You might think hotel loyalty programs are just a way for chains to pester you with marketing, but there are some real-life useful reasons to join.18 March 2022
You doubt the benefits of hotel loyalty programs?
Hotel loyalty programs have played second place to the more well-known airline programs. Most travelers, even those who seldom travel, pay for things with a credit card that earns miles. You’ve got the airline miles thing down.
What you may not know are the benefits of hotel loyalty programs– even for occasional travelers.
It’s easy to understand why. These programs often go by the name frequent guest programs. If you’re an infrequent traveler, you may not see the point of joining. After all, you’re going to have to manage all that unwanted marketing, right?
If you are a frequent guest at a hotel chain, it makes sense to join the program. Even if you don’t care about earning points, there are some very useful benefits of hotel loyalty programs. In addition to little stuff like free bottled water when you check in and a newspaper in the morning, you may find these benefits useful on your next trip.
You know that the hotel has free Wi-Fi in the lobby right? That’s so you’ll spend time where there’s also a snack bar, the wine bar, and shops. It’s free in the lobby for a reason.
One of the perks of joining a hotel loyalty program is the free in-room Wi-Fi. You’ll still have to log onto their network and provide some info (usually your last name and room number), but you won’t have to pay extra.
If you miss a flight, or your flight gets canceled, and you need to find a place to stay overnight, being a loyalty member has value. If you have the hotel app on your phone, it’s a quick and easy call to someone who can quickly arrange a stay nearby.
No matter where you are or how tired you are, you don’t have to think about it. The representatives will answer the phone knowing you’re a loyalty member too. Kinda makes you feel like someone cares when your day just got chaotic.
Tip: Let the hotel staff know that you’re a loyalty member even in those situations where an airline booked your stay, and you’ll usually get some perks too.
Many hotel loyalty programs give even the base level of membership breaks on those pesky extra costs like parking fees and resort fees. This can add up to real savings if you’re staying even for a single night.
Pro tip: often joining a hotel loyalty program will give you access to free suite upgrades too if you ask nicely at the front desk.
Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and is a licensed agent for travel insurance (MA 1883287). He believes travel insurance should be easier to understand, and started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.