More travelers are now exploring the possibility of getting back on the road once again after months of stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions put into place in response to COVID-19. Hotel brands have taken note, and in addition to rolling out initiatives to ensure guest and employee health and safety, brands are ramping up their marketing and expanding perks and promotions to reward loyalty. Below are the latest announcements from hotel brand loyalty programs.
Preferred Adds Gift Card Bonuses
On June 17, Preferred Hotels & Resorts announced an incentive for members of its loyalty program, I Prefer Hotel Rewards, to purchase gift cards in demonstrations of $100 and $250 with no expiration date, which can be used towards future stays at participating hotels and resorts in the United States and the Caribbean. Every purchase made during International Pineapple Week 2020, a campaign to celebrate independent hotels, from June 20-27 will come with a 20 percent bonus value in the form of a $20 or $50 gift card, respectively.
“There has never been a more appropriate time to celebrate the virtues of travel and its ability to make people better versions of themselves, as well as highlight the importance of demonstrating genuine hospitality to families, friends, neighbors, and strangers—something that our brand and independent hotels have championed for decades,” said Lindsey Ueberroth, CEO of Preferred Hotels & Resorts. “The Preferred Hotels & Resorts global network has always represented an unwavering belief in travel—even during the most challenging times, as we have recently witnessed. We are pleased to welcome all audiences to join in the 2020 International Pineapple Week celebrations as a way to become more familiar with the incredible experiences offered across our portfolio as hundreds of our member hotels begin to re-open, while finding inspiration for future travel and reconnecting with loved ones.”
Choice Privileges Offers Free Night After Two Stays
In addition to launching a new advertising campaign on June 18, Choice Hotels is encouraging travelers to book with a new “Stay Twice, Earn A Free Night” promotion announced on June 11. Choice Privileges members who book two separate qualifying stays at participating hotels, check-in between June 10 and September 7, and register before check out will earn enough points for a future free night that can be redeemed at more than 1,000 Choice hotels. There is no limit to the number of points guests can earn toward free nights.
“As many of our loyal Choice Privileges members return to travel, it’s important to us that we’re providing meaningful perks and benefits that welcome them back and show our appreciation for their business,” said Jamie Russo, vice president, loyalty programs and customer engagement, Choice Hotels. “Whether they’re headed for a relaxing vacation or to reconnect with family and friends, we want guests to know that Choice Hotels is there. We hope our Stay Twice, Earn A Free Night promotion will serve as an added reward for our more than 45 million members while also helping them to stretch their travel budgets.”
Choice Privileges also reduced the number of nights required to earn elite status, paused the expiration of loyalty points until December 31, and initiated upgrades, extensions, and bonuses for current elite members.
Best Western Rewards Adds Gift Card Promos
On June 10, Best Western Hotels & Resorts launched its “Hit the Road with Best Western” campaign, which includes three promotions for Best Western Rewards (BWR) members: Members will receive a $20 bonus gift card for every $100 Best Western gift card purchased between June 1 and September 30, 2020; members staying at Best Western-branded hotels and traveling by car between June 15 and August 31, 2020, can register to receive a $25 Best Western Travel Card to cover gas expenses; and members who register and stay one eligible night between June 22 and September 7, 2020, at any Best Western-branded hotel in the United States or Canada will earn a $25 Best Western gift card.
“The world of travel has changed in 2020 and while there’s no denying that our travel plans will look a little different in the months ahead, we believe people will always find a way to explore the world around them,” said Dorothy Dowling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for BWHR. “As the pent-up demand for travel begins to unleash, we know that many people will choose to hit the road this summer, opting for short-haul getaways, road trips and staycations. Hit the Road with Best Western is a powerful campaign that delivers tremendous value and instant gratification to our valued guests and we’re proud to play a small part in helping them rekindle their love for travel this summer.”
World of Hyatt Brings Back Bonus Journeys Promotion
On June 8, World of Hyatt announced the return of its Bonus Journeys global promotion through which members can register by August 31 to earn bonus points from June 15 through September 15, 2020. Members can earn triple points on eligible spend starting with their second qualifying stay during the offer period at participating Hyatt hotels and resorts worldwide as well as at participating MGM Resorts destinations, Small Luxury Hotels of the World hotels, and Lindblad Expedition experiences. Elite members can earn 2,500 bonus points on their first qualifying stay during the offer period.
“Now more than ever, it’s our priority to stay close to members to understand what they care about most in order to confidently begin planning future travel,” said Amy Weinberg, senior vice president, World of Hyatt. “Whether it’s taking a special trip to reconnect with family and friends or a weekend getaway to explore nearby sights, we recognize how important it is for our members to feel confident and have peace of mind when they stay at Hyatt hotels. We are taking extra precautionary measures and continue to adjust our policies in an effort to ensure our guests can enjoy a safe and stress-free experience, both inside the hotel experience and beyond. Bonus Journeys is another way we can help our members look forward to the journeys ahead while recognizing their continued loyalty to Hyatt. We are excited to warmly welcome our members when they are ready to travel.”
Wyndham Rewards Extends Partnership With Caesars Rewards
Wyndham Rewards announced on May 21 the extension of its partnership with Caesars Entertainment and Caesars Rewards through 2021. Through the affiliation, Wyndham Rewards members have the ability to earn and redeem points at participating Caesars Rewards destinations across the United States and Canada when they book direct through Wyndham channels. They also have the option to transfer Wyndham Rewards points to Caesars Rewards credits, or vice versa, at a 1:1 ratio, up to 30,000 points per year.
Additionally, Platinum and Diamond members of both programs may match to the corresponding level of their non-primary program—Platinum to Platinum, Diamond to Diamond—while Caesars Rewards Seven Stars members may match to Wyndham Rewards Diamond.
“As the travel landscape continues to evolve, it’s more important than ever that we continue to connect our members with best-in-class partners and benefits while letting them know that when they’re ready to travel, we’ll be ready to welcome them,” said Eliot Hamlisch, executive vice president of loyalty and revenue optimization for Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. “Access to Caesars Rewards benefits provides our members exciting and diverse gaming, hospitality, and entertainment options.”
Wyndham also introduced a new promotion for Wyndham Rewards members that allows them to earn 2,000 Wyndham Rewards bonus points for every stay through July 27 (up to five stays/10,000 points). Members must register before being able to take advantage of the promotion.