Updated on January 31, 2015
Points can be found everywhere you look.
In this post, I’ll cover how points can be earned, and used, in the hotel world.
(Click Photos to Enlarge)
Hotel Points. These points are accumulated varying on the corresponding dollars spent on the room. While points earned are variable, redeeming points is at a fixed cost. By that I mean that $10 spent may earn you 50 points, but redeeming a night at a “category 3” hotel rate (for example) may cost you 20,000 points, no matter if the room is $100 a night or $250 a night.
Hotel Status. Hotel status has nothing to do with the amount of points earned, although it usually corresponds pretty well. Hotel status is earned through the amount of nights stayed or stays (which are stays of 2 or more consecutive nights). Once you reach whatever that threshold is, you start using the perks of that tier immediately (Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, etc.).
There are a few companies that own the majority of the hotels you probably stay at normally. These are some of the chains, from largest to smallest:
Each of these programs are distinctly unique in their own way. One common trait they all share is points. One way or another, they reward their customers with points.
We’ll quickly review a few of the “Major Players” and go over a programs snapshot of each, along with how you earn and redeem their points.
Intercontinental Hotel Group, aka IHG, is probably best known for their main hotel chain, the Holiday Inn brands.
They also have their high-end selection of brands, including their namesake, the InterContinental Hotel. Along with the InterContinental are the Crowne Plaza and the Hualuxe hotels.
The earning concept at IHG is extremely simple.
InterContinental Hotel – 10 points/$1, with a minimum of 2,000 points per stay
All other IHG properties – 5 points/$1
Similar to their earning, the redemption process is equally as simple in thought.
Hilton Hotels are a well-known brand worldwide. Hilton’s midrange hotel brands, including Hilton, Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, and Embassy Suites, are probably the most widely seen in the chain.
Similar to IHG, Hilton’s earning is relatively simple, save a few caveats
Hilton has a simple, albeit devalued, award chart. By devalued, we mean the price per night is not significantly more expensive than competitors, however you also earn more with your stays. Think of inflation, except in the points world.
Marriott International offers guests locations all around the world with unique stays. Ranging from multiple extended stay hotels (Residence Inn and TownePlace Inn and Suites) to their luxury brands JW Marriott and The Ritz-Carlton.
Instead of writing out some convoluted paragraph on hotel earning, it may just be more simple to show you their earning program from their website.
They also have a 5-tier reward chart for the Ritz-Carlton.
On both of these award charts you receive your fifth night free after you book the first four with points.
Starwood Hotels and Resorts provide their customers with a very valuable points system, and a wide variety of hotels and resorts. Their hotels you will be most familiar with are most likely the Sheraton, Westin, and St. Regis.
However, the Starwood redeeming chart is a little more confusing than most. Thus, I’ve added the chart from their website to ease the pain.
Finally, we’ve come to Hyatt! What you’re used to seeing: Hyatt, Hyatt Place, Grand Hyatt, Park Hyatt, Hyatt Regency.
5 points/$1 spent
That’s been a quick roundup of hotel points. You’ll now know the basic foundations you need to start earning and burning at your favorite chain!