hilton HHonors Miles & More Promotion for Up To Quadruple Miles

You can earn 4000 bonus Emirates Skywards miles on your second stay. This offer is valid until December 31, 2012.

Hilton HHonors Emirates Skywards Promotion – 4000 Bonus Miles on Your Second Stay

Hilton has a special “Be Yourself” package for Conrad resorts. Gold/Diamond members will receive 5000 bonus points per stay.

Conrad Hotels “Be Yourself” Offer of Breakfast/Room Upgrade or 5000 Bonus Points

Hilton is offering instant Gold status until 2014 and bonus points/miles for American, Delta, JetBlu, United, US Airways, and Virgin American frequent fliers. This offer is targeted.

hilton-offer-american

Instant Hilton HHonors Gold Status Until March 2014 for American, Delta, JetBlue, United, US Airways, and Virgin America Frequent Fliers + Bonus Points & Miles (Targeted?)

You can get free 500 Hilton HHonors points for liking Hampton Inn on Facebook.

Get 500 Free Hilton HHonors Points by Liking Hampton Inn on Facebook

Here are some other important posts:

You can read about getting a status match with Hilton HHonors:

Hilton HHonors Gold & Diamond Status Match & Challenge & Fast Track Offer

Hilton HHonors Gold VIP Fast Track Offer Through MVP Program. Gold Status After Four Stays or Nine Nights During 90 period

Instant Hilton HHonors Gold Status for Visa Infinite Card Holders

It can make sense to use Virgin Atlantic as Double Dip partner and then transfer the miles back to Hilton. You can read more about this here:

Hilton HHonors Double Dip Strategy with Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club

Hyatt Gold Passport

Hyatt’s fall 2012 promotion is valid from September 1st to November 30th, 2012. You will earn 5000 bonus points after 5 nights and 10000 bonus points for every additional five nights for maximum bonus of 65000 Hyatt Gold Passport points.

hyatt-imagine

Hyatt Gold Passport Autumn “Imagine the Possibilities” Promotion

Here are couple of other important posts:

Hyatt also offers status matches/trials. You can read more about them here:

Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond Status Match – Hyatt Diamond Trial Challenge As Of 2012

Sometimes it makes sense to use Hyatt Stay Certificate instead of paying. You can read about more of them here:

Hyatt Stay Certificates – Way to Save Money On Hyatt Stays

InterContinental Hotels Group – Priority Club

The beauty of Priority Club is the onslaught of ongoing overlapping promotions that you can triple/quadruple dip.You can read about my average Priority Club point earnings when all the promotions are factored in here. I have also written about different type of Priority Club promotions here and what you can expect to earn for your first stay if you sign up for an account here.

Just a word of warning. Some of these promotions may require an address to be in a specific country/area like United States. I take absolutely no guarantees what will post to your Priority Club account.  They may also conflict with a promotion that you have already signed up for and just return an error message.

There is an interesting “Roles To Rooms’ promotion for total of 15K bonus points for four stays. This promotion appears to be geographically targeted to Asia Pacific region.

priority-club-roles-to-rooms

Priority Club “Roles to Rooms” Promotion: 15000 Bonus Points for Four Stays

Here’s an update about the “Roles to Room” promotion:

Priority Club “Roles To Rooms” Promotion Update: 15K for 4 Stays

Complimentary Intercontinental Ambassador Status After Three InterContinental Nights

You can get complimentary InterContinental Ambassador status that normally costs $200 for staying 3 nights at InterContinental properties by the end of November

Priority Club Candlewood & Staybridge Suites Promotion for 5000 Bonus Points

You can get 5000 bonus Priority Cub points for staying two consecutive nights at Candlewood or Staybridge Suites property in the United States by December 30th, 2012.

Triple Priority Club Points in Spain & Portugal – Need to Book IKTB2 Rate

Triple points for stays at select properties in the Iberian peninsula. Valid until the end of December.

Quarter 4 Stay Bonuses

priority-cub-q4-stay-bonuses

These are valid from October 1st to December 31st, 2012. You should sign up for 5K, 10K or 15K varation of this offer depending how many IHg nights you are planning to have on the 4th quarter.

5000 Bonus Air Canada Aeroplan Miles for a Stay

This is a nice bonus for a stay in Canada. You need to have the stays by December 30th, 2012 to be eligible for the bonus miles.

Priority Club “Sweetheart Deal” $100 Visa Prepaid Debit Card for Each 3 Night Stay within 90 Day of Wedding

Priority Club is offering a $100 rebate for every stay of 3 nights or longer within 90 days of your wedding, This promotion is valid until the end of 2012.

Priority Club $25 Gift Card Offer for Booking Directly Online

You can get up to five codes that you can redeem for various gift card by booking online or mobile on any of IHG branded websites.

Priority Club Meeting Rewards Offer of Triple Points

You can get triple Priority Club points for meetings by switching your account to Priority Club Meetings Reward member.

Priority Club Surveys for 2000 Points or More

There are number of surveys that you can do in number of different languages for a quick 2000 Priority Club points, if you haven’t done any of them earlier. This is a quick way to get some points. My points posted immediately.

Priority Club Welcome Survey for 1000 Bonus Points

Not sure what is going on with this promotion, but you can try to see if it works for you.

Install (Not Required) Priority Club Shopping Toolbar & Get 300 Points

You can get easy 300 points by installing a Priority Club shopping toolbar.

You can register for the following promotions at priorityclub.com/register. You need to have the email address associated with the Priority Club OR the Priority Club account number available AND the four digit code associated with the promotion.

Anniversary Bonus Offer – 6102 – 1000 Bonus Points

This is most lucrative of the offers. You will get additional 1000 Priority Club points per stay for 90 days after your sign up.  Just enroll just before your first stay to maximize the earning period.

1000 Bonus Points for 60 Days – 8108 – 1000 Bonus Points

You will receive 1000 bonus Priority Club points per stay for the next 60 days after registering for this promotion. Just enroll just before your first stay to maximize the earning period.

Elite Member Next Stay Bonus – 5221 – 3000 Bonus Points

This works for sure if you are a Platinum member, but could work for Gold’s as well. Doesn’t hurt to sign up, right? You will get 3000 bonus Priority Club points for your next stay. You will need to have the stay within 90 days after signing up. You can only earn this once.

Elite Member Next Stay Bonus – 7489 – 3000 Bonus Points NEW

This is another 3000 bonus points for an elite member. It posts for sure if you are Platinum but might work for a Gold account as well. You need to do the stay within 90 days of registering for this offer.

Welcome Back Bonus – 2120 – 1500 Bonus Points

You will get 1500 Priority Club bonus points for one stay after signing up. You need do stay within 90 days.

New Member Bonus – 3107 – 1500 Bonus Points

This is a new member bonus, but works for existing members as well. You will get onetime 1500 Priority Club bonus points after signing up. You need do stay within 90 days after registration.

Next Stay Bonus – 5109 – 1500 Bonus Points

This should be open for elite and non-elite members. You will get onetime bonus of 1500 Priority club points after a paid stay. The stay must be within 90 days after registration.

Weekend Stay Bonus – 3136 – 5000 Bonus Points

This should be open for all. You will get 5000 Priority Club bonus points for a two night weekend stay. Weekend is typically defined Friday/Saturday/Sunday nights. The stay must occur before the end of 2012. This promotion may require your Priority Club access to be in the United States. The promotion did post for me after a while. This promotion can be done several times.

Platinum 5000 Bonus – 3168 – 5000 Bonus Points

Not sure exactly how this works, but here’s the info about this offer: We’re pleased you have continued to stay with us and are now even closer to earning exclusive Platinum Elite benefits and 5,000 bonus points. All you need to do is register and stay with us 5 more nights before 30th November 2012. It would be our pleasure to reward your loyalty with exclusive Platinum Elite benefits. Keep staying with us and you’ll soon be there. We look forward to helping you make it to the top: Platinum Elite status!

Marriott Rewards

Marriott has their usual fall MegaBonus starting on September 15th and ends on January 15th 2013. You need, however, register for the promotion by October 31st, 2012.

marriott-rewards-fal-2012-megabonus

Marriott Rewards Fall 2012 MegaBonus

Update on Marriott Fall 2012 MegaBonus Choices

You can earn triple airline miles tarting on your second stay on Marriott’s MegaMiles promotion that ends on October 30th, 2012.

marriott-megamiles

Marriott Rewards MegaMiles Promotion – Earn Triple Airline Miles

Here are three other posts about Marriott Rewards:

You can get Southwest Rapid Rewards points for Marriott Gift card purchases.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Points for Marriott Gift Card Purchases

Marriott also offers status matches or taste of Platinum/Gold. You can read more about the procedures of getting one here:

Marriott Status Match Silver, Gold & Platinum – Taste of Silver, Gold or Platinum

If you haven’t been targeted to any of the promotions or you would like to change to another one, you can follow the instructions to get the promotion fixed for you.

Changing Targeted Marriott Promotions

Ritz-Carlton Rewards

Ritz-Carlton has an offer for 30K bonus points for a stay of four nights or longer. This offer is valid until October 15th, 2012.

ritz-carlton-extraordinary-returns_0

Ritz-Carlton Rewards Extraordinary Returns – 30000 Bonus Points for a Four Night Stay

Starwood Preferred Guest

Starwood’s next promotion Better By The Night begins on October 1st and ends on December 20th, 2012. You will receive double Starpoints for stays of 1 to 2 nights and triple points for stays of 3 nights or longer.

spg-better-by-the-night

SPG Better By The Night Autumn 2012 Promotion for Double or Triple Starpoints

You can get 500 bonus points for booking made on the iPhone SPG app or 250 points for bookings made on spg.com.

spg-better-by-the-night-booking-bonuses

SPG Better By The Night Online & iPhone Booking Bonuses

Starwood has a promotion with Air Canada’s Aeroplan for maximum of 8000 bonus miles. This is in addition to the Starpoints that you earn. Promotion is valid from September 10 to December 9, 2012.

Starwood Aeroplan Offer: Up To 8000 Bonus Miles

Westin Kierland and Sheraton Wilde Horse Pass have exciting bonus points opportunity. Stay once at both properties and earn 10000 bonus Starpoints.

Stay at Westin Kierland & Sheraton Wild Horse Pass for 10000 Bonus Starpoints

You can get 1000 Delta SkyMiles or US Airways Dividend Miles for booking a special (expensive) rate plan.

1000 Bonus Delta SkyMiles or US Airways Dividend Miles for Sheraton Club Bookings

Starwood has been offering bonus points or free night certificate for new accounts that haven’t had stays

SPG Bonus Beginnings: 3K Bonus Starpoints or Free Night Award

Here’s a post about Starwood status match opportunity:

Starwood doesn’t offer straight status matches, but they can offer you a challenge:

Starwood Preferred Guest Platinum Status Match – Platinum Challenge

Wyndham Rewards

Wyndham’s autumn promotion is extra points or miles for second and fourth stay before November 30, 2012.

wyndham-rewards-fall-2012-promotion

Wyndham Rewards Fall 2012 “Bonus Earnings” Promotion 11K Bonus Points or 2K Bonus Miles

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Hilton HHonors has a new rate offer “Be Yourself” for select Conrad hotels. If you don’t have status with Hilton HHonors, you can choose between an upgrade or breakfast at check if. If you have Gold or Diamond status, you will receive 5000 bonus points for your stay as breakfast and upgrade are both part of Gold/Diamond benefits.

conrad-be-yourself-offer

Participating Conrad properties for this offer:

  • Conrad Algarve
  • Conrad Bali
  • Conrad Bangkok
  • Conrad Bangkok Residences
  • Conrad Beijing
  • Conrad Brussels
  • Conrad Cairo
  • Conrad Centennial Singapore
  • Conrad Chicago
  • Conrad Dalian
  • Conrad Dubai
  • Conrad Dublin
  • Conrad Hong Kong
  • Conrad Indianapolis
  • Conrad Istanbul
  • Conrad Koh Samui
  • Conrad Koh Samui Residences
  • Conrad Macao, Cotai Central
  • Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
  • Conrad Miami
  • Conrad New York
  • Conrad Pezula
  • Conrad Punta del Este Resort and Casino
  • Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza
  • Conrad Sanya Haitang Bay
  • Conrad Seoul

You need to book a rate code PBBEY1 to be eligible for this offer.

Conrad Be Yourself Conrad Bangkok
Conrad Be Yourself Conrad Bangkok

It seems that this offer is tied to the Best Available Rate that is rarely the lowest available rate. At the Conrad Bangkok there are number of offers with breakfast included that have a lower price than this promotional rate. For the lowest rates, you may want to check out the rate code PR13CB as well.

Conclusion

This offer can make sense IF there are no other rates than Best Available Rate available. I do think that it would be rather rare occurrence, however.

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Hilton HHonors has a special bonus offer for Virgin Atlantic Flying Club members. You can receive up to 15000 bonus miles for five stays between September 26 and December 31, 2012. Registration prior to your stay is required to be eligible for this offer and you need to choose Virgin Atlantic as your Double Dip partner.

hilton-hhonors-virgin-atlantic-4th-quarter-offer

Bonus miles per stay

1. Stay 1 – 1000 bonus miles

2. Stay 2 – 2000 bonus miles

3. Stay 3 – 3000 bonus miles

4. Stay 4 – 4000 bonus miles

5. Stay 5 – 5000 bonus miles

6. Stay 6+ – no bonus miles

Variable or fixed miles?

You can choose between variable or fixed miles when Virgin Atlantic is your double dip partner.

Variable miles are easy to understand. You will receive two Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles per USD spend.

Fixed miles are different. You will receive a set number of miles 1000, 200, or 100 depending of the Hilton brand you are staying at:

hilton-hhonors-virgin-atlantic-4th-quarter-offer-fixed-title

hilton-hhonors-virgin-atlantic-4th-quarter-offer-fixed-breakdown

At full service hotels you should choose fixed miles option as long as your folio amount is less than $500. If you folio amount is in excess of $500, the variable miles is better option.

You can transfer Virgin Atlantic miles back to Hilton HHonors points

I have written a piece about a strategy of choosing Virgin Atlantic as your double dip partner, even when you don’t really want to collect their miles, and later transferring the miles back to Hilton HHonors points.

If you earn the maximum number of bonus miles under this offer (15000) and the base fixed miles (5000) for five stays, you can then transfer these 20000 miles to 40000 Hilton HHonors points. You cannot do these transfers over the phone, but you have to call the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

Conclusion

This is a nice offer whether you collect Virgin Atlantic miles or Hilton HHonors points. If your preference is Hilton points, you would earn and additional 6K Hilton HHonors points per stays by going the Virgin route and moving them back to Hilton.

Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:

1. To participate in the offer, you must be a Hilton HHonors™ member and register at http://www.hhonors.com/FCstaymore. Membership is free. You must have Virgin Atlantic Airways selected in your HHonors profile as your preferred airline, prior to booking your Hilton Worldwide stay. In order to earn bonus miles, HHonors members must select from two Double Dip® Earnings Style options: HHonors Points and Variable Miles or HHonors Points and Fixed Miles. 
2. Only stays completed after registration will be eligible for Flying Club miles award. Points cannot be retrospectively applied.
3. HHonors members choosing HHonors Points and Fixed Miles award will earn 10 HHonors Base Points per eligible U.S. dollar spent plus 1000 or 200 or 100 miles (as applicable) per stay. Please visithttp://hhonors1.hilton.com/en_US/hh/points/earningmiles.do or ask at the time of booking for details of the fixed points awarded at your chosen hotel. Members will also be awarded the following bonus Flying Club miles per stay:

• 1st stay: 1,000 bonus miles
• 2nd stay: 2,000 bonus miles
• 3rd stay: 3,000 bonus miles
• 4th stay: 4,000 bonus miles
• 5th stay: 5,000 bonus miles
• From 6 stays and more – members will be awarded the standard stay miles only.

4. HHonors members choosing HHonors Points and Variable Miles award, will earn 10 HHonors Base Points plus 2 Flying Club base miles per 1 USD spent, plus the following bonus Flying Club miles per stay:

• 1st stay: 1,000 bonus miles
• 2nd stay: 2,000 bonus miles
• 3rd stay: 3,000 bonus miles
• 4th stay: 4,000 bonus miles
• 5th stay: 5,000 bonus miles
• From 6 stays and more – members will be awarded the standard stay Points and Miles only.

5. Up to a maximum of 15,000 Flying Club bonus miles can be claimed during this promotional period of 26 September September and 31 December 2012.
6. Flying Club Miles accrued and awards issued are subject to Flying Club Terms and Conditions
7. Offer is subject to availability at participating Hilton Worldwide Hotels & Resorts for stays completed between 26 September and

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Hilton HHonors is offering double miles for the second stay, triple miles for the third stay and quadruple miles from the 4th stay onwards between October 1 and December 31, 2012, for Miles & More members. You need to register for this promotion before your stay.

hilton-hhonors-miles-more-quadruple-miles-4th-q-2012

The registration link is at http://www.hiltonhhonors.com/vierfach.

Please note that you need to choose Miles & More as your Double Dip partner and choose fixed miles. You won’t earn any miles for stays at Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites, and Home2 Suites brands.

Hilton Miles & More Bonus Miles per stay

– Stay 1: No bonus

– Stay 2: 500 Bonus Miles

– Stay 3: 1000 Bonus Miles

– Stay 4 onwards: 1500 Bonus Miles per stay

Conclusion

This is a nice offer for quadruple Miles & More miles for Hilton stays from 4th stay onwards. I am waiting to see what offer airline related offers Hilton will put out for the 4th quarter.

Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:

  • Participation in the promotion is only possible after you have registered at http://www.hiltonhhonors.com/quadruplemiles&more
  • This offer applies after successful registration for chargeable stays in participating hotels between 1 October and 31 December 2012;
  • Only stays that were booked after registration qualify you to receive Miles & More award miles;
  • Hilton HHonors members, who select ‘Fixed miles award’ in their profile, will receive the basic 500 Miles & More miles per stay. In addition members receive 500 Miles & More award miles for their second stay, 1,000 award miles for their third stay and 1,500 award miles for their fourth stay and any subsequent stays;
  • Customers must be Hilton HHonors members to receive award miles;
  • Hilton HHonors members must have selected ‘Points & Miles’ in their profile and also chosen Miles & More as their preferred airline partner;
  • The earning of Miles & More miles and awards is subject to the general business terms and conditions of Miles & More;
  • Hilton HHonors™ membership, the earning of Points & Miles™ and the redeeming of points are subject to the general business terms and conditions of HHonors;
  • This offer in not valid in combination with other offers.

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Hilton is about to launch their 4th quarter promotions. There is one in cooperation with Emirates Skywards. You will receive 4000 bonus miles on your second stay. These are in addition to the regular number of miles that you would earn on the stay 1 and 2. This promotion is valid from October 1 to December 31, 2012.

hilton-hhonors-4th-q-2012-emirates-skywards

You need to register for this promotion before your stay at http://www.hiltonhhonors.com/skywards5000. Please note that as of now (September 26, 2012) the address is not activated yet.

Conclusion

This is a nice bonus if you are accruing of Emirates Skywards miles – 4000 bonus miles for your second stay during the promotional period.

Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:

  1. To participate, you must register at http://www.hiltonhhonors.com/skywards5000
  2. Offer is valid for eligible stays completed after registration, at participating hotels between 1 October 2012 and 31 December 2012.
  3. Only stays booked after registration will be eligible for the 4,000 bonus Skywards Miles
  4. HHonors members choosing Fixed Miles award will earn 500 base Skywards Miles for each of the first and second stays, plus 4,000 bonus Skywards Miles after their second stay only
  5. HHonors members choosing Variable Miles award, will earn one Skywards Mile per one USD spent for the first and second stays, plus 4,000 bonus Skywards Miles after their second stay only
  6. Customers must be an HHonors member to earn bonus Miles
  7. Customers who are not HHonors members and who subsequently enrol in the programme will receive 1,000 Hilton HHonors bonus points upon registration via this promotion only
  8. There is no mileage collection eligible for Hampton by Hilton and Home2Suites hotels
  9. Hilton HHonors members must have their earning preference set to ‘Points & Miles’ and must have ‘Skywards’ as the preferred airline partner
  10. Skywards Miles accrued and awards issued are subject to Skywards Terms and Conditions
  11. Hilton HHonors membership, earning of Points & Miles and redemption of points are subject to HHonors Terms and Conditions
  12. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion

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I had a chance to stay at this property over my birthday weekend back in May and I am glad that I did. My stay at the neighboring Grand Hyatt was disastrous, but the stay at the Conrad couldn’t have been better, although they had just opened.

Location

conrad-macau-map

The hotel is located on the Cotai strip of Macao close to the airport and to the Taipa ferry terminal. The same complex has also Sheraton and Holiday Inn hotels. The Holiday Inn hotel was originally going to be a Shangri-La hotel, but something happened along the way. Probably the most luxurious Holiday Inn if it was built as a Shangri-La.

Conrad Macao
Conrad Macao

Getting in/to From Hong Kong

You can take a ferry from the Hong Kong ferry terminal to either Taipa, which is closer, or to Macao ferry terminal from where they have complimentary buses to Cotai. If you are coming to stay at the Conrad, the Taipa fery terminal is a better choice.

Taipa Ferry Terminal - HKG Airport Ferry
Taipa Ferry Terminal – HKG Airport Ferry

There are also direct ferries from the Taipa to the Hong Kong airport. When I left the hotel, I took one of these ferries as I was flying out. Their schedule from Taipa is rather sparse so you need to figure out if it is a right choice for you. To my surprise, I got some airport taxes back due to arriving to the airport from Macao instead of Hong Kong.

There are number of sailings on number of companies from Hong Kong to Macao on catamarans. You just buy the ticket as you arrive to the terminal and go on the first available catamaran.

You are leaving Hong Kong and entering Macao. Both places, although part of China, have their own immigration control. They check you out of Hong Kong and then you enter Macao.

Check In

Most of my reservations are done at the very last minute. I decided to try the Conrad out when I was staying at the neighboring Grand Hyatt. The reservation was done in the morning for the arrival the same day.

As is often the case with the casinos, I had some trouble finding the entrance to the check in and quite a few of the employees were not able to communicate in English. This is quite understandable because most of the visitors are from the mainland China.

Conrad Macao Club Lounge Sitting Area
Conrad Macao Club Lounge Sitting Area

Once I found the entrance, I was whisked to check in to the club lounge that took the entire floor. They were expecting me and I had the entire lounge staff checking me in. There was nobody else in the lounge at the time.

I had been preupgraded to one of the suites. Perfect!

Suite 2612

Conrad Macao Duck
Conrad Macao Duck

The suite was really spacious and I loved the Conrad Macao duck that had the golden dices inside.

Conrad Macao Suite 2612 Living Room General View
Conrad Macao Suite 2612 Living Room General View

The living room had a table, sitting area, guest toilet, minibar, nespresso machine, and a small jar of hard candies.

Conrad Macao Suite 2612 Bedroom Bed Other View
Conrad Macao Suite 2612 Bedroom Bed Other View

The bedroom had couple of chairs, bed, closet and of course another TV.

Conrad Macao Suite 2612 Bathroom Sink
Conrad Macao Suite 2612 Bathroom Sink

Bathroom had the usual Acca Kappa line of bathroom amenities. Bath tub had a nice TV and shower was standard Conrad flair.

Room 2615

For some reason my internet stopped working at the suite so the hotel gave me another room for work purposes. This was a standard king room.

Conrad Macao Room 2615 Sitting Area
Conrad Macao Room 2615 Sitting Area

Club Lounge

This was the most spacious club lounge that I have ever seen. The space is huge.

Conrad Macao Club Lounge Happy Hour Wine List
Conrad Macao Club Lounge Happy Hour Wine List

I was there during the evening happy hour and the cocktails are top notch. They have a bartender there making drinks to your liking. I also loved the fact that they had couple of champagnes to choose from; Piper-Heidsieck and Moet & Chandon.

Conrad Macao Club Lounge Happy Hour Snacks 2
Conrad Macao Club Lounge Happy Hour Snacks 2

The snack section wasn’t as extensive as the drinks.

Conrad Macao Club Lounge Breakfast Plate
Conrad Macao Club Lounge Breakfast Plate

The lounge breakfast was good. I didn’t realize first that they had one section reserved for the hot and the cold items. The cereals and the juices were on the main are where they had the evening the night before.

Fitness Center

Conrad Macao Fitness Center Equipment More
Conrad Macao Fitness Center Equipment

This was typical new hotel gym with cardio machines and weights etc.

Pool

Conrad Macao Pool Area
Conrad Macao Pool Area

The pool is sandwiched between the hotels so I am not sure how much sun it will get during the day. I had look at it early in the morning.

Check Out

It was a breeze in the club lounge. I just took a regular taxi downstairs to the Taipa ferry terminal.

Conclusion

The stay was very good considering that it is a brand new property. I always like when hotels are paying attention to reservations made on the arrival day. I am not sure if the suite is the standard Diamond upgrade in the future, but I am glad that I got one.

I had been to Macao couple of times before and had seen the sights previously. You need to take one of the free shuttles to the Macao peninsula if you would like to see any of the sights in the city. The Cotai strip is just about casinos and shopping venues.

Personally, I much preferred the treatment that I received as a Hilton HHonors Diamond member at the Conrad vs. being Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond at the Grand Hyatt.

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I have been in the Polynesia for the past week. Flew from Cape Town to Easter Islands via Johannesburg, Sydney, Auckland, and Santiago, and then took that once weekly LAN Easter Island to Papeete fight on Monday. This is my first time in Tahiti and thought that I would check out few hotels out while I am here. I have been to a few of the Pacific islands before; Cook Islands, Western Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, and of course Hawaii. There are quite a few small ones still left to visit.

Hilton Moorea
Hilton Moorea

There are no Hyatt or Marriott options in French Polynesia. InterContinental has three resorts in Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora. Hilton has one in both Tahiti and Bora Bora and both of these used to be under the Sheraton flag. Starwood has Le Meridien in Tahiti and both Le Meriden and St. Regis hotels in Bora Bora. Radisson also has a Radisson Plaza hotel in Tahiti. There is a Sofitel in Tahiti that is closing at the end of November but the ones in Moorea and Bora Bora will stay open.

So, I decided against flying to Bora Bora as I was going to be here only for five nights including very late arrival and an equally early departure. I did, however, wanted to check out the Moorea island as well that is about half an hour ride using a catamaran from Papeete.

Unfortunately the InterContinental hotel there was sold out this week and I couldn’t find any availability either using points or cash. I wasn’t too sure about my schedule here so I didn’t book any of the hotels in advance.

Hilton Moorea Award Availability
Hilton Moorea Award Availability

Here my problem with the Hilton starts. I was searching for award availability for the Moorea Hilton for Tuesday this week. When I am not logged in, the website shows the basic level room available and the cash and the points (50K HH) price associated with it. When you try to book the room, the availability using points vanishes once you are logged in, however. I tried to book it using number of different browsers but the end result was always the same; availability was shown but it was gone once I logged in.

Hilton Moorea No Longer Available
Hilton Moorea No Longer Available

Thing to note here is that there has been some controversy in the past with ecommerce sites that are discriminating based on operating system i.e. Mac users are shown higher priced options or in the case on Amazon the prices were dependent of the browser used.

Hilton Moorea Award Availability Display
Hilton Moorea Award Availability Display

Anyway, I thought that this was a glitch and called the Hilton HHonors Diamond line as I wasn’t ready to pay the “Premium Room Reward” price of 172K points per night for Panoramic over water villa. The lady who answered the Diamond special services was not able to see any other availability than the Panoramic over water villa and I requested her to transfer me to the supervisor.

My call with the Diamond line ended up taking 57 minutes. Yes. 57 minutes. The supervisor that I got at the Hilton Guests Assistance line was borderline rude first. She was just claiming that the hotel had sold out the rooms that are available using points. When I pointed out that the hotel was still selling the room type that these award rooms book into, she was just claiming that the hotel must have sold out the number of rooms that they have allocated for points and there is nothing that she can do about it.

Hilton Reward Stays 4
Hilton Reward Stays 4

I then asked her to have a look at the terms and conditions of the Hilton HHonors and she told me that she is well aware of them. I pointed out that under the Hilton HHonors Terms and conditions Hotel Reward stays Number 4 it states that “Reward stays are not subject to blackout dates and capacity controls”. If hotel would be only allocating certain number of their base rooms for awards, this would constitute capacity controls. She was claiming that it is not what this terms and conditions met.

Hilton Reward Stays
Hilton Reward Stays

She was pointing out to the 2 a. Standard Room Rewards. She was claiming that “Members can use HHonors points to book a standard room, as defined by each hotel and subject to availability”.  According to her all the rooms that the hotel had allocated for award redemptions were gone.

This went on for like 20 minutes. I was almost starting to lose my patience. It was clear that the hotel had the room type available that the awards book into and the availability was shown before I had to log in.

Finally, she realized that there was indeed a problem when she tried to search for availability without any Hilton HHonors number plugged in. She was also able to see the room available for points but it always disappeared after inputting the number. She was not sure where the problem was.

I was on hold for extensive period of time while they were trying to sort this out. At the end, they were not able to book the room that was show on the Hilton.com. She claimed to have even called the hotel and was told that they were sold out. Obviously this was not the case as they were still selling rooms that the award should book into. I then requested if they could just switch a paid booking that I could do to a points one as there was obviously a problem somewhere in their system. This was not possible according to her.

At the end, I just ended up extending my stay at the InterContinental Tahiti for an additional day and booked the Hilton Moorea for another day this week. As a matter of fact I am just writing this from a Panoramic over water villa at the Hilton Moorea that I got as an upgrade for being a Hilton HHonors Diamond member.

Conclusion

There are occasional glitches with Hilton.com award availability, but I have always been able to book the award previously. Normally, you just need to try logging in/out and/or to use a different browser. This didn’t work out on this case.

I was surprised how little the person working for the Hilton Guests Assistance knew about the program. Arguing about award availability and something that totally contradicts what is posted as the terms and conditions of the program, is not the wisest approach.

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Hilton HHonors is having a drive to get more likes to their Hampton Inn Facebook page.

hilton-hhonors-hampton-inn-500-points

1. You need to like Hampton Inn on their Facebook page

2. You have to watch a video

3. Give the app permission to access your info.

hilton-hhonors-hampton-inn-500-share

You don’t actually have to watch the video and you can click not to post it on your Facebook wall. That’s what I just did.

hilton-hhonors-hampton-app

According to the app it can access quite a bit of information about you and your friends. You have to consider if this is worth 500 Hilton HHonors points. At least, I would disallow the app after you have inputted your info to get the points.

Conclusion

Easy 500 points but you have to surrender quite a bit of your and your friends info.

Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:

*Open 9:00 a.m. PST on 09/12/12 until 11:59 p.m. PST on 09/25/12 or until promotion is closed by sponsor to HHonors members who are legal residents of the U.S. (including D.C. and PR) or Canada (except Quebec). HHonors membership is free; go here to register. Not open to employees, officers or directors (or to members of the immediate family or household of any employees, officers, or directors) of Hilton HHonors Worldwide L.L.C., Hampton by Hilton, or any of their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, dealers, retailers, resellers, or any advertising or promotion agencies involved in this promotion. To participate, go to the Hamptonality Moments tab on the Hampton Page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hampton and watch and/or share the video posted under the title “Winning Team.” Then complete the entry form and click “submit” to submit your entry. Once your participation and valid HHonors membership is confirmed, 500 HHonors Bonus Points will be credited to your HHonors account. Please allow 6-8 weeks for points to appear in your HHonors account. You may watch and share the video as often as you like, but each HHonors member will receive 500 HHonors Bonus Points only one time. Void in Quebec and where prohibited. Sponsor may terminate or suspend program or individual participation at any time without notice. Bonus Points do not count toward tier status. Hilton HHonors™ membership, earning of Points & Miles™ and redemption of points are subject to HHonors Terms and Conditions.

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Here our monthly blog post about hotel loyalty promotions. You can now find an updated list just by clicking the “Hotel Promotions” tab. This will be updated when promotions expire and new ones are announced throughout the month.

loyaltylobby-hotel-promotions

Accor Hotels – Le Club

There are no currently bonus point promotions for Le Club Accorhotels. We do, however, have available instant Platinum status with the program. You can find more about this by following the link below.

le-club-accorhotels-sign-up-august-2012-benefits

Accor A-Club / Le Club Accorhotels Platinum Status for New Accounts

Best Western Rewards

Best Western’s fall promotion for double/triple points is starting on September 23rd and ends on November 18th, 2012. You can read more about this promo by following the link.

Best Western Rewards Fall 2012 Promotion Double or Triple Points

Carlson Hotels – Club Carlson

You can get triple points + 2000 bonus points by booking a breakfast package. This promotion is valid until December 31st, 2012 at selected Radisson & Radisson Blu locations.

radisson-breakfast-package

Book Breakfast Package Rate & Get Triple Gold Points at Select Radisson & Radisson Blu Hotels

You can get 100 free Club Carlson points per day by flipping through a photo book. This offer is valid until September 24, 2012.

club-carlson-global-giveaway-100-points

Get More Than 3000 Free Club Carlson Points – 100 Points Per Day

Club Carlson is celebrating 25 years of Country Inn & Suites by giving 25K bonus points for two night stays until October 14, 2012.

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Club Carlson: Country Inn & Suites 25 Years – Get 25000 Bonus Points For 2 Nights Stay

Radisson & Radisson Blu has an offer for Europe, Middle East & Africa. You can get 3rd night free and 2000 bonus points when you book for three nights and pay using American Express. This offer is valid until September 30th, 2012.

club-carlson-3-for-2-amex-offer

Radisson & Radisson Blu 3rd Night Free + 2000 Bonus Club Carlson Points

Club Carlson is offering double points at number of their properties in Europe, Middle East & Africa. This offer is valid until September 30th, 2012.

cc-our-summer-specials

Club Carlson Double Points in Europe, Middle East & Africa at Participating Hotels

Club Carlson has a redemption discount offer of 50% at number of properties in Europe, Middle East, and Africa. You can use your points at half the usual rate. This offer is valid until September 30th, 2012.

club-carlson-50redeem

Club Carlson 50% Redemption Discount At Select Hotels in Europe, Middle East & Africa

Club Carlson has a promotion for the Asia Pacific region. You can get 10K bonus points for stays of two nights or longer. You can earn the bonus points unlimited time. The promotion ends on September 30th, 2012.

club-carlson-apac-offer-10k-for-2-nights

Club Carlson Asia Pacific Promotion “Two Nights. 10,000 Points” – 10K Bonus Points For Stays Of Two Nights Or Longer

Here are few other interesting posts about the Club Carlson program:

There is an elite offer for 2 for 1 and 4 for 2. You need to be a Gold or Concierge member to take advantage of these discounts that are valid in Europe, Middle East Africa.

Club Carlson Gold/Concierge Elite Member Offer – Stay 2 Pay 1

Club Carlson Gold/Concierge Elite Member Offer – Stay 4 Pay 2

You can get a Club Carlson Gold through a status match or being a shareholder:

Carlson Hotels – Club Carlson Status Match

Club Carlson Gold Status for Rezidor Shareholders

If you have a friend or family member working for any Carlson hotel, you maybe eligible for the Friends & family discount:

Carlson Hotels Friends & Family Discount

Choice Privileges – Choice Hotels

Choice’s fall 2012 promotion is valid until November 14th, 2012. You will earn at the minimum 8000 points for every two stays.

choice-fall-2012-promotion

Choice Hotels Fall 2012 Promotion for Maximum of 8000 Bonus Points for Every Two Stays

Hilton HHonors

Hilton’s Triple Your Trip promotion for double points for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday Stays, and triple for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday stays until September 30th, 2012.

hilton-hhonors-3q-2012

Hilton HHonors 3rd Quarter “Triple Your Trip” 2012 Double or Triple Points Promotion

Hilton HHonors and Delta has teamed up offering triple Delta SkyMiles at selected Hilton family of hotels until September 20th, 2012.

hilton-hhonors-delta-q3-2012-triple-miles

Triple Delta SkyMiles for Stays at Selected Hilton Family of Hotels

Hilton is offering instant Gold status until 2014 and bonus points/miles for American, Delta, JetBlu, United, US Airways, and Virgin American frequent fliers. This offer is targeted.

hilton-offer-american

Instant Hilton HHonors Gold Status Until March 2014 for American, Delta, JetBlue, United, US Airways, and Virgin America Frequent Fliers + Bonus Points & Miles (Targeted?)

Here are some other important posts:

You can read about getting a status match with Hilton HHonors:

Hilton HHonors Gold & Diamond Status Match & Challenge & Fast Track Offer

Hilton HHonors Gold VIP Fast Track Offer Through MVP Program. Gold Status After Four Stays or Nine Nights During 90 period

Instant Hilton HHonors Gold Status for Visa Infinite Card Holders

It can make sense to use Virgin Atlantic as Double Dip partner and then transfer the miles back to Hilton. You can read more about this here:

Hilton HHonors Double Dip Strategy with Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club

Hyatt Gold Passport

Hyatt’s fall 2012 promotion is valid from September 1st to November 30th, 2012. You will earn 5000 bonus points after 5 nights and 10000 bonus points for every additional five nights for maximum bonus of 65000 Hyatt Gold Passport points.

hyatt-imagine

Hyatt Gold Passport Autumn “Imagine the Possibilities” Promotion

Here are couple of other important posts:

Hyatt also offers status matches/trials. You can read more about them here:

Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond Status Match – Hyatt Diamond Trial Challenge As Of 2012

Sometimes it makes sense to use Hyatt Stay Certificate instead of paying. You can read about more of them here:

Hyatt Stay Certificates – Way to Save Money On Hyatt Stays

InterContinental Hotels Group – Priority Club

The beauty of Priority Club is the onslaught of ongoing overlapping promotions that you can triple/quadruple dip.You can read about my average Priority Club point earnings when all the promotions are factored in here. I have also written about different type of Priority Club promotions here and what you can expect to earn for your first stay if you sign up for an account here.

Just a word of warning. Some of these promotions may require an address to be in a specific country/area like United States. I take absolutely no guarantees what will post to your Priority Club account. They may also conflict with a promotion that you have already signed up for and just return an error message.

There is an interesting “Roles To Rooms’ promotion for total of 15K bonus points for four stays. This promotion appears to be geographically targeted to Asia Pacific region.

priority-club-roles-to-rooms

Priority Club “Roles to Room” Promotion: 15000 Bonus Points for Four Stays

Quarter 3 Stay bonuses

These started on July 1st and will end on September 30th, 2012. You should sign up for an offer that you know you can achieve

5000 Bonus Air Canada Aeroplan Miles for a Stay

This is a nice bonus for a stay in Canada. You need to have the stays by December 30th, 2012 to be eligible for the bonus miles.

Priority Club “Sweetheart Deal” $100 Visa Prepaid Debit Card for Each 3 Night Stay within 90 Day of Wedding

Priority Club is offering a $100 rebate for every stay of 3 nights or longer within 90 days of your wedding, This promotion is valid until the end of 2012.

Priority Club $25 Gift Card Offer for Booking Directly Online

You can get up to five codes that you can redeem for various gift card by booking online or mobile on any of IHG branded websites.

Priority Club Meeting Rewards Offer of Triple Points

You can get triple Priority Club points for meetings by switching your account to Priority Club Meetings Reward member.

Priority Club Surveys for 2000 Points or More

There are number of surveys that you can do in number of different languages for a quick 2000 Priority Club points, if you haven’t done any of them earlier. This is a quick way to get some points. My points posted immediately.

Sign Up For Priority Club Shopping Emails & Get 500 Points

You can get 500 Priority Club points for just signing up for the shopping email.

Priority Club Welcome Survey for 1000 Bonus Points

Not sure what is going on with this promotion, but you can try to see if it works for you.

Install (Not Required) Priority Club Shopping Toolbar & Get 300 Points

You can get easy 300 points by installing a Priority Club shopping toolbar.

You can register for the following promotions at priorityclub.com/register. You need to have the email address associated with the Priority Club OR the Priority Club account number available AND the four digit code associated with the promotion.

Anniversary Bonus Offer – 6102 1000 Bonus Points

This is most lucrative of the offers. You will get additional 1000 Priority Club points per stay for 90 days after your sign up. Just enroll just before your first stay to maximize the earning period.

1000 Bonus Points for 60 Days – 8108 1000 Bonus Points

You will receive 1000 bonus Priority Club points per stay for the next 60 days after registering for this promotion. Just enroll just before your first stay to maximize the earning period.

Elite Member Next Stay Bonus – 5221 3000 Bonus Points

This works for sure if you are a Platinum member, but could work for Gold’s as well. Doesn’t hurt to sign up, right? You will get 3000 bonus Priority Club points for your next stay. You will need to have the stay within 90 days after signing up. You can only earn this once.

Elite Member Next Stay Bonus – 7489 3000 Bonus Points NEW

This is another 3000 bonus points for an elite member. It posts for sure if you are Platinum but might work for a Gold account as well. You need to do the stay within 90 days of registering for this offer.

Welcome Back Bonus – 2120 – 1500 Bonus Points

You will get 1500 Priority Club bonus points for one stay after signing up. You need do stay within 90 days.

New Member Bonus – 3107 1500 Bonus Points

This is a new member bonus, but works for existing members as well. You will get onetime 1500 Priority Club bonus points after signing up. You need do stay within 90 days after registration.

Next Stay Bonus – 5109 1500 Bonus Points

This should be open for elite and non-elite members. You will get onetime bonus of 1500 Priority club points after a paid stay. The stay must be within 90 days after registration.

Weekend Stay Bonus – 3136 5000 Bonus Points

This should be open for all. You will get 5000 Priority Club bonus points for a two night weekend stay. Weekend is typically defined Friday/Saturday/Sunday nights. The stay must occur before the end of 2012. This promotion may require your Priority Club access to be in the United States. The promotion did post for me after a while. This promotion can be done several times.

Platinum 5000 Bonus – 3168 – 5000 Bonus Points

Not sure exactly how this works, but here’s the info about this offer: We’re pleased you have continued to stay with us and are now even closer to earning exclusive Platinum Elite benefits and 5,000 bonus points. All you need to do is register and stay with us 5 more nights before 30th November 2012. It would be our pleasure to reward your loyalty with exclusive Platinum Elite benefits. Keep staying with us and you’ll soon be there. We look forward to helping you make it to the top: Platinum Elite status!

Marriott Rewards

Marriott has their usual fall MegaBonus starting on September 15th and ends on January 15th 2013. You need, however, register for the promotion by October 31st, 2012.

marriott-rewards-fal-2012-megabonus

Marriott Rewards Fall 2012 MegaBonus

Update on Marriott Fall 2012 MegaBonus Choices

You can earn triple airline miles tarting on your second stay on Marriott’s MegaMiles promotion that ends on October 30th, 2012.

marriott-megamiles

Marriott Rewards MegaMiles Promotion – Earn Triple Airline Miles

Here are three other posts about Marriott Rewards:

You can get Southwest Rapid Rewards points for Marriott Gift card purchases.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Points for Marriott Gift Card Purchases

Marriott also offers status matches or taste of Platinum/Gold. You can read more about the procedures of getting one here:

Marriott Rewards Gold & Platinum Status Match – Taste of Platinum & Gold Challenge

If you haven’t been targeted to any of the promotions or you would like to change to another one, you can follow the instructions to get the promotion fixed for you.

Changing Targeted Marriott Promotions

Ritz-Carlton Rewards

Ritz-Carlton has an offer for 30K bonus points for a stay of four nights or longer. This offer is valid until October 15th, 2012.

ritz-carlton-extraordinary-returns_0

Ritz-Carlton Rewards Extraordinary Returns – 30000 Bonus Points for a Four Night Stay

Starwood Preferred Guest

Starwood launched their much anticipated SPG Nice Choice promotion on May 1st that hasn’t gone down too well. You can read about the initial leak, my ability to confirm that the leaked information was real, and the strategy that you should take. Essentially, this is a double or triple Starpoints promotion that is very weak compared to free night promotions that SPG was running during 2010 and 2011. Note that you needed to choose what you would like to earn and when by June 30th, 2012.

Starwood’s next promotion Better By The Night begins on October 1st and ends on December 20th, 2012. You will receive double Starpoints for stays of 1 to 2 nights and triple points for stays of 3 nights or longer.

spg-better-by-the-night

SPG Better By The Night Autumn 2012 Promotion for Double or Triple Starpoints

You can get 500 bonus points for booking made on the iPhone SPG app or 250 points for bookings made on spg.com.

spg-better-by-the-night-booking-bonuses

SPG Better By The Night Online & iPhone Booking Bonuses

Westin Kierland and Sheraton Wilde Horse Pass have exciting bonus points opportunity. Stay once at both properties and earn 10000 bonus Starpoints.

Stay at Westin Kierland & Sheraton Wild Horse Pass for 10000 Bonus Starpoints

You can get 1000 Delta SkyMiles or US Airways Dividend Miles for booking a special (expensive) rate plan.

1000 Bonus Delta SkyMiles or US Airways Dividend Miles for Sheraton Club Bookings

Here’s a post about Starwood status match opportunity:

Starwood doesn’t offer straight status matches, but they can offer you a challenge:

Starwood Preferred Guest Platinum Status Match – Platinum Challenge

Wyndham Rewards

Wyndham’s summer promotion is coming to an end on September 13th, 2012. You can earn quadruple points or miles.

wyndham-s12summer

Wyndham Rewards Summer 2012 Promotion for Quadruple Miles or Points

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Resort fees, also sometimes called “facility” or “service” charges, are spreading like a cancer to properties that are no resorts, and are becoming more difficult to avoid.

Here are eight reasons why hotels love “scamming” using resort charges:

1. Able to advertise a lower headline price and bury the extra charge to tax section.

2. Preferential display when searched using the price on hotel search engines.

3. Save on some taxes on municipalities that don’t collect taxes on “resort” charges.

4. Collect resort charge on award stays.

5. Collect resort charge on third party bookings i.e. Expedia, Hotwire, Booking.com, Priceline etc.

6. No need to pay for travel agent commission for amount of the resort fee.

7. No need to award points for the frequent guest program for the resort fee portion.

8. No need to pay franchise fees for the resort charge portion.

Here are three examples how these charges are displayed:

Westin Las Vegas Resort Charge
Westin Las Vegas Resort Charge

Westin Las Vegas the old Maxim hotel that was closed for couple of years. The property charges a “service” fee of $11.50 that is buried to the itemized rate display.

St Regis Puerto Rico Resort Charge
St Regis Puerto Rico Resort Charge

St Regis Puerto Rico. The resort charge is displayed on the search and the wording that the base rate excluded the resort fee of $60 per night that is included in the full price.

Hyatt Regency Palm Springs Resort Charge
Hyatt Regency Palm Springs Resort Charge

Hyatt has hidden the resort charge to rate details. The price breakdown that is shown only includes the taxes but shows the total with the resort charge included.

What do you might get for these resort charges?

Water bottle, free internet, usage of wellness facilities, free local and 800-phone calls, use of pool or then none of these might be included. If you happen to be an elite member with the hotel, most of these would be covered by your elite benefits regardless.

Conclusion

Resort charges are nothing else than a clever way for hotels to advertise a lower headline price and hide the accommodation charge that is not a tax to the tax breakdown. I absolutely hate hotels that do this. Then there are hotels like Westin Las Vegas or Hyatt Palm Springs that are not resorts and have started to charge service/resort fees.

You can always request for the resort charges to be waived or discounted on the basis that you didn’t use the services or that they are part of the elite level benefit package. Quite often the hotels are willing to waive these fees rather than argue with the customer.

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Hilton HHonors has an exciting offer for AmericanDelta, JetBlue, United, US Airways and Virgin America frequent fliers. You will get an instant Gold status through March 14t, 2014 and bonus miles and/or bonus Hilton HHonors bonus points depending of the airline offer in question. This offer appears to be targeted to the recipients of this offer by email.

Sign up for our daily blog updates by email and follow us on TwitterFacebook to be first to know about exciting Hilton HHonors bonus points opportunities and program information.

Note that all the other offers are for FOUR STAYS during the promotional period but the United’s offer is for FIVE NIGHTS. There are various ending dates until which you have time to do the stays. Read the airline specific terms and conditions.

Friend of mine alerted me about this offer that was first posted on FlyerTalk.

Other Fast Track Offers for Hilton HHonors Gold Status

Hilton has an offer in the Asia Pacific region for instant Gold status for Visa Infinite card holders. There is a way around to get this offer even if you don’t have a Visa Infinite card. Hilton also offers fast track to Gold status only after four stays or nine nights over 90 day period via their MVP program.

Remember that you can double dip with Virgin Atlantic and transfer the miles back to Hilton HHonors. I wrote about this strategy recently.

American Airlines AAdvantage

hilton-offer-american

– 500 AAdvantage miles after your first stay by November 28, 2012¹.
– Instant HHonors Gold status through March 2014 and you can enjoy complimentary room upgrades, high-speed Internet access, breakfast and more².
– 50,000 HHonors Bonus Points after your fourth stay by November 28, 2012³.

This is a good offer. I like the 50K bonus Hilton HHonors points after fourth stay.

Delta Air Lines SkyMiles

hilton-offer-delta

– 500 miles from Delta after your first stay by November 29, 2012¹.
– Instant HHonors Gold status through March 2014 and you can enjoy complimentary room upgrades, high-speed Internet access, breakfast and more².
– 50,000 HHonors Bonus Points after your fourth stay by November 19, 2012³.

Same offer as American’s. You will receive 50K bonus Hilton HHonors points after your fourth stay.

JetBlue TrueBlue

hilton-offer-jetblue

– Instant HHonors Gold status through March 2014 and you can enjoy complimentary room upgrades, high-speed Internet access, breakfast and more¹.
– 500 TrueBlue points after your first stay by November 22, 2012².
– 50,000 HHonors Bonus Points after your fourth stay between August 2 and November 22, 2012³.

Still the same offer. 50K Hilton HHonors bonus points is a nice amount.

United Airlines Mileage Plus

hilton-offer-united

– 6,000 MileagePlus bonus award miles after five nights stayed by November 25, 2012¹
– Instant HHonors Gold status through March 2014 and you can enjoy complimentary room upgrades, high-speed Internet access, breakfast and more².

This offer gives you flat 6000 bonus Mileage Plus miles after five nights.

US Airways Dividend Miles

hilton-offer-us-airways

– 500 miles from US Airways after your first stay by December 2, 2012¹.
– Instant HHonors Gold status through March 2014 and you can enjoy complimentary room upgrades, high-speed Internet access, breakfast and more².
– 25,000 HHonors Bonus Points after your fourth stay by December 2, 2012³.

The bonus point offer is only 25K Hilton HHonors points compared to 50K on American, Delta and JetBlue offers.

Virgin America Elevate

hilton-offer-virgin-america

– 1,600 Elevate points after your fourth stay by December 12, 2012¹
– Instant HHonors Gold status through March 2014 and you can enjoy complimentary room upgrades, high-speed Internet access, breakfast and more²

Like on the United’s offer you won get any bonus Hilton HHonors points here. The bonus offer is 1600 Elevate points after fourth stay.

Conclusion

If you received the offer email for complimentary Hilton HHonors Gold status basically just for singing up, it makes perfect sense to take advantage of this it even if you don’t have any planned Hilton stays. The status will be valid until March, 2014.

Hilton HHonors Gold status is good for a complimentary breakfast and/or lounge access, some extra points, complimentary internet access, room upgrades, and you will be eligible for VIP only awards.

Hilton HHonors Gold is probably the best mid-tier hotel chain status.

You can combine this offer with other current Hilton promotions.

Terms and conditions of the American Airlines offer:

¹To earn 500 AAdvantage miles, you must complete one stay between August 8 and November 28, 2012. Please allow 6-8 weeks for AAdvantage miles to appear in your AAdvantage account. AAdvantage miles accrued and awards issued are subject to the terms and conditions of the AAdvantage program. Go to www.aa.com/aadvantage for complete details. American Airlines reserves the right to change the AAdvantage® program and its terms and conditions at any time without notice, and to end the AAdvantage® program with six months notice. Any such changes may affect your ability to use the awards or mileage credits that you have accumulated. Unless specified, AAdvantage miles earned through this promotion/offer do not count toward elite-status qualification or Million MilerSM status. American Airlines is not responsible for products or services offered by other participating companies.

²If you’re already an HHonors member, please contact Hilton Reservations and Customer Care so your account can be updated to qualify for this offer. Offer is valid for the recipient of this email only and is non-transferable. You must update your account by November 28, 2012 to obtain Gold status, which will be valid through March 2014. Thereafter, standard requirements must be met to maintain Gold status. Gold status member may choose from a variety of on-property benefits, which vary by hotel and are subject to availability.

³To receive 50,000 Bonus Points, all qualifying stays must be completed between August 8 and November 28, 2012. Please allow 6-8 weeks from completion of your stays for points to appear in your HHonors account. Hilton HHonors points required for a free night range between 7,500 HHonors points for a Category 1 hotel and up to 80,000 points for Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. 50,000 HHonors points are enough for two free reward nights at a Category 1-3 hotel. Free nights (for standard room, double occupancy) are defined in the HHonors program Terms and Conditions. For information on reward stays, visit HHonors.com/Rewards. AmericanAirlines, AAdvantage and Million Miler are trademarks of American Airlines, Inc.

Terms and conditions of the Delta Air Lines offer:

¹To receive 500 miles, you must complete one stay between July 29 and November 19, 2012. Please allow 6-8 weeks for miles to appear in your SkyMiles account. All SkyMiles program rules apply. To review the rules, please visit delta.com/skymiles. Partner offers subject to the terms and conditions of each individual offer. Offers void where prohibited by law. Other restrictions may apply. Offers subject to change without notice.

²If you’re already an HHonors member, please contact Hilton Reservations and Customer Care so your account can be updated to qualify for this offer. Offer is valid for the recipient of this email only and is non-transferable. You must update your account by November 19, 2012 to obtain Gold status, which will be valid through March 2014. Thereafter, standard requirements must be met to maintain Gold status. Gold status member may choose from a variety of on-property benefits, which vary by hotel and are subject to availability.

³To receive 50,000 Bonus Points, all qualifying stays must be completed between July 29 and November 19, 2012. Please allow 6-8 weeks from completion of your stays for points to appear in your HHonors account. Hilton HHonors points required for a free night range between 7,500 HHonors points for a Category 1 hotel and up to 80,000 points for Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. 50,000 HHonors points are enough for two free reward nights at a Category 1-3 hotel. Free nights (for standard room, double occupancy) are defined in the HHonors program Terms and Conditions. For information on reward stays, visit HHonors.com/Rewards.

Terms and conditions of the JetBlue offer:

¹If you’re already an HHonors member, please contact Hilton Reservations and Customer Care so your account can be updated to qualify for this offer. Offer is valid for the recipient of this email only and is non-transferable. You must update your account by November 22, 2012 to obtain Gold status, which will be valid through March 2014. Thereafter, standard requirements must be met to maintain Gold status. Gold status member may choose from a variety of on-property benefits, which vary by hotel and are subject to availability.

²To receive 500 TrueBlue points, you must complete one stay by November 22, 2012. Please allow 6-8 weeks for TrueBlue points to appear in your TrueBlue account. Offer available to TrueBlue members in good standing. The name and True Blue number provided must exactly match those listed in the TrueBlue account. Offer has no cash value, is not not redeemable for cash, is not valid for group stays, is nontransferrable, and cannot be combined with other offers. TrueBlue points may not be granted retroactuveky and will not be granted for any stays outside of the eligble offer dates. Offer may be modified or discontinued at any time without notice or liability. TrueBlue program Terms and Conditions apply. Please visit trueblue.jetblue.com for complete details.

³To receive 50,000 HHonors Bonus Points, all qualifying stays must be completed between August 2 and November 22, 2012. Please allow 6-8 weeks from completion of your stays for points to appear in your HHonors account. Hilton HHonors points required for a free night range between 7,500 HHonors points for a Category 1 hotel and up to 80,000 points for Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. 50,000 HHonors points are enough for two free reward nights at a Category 1-3 hotel. Free nights (for standard room, double occupancy) are defined in the HHonors program Terms and Conditions. For information on reward stays, visit HHonors.com/Rewards.

Terms and conditions of the United Airlines offer:

¹To earn United Mileage Plus miles for your stays, simply stay at a Hilton Worldwide hotel, pay an eligible rate, and present your United Mileage Plus account number at time of reservation and at check-in. To receive 6,000 bonus award miles, all qualifying stays must be completed between August 5 and November 25, 2012. Miles accrued, awards issued and bonus offers are subject to the rules of the UMP program. United, its subsidiaries, affiliates and agents are not responsible for any products and services of other participating companies and partners. Please allow 6-8 weeks after completed qualifying activity for bonus award miles to be posted to your UMP account. The UMP program, including accruals, awards and bonus, is subject to change without notice. Taxes and fees related to award travel are the responsibility of the passenger. United and Mileage Plus are registered service marks. For complete details about the UMP program, visit www.united.com.

²If you’re already an HHonors member, please contact Hilton Reservations and Customer Care so your account can be updated to qualify for this offer. Offer is valid for the recipient of this email only and is non-transferable. You must update your account by November 25, 2012 to obtain Gold status, which will be valid through March 2014. Thereafter, standard requirements must be met to maintain Gold status. Gold status member may choose from a variety of on-property benefits, which vary by hotel and are subject to availability.

Terms and conditions of the US Airways offer:

¹To receive 500 Dividend Miles, you must complete one stay between August 12 and December 2, 2012. Please allow 6-8 weeks for Dividend Miles to appear in your Dividend account. US Airways is not responsible for products or services offered by Hilton. Airline miles accrued and awards issued are subject to the terms and conditions of the Dividend Miles Program. Go to usairways.com/dividendmiles for complete details.

²If you’re already an HHonors member, please contact Hilton Reservations and Customer Care so your account can be updated to qualify for this offer. Offer is valid for the recipient of this email only and is non-transferable. You must update your account by December 2, 2012 to obtain Gold status, which will be valid through March 2014. Thereafter, standard requirements must be met to maintain Gold status. Gold status member may choose from a variety of on-property benefits, which vary by hotel and are subject to availability.

³To receive 25,000 Bonus Points, all qualifying stays must be completed between August 12 and December 2, 2012. Please allow 6-8 weeks from completion of your stays for points to appear in your HHonors account. Hilton HHonors points required for a free night range between 7,500 HHonors points for a Category 1 hotel and up to 80,000 points for Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. 25,000 HHonors points are enough for one free reward night at a Category 1-3 hotel. Free nights (for standard room, double occupancy) are defined in the HHonors program Terms and Conditions. For information on reward stays, visit HHonors.com/Rewards.

Terms and conditions of the Virgin America offer:

¹To receive 1,600 Elevate Points, you must complete four stays between August 22 and December 12, 2012. Please allow 6-8 weeks for Elevate Points to appear in your Virgin America account. Virgin America is not responsible for products or services offered by Hilton. Points accrued and awards issued are subject to the terms and conditions of the Elevate Points Program. Go to virginamerica.com/frequent-flyer/elevate-member-guide.html for complete details.

²If you’re already an HHonors member, please contact Hilton Reservations and Customer Care so your account can be updated to qualify for this offer. Offer is valid for the recipient of this email only and is non-transferable. You must update your account by December 12, 2012 to obtain Gold status, which will be valid through March 2014. Thereafter, standard requirements must be met to maintain Gold status. Gold status member may choose from a variety of on-property benefits, which vary by hotel and are subject to availability.

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4 Comments

Over the years, I have saved a lot by using Priceline for hotel bookings. As a matter of fact, Priceline got me hooked on hotel programs, when you were able to get a Hyatt hotel for $50 bucks and it would be a qualifying stay for both  promotional purposes and a stay credit as long as you had a minimal charge and used a MasterCard to settle the bill.

Those days are long gone, but there are still lots of opportunities to save on hotel stays using Priceline. I usually try first getting a decent deal by booking direct, but sometimes it just doesn’t produce the rates that I am happy to pay.

There are several websites that can provide tips and assistance on Priceline bookings. The two that provide the most information are BiddingForTravel (www.biddingfortravel.com) and BetterBidding (www.betterbidding.com). Both of these sites contain list of successful bids for various cities that bidders have successfully gotten on Priceline and other useful information about Priceline strategies etc.

My Bidding Experience for Vancouver BC

The other weekend I was in Vancouver. The rates at the downtown hotels were on the high side and I decided to give a Priceline a try.

First, I checked both the BetterBidding and BiddingForTravel to get an idea about the hotels that one might expect to receive and the price range. Both websites also provide a list and star rating of hotels that are available in each of the Priceline zones.

I was targeting a hotel in either of the two zones in downtown Vancouver. It didn’t matter if the hotel is in the downtown or entertainment district, but I needed something four stars according to the Priceline.

Priceline Zones

For Vancouver area Priceline has 11 different zones. These help with rebidding as only 4 of the zones has four star properties. I could rebid total of 8 times if I include the two downtown zones to get the best deal around.

You have to be very careful with the Priceline zones. Sometimes Priceline has a hotel that is exactly on the border of the zone.

Placing the First Bid

As always I want to get some cashback for my online purchases. There are several sites that offer cashback for Priceline. This time I decided to use TopCashBack that had 3% rebate for Priceline “Name Your Own Price” bookings.

Priceline is now offering three different kind of bookings; the traditional hotel booking that shows the name of the hotel and the price, the Name Your Own Price bidding, and Express Deals. You need to choose the “Name Your Own Price” tab for the best savings. I have not found the conventional prices on Priceline to be anything worthwhile, although I used them once for a Best Rate Guarantee with Marriott.

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When you choose the “Name Your Own Price”, you will be then presented with a “Lighbox” to enter the city and the dates.

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I chose the Downtown Vancouver zone.

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Then you need to choose the star level of the hotel. I chose four stars. There is a box on the bottom next to the bid amount that “shows” the supposedly median price for a four star property in downtown Vancouver. Priceline basically just tries to get you to overbid. You can just completely disregard it.

priceline-ll-4-bid-amount

Based on the reports on both BetterBidding and BiddingForTravel, I decided to start at $76. There were fairly recent winning bids on the downtown zone for around $80 per night. The total price with the Priceline fees with this bid amount came to $95.30. The real tax rate in the Vancouver is 15.74%. The Priceline’s fee in this instance would have been in excess of $7.

priceline-ll-5-trip-protection-offer

You should always decline the “garbage” Trip Protection Offers that all the travel websites are offering. They are there to fatten their bottom line. You should, however, have comprehensive travel insurance.

priceline-ll-6-priceline-terms

It is good idea to familiarize yourself with the Priceline’s rules. Basically all these “Name Your Own Price” bookings are nonrefundable and noncancellable. Do NOT book through this service if your plans are not firm. I only use Priceline for same or next day bookings when I am already in the city. Then you need to fill out your credit card and address information.

priceline-ll-7-negotiating

You will then see a Priceline “negotiator” screen for few seconds while Priceline is trying to match hotel offers with the price that you bid.

priceline-ll-8-try-again-now

If your bid was not successful but  was close to a price that Priceline could offer, you are then presented an offer to up your bid to a certain amount, on this instance to $89, without having to choose any other options. You should always decline this offer as you can get the hotel at significantly less through the rebidding process.

priceline-ll-9-rebidding

As I pointed out earlier, there are numerous rebidding opportunities in the Vancouver area where there are no 4 star hotels offered by Priceline. I decided to up my bid by $1 at a time and just go through number of different zones.

priceline-ll-10-final-bid

After adding couple of different zones my bid had been upped to $79.

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This time I received a message that Priceline was working on my request. This is usually a sign that your offer has been accepted.

priceline-ll-12-winning-bid

My bid of $79 was accepted at the Renaissance Harbourside hotel. This suited me well because I am a Marriott Platinum member and the status benefits typically are extended to Priceline stays as well.

priceline-ll-13-renaissance

The lowest rate on Marriott website was 239 CAD for the night in question before the taxes.

How was my stay at the Renaissance?

It was not the most modern Marriott chain hotel and obviously they do have some sort of revenue problem if they need to dump rooms on Priceline for $79 per night during the height of the summer season.

I received probably the smallest room I have had so far this year, but all the Platinum benefits including welcome amenity and lounge access were extended. Cannot really complain considering the price I paid.

Conclusion

You should always keep in mind that there is an option of bidding hotel rooms through Priceline’s “Name Your Own Price”. The savings are usually significant enough to put up with the bidding process and the time it requires.

Priceline works remarkably well in North America but not so in some other countries.

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3 Comments

Over the past eight years Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental, Marriott and Starwood hotels have been my home. When traveling, I have hard time staying at other brands due to benefits associated with the top tier statuses I have.

renaissance-club-benefits

Right now, I am here in Bangkok that has great number of very good hotels that are not associated with any of the five chains mentioned above, but I have very hard time trying any of them and here is why.

1. Upgrades

If I stick to any of the hotels, where I tend to stay here, I am almost always guaranteed a suite upgrade i.e. Renaissance, JW Marriott, InterContinental, Royal Orchid Sheraton, Plaza Athenee, Le Meridien, Westin, Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, St Regis etc.  I have learned to bypass the Hilton properties here in Bangkok, where their elite treatment is the minimum required by the Hilton HHonors.

2. Lounge access

When traveling in the United States, I could care less about the lounge access, but here in Asia the lounges are actually worth something; the breakfast spread tend to be quite good, you often have afternoon tea and evening cocktails with some substantial food offerings as well.

3. Breakfast

I am not normally a breakfast person, but you can easily turn them into an early lunch like I did this morning. Quite a few of the hotels let you choose whether you prefer to have the breakfast in the lounge or in the hotel restaurant.

4. Early Check In/Late Check Out

Most of the chains guarantee you a 4PM check out that comes handy if you have a flight out in the evening. Hotels tend to charge a half day rate for late check outs if you are not an elite member.

5. Problem resolution

Few times a year the hotel stay doesn’t just go as smoothly as one would expect. It is just reassuring to know that the chain will back up their service promise even when the specific hotel has dropped the ball. I end up lodging a complaint four/five times a year and typically have resolution in couple of days if not sooner.

6. Points/Free Nights/Promotions

If you plan your hotel stays around the numerous promotions, it is rather easy to rack up lots of points and/or free night certificates. I essentially consider these as a rebate of the price I pay. For the most part the hotel chains are interchangeable for me. I can stay at a Marriott or Starwood property, but the chain that offers a better value proposition when points/promotions are factored in, gets my business.

When I don’t care about the benefits?

Sometimes I am arriving very late and then leaving very early in the morning. Unless there is a stellar promotion from one of the chains, I could practically care less about the hotel/brand as long as they have working and free wireless internet and the bed is comfortable. I might even use Priceline to get a rock bottom price for the night.

Conclusion

Having a top tier status with one or more of the global hotel chains can make your traveling a smoother if you take advantage of the associated benefits. I would love to try more independent hotels but the benefits package that I receive from the international chains if hard to beat.