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Since we are at the beginning of the year, month, and quarter, there are lots of hotel promotions starting up right now. This is great news, but I know it can be hard to keep track of all of the various promos as they trickle out one at a time. I regularly update my Hotel Promos Page so that you have a consistent resource to read about and compare promos, but I thought it was also worth a post to summarize some of the bigger promotions in case you don’t think to regularly check the promos page.
It is important to register for a promotion, even if you aren’t sure you’ll use it, because often the registration period ends before the actual promotion ends. That means you could end up with several unexpected stays with a chain that should have qualified you for bonus points, but wouldn’t because you didn’t register in time.
On the hotel promotion front, the beginning of 2014 is honestly looking a little better than I expected given what we have seen from hotels over the past year or so. There is nothing that is absolutely worth changing your plans for, but there are a few offers that are worth paying attention to. There is a full summary of all the promotions I know about on my Hotel Promos page, but here are some of the newer major promotions you may not have registered for quite yet.
First, I will simply list out the major promotions, and then offer some analysis on whilchones I think are best.
Details: Complete three eligible nights at any of the more than 1,000 participating hotels worldwide to earn 38,000 bonus points. Tip: I reached out to Club Carlson and they said that all of their hotels are participating, so don’t let the way it is worded spook you into thinking only certain hotels are participating.
Dates: January 6, 2014 – April 13, 2014
Details: Earn up to 4 nights in a Category 1-4 hotel or 50,000 bonus points. You must choose one offer at the time of registration, and it cannot be changed.
- Earn a free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel worldwide after every five nights. Enjoy 4 free nights after you stay a maximum of 20 nights. Redeem your free nights with no blackout dates through July 31, 2014. OR
- Earn 5,000 Hyatt Gold Passport bonus points after your first five nights and thousands more for every additional five nights. After 20 nights, you’ll earn 50,000 bonus points. Here’s how the points add up. Stay 5 Nights, Earn +5,000 Points = 5,000 Total Points Earned, Stay 10 Nights, Earn +10,000 Points = 15,000 Total Points Earned, Stay 15 Nights, Earn +15,000 Points = 30,000 Total Points Earned, Stay 20 Nights, Earn +20,000 Points = 50,000 Total Points Earned
Tip: If you are unsure of which option to choose, points or nights, then I would wait until closer to the March 31, 2014 registration deadline to commit.
Details: IHG Rewards has brought back the “Big Win” promotion. Sign into your account or sign-up to become an IHG Rewards member to find out what your offer is. Some offers, like mine, are pretty good. Some others aren’t good at all. It is worth checking to see what was offered to your account.
Dates: January 1 – April 31, 2014
Tip: There are always a lot of useful promotional codes you can use with IHG. I have a few listed in my Hotel Promos Page but sites like Loyalty Traveler and Priority Club Insider are great places to search for codes.
Details: Stay twice at Marriott locations worldwide and after each second paid stay receive one free category 1-4 night at participating Marriott locations. Limit of two free nights. (Just an example of one common promo available – exact details are targeted to your specific account)
Dates: February 1 to April 30, 2014
Tip: Some have reported when they call in some have been able to get their promotion bumped up to one free category 1-5 night instead of only a category 1-4 night.
Details: Earn 2,500 bonus Starpoints for every five eligible nights you stay (up to 10,000 bonus Starpoints and 20 eligible nights). Plus, get an additional 5,000 bonus Starpoints when you hit 25 eligible nights.
Dates: January 5 – April 30, 2014
Which current promotion is the best?
I’m sure you know the answer to this one….it depends. As with almost all things, it depends on what your travel patterns are during the promotion periods, and how you want to use your free nights/points in the future. However, putting all of that aside I will say that my personal favorites are Club Carlson and Hyatt, with the edge going to Club Carlson. Marriott is also good as you can get a free night with just two stays, I just don’t have anywhere I want to use those free nights. IHG Rewards Big Win can also be very good, but I’ll ignore that one for now as the offers vary widely.
I think Club Carlson is very good as all properties are participating, the length of the promotion is decent, and 38,000 points for three nights is very valuable – especially if you have the co-branded Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature. Along with the points you will be earning for the stays themselves, you will almost undoubtedly be close to the 50,000 points after your three eligible nights, even if they are cheap stays. 50,000 points is enough for two nights (with the co-branded card that awards the last night award night free) at any Club Carlson hotel world wide. That is a bonus that can easily be worth at least $600 at some of their top properties, for the price of three cheap nights during the promotion. Additionally, you could choose to stay at a lower tier Club Carlson hotel for multiple nights with the bonus points you earned. Two nights at a top tier hotel (with the credit card), or multiple nights at a lower tier hotel for just three eligible nights is very good these days. The downside is you can only earn the bonus once.
I also like the Hyatt promotion because you have a choice of points or free night certificates, and it is a good option for travelers who will have multiple eligible nights between January 15th and the end of April. Hyatt points became even more interesting to me with the introduction of their cash and points chart earlier this week, so being able to earn up to 50,000 Hyatt points interests me greatly. For those with fewer nights, the option of earning Category 1-4 certificates is also good since many Hyatt properties in those categories are quite nice. Just keep the July 31st expiration date in mind.
That’s my take on the promos, but I’d love to hear which ones stand out above the others for you.
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