Tuesday, December 24, 2013

If you haven't joined Marriott Rewards, join now and get a free night; or two!

    New Year's is just over a week away and it's time to make those resolutions. Most of these can actually be made at any time, but I have one that is best made at the start of the year.
    It's this: If you plan to spend two or more nights in hotels over the next 12 months, you need to join a hotel loyalty program.
    Hotel loyalty programs are a lot like the airline programs were 15 years ago, in that there are some really generous offers to be had out there. For example, Jinny and I both recently got a couple of free nights in Raidisson hotels that would have cost us more than $300 merely by spending a single night apiece in a cheap Radisson. It was as if we had been given a free $600.
    The Radisson deal is long gone, but there are still plenty of very generous offers out there. For casual travelers, I've been touting the Marriott program and its Megabonus for some time. If you aren't already a member of the Marriott Rewards program, pat yourself on the back for refusing to listen to me earlier. Because they are giving a free hotel room to new members.
    That's right, sign up, stay twice over the next 120 days and get a free Cat. 1-5 room night. This offer is stackable on top of Marriott's thrice-yearly Megabonus offer, which for most casual travelers is a stay-two-get-one offer. So for new members, stay twice and get two free room nights.

    In other hotel loyalty club news, Priority Club, now known as IHG Rewards, has a promotion called The Big Win that, like the Marriott Megabonus, gives a custom offer to each member. IHG is punishing its most loyal members by giving them crappy offers, but casual travelers can come out just fine on this.
    Both Jinny and I got Big Win offers that total around 87,000 points. Her offer requires a bare minimum of 11 stays, two of which must include a Saturday night. Mine, on the other hand, can be completed with just four one-night stays.
    Needless to say, I'm going for the points. Jinny will likely devote her business elsewhere.

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