Here's another in the seemingly endless commentaries on the benefits of loyalty programs.
One line stands out, the last paragraph:
"Rather than expend the considerably resources of time and money to maintain and advance their loyalty programs hotels would probably be better off meeting the primary expectations of their guests, whether it is service, in-room comfort or some combination of attributes."
Generally, I agree. With my extended stays, I usually am at first price-sensitive. I could easily stay at a cheaper venue 95% of the time, but if that venue is not within my key loyalty programs, it drops off my radar. So loyalty programs do make a difference - I go with the one that has the most fair price knowing I can change the following week if anything is less than satisfactory. Who does not belong to 3+ major hotel programs, anyway?
Kimpton - Nil
Intercontinental - 2, both in London
Seriously, we do have plenty of Accord (Novotel etc), Premier Inns and Travel Lodges. I don't know if the latter 2 have loyalty schemes, but they are budget hotels, and to be honest, not my thing at all. No, I'll stick to Marriott and some other small private hotels we know.
Well, there may be only 2 Intercontinentals in London, but there's more IHG hotels in London meaning Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, Indigo and Staybridge Suites than there are Marriotts in England.
I'm an IHG gold (plat till last year when they changed the rules) and the pointearning opportunities with them can be madness, pure madness. The pointearning is the same, 10 per $ spent but it's their bonuses that can really add value. I've spent $300 on HIX with them and redeemed for a stay worth $1000! Mind you, it's very easy to redeem badly there, take care or you could redeem 20,000 points for a $50 stay!
Especially for UK residents I would say make either Marriott or Hilton your main scheme and back it up with IHG. it doesn't matter what level you get there, keep an eye on Raffles excellent headforpoints (.co.uk) site, or flyertalk (though raffles is more designed for UK pointshounds) and you can easily score massive point bonuses for a very minor commitment! If you can't get 5 good nights free for 5 cheapo nights every year with IHG you're doing something very wrong!!!
Thanks for that Brightlybob. I didn't realise Holiday Inn came under IHG. But to be honest, I have never looked. I only started off the discussion about loyalty schemes in the UK for a laugh, in response to Pingeeman.
As we are retired, we genuinely do tend to stick to Marriott or some small, non major chain, hotels that we know and love. We don't stay away from home for more than say 25 nights a year. But I may look into the Holiday Inn scheme after what you have said. Thanks again.
Agree with you Tommo781!
Lately, I have also seen an improvement in Holiday Inn! Left them years ago to come to Marriott. Likewise, in Europe Best Wester has really improved their properties. The key is "Location" that is right for each traveler's needs and budget!
tommo781, as an OAP myself, Mrs. A. amd I often stray from the Marriott Brand (with me in disguise of course). We've been IHG members since I actually worked for a living and that throws me back to the last century, chronologically speaking. As members of the Six Continents Club back in the day (yes there are seven I know) we've seen many changes in the hotels in the group, but the Intercontinental's have remained consistently good (and priced accordingly, so we infrequently choose them). Thus to coin a phrase, ask not what a hotel loyalty program can do for you, but rather what you can do to find one that suits.
Thanks for that Anadyr. I will certainly think about it. I used to belong to Hilton Honors when I was working, but gave up on it for certain reasons after I retired, spent the points and fled! I have to say your profile picture does not look like an OAP! Mind you, mine is of a load of seals, so what does that say about me? And yes, I did take that photo myself.
I was able to buy the special add-on to Photoshop, one that allows you to become younger, more handsome, and of course thinner. My very young (then) daughter, on the day of my getting my Doctorate from Washington's Georgetown University many decades ago put it all in perspective, telling the commencement speaker that "Dad is not a REAL doctor.: And so it goes with the photo tinkering.,
Wish I had that Photoshop add-on! BTW, just to age myself even more, when I was at school there were still only 5 continents. We seem to have grown another 2 since then, South America and Antarctica. I can understand how Antarctica was not thought to be a land mass, but how could anyone miss South America?