Monday, July 16, 2012

Hotel Loyalty

I love travel; this year I have already spent about 11 weeks away from home and have plans for another 9 weeks of travel later in the year. Having purchased international airfares I am already committed to being away from home for 11 weeks in the first half of 2013. Thus I have plans for at least another 20 weeks travel in the next ten months when I will need a bed.

I am a member of several hotel loyalty schemes. Depending on which part of the world I find myself in I will often choose to stay in a hotel belonging to a group with a loyalty scheme but I always look for hotels from one or two groups ahead of the others for just one reason - their points don't expire. This email I got from Accor this morning reminded me why their hotels are not my first choice:

For the next two months I intend to stay at home so will not be taking advantage of Accor's threat reminder. The points I earned for stays at their wonderful airport hotels in Bangkok and Heathrow will go to waste. That's a shame; I was considering spending a couple of nights at the Heathrow property when I am in the UK later in the year. A few more nights in Accor properties would enable me to have some points to redeem for a free night and act as a catalyst for Accor loyalty on my part..

The Hilton group falls into the same category as Accor. One loses points if they are not redeemed within a certain time frame. Luckily my Hilton points don't disappear until December and I have enough for a one night stay that I have booked for October.

I am a member of Accor, Carlson, Hilton and Intercontinental Hotels (ICH) Group schemes plus a few others I have joined to get 'on the spot' perks.

My first choice when booking is the ICH Group because, as well as being able to accrue points that have no time limit for redemption, they offer certain perks (which differ at each property) to members. I have received goodie bags, a free drink in the bar, free internet access, a cocktail reception with the manager, an upgrade to the Club floor, bottled water and bonus points. My second choice is the Carlson Group whose points also don't expire.

I should have thought that an independent traveller like me who spends more than 1/3 of the year  on the road would be the sort of person that hotel loyalty schemes would want to woo.

But I guess that I am just a small fish in a big sea of corporate travellers.

1 comment:

  1. I can never figure out who the loyalty schemes are getting at either. We stayed Accor at Heathrow too. I'll look into those last two for future trips. We do love B&Bs though - often the same price as 3 star hotels but with a built in local full of advice and local language - sometimes like staying with a favourite auntie!


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