Rewards Points - latest news about hotel loyalty programs

Banyan Tree planning for growth

Banyan Tree planning for growth

Banyan Tree has unveiled plans to to double its footprint of 54 properties across 23 countries by 2025 with the introduction of 5 new brands launching in the next 18 months.

In 2022, the group will introduce the new Garrya, Homm and Folio brands, as well as two brand extensions of Banyan Tree named Veya and Escape.  Each of the 5 new brands to be released are responses to macro and regional trends such as a greater desire for well-being and sustainability-minded travel offerings.

In readiness, it has already opened 7 hotels so far this year, including:

  • last month's opening of the first Garrya Huzhou Lucun in China
  • the debut of Homm Bliss Southbeach Patong: and
  • a soft-opening of Banyan Tree Veya Phuket.

Four Garrya and two Homm have been signed in Asia with more in the pipeline.

This follows Banyan Tree Group this year signing 20 hotel management agreements worldwide including Benin, Mexico, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Korea, Thailand, China and Vietnam.

Banyan Tree has along-established reputation for luxurious spa and resort properties with an ethos of sustaianabilty and supporting local communities.  These new destinations will add exciting options.

Banyan Tree's ethos of sustainability started in 1994 when they transformed an ecological wasteland spoiled by waste from a nearby tin mine into a rejuvenated area with the first environmentally sensitive Banyan Tree resort.

Stays at Banyan Tree spas and resorts (which I highly recommend) can be either booked directly or via Accor (to receive ALL member benefits).
Accor is one of our advertisers and at no additional cost to you we may receive a small compensation if you use our link (with thanks).

Raffles Hotel London | Accor confirms opening late 2022

Raffles Hotel London | Accor confirms opening late 2022

Accor has confirmed Raffles London at the OWO will open toward the end of 2022.

A combined residential and grand new hotel in the landmark Grade II listed former Old War Office on Whitehall, are being completed in partnership with Hinduja Group, which has been passionately committed to the meticulous restoration of the heritage features of the building since 2016.

Hundreds of artisan craftspeople have been commissioned to restore the historic interior elements including delicate hand-laid mosaic floors, oak panelling, chandeliers and a magnificent marble staircase.

The building will open to the public for the first time, having undergone a transformation to create 120 rooms and suites, 85 unique branded residences and 11 destination restaurants and bars.

Located at one of London’s most historically significant addresses, originally completed in 1906 and designed by British architect William Young, it has stood witness to many world-shaping events. The likes of Sir Winston Churchill, Lord Haldane and the James Bond (is that his Aston Martin DB5 out front?) author Ian Fleming have all walked the corridors of what was the Ministry of Defence headquarters.

The OWO will be the first Raffles hotel in the UK and is located opposite Horse Guards, with views towards St James’s Park, and is moments from Downing Street and UNESCO world heritage sites: The Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey

It will have an extensive wellness space featuring world leading spa and fitness partners and will be home to a rooftop restaurant and bar with panoramic views across Whitehall, the Mall and on to Buckingham Palace.

I love when historic buildings are restored & repurposed so that their beauty can be appreciated by future generations.

Accor welcomes Hotel Belmont Vancouver into its MGallery Hotel Collection

Accor welcomes Hotel Belmont Vancouver into its MGallery Hotel Collection

Accor announced that effective today, December 1st, 2021, Hotel Belmont Vancouver (pictured) will join the Group  as the first Canadian property in the MGallery Hotel Collection of individual, boutique-styled hotels.

As part of the MGallery Hotel Collection, Hotel Belmont Vancouver will maintain its unique personality and bespoke design while also featuring some of the MGallery brand's markers such as memorable character, luxury, innovation, local art, and music.

The 5-story, 82-room boutique property features retro-modern design, upscale finishings, and curated art throughout. Hotel Belmont Vancouver has a glitzy past, famous in the city for hosting many performers over the years, including young crooner Michael Bublé at the start of his singing career. 

Another attractive option for Accor ALL members, it joins the other Accor properties in Vancouver of Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Fairmont Pacific Rim, Fairmont Waterfront and Fairmont Vancouver Airport.

Find out more details on the Hotel Belmont Vancouver.    (advertiser

Get 15% off when you book a stay at one of Hyatt's 850+ properties participating in this offer.

You must book prior to 21 December 2021 for stays through 30 April 2022.

World of Hyatt members save even more, plus, enjoy in-hotel benefits and rewards for each stay.

Not a member? Join now or during your booking and look for "Members Save More" rates.

(pictured - Grand Hyatt Singapore)

T&C's apply

New Marriott Melbourne Docklands has berthed

New Marriott Melbourne Docklands has berthed

Located in the Docklands precinct of New Quay, Melbourne Marriott Docklands is the first five-star property in the harbour suburb.

It features 189 guest rooms, a rooftop infinity pool (pictured) and an exclusive M Club executive lounge.

Located just minutes from Melbourne's city centre by tram, it is also an easy walk to the bars & restaurants of New Quay and the Marvel sporting stadium.

For Bonvoy members, it is a Category 5 hotel (at least until Bonvoy's dynamic pricing commences) - identical to the Westin Melbourne, Sheraton Melbourne & Melbourne Marriott (which are my personal order of preference).

Cash prices appear to be closer to those of Melbourne Marriott than those of the Westin or Sheraton which are both located on/near Collins Street. 

For more details, see the Marriott website.

Note that Marriott is one of our advertisers and at no extra cost to you, we may earn a small compensation from you using our link to them.

Rydges leaves GHA Discovery | retains Priority Guest Rewards

Rydges leaves GHA Discovery | retains Priority Guest Rewards

The EVENT family of hotels, which includes  53 Rydges, 10 QT, 11 Independent Collection & 5 Atura properties around Australia and NZ (including Thredbo and Queenstown) is departing from the GHA Discovery loyalty program. Rydges will continue to tun its own Priority Guest loyalty program

Stays booked after 1 December 2021 will no longer have benefits honoured. Sad news for skiiers downunder...although there remain 2 Oaks (a separate GHA brand) properties in Queenstown

This follows the departure of Omni Hotels, effective 30 June this year. It too noted it was going to focus on its own Select Guest loyalty program.

However, NH Hotels will be joining GHA early 2022 & merging its NH Rewards program into GHA Discovery.

Could these moves be related to the revamping of GHA's loyalty program? Possibly, although it's unlikely to be quite that simple.

Perhaps GHA will requiire members to make bookings through a GHA portal to receive their benefits, rather than being able to book direct.  

Time will tell.

Hilton Launches “Travel the World” for APAC travel closer to home

Hilton Launches “Travel the World” for APAC travel closer to home

This week, Hilton announced “Travel the World,” its new marketing campaign inspiring consumers to explore closer to home the wonders of local alternatives in Japan, Australia, Malaysia, & Thailand  that match the experiences at some of their favourite international destinations.

The new campaign aims to showcase how domestic travel offers a wealth of similarly wonderful experiences that are a lot more accessible. This is anticipated to appeal to in particular to families who are now more actively looking to book domestic travel versus pre-pandemic.

There is no shortage of options for culture, nature, adventure, and food and wine in these countries and the campaign seeks to highlight the best travel experiences across the region:

  • AUSTRALIA: From sipping an espresso in a Melbourne laneway café as if on the streets of Rome, to swapping the vineyards of Bordeaux for the Barossa Valley and its world-renowned shiraz, to experiencing the wildness of Litchfield National Park just outside of Darwin in place of the Amazon or diving the Great Barrier Reef outside of Cairns whilst the Maldives are off the cards.
  • JAPAN: From swapping the street foods of Thailand and Vietnam for snacking on takoyaki in Osaka and ramen in Fukuoka, to hitting the slopes of Niseko in place of the mountains in Whistler, Canada or having some retail therapy in Ginza and Shibuya instead of Paris.
  • THAILAND: From making the most of Pattaya’s vibrant rooftop dining and drinking experiences in place of Singapore and Los Angeles, to exploring the water canals of Bangkok by traditional wooden boat instead of Amsterdam and Venice or escaping to Koh Samui for its while sandy beaches and crystal clear waters while enjoying a meaningful stay scouring the home-grown farm at the resort for your dinner - similarly to Bali.
  • MALAYSIA: From swapping the historical sites of Portugal for the beautiful ruins of the Portuguese era in Malacca, to a day trip to the charming French village of Colmar Tropicale just an hour outside of Kuala Lumpur for a French food fix, or a visit to the lush green vistas and relaxing surrounds of Kokol Hills in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah as an alternative to the rice terraces and forests of Ubud in Bali.
For more information, you can watch Hilton's "Travel the World" video.

Kimpton's winter 2021 "secret" password | valid through 21 Feb 2022

Kimpton's winter 2021 "secret" password | valid through 21 Feb 2022

Kimpton Hotels is a funky boutique hotel brand and is a luxury boutique brand of IHG.

One of its many charms is the Kimpton “secret” password or “social password” that guests can mention at check-in to get some form of perk, benefit, or bonus.

Kimpton tweeted on its official account earlier today (after a hiatus while few people were travelling) that from today through to 21 February 2022, just say ‘Just Chilling,’ to the front desk team at check-in, and you’ll be rewarded with a feel-good surprise.

Each hotel offers its own variation of the surprise, which can include items like free parking, a free breakfast, a free upgrade, complimentary bottle of wine, or mini-bar credit.


Accor Stadium - new name for Sydney's Stadium Australia

Accor Stadium - new name for Sydney's Stadium Australia

The iconic venue is recognisable from being the centrepiece of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

It has a capacity to hold concerts for 100,000 spectators (eg Adele, AC/DC, Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift) and over 80,000 people for seated sporting events (such as National Rugby League Grand Finals, international Football games, and Bledisloe Cup and British & Irish Lions rugby Test matches).

Members of Accor’s global lifestyle loyalty programme, ALL – Accor Live Limitless, will receive exclusive access to ‘Limitless Experiences’, and more across Accor Stadium events.

A further boost to Accor's loyalty program members in Australia, who already benefit from specific APAC regional program benefits.

Accor announces new luxury hotels & resorts collection

Accor announces new luxury hotels & resorts collection

Accor yesterday introduced Emblems Collection, a global portfolio of boutique hotels and luxurious resorts.

The first property under the new brand is slated to open in December 2021 - Guiyang Art Centre Hotel, Emblems Collection - in the Guizhou province of China.

The luxury brand is expected to grow to 60 properties around the world by 2030.

“The hotels we will feature in Emblems Collection are those sought out by travellers who appreciate high-end, boutique-style experiences” said Sébastien Bazin, CEO of Accor.

Accor will encourage hotels under the new brand to retain their unique identities, which is important to hoteliers who have invested in creating a certain style for their hotel and/or market.

On ‍Monday‍, ‍November ‍29th, when you book two nights or more at any of I Prefer's locations across the globe, you’ll earn 30,000 I Prefer points toward a free night on a future stay.


There are a total of 59 locations to choose from – some you may even get 2 nights free.  Others you may need to top up with cash. .  

I Prefer members should mark this in their diaries. A free night at your dream location could be just around the corner!

T&C's apply.

Looking forward to a staycation / city break?  Accor has a choice of over 100 hotels to choose from in Australia and New Zealand in their Black Friday sale.

Accor APAC Members receive early access to the sale.  Register & book before 25 November to get 30% off the price of their stay and earn 2X Reward points.  Accor Plus members receive an additional 10% off.

The member-only sale ends midnight on 25 November 2021, and public access starts 26 November and ends 1 December 2021.

Stays must be completed between 01 December 2021 &  28 February 2022.
Further T&C's apply.

GHA makes new Discovery

GHA makes new Discovery

GHA flagged the revamp of its loyalty program Discovery in September. With its December launch under the new branding of GHA Discovery now imminent, details are starting to emerge.

The main changes are:
1)  the move towards a points earning system.
2)  the Discovery experiences will now be able to accessed at all status tier levels. 
3)  you won't have to book flights or nights to enjoy your membership. The new DISCOVERY will offer exclusive benefits both with or without a stay.

Previously, key differentiators from other hotel loyalty programs were the absence of points and tier level based on stays being rewarded for upper tier members by tailored travel experiences, rather than discounted or award stays. So this is a major change in philosophy by the group.

Points earning will be in the form of "Discovery Dollars" or D$. 

From their very first stay, members will earn D$ at 4% to 7% (depending on tier status) of their total bill and D$1 = 1 USD, so the value is clear. D$ will be able to be spent flexibly across the hotel, toward spending on a room, dining, spa or golf. Members simply apply their D$ as a form of payment at check-out.

So the revised Discovery program has some similarities with Accor's ALL - a fixed redemption rate (value of USD 1  or EUR 1 respectively) and a fixed earning rate that increases with tier status (4% to 7% depending on tier status).

Tier qualification requirements will also change.
An additional tier level is being introduced (from Gold, Platinum & Black to Silver, Gold, Platinum & Titanium). Qualification will be based on either Nights/Stays, spending or number of brands stayed at. The latter looks to be the easiest route to top tier status:

  • Gold – Stay 2 times or spend $1,000
  • Platinum – Stay 10 nights, spend $5,000 or stay at 2 brands
  • Titanium – Stay 30 nights, spend $15,000 or stay at 3 brands.

Previously, the 2 top-tier members received complimentary Local Experiences with their stays (different Local Experiences depending on tier level.  Now, all members will have the option to choose to redeem D$ for them (D$100 for what was a Platinum-level experience or D$200 for a Black-level experience), or apply their D$ on other items. In Australia, the GHA brands include Atura, Avani, Oaks, Pan Pacific, ParkRoyal, QT and Rydges, with the more leisure-based Oaks being the most plentiful. In total there are 117 hotels to choose from.

Travellers to Asia will fare best, as there are 142 hotels under the brands of Anantara, Araiya, Avani, Capella, Kempinski, Leela, Marco Polo, NUO, Niccolo, Pan Pacific & ParkRoyal.

Options in the US with 14 locations are more limited, under the brands of Meritage, Outrigger, Pan Pacific, Viceroy & Doyle Collection.

UK travellers may find it even more limited, as the brands there are currently limited to Corinthia, Pan Pacific, Doyle Collectiion & Campbell Gray in a total of 7 locations.

This map of GHA hotel locations shows this more explicitly.

GHA Discovery has not yet communicated what benefits loyalty program members at each tier will receive. Further details will be released soon, particularly in regard to benefits usable without a stay.  

Whether or not status-matching from other programs will be possible is yet to be revealed.

Stay tuned!

4X boost for your AeroMexico Club Premier points with nH Hotels stays

4X boost for your AeroMexico Club Premier points with nH Hotels stays

4x Club Premier points for stays at NH Hotels Worldwide. Simply choose Club Premier as your earning preference when you book online at NH Hotels for destinations like the NH Plaza Collection Santiago (pictured).

AeroMexico is a member of the Skyteam alliance (which includes Delta, Air France/KLM, Argentinian Airlines and Garuda Indonesia.

Bookings must be made by 30/11/2021 for stays between 23/11/2021 and 31/03/2022 both inclusive.  Additionally, these bookings must be made at least 7 days before the check-in date

Participating hotels included in the promotion of hotels
*  The Americas - Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, USA, Mexico, Uruguay; and main
*  Europe - Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, Amsterdam, Venice, Rome Munich, Lisbon, Brussels, Budapest, Copenhagen, Porto, Vienna, Nice.

During November 10 to 16 the hotels belonging to NH Collection México do not participate in the present promotion. 

The NH Collection Mexico City Airport T2 hotel is excluded from the promotion.

Buy Hyatt Bonus Points at 30% off

Buy Hyatt Bonus Points at 30% off

World of Hyatt is quietly having a sale on bonus points.

Purchase at least 5,000 points per transaction to receive a 30% price discount, which is equivalent to receiving 42.9% bonus. 

The effective price you will pay is USD 16.38 per thousand points, which is slightly better than our estimated fair value of USD 17.00, so you should comfortably find good value redemptions opportunities.

The maximum number of points you can purchase in a calendar year is 55,000. This is more than enough for 2 nights in a luxury category 6 hotel (St James Hotel & Club or Dukes in London, or Hyatt Union Square or The Beekman in NYC).

This promotion ends 11:59 pm on 30 December 2021, so buy your Hyatt points now (advertiser). May make a nice present for the festive season...

Accor & Qantas commence their dual earning alliance

Accor & Qantas commence their dual earning alliance

Today marked the launch of the "crossover" alliance between the Accor Live Limitless and Qantas Frequent Flyer programs. 

Under their agreement, you must be a member of both programs, then you can earn points under both programs:

1) from Qantas flights around the world if they hold at least either ALL Gold or QFF Platinum tier status;
2) from stays at Accor properties, regardless of tier status, but only for stays in the APAC region.

Learn more about the benefits for both ALL members & QFF members.

Two Scottish hotels join WorldHotels, with a new one in Phuket slated for end--2022.

Two Scottish hotels join WorldHotels, with a new one in Phuket slated for end--2022.

WorldHotels announced today the addition of three new hotels to the brand’s global portfolio. It has expanded its presences in Scotland by the addition of the Kingsmills Hotel and Ness Walk Hotel in Inverness, to WorldHotels’ Elite and Luxury collections, respectively. In addition, Layan Green Park in Phuket, Thailand will become part of WorldHotels’ Distinctive collection.

Situated in the Scottish Highlands, the Kingsmills Hotel features luxurious accommodations, two stunning indoor restaurants and a heated outdoor Garden Restaurant. The Kingsmills Hotel is also located near five of Scotland’s world-class golf courses, allowing guests to easily access the country’s national game.

Ness Walk is an idyllic five-star retreat just a short distance from Loch Ness. Originally constructed as a 19th century house, it  is  situated near the North Coast 500, a 516-mile journey set in the Scottish Highlands that provides magnificent views of Scotland’s landscape and lochs.

Guests will be have convenient access to be able to enjoy the stunning Scottish scenery, golf courses and whiskey distilleries, plus more.

In addition to WorldHotels’ growing presence in Scotland, the brand has added Layan Green Park in Bangtao Beach in Phuket, Thailand. The hotel is scheduled to open its doors in December 2022 and will be a four-star property located in Phuket, one of the world’s top vacation destinations.

WorldHotels is owned by Best Western.  You can redeem BW Rewards points for stays at both the Kingsmills Hotel (12,000 per night) and Ness Walk Hotel (28,000 per night).

Six Senses Ibiza - anti-ageing program in a luxury spa retreat

Six Senses Ibiza - anti-ageing program in a luxury spa retreat

Six Senses Ibiza (pictured) is the first sustainable BREEAM certified resort and residential community in the Balearics, occupying a breathtaking position in Xarraca Bay. It has teamed with RoseBar to offer a residential anti-ageing health & wellness program.

At the time of writing, prices per night were from EUR 595 in early December 2021 and EUR 925 in mid-June 2022, including airport transfers.  Alternatively, in both cases, 150,000 IHG Rewards points.

If you buy IHG Rewards during a promotion, you could enjoy a wonderful, luxury break to invest in your personal health & wellness - possibly the best investment you can make!

IHG Rewards extends Elite Status & Points expiration

IHG Rewards extends Elite Status & Points expiration

Once again, IHG Rewards is extending the elite status that members earned in 2019. This time the extension is good until February 2023.

Previously, elite statuses were extended through January 2022.

In addition, IHG is extending some free night certificates and its pause on the expiration of points until 31 December 2022.

Bonvoy bonus points promotions - 45% bonus when you buy

Bonvoy bonus points promotions - 45% bonus when you buy

Bonvoy members receive a 45% bonus when you buy or gift 2,000 or more points now through 8 December, 2021.

This equates to a price of USD 8.62 per thousand.  Still higher than our valuation of USD 7.50 per thousand, but a relatively cheap opportunity for small quantities to top up a balance to get you your next planned stay. T&C's apply, which are shown when you login to your account and buy Bonvoy points through the manager of the Bonvoy program.

Bonvoy members can soon be "putting on the Ritz" at sea!      . 

Marriott Bonvoy has announced that the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection joined the Marriott Bonvoy program, effective from 9 November 2021.

Bonvoy members will be able to earn and redeem points for voyages and associated hotel stays from 6 May 2022 when booked through Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection.

This is a unique option for Bonvoy members.  Voyages at the Ritz-Carlton level will be reminiscent of the hey-days of luxury cruising.  Is it a valuable benefit for Bonvoy members?

Accor extends ALL points expiry...another 12 months

Accor extends ALL points expiry...another 12 months

Accor has announced a further extension for the expiry of its ALL members points.

Back in March this year, ALL points expiry was extended to 15 December 2021.  Ths has now been further extended to 15 December 2022

This complements the tier status extension that was announced in October (also to December 2022).

A welcome development for Victorians, who have just come out of lockdown and in time for summer breaks.  Also for members in the Americas, where Accor's footprint is smaller and there is less opportunity to earn points to extend the life of accrued points.

Hyatt acquisition positions it as leader in all-inclusive resort

Hyatt acquisition positions it as leader in all-inclusive resort

Hyatt yesterday confirmed that it has comp[leted the acquisition of Apple Leisure Group (ALG).

1) Hyatt is doubling its global resorts footprint through the addition of ALG’s AMR Collection brand portfolio, which comprises approximately 100 hotels and resorts operating in 10 countries.

2) Hyatt now offers one of the largest collections of luxury all-inclusive resorts in the world, including new destinations for Hyatt such as Acapulco, Curaçao, the Canary Islands, Menorca and St. Martin.

3) Hyatt has added properties in 11 new European markets and expanded its European brand footprint by 60%.

In addition there are

  • Unlimited Vacation Club by AMR™ Collection, an exclusive membership club whose members enjoy preferred rates and other benefits at participating AMR Collection properties
  • ALG Vacations®, one of the largest packaged vacation providers and leisure travel distribution platforms in North America serving the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean.

The acquisition boosts Hyatt's presence in areas in key markets, boosting benefits and attractive destinations for World of Hyatt members.

What remains to be seen is the integration into the program and the points costs. Hyatt has been successful in integrating SLH properties (which are not part of Hyatt owned subsidiary), so we anticipate this should go smoothly.

i Prefer offering TopTier status for stays before year-end

i Prefer offering TopTier status for stays before year-end

i Prefer is running a Where Next 2021 campaign for travelers keen for a break before year-end.

If you book and stay of at least 2 nights prior to 31 December, you receive 
1. daily breakfast for 2;
2. upgrade to Elite Member (top tier) status for the duration of your stay; and
3. a travel experience unique to the hotel of your choice.

This is an attractive offer, especially for non-members, as you can sign up immediately and later have a taste of the benefits available to top tier IPrefer members.

Learn more about the wide range of properties participating in this iPrefer Where Next? offer and its T&C's.  There are also ongoing offers avalable to IPrefer members.

Fairmont announces a series of offers that showcase the links between its sustainably developed properties & nature

Fairmont announces a series of offers that showcase the links between its sustainably developed properties & nature

Since its creation in 1907, Fairmont has developed magnificent destinations from the big city sights of New York to the spectacular landscape of Canada’s Rocky Mountains.

Fairmont was the first luxury hotel brand to adopt a global sustainability program (now incorporated into Accor’s dedicated program, Planet 21).  Today, Fairmont has a portfolio of over 80 properties where sustainable development has been a key element.  

With this campaign, the brand reveals breathtaking images that connect natural landscapes to Fairmont destinations in the desert, the mountains and tallgrass prairies.

Over the coming months, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts around the world will unveil “The Grandest of Escapes Exclusively by Fairmont” - a series of offers that through a series of "unique and exciting experiences that will breathe new life into adventurers’ souls and the need to reconnect with nature”.

Accor ALL members and Fairmont fans should keep their eyes peeled for future announcements…

Marriott to (again) extend elite status, Free Night Awards and other elite perks - plan accordingly.

Marriott to (again) extend elite status, Free Night Awards and other elite perks - plan accordingly.

Despite the closet points devaluation associated with a move to dynamic pricing, it's not all bad news coming from Marriott Bonvoy.

Points Expiration — paused through 31 December 2022. At that time, your points will only expire if your account has been inactive for at least 24 months. Diarise to buy the minimum points required to "refresh" them then.

Elite Status extended -—Your 2019 earned status, already renewed through February 2022, or your 2020 status, will be extended through February 2023.

Suite Night Awards with an expiration date of December 31, 2021, will be extended for an additional six months — to 30 June 2022.

Free Night Awards — also extended to 30 June 2022.  From early 2022, you will be able to add points to your FNA to redeem for higher value, providing greater redemtion flexibility.

Nice and welcome changes given the lack of travel due to covid-19......but only temporary.

Marriott Bonvoy has dropped a bombshell !

It has just announced that the Bonvoy program will move from award tables to dynamic pricing for award stays, where the amount of points you pay is based on the demand and cash price of the room.  

While the devil is in the  details (which haven't yet been fully released), this is similar to the pricing model used in Hilton Honors and IHG Rewards.

Thankfully, the change isn't immediate.  For details...

Hyatt members can earn 1,000 bonus AA miles per stay.

Hyatt members can earn 1,000 bonus AA miles per stay.

World of Hyatt members can earn 1,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles per qualifying stay for a limited time.

The offer varies slightly by region, but you must be a member of both World of Hyatt and American Airlines AAdvantage and register for the offer using both membership numbers..  The differences are:

* 130 hotels in 30+ countries across Europe, Middle East, Africa and India participating.  You must complete your qualifying stays by December 19, 2021

* 190 US
Hyatt properties participating and you must register by 15 December and qualifying stays must occur between 1 November, 2021, and 31 January, 2022.

You can see the lists of participating hotels after you register. Read on for more details on the offer targetted for you and T&C's.

Hyatt peak/off-peak pricing preparing to launch - Act NOW

Hyatt peak/off-peak pricing preparing to launch - Act NOW

Hyatt peak/off peak pricing is about to launch.  This change was announced in December 2019, but implementation was deferred in March 2021 and again later due to the impact of the global covid-19 crisis.  

Hyatt will enact these changes on Tuesday, October 26, 2021. If you have been meaning to book a Hyatt property, it may be time to do it now, rather than later. Details and suggested strategies remain the same as when  we first looked at Hyatt peak/off peak pricing in detail

In summary:

  • peak pricing will only affect nights starting 1 March, 2022.
  • Award stays will remain at the Standard rate for nights stayed through 28 February, 2022.
  • The new structure applies to all award nights, regardless of room type.
  • Points + Cash awards will also use the Hyatt off-peak and peak pricing.
  • Free Night Award certificates, which are category based, will not be affected by these changes.  These certificates are earned either though holding a branded credit card or Milestone Rewards.
More details on the Points + Cash awards and Hyatt Milestone Rewards can be found in our complete Guide to the World of Hyatt.

Australian members of ALL can earn 3x the normal number of points when renting a car through Hertz.

Book before 30 November and rent before 15 December 2021 to enjoy:

* 15% off the base rental rate

* triple rewards points.

When you make your booking you must quote:

CDP code:   840267
PC code:     203530 and provide your ALL membership number.

Read more to go to the Hertz site to make your booking.

Accor changes rules so ALL points are now easier to retain

Accor changes rules so ALL points are now easier to retain

Good news for Accor Live Limitless (ALL) members.

Now any points earned will extend the life of all your points.

Previously points expired after 365 days unless you had made an eligible stay or participated in the Accor Dining Offer.  

Points may be earned from stays, shopping with retailers on the Accor portal, using one of their partners' products (eg car rental with Europcar or Hertz) or dining in one of the many participating restaurants, bars and cafes.

500 Good Reasons to try new Hyatt hotels

500 Good Reasons to try new Hyatt hotels

World of Hyatt members can earn 500 Bonus Points for qualifying nights at new Hyatt hotels around the world this year, within the first few months of opening. 

  • Earn 500 Bonus Points for qualifying nights at new hotels during specified offer periods
  • There’s no need to register and you can earn on top of other offers.
Currently there are 26 hotels participating in this offer, with differing offer periods and more are being added. Pictured is the patio at the Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun, one of the participating hotels.

For more information and T&C's. see the Hyatt 500 Reasons page. For more information regarding the program. see our complete guide to World of Hyatt.

Hilton recognised as #3 workplace in the world

Hilton recognised as #3 workplace in the world

For the 6th year in a row, Hilton has been recognised as one of the world's top 25 workplaces. 

Hilton ranked #3 on the 2021 Fortune Magazine / Worlds Best Workplaces awards announced today and remains the only hospitality company on the list.

Congratulations to Hilton, its managers and team members !

For travellers, my experience is that happy employees result in exceptional service. To experience this yourself, take advantage of the latest Hilton Honors promotions.

For more information on its loyalty program, see our complete Guide to Hllton Honors.

Get some sun on your bones!  Escape the winter blues with a holiday at a resort in sunnier climes. 
We look at a smaller chain and Iberostar Horizons, its simple to use loyalty program to see what it can do for you.

Embrace the Unforgettable - earn EXTRA POINTS for stays with Marriott brands

Embrace the Unforgettable - earn EXTRA POINTS for stays with Marriott brands

For Australian Bonvoy members, Marriott has launched a new promotion whereby members can earn extra points per stay.  

You must register first, then you can earn an extra 1,500 points for each stay at a Marriott property, or 3,000 points for stays at the newly launched All-inclusive by Marriott resorts.

You must register by 28 November, 2021 then book for stays between now and 12 December, 2021.

T&C's apply, which you can find when you register for Embrace the Unforgettable 2021

Hilton Honors has launched its latest promotion, where you can purchase up to 160,000 points and they will match it 1 for 1 with 100% bonus points.  

This offers good value at an effective price of USD 5.00/ thousand, which is less than our valuation of USD 5.50/ thousand - especially for Elite Tier members who combine this offer with their 5th night free benefit for a handy discount for their next lovely stay.
T&C's apply, including that you must buy:

  • at least 15,000 points
  • before 7 December 2021
  • no more than 160,000 points - double the usual limit.
Click below to see our analysis and recommendation for the Hilton Honors 100% bonus points offer.

For the coming holiday season, Gaylord Hotels (a Marriott brand) is offering a variety of family-friendly holiday packages "So.Much.Christmas" with events and original experiences at each of its five resort locations located in the US. Pictured is Gaylord Rockies.

Dates for stays vary slightly across the properties but generally must be from mid-November through 2 January 2022 (31 December 2021 @ Gaylord National). 

Bookings are open now, so if you're looking for a magical holiday break with your little ones, this offer may be perfect for you.  Especially if you book before October 17 to Stay 2 nights & Save 15%, or Stay 3 nights, Save 20%.

Hit the button below to learn more and for the T&C's.

Note that Marriott is one of our advertisers and should you use the link on this page to make a booking, then at no additional cost to you we may receive a small compensation. You don't have to use our links, but we appreciate your support when you do.

Marriott Bonvoy Get Vaxed, Win Big competition

Marriott Bonvoy Get Vaxed, Win Big competition

Marriott Bonvoy has a competition for Australian members fully vaccinated against covid-19. There are 5 prizes with stays at each of 9 Marriott (category 5 or 6) properties in Australia and Fiji. Ensure you don't miss out…

Marriott launches all-inclusive brand

Marriott launches all-inclusive brand

Yesterday, Marriott launched a new brand for all-inclusive resort stays -  All-inclusive by Marriott Bonvoy.  

At launch there are 30 destinations in Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Mexico, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Saint Lucia, with more in the pipeline.  Royalton, Saint Lucia is pictured.

20 of the initial 30 destinations are Blue Diamond resorts (the fastest growing resort chain in the Carribbean). These resorts will continue to be independently owned and operated by Blue Diamond Resorts under Marriott's Autograph Collection name.  They will also be integrated into the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program, providing very attractive new options for Bonvoy members.  Although the Upgrade Awards, Cash + Points Awards, Suite Night Awards, and Instant Redemption Awards features of the Marriott Bonvoy program are not available, the Stay for 5  pay for 4, Points Advance and PointSavers are available. More information regarding use of these features is in our comprehensive guide to Marriott Bonvoy

Guests may make bookings through the resort websites, the All-inclusive by Marriott Bonvoy portal, or (which must be used for awards bookings).

SLH Considerate Collection - sustainable with intent

SLH Considerate Collection - sustainable with intent

SLH today launched a collection of destinations curated with an explicit intention for sustainability.

More details are in our complete Guide to SLH Invited

Shangri-La extends status of its Diamond & Jade members until end of 2022 !

Shangri-La extends status of its Diamond & Jade members until end of 2022 !

Shangri-La's Golden Circle has extended tier status for all of its Diamond and Jade members globally. With this extension, all Golden Circle Diamond and Jade members will maintain their current tier status and benefits until 31 December 2022.

American Express Platinum (multiple jurisdictions) members had the Golden Circle Jade status benefit discontinued on 31 March 2021, so this tier extension is definitely welcome news. Golden Circle members typically need the following stays and nights to qualify or maintain their status in the year ahead - Diamond: 50 Nights or 25 Stays or Jade: 20 Nights or 10 Stays.

But the Shangri-La status does not just have benefits by itself, but also, it has many associated perks which come with it, including:

1. Short-cut to Star Alliance Gold status - Shangri-La Jade-tier and Diamond-tier members receive instant KrisFlyer Silver status once they join up their Shangri-La Golden Circle and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer accounts. After that, Shangri-La Jade Members need to take 3 flights on Singapore Airlines, or just 1 flight as a Diamond member to receive KrisFlyer Gold status.

Once you have KrisFlyer Gold status, you have the equivalent of Star Alliance Gold status, which means you unlock the associated benefits on flights on Star Alliance members across the globe.

2. Enjoy Taj InnerCircle Gold status - Under the terms of a strategic alliance between Shangri-La Golden Circle and Taj Inner Circle, there is an automatic status match between the tiers of the programmes.  Golden Circle Jade members match to InnerCircle Gold and Golden Circle Diamond members match to InnerCircle Platinum (and vice-versa).

While Taj InnerCircle is mostly an Indian hotel company’s loyalty programme, Taj also has hotels in various countries worldwide, such as the US, UAE and UK.

Shangri-La will also waive the cancellation charges regardless of booking channel for all guests, if cancelled more than 24 hours prior to arrival date. The hotels reserve the right to contact all inbound international guests at least 30 days prior to their arrival dates to confirm or cancel their reservations.

These changes are part of the Shangri-La Cares program. 

In its most recent annual report on the most valuable and strongest hotel brands, BrandDirectory found Taj Hotels to be the strongest hotel brand for 2021. This provides a huge vote of confidence for travellers.

According to the report, Taj is renowned for its world-class customer service and the luxury hotel chain scores very well for consideration, familiarity, recommendation, and reputation especially across its home market of India.

Extending the appeal further through Asia, Warmer Welcomes is an alliance between the loyalty programs of Taj and Shangri-La, adding versatility.

Today, as part of the launch of its "Department of Epic" program, IHG Hotels & Resorts announced a contest that will give one lucky US-based traveller the chance to win back a year of missed adventures with 365 days worth of epic hotel experiences at various IHG locations around the world, including InterContinental, Kimpton and Holiday Inn Express.

Pictured above is the InterContinental Bora Bora resort and Thalasso Spa - just one of many possibilities.

Read on for more details and how to enter.

For travellers with young families wanting to book a holiday, Hilton has launched a new family-friendly booking feature.

Confirmed Connecting Rooms will enable individuals to easily book and instantly confirm at least two connecting rooms (at participating hotels, which I expect will increase as the technology is rolled-out).  This will reduce the potential stress both at the time of booking adn during your stay, as anyone who has holidayed with particularly a younger family will appreciate.

While I see it as ideal for young families, it is also a boon for other multi-generational holidays, friend groups, wedding attendees and other travel parties who wish to stay near one another rather than potentially be spread across multiple floors.  

In the past there have always been many benefits to staying in connecting guest rooms—but the booking process wasn’t always seamless.  

Hilton seems to have overcome this with a smart, easy-to-use solution.  Hopefully others will follow Hilton's lead.
For more details, or to make a booking at participating hotels with Hilton Confirmed Connecting Rooms, use the link below.

Marriott Bonvoy has an Earn, Eat, Enjoy promotion to 'Holiday Here This Year' for Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Samoa.  Book now using the Promotional Code: B1818 and for stays completed by 31 December 2021, you receive:

* 2X Marriott Bonvoy points;
* breakfast for 2 adults and 2 children (up to age 12);
daily hotel credit to use at restaurants & bars.

You can see the T&C's or make bookings using the link below.

Qantas announced plans on May 31st to giveaway a suite of mega prizes to Australians who get the COVID-19 vaccine, including unlimited travel for a year.  This is in addition to the announcement a week earlier that it would offer frequent flyer points along with travel vouchers and status credits to Australians who get inoculated.  It is understood the options being considered by Qantas include giving people who get both their two COVID-19 jabs up to 1000 frequent flyer points, flight vouchers towards domestic and international flights, and status credits, which allow people to move into high Frequent Flyer tiers.

Any reward would be available to people who had already received their jabs and the program would run until the end of 2021 when the vaccine rollout is due to be completed; the details are yet to be completed. Now, the national carrier has launched a further incentive scheme which it hopes will boost vaccination rates and help get state and international borders reopened permanently.

“We’re looking at having 10 mega-prizes, at least one for each state or territory, where a family of four can have unlimited free travel for a year on the Qantas and Jetstar networks,” CEO Alan Joyce revealed on Channel 7’s Sunrise program.

The trips would be in economy class and each of the ten winners.  “In addition to that, the Accor Group have come on board and they’re offering one million Accor Points, which gives free accommodation at 400 hotels and resorts across the country.”

Joyce said the program would launch in July, "will include anybody that has already been vaccinated (and) will apply to anybody that's vaccinated through to the end of 2021."

“We have a vested interest in this, we want to do everything we can to ensure the borders domestically open and stay open and that we get international up and running,” he explained.

The airline has consistently said that it will require all passengers to be vaccinated when it restarts international flights beyond New Zealand.

More Australians vaccinated means more potential travellers making bookings.

While the moves may not be entirely altruistic, I think both companies are to be commended for “putting their money where their mouth is” and not just relying on Government to provide support for the ailing sector.

It’s understood that vaccinated Australians will be able to claim their rewards and enter to win a mega-prize through the Qantas app from July.

Don’t be surprised to see if this coincides with the launch of the Qantas/Accor dual points earning (crossover) capability that was announced in November 2020 as part of a closer strategic relationship between the companies.  This too was scheduled to launch mid-2021 and will be the first partnership of its kind between an airline and hospitality group in the Asia Pacific region.

Best Western Rewards elite levels at double speed in 2021.  Perhaps leverage into another program

Best Western Rewards elite levels at double speed in 2021. Perhaps leverage into another program

Best Western makes elite status in its Best Western Rewards program easier to attain for 2021.  Requirements have been halved for 2021, so you get there twice as fast!  

New Qualifications for 2021*          
Nights   10  5 15  7 30  15 50  25
Qualifying Stays   7   3 10  5 20  10 40  20
Points   10,000  5,000 15,000  7,500 30,000  15,000 50,000  25,000

There will be no downgrades in elie tier levels through January 31, 2022.

 If you attain a new elite tier level in 2021, you will maintain that tier level through March 31, 2023.

The perks for elite tiers in Best Western Rewards aren't the most compelling (although breakfast is included).  However if you stay primarily in budget/family oriented accommodation it can work well for you.

The program does work very well for Australian travellers staying outside the major city centres.  Regional centres usually offer at least one option, whereas the major chains may not offer anything (different in the US I know).  For these travellers and similar, it can make a lot of sense to accumulate BWR points.

You can always later leverage your BWR tier status into a similar tier in another program.  See here for more details on what you might achieve with a status match from your current BWR tier status.

SLH is one of our favoured programs and for a short time, you can save up to 40% at 100 SLH destinations!  Get some sun on your bones at Viceroy Bali, Huvafen Fushi in the Maldives, Aleenta or Keemala resorts in Phuket, La Casa Que Canta in Mexico or the Heritage Le Telfair Golf and Wellness resort in Mauritius (pictured above, sourced from Leonardo Worldwide Corporation) .

Perhaps a stay in a location that has an interesting history in itself, like either the luxurious Fortress Resort and Spa in Sri Lanka or the Tom Tom Suites at the Old Franciscan House in Istanbul.

For fans of snowsports, there are options like the Kristiana, Lech in Austria.

So, you're bound to find something that will be a memorable stay.

Act soon to ensure that you don't miss out.  Note that you must book by 3 January 2021 for stays until the end of June 2021.  Other Terms and Conditions apply, so be sure to read them on the page that this article links to.

Get twice as many HIlton Honors points when you buy or gift at least 10,000 points before 31 December 2020. That's a whopping 50% discount !  

The annual limit on the number of points you can purchase has been temporarily increased to 160,000 - and the bonus points don't count towards this limit.

This brings the purchase price down to USD 5 per thousand. What could you do with this?  Read on to learn more.

Get 50% more Marriott Bonvoy points when you buy or gift at least 2,000 points before 22 December 2020. That's a 33% discount !  

The annual limit on the number of points you can purchase has been temporarily increased to 150,000 - and the bonus points don't count towards this limit.

This brings the purchase price down to USD 8.33 per thousand. What could you do with this?  Read on to learn more.

Qantas and Accor have announced a deeper partnership that will see mutual members of their loyalty programs being able to double-dip for rewards points in the APAC region. 

The newly minted crossover feature is scheduled to launch mid-2021.

While similar to other crossover programs (eg Marriott and both Emirates and United; Shangri-La and Singapore Airlines; Hyatt and American Airlines), it will be the first partnership of its kind between an airline and hospitality group in the Asia Pacific region.

Will it be an attractive feature?  Read on for our thoughts.

There was an article in Le Figaro (later syndicated through Reuters) saying that Accor was looking closely at IHG with a view to takeover or merger.  How would that look ?  Where are the overlaps?  What might it mean for the respective programs of Accor Live Limitless and IHG Rewards Club?

Our regular update on the world of hotels and their loyalty programs.  Best Western sneaks in a points devaluation - possibly related to WorldHotels | Hilton offers a new way to redeem points (but don't) | Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt all running points offers with discounts, but do they offer value?