Category: Marriott Rewards

Beware new hotel cancellation policies at Hilton, Marriott and Starwood

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Even occasional travelers are familiar with the wide range of rates a hotel offers for each type of room. Typically the lowest price – the one that draws you in – is a prepaid and nonrefundable rate that you have to book in advance. More flexible rates, which usually don’t require a deposit up front and allow late cancellation, inevitably cost more. It’s a rule of the travel industry that paying more buys you flexibility, whether for a flight or a hotel stay. (more…)

Avoiding Traveler Drift: Using Promotions to Maintain a Competitive Edge

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Every quarter I contribute an article to Colloquy, a trade organization that specializes in loyalty marketing.  This is reprinted from that publication.

Loyalty programs are a well-established concept in the travel industry. Beyond the airlines, hotels and rental car companies also have joined the fray in a quest to increase business via customer loyalty, and many have had notable success.

However, loyalty programs are at their most effective when used to capture business that would otherwise be lost to competition. (more…)

One way to boost your hotel program point balance

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Earning lots of points is the name of the game, whether in an airline or hotel program.  While airlines have become stingy with bonus mile promotions in recent years, the big four hotel chains – Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott and Starwood – tend to offer several bonus opportunities to boost your point balance each year. (more…)

Mattress runs to earn and maintain hotel elite status

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It’s December, which means that the window to earn or maintain airline and hotel elite status is closing soon. U.S.-based programs work on a calendar year for status qualification.  That means your elite status is based on the flights you take or the hotel stays you complete between January 1 and December 31.

We recently covered the concept of mileage runs, taking flights just to earn elite qualifying miles for airline status.  The hotel equivalent is mattress runs, stays you complete just for the qualifying nights to earn or maintain elite status with a hotel loyalty program. (more…)