Q1 Hotel Promos (Marriott, Hilton, SPG, Priority Club, and Hyatt)

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All right… it is 2012, time to stop looking back at 2011 and start looking forward toward all of the ways we will earn and redeem miles and points this year.  To kick off the new year I want to take a look at the hotel promos that are out for the first quarter of 2012.  I know that not all hotel chains really operate their promos on a quarterly system, but it can still be  a useful way to look at what is available in the next few months, and plan your business and leisure travel accordingly.  I know I am trying very hard to appropriately strategize my hotel stays to both maximize available promos and attain/retain top tier status in at least one chain (though preferably two).

So, here is a list of several current or upcoming hotel promos, as well as a brief description of when might be the appropriate time to select that promo over the other available options.

Marriott:

February 1 – April 30, 2012

The Marriott MegaBonus promo promo isn’t overly creative or different from recent Marriott promos, but it is still a very solid promos for short stays.  In fact, it is currently the best available promo for one night stays.  Two stays during this promo earn you one free night certificate for a Category 1-4 hotel that is valid for stays from February 1 through September 30, 2012.  A maximum of two or three free night certificates may be earned during this promo (offers vary from member to member).  Unlike some recent versions of this promo, you are allowed to use any type of credit card to pay for your free nights.  There is a 90% chance that I will “encourage” my husband to make a couple Marriott stays on some of his upcoming extensive business travel.

Hilton:

January 1 – March 31, 2012

Hilton is running a “More Points” promotion that allows registered HHonors members to earn 1,000 HHonors Bonus Points per night of their stay. In addition, registered HHonors members will earn 5,000 HHonors Bonus Points for weekend stays. For the purposes of this offer, a “weekend stay” is defined as at least two consecutive nights between Thursday and Sunday.  You can only earn one 5,000 point bonus per weekend, but you will also earn 1,000 bonus points for each night in addition to the 5,000 point bonus.  For example, if you stayed Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night you would earn the 5,000 weekend bonus, plus 1,000 points for each of the three nights for a total of 8,000 bonus points.  This would be in addition to the HHonors points you would normally earn for your stay.  This is a pretty good deal for weekend stays and would be worth considering if you wanted a weekend getaway to a destination with a participating Hilton.

Priority Club:

January 1 – March 31, 2012

Priority Club’s promo that awarded 500 – 2000 bonus points for each stay based on the number of brands of hotels within their chain where you stayed during the promotional period just ended on 12/31; a similar new promo has not yet been announced.  For those who participated in that most recent promo, I believe the bonus points you earned should be awarded by 1/31, so keep an eye on your Priority Club account.  While there isn’t a new global promo out in that sense, there is still the normal assortment of stay x days earn x points available.  These range from staying 3 nights to earn 5,000 points to 15 nights to earn 15,000 points.  These promos are good from January 1 – March 31st.  You have to choose which one to register for carefully, because you cannot switch promos once you sign-up.  Learn more about these promos at Priority Club Insider.

Hyatt:

Crickets chirping.  That is about it for Hyatt promos at the moment.  In fact, the crickets have been chirping since mid-November.  They are getting tired, and their legs are silky-smooth.  Let’s hope that February brings us an awesome Hyatt promo.

Starwood:

January 9 – April 8, 2012

The SPG Better by the Night promotion awards double SPG points on two-night stays and triple SPG points on stays of three nights and longer.  This promo is good at over 750 participating hotels and resorts in North and Latin America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.  Asia is not participating in this promo, and even within the participating regions there are still a number of non-participating hotels (though the non-participating list is shorter than on other recent promos).  The Asian region does have its own promo going on where you earn one free night after five nights, and two free nights after staying nine nights and paying with a MasterCard.  You can learn more about that promo here

The Starwood promo is pretty solid if you have stays that are three nights or longer.  It is decent if you have two night stays.  It is irrelevant if you have one night stays.

You must register by March 15, 2012 to take advantage of this promo.  The registration link is not yet live, but should be up by 1/9/12.  I don’t currently have any stays that are several nights long.  I am a hotel hopper, so it would take a lot for me to be tied down to one hotel for multiple nights.  However, if I find myself in that situation I will absolutely look to take advantage of this promo.

In summary, the strategy I would recommend is to plan one-night stays at Marriott until you have earned your a few free night certificates (just make sure you aren’t earning more than you will be able to use before they expire).  If you have any stays that are two to three nights, I would look to the SPG promo.  If you find yourself doing a two-night weekend stay, I would look to Hilton.  I would only personally turn to the Priority Club promo if you either prefer Priority Club hotels or you are in an area that does not have other hotel chains (which actually used to happen to me quite a bit for some work travel).  Of course, this assumes that you have the luxury from choosing from all three of those chains, and that the prices are either similar, or are not an issue for you.  It also assumes that you either do not care about re-qualifying for elite status with any particular chain, or you have enough stays or nights within the year that you can have some nights at other chains without jeopardizing re-qualifying at your preferred chain(s).

What promo works the best for you?  Are you shifting your first quarter stays based on these (or other) promos?

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Comments

  1. Re: Hilton promo – I have several family members staying at my local Hilton this winter for my event. If they don’t have Hilton rewards, can I put my number on their rooms to get the bonus plus 1K for each add’l room night? Does my name have to be on the reservation?

  2. Re: Marriott promo – I thought I read that you could earn up to THREE free nights during this promo rather than the standard two…thus making it even better than usual. I really enjoy getting my free Marriott nights each quarter as they are so versatile and save me cash!

  3. I remember reading a special SPG promo for China Southern Airline Pearl Club members posted at Boarding Area, but cannot complete the sign up process at the web site.

    Any insights on getting registered would be appreciated. Thank you.

    Andy

  4. re: Marriott Promo- The maximum is three free nights this time around. That’s a great deal because cat 4 hotels can cost you up to 20,000 points per night.

    • @Nickfromct, you are absolutely correct and it really is a good deal – especially if you are redeeming or Cat 4 hotels!

  5. @Faye, I like the way you think. 😉 Unfortunately, that plan may not work out. Looks like there is a max of two rooms per stay under one name (which, in theory, would need to be your name). However, you could at least get others to sign-up for HHonors and maybe they would just let you use their points in the future. Here is some info taken from the HHonors terms and conditions: A Member may earn Base Points for up to two rooms per stay, if all eligible charges for both rooms are paid on one folio. Base Points will be earned for all eligible folio charges incurred on both rooms. The term “eligible folio charges” is defined below. Bonus Points issued on Base Points, including tier bonuses (15%, 25% or 50%, depending on Member tier), Bonus Points earned through the HHonors Points and HHonors Points Earnings Style and double or triple Base point promotions, will apply to the total Base point credit earned for both rooms. For any other bonuses, including HHonors Marketing Partner Bonus Points and other promotional bonuses, Bonus Points will be awarded on one room only. For purposes of obtaining tier status, a Member may receive one stay credit on one room only. For purposes of earning miles for stays, miles may only be earned on one room only.

    @Steven, you are correct. This promo is so similar to the previous one I have trouble remembering that their are some differences. All fixed now – thanks. 😉

    @Andy, there is a promo going on for the Asian properties where if you stay 5 nights you get 1 night free and if you stay 9 nights you get 2 nights free at any participating hotel or resort from 29 November 2011 to 15 March 2012. You do have to pay with a MasterCard. You don’t have to stay consecutive nights to qualify. Then redeem your free nights from 1 January 2012 to 10 April 2012. You are also correct that there is a SPG promo going on for China Southern Airline Pearl Club members where you can get 1,000 bonus SPG points for each stay – up to three stays. There is also a very fast-track to SPG Gold for some China Southern elite members. You can register here.

  6. @Ric, Marriott is just trying to make me go crazy with this one. Ha ha. 😉 I guess that makes sense now – some get two, some get three, some get confused…..

  7. I REALLY like your hotel promo summaries, concise simple post and simple advice!

    I think I may reconsider Marriott which is one account I have had nothing to do with for several years. I have six nights in Orlando in February and may do the mattress run thing for 3 nights…ok, time for me to check what my bonus is!

  8. For the Priority Club one, can we register after we begin a stay? the thing is I’m staying on business for an unknown length of time. It could be 11 days or it could be 18. Obviously I want to register for the most lucrative promotion, but I don’t want to miss out either. Can I wait until I get confirmation of me staying 11 or 18 days and then decide?

    Ie I’m already at my hotel and I won’t know if I’m extending until later on…I want to maximize the bonus but do it after the first day of my stay.

    Make sense? Thanks in advance!

  9. How are you guys registering for the Marriott promo? It seems to me that it’s only available to new Marriott rewards members (or maybe silver). But I’m Gold and can’t see this promotion. The only promotion I see is the 50K MegaBonus.

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