Benefits of hotel loyalty programs
In the hotel world, loyalty and value go hand-in-hand. The more loyal you are to a hotel, the more value they’ll provide, and vice-versa. Through hotel loyalty programs, hotels will roll out the benefits to ensure their loyal customers feel valued.
And this can make all the difference when travelling for work, says Michaela Pound, National Product Leader at Flight Centre Business Travel (FCBT): "From status points and credits for future travel to the best rates and VIP treatment, corporate travellers can really make the most of their time on the road by being loyal to a hotel chain."
Read on as Michaela explains the benefits of hotel loyalty programs.
Earn points for future travel
One of the main benefits of hotel loyalty programs is the points that you’ll accrue and the perks they provide. You’ll build up rewards points each time you book and stay with a hotel chain, such as Hyatt or Hilton, with the more you stay in a year resulting in more points.
If you travel a lot, accruing points to use for future travel can be a significant bonus, says Michaela: “You can use your hotel loyalty program points for business or leisure travel, so after a few work trips you can treat yourself to some time out thanks to your points.”
Many hotel loyalty programs also have affiliations with airlines, such as Qantas or Virgin, so you can earn additional points through each leg of your travel. Or, as Michaela says, you can triple-dip: “At FCBT, we’re able to book your hotel using your loyalty membership number so you get the points from your hotel; and can book your flight with an affiliate airline; plus our SmartSTAY program is affiliated with a number of hotel loyalty programs, which means even more points for you when you book through us.”
Improve your status
As your points go up with frequent travel, so too does your membership status. And in the world of corporate travel, status is everything. You might start off on the Classic level of Le Club AccorHotels but stay often enough and you’ll soon be climbing the tiers of Silver and Gold to reach Platinum status.
While being a member of a hotel loyalty program will often get you discounted room rates, online check-in and free internet, progressing up the tiers will also unlock early check-in and late check-out, lounge access, guaranteed room availability, premium WiFi, complimentary water and free breakfasts. You could also bring a guest for free or stay for free yourself.
The benefits afforded to hotel loyalty program members can add to the experience of travelling for work, says Michaela: “Being treated like a VIP, bypassing the check-in line, getting things that other customers don’t get – these exclusive experiences can make corporate travel more comfortable and enjoyable.”
Enjoy value for money
Many hotel loyalty programs offer a standard 10% discount on room rates, but most will also offer their members exclusive promotional rates throughout the year. A benefit of membership also means that you’ll get first dibs on the offers, which can be up to 50% off, via pre-sale opportunities.
But it’s not all about cheap rates, says Michaela: “For corporate travellers, there’s more to value than a low bottom dollar; a highly discounted rate, even for loyalty members, might come at the cost of flexibility and value-adds.”
The solution? Booking through your dedicated Travel Manager, who can apply your hotel loyalty program membership number to your booking to unlock all the benefits of your status tier plus the flexibility and value-adds that FCBT provides.
So, what benefits can you get from your hotel loyalty program?
Here are some of the main benefits for each hotel rewards program:
- Offers Member, Silver, Gold and Diamond status tiers.
- Basic Member perks include discounts, points towards free nights, in-room and lobby Wi-Fi, second guest stays free and late check-out.
- Silver members also receive two bottles of water, while Gold and Diamond status tiers attract room upgrades, free breakfasts and more.
World of Hyatt
- Offers Member, Discoverist, Explorist and Globalist status tiers.
- Member benefit highlights include savings of up to 10% and free internet.
- Discoverist members also receive premium internet access and a free bottle of water daily, room upgrades, priority check-in and 2pm check-out.
- Explorist and Globalist members are entitled to extra privileges such as an exclusive reservations line, lounge access and free breakfasts
- Offers Rewards Member, Silver Elite, Gold Elite and Platinum Elite status tiers.
- Rewards Member and Silver Elite benefits include a choice to earn points or Frequent Flyer miles, the lowest rates on direct bookings, no blackout dates and free in-room internet access.
- Gold Elite and Platinum Elite members also receive their guaranteed room type, complimentary room upgrades, 4pm check-out, lounge access and free breakfast
IHG Rewards Club
- Offers Club, Gold Elite, Platinum Elite and Spire Elite status tiers.
- Club members are entitled to collect points or miles/credits and free internet.
- Gold Elite members also get priority check-in and extended check-out.
- Platinum Elite and Spire Elite status also unlock free room upgrades and guaranteed room availability.
Le Club AccorHotels
- Offers Classic, Silver, Gold and Platinum status tiers.
- Classic members receive 10% extra off room rates, advance sale access, online check-in and fast check-out and free internet.
- Silver members enjoy priority check-in and late check-out, a welcome drink and turndown service.
- Gold members receive a welcome amenity and room upgrades, while Platinum status member can also access early check-in and late check-out, lounges and premium Wi-Fi.