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My Millennium Guide - great hotels in a simple program

by Neil McPherson
23 October 2019

This  guide is based upon My Millennium Terms & Conditions


Millennium Hotels & Resorts has possibly the simplest points-earning hotel program

Undoubtedly, many travel loyalty programs are becoming more complex and difficult to find value without a lot of work. Many programs have multiple "elite status" levels, each with varying entitlements to benefits (eg) room upgrades or complimentary breakfast.

Imagine a simpler program where all benefits are accessible to any member, based purely on their loyalty to the hotel program (paid nights stayed).

After reviewing Marriott Bonvoy, I think that a look at My Millennium will provide a good contrast and it may be more suitable for some other folk. The program rated well for Elite Credit-card holders, Business Owners and Leisure Travellers in our comparison of the Best Hotel Rewards Programs.

Let's take a closer look.

All about Millennium Hotels & Resorts (MHR) and the new Millennium guest reward program

Table of Contents

Millennium brands and their positioning
Geographic spread of Millennium Hotels
My Millennium Elite Tiers & Benefits
Earning My Millennium points
Retaining My Millennium points
Redeeming your My Millennium points
Program partners of My Millennium
My Millennium member only offers
Special features of the My Millennium program
What does My Millennium offer business owners?
Best use of My Millennium points
Conclusions about My Millennium
Applying to join My Millennium
My Millennium FAQ




MHR brands and their positioning

MHR has a range of brands, covering the range from midscale to upper-upscale. It lacks a brand at the very top end, but otherwise spans the market quite well, with little confusion as to which brand fits where in the marketplace.

Table 1 - MHR brands and approximate alignment with some competitor brands:

Company Luxury Upper upscale Upscale Upper midscale
AccorHotels Sofitel, Fairmont, Raffles Swissôtel, Grand Mercure
Pullman, MGallery, The Sebel, Adagio Premium
Suite Novotel, Adagio, 
Mama Shelter
Best Western Hotels
WorldHotels Best Western Premier, Vībe, BW Premier Collection
Best Western Plus, Executive Residency by Best Western
Hilton Worldwide Waldorf Astoria, Conrad Hotels
Hilton, DoubleTree, 
Canopy by Hilton, 
Curio Collection
Embassy Suites by Hilton
Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites by Hilton, 
Home2 Suites
Hyatt Hotels Corporation Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Hotels, Andaz Hyatt Place, Hyatt House Hotels, Hyatt Centric   
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) Six Senses, InterContinental, Regent  Crowne Plaza, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
Hotel Indigo, EVEN Hotels, Staybridge Suites, Holiday Inn Select, HUALUXE Hotels & Resorts

Holiday Inn
Meliá Hotels International Gran Meliá, ME by Meliá, Paradisus
Meliá, Innside
Marriott International Ritz-Carlton, Bulgari Hotels, Edition Hotels, JW Marriott Hotels, St. Regis, Luxury Collection
Renaissance Hotels, Marriott, Autograph Collection, Delta, Marriott Executive Apartment, Gaylord Hotels, W Hotels, Design Hotels, Westin Hotels & Resorts, Le Méridien, Sheraton, Tribute Portfolio
AC Hotels, Fairfield Inn by Marriott, Courtyard by Marriott, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn by Marriott, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft Hotels, Element Hotels MOXY Hotels, Protea Hotels, 
TownePlace Suites
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels

Grand Millennium Hotels
Millennium Hotels, 
Grand Copthrone Hotels
Copthorne Hotels, M Hotels


Source: extract from wikipedia.org

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Geographic Spread of Millennium's Hotels & Resorts

MHR's portfolio of properties consist of both urban hotels and resorts, spread globally, but with concentration in the Middle East (42 properties), New Zealand (21 properties) and England (eg London alone has 6). The US has its 13 properties spread across multiple cities, but more are closer to the east coast than the west coast. The Middle East is the region with the greatest number of properties.

This concentration of locations is useful if your travel stays are concentrated in the same regions, but also makes it difficult to earn points from stays, if they are not.

Table 2 - MHR property locations by region. Source: millenniumhotels.com

Number of Millennum propeties by region

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Elite Membership Tiers & Benefits

My Millennium (the new Millennium hotel loyalty program, replacing the Millennium and Copthorne Loyalty Club) was launched in March this year (2019). Compared to its predecessor, the programme has been significantly revamped - both simplified and enhanced. Lifestyle rewards have been included (shopping vouchers for Marks & Spencer, experiences with Chelsea Football club).

The first interesting fact about the new program is that it is a single tiered rewards program. Folk are either non-members, or they all share the one membership tier.

All members receive the following benefits during stays as a Millennium guest.


Note that you must show your membership card at check-in and any redemptions for Instant Rewards must be confirmed then too.

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Earning rewards points ("My Points")

Rewards points must be earned via spending on eligible stays, or purchases made in the online store. Unlike many other programs, points cannot be purchased.

Each stay at a participating property earns 10 points per USD spent on the base room rate. Food and beverage spending do not earn points. Points are not earned on bookings made through an online agency (Expedia, booking.com etc).

Points can be earned on e-store purchases.


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Retaining points

Points expire on the anniversary of the end of the month in which they were earned (eg MyMillennioum points from a stay on July 5th will expire at midnight on July 31st of the following year).

There is no ability to refresh or extend the expiry date (T&C 4.2) so it is a "hard" expiry.

There is the ability to request Customer Service to (at their discretion) transfer points to another member. So another family member may be able to use those points before they expire. It's not explicitly stated (in T&C 4.2), but I suspect the expiry date transfers with the points (ie they are not "refreshed" by the transfer).

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Redeeming points

Points can be redeemed for the following Millennium guest rewards, for an enhanced stay experience:

Points can be used for purchases in the e-store, which provides access to Uber, Spotify and country-specific retailers such M&S and Macy's. This is a lower value use of your points (USD 0.4 cents each) and should only be used if you have no chance of using them as part of a stay (or transferring them to someone else who can).

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Program partners provide alternative rewards

There are over a dozen airlines as program partners, spanning the regions where MHR have properties.

Points earned cannot be transferred to airlines' mileage programs (the way say Marriott Bonvoy allows), but airline miles can be earned instead of points as rewards for a stay.

The amount of points is fixed per stay (nb not per night) but the amount varies across airline programs.

China Eastern offers a good rate across all MHR brands. China Southern and especially Qantas offer good rates for Millennium brands.

The Qantas points earned are not as valuable for flight redemptions as say Asia Miles.

For Millennium properties, Qantas would be slightly ahead, but for any other MHR brands, earning Cathay's Asia Miles (or points of Etihad, JAL or potentially also Delta or Qatar) would provide more value.


Table 3 - miles earned per stay by partner. Source: millenniumhotels.com

Airline miles earned directly from stays


Air New Zealand is the exception, offering miles based on the amount spent at MHR properties.

Air NZ miles earned directly from stays

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Special features of the program

There are three special features, two of which are quite unique.

  1. If you stay 10 nights, you then earn enough points for a single night in a room that costs the same as the average cost of your previous 10 nights. For example, after 10 nights of stays in a $200 room, you earn sufficient points for a free night in a room with a cash price of $200 per night.
  2. This is a very attractive 10% yield on your spending. If your annual nights total is less than 10, the yield drops to a still reasonable 5%. This is in addition to your discount as a member.
  3. This compares very favourably to the "5th night free" of Hilton Honors, where you must first earn enough points for the first 4 nights (requiring a lot more than 10 paid nights)..
  4. Not as attractive as Marriott's "stay 5, pay for 4" feature. But...

Nights stayed during the month of a member's birthday earn triple (!) points. For each night's stay during a birthday month, your points earned on a total of 10 nights increases by 5%. So, a total of 10 nights with 2 of them during your birthday month will provide enough points for a pricier room and yield of almost 20%.


The latter two features are quite unique and generous. You can imagine that staying 10 nights through a year, especially with a couple of them during a birthday month you could comfortably earn at least one free night each year, or a room upgrade for a longer paid stay.

Combining this idea with the points transfer feature if you and your partner are both members makes this even easier.

Even if you can only manage say two nights in both birthday months, the points earned could be sufficient to cover one breakfast on a paid stay (only a benefit on other programs if you have at least "Gold" status - elite level 2).

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Are there member-only offers?

Yes. Usually quite generous too.

For instance there is currently a promotion for 15% off room rates, with double points earn for a two-night stay. For stays of three nights or longer you'll earn triple points. Terms and conditions apply.

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Does Millennium offer a program for business owners?

Yes. The Millennium for Business program is designed for business owners and offers:

To be eligible, you must have a business registration (eg for VAT in the UK, ABN in Australia, NZBN in New Zealand). If you do, then applying for membership of Millennium for Business is very straightforward.

There are also three regional programs for Millennium Corporate Bookers.

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Best use of My Points

points N places logo for travel tips Tip: When making any bookings on MHR's website, compare using different currencies. The cash price changes with different currencies, but so do the points prices. Setting the currency to USD or GBP seems to provide the lowest points requirements. AUD and other currencies resulted in higher points required for the same stay.


(1) Millennium Hotels & Resorts London

For a London stay, the Copthorne Hotel Tara London is moderately priced hotel in a location which is hard to beat.

For 31,938 points (equivalent to USD 159.69) per night you can book a spacious room within walking distance of Kensington High Street, Royal Albert Hall, Hyde Park and Kensington Palace. Kensington High Street Underground station, provides ready access to Knightsbridge and onwards to the many London attractions.

To accumulate those My Millennium points, you could have spent an average of USD 145.20 per night for 10 nights (including two "birthday" nights).

In fact, you only need to spend 90.1% of the price of the room you desire for 10 nights, with two of them being in both birthday months of you and your partner - a saving of almost 10%, in addition to the member's discount of 10%, or a 19% discount combined !


Standard double room at the Copthorne Hotel Tara London

A standard double room at the Copthorne Hotel Tara London. Credit: Millennium Hotels and Resorts


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Observations

If your work or leisure travel patterns mean that you can stay 10 nights or more in participating properties, you should be able to qualify for at least one complimentary night with Millennium Hotels and Resorts. This is a yield of 10% or more based on comparable paid and free stays - well in excess of what is typical of other global hotel chains' loyalty programs.

The main limitations are that:

  1. points cannot be purchased
  2. the limited size footprint means that not everyone will be able to enjoy 10 nights within a single year at properties.

Combined, they make it hard for some folk to earn sufficient points for a free night, so their points will expire if not used for "Instant Rewards" on a paid stay (room upgrades, breakfast etc).

Access to these rewards is still far easier than via large programs with "elite tiers" of membership. You can use My Points to transform a paid stay into something with similar benefits/entitlements to those of a Gold member on other programs (while a couple of other programs require 15 nights, most require 30 nights or more before qualifying for these benefits).

For business owners, Millennium for Business may be an especially sweet spot. You receive a specially discounted room rate and regardless of points earned, your travellers will receive guaranteed room upgrades - a very valuable benefit, given many programs don't guarantee upgrades for anyone other than their highest elite membership tier(s). Points earnt can be used instead for breakfast or meal discounts, making for very cost-effective and comfortable stays.

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Conclusions

Despite being a revenue-based points program, My Millennium offers good value for all members through its single-tier design and generous special features.

Loyal members who are able to utilise the properties on a regular basis will do very well under this program, with its relatively low number of required nights to earn one complimentary night. The birthday bonus of triple points for all members and guaranteed room upgrades for business owners registered with Millennium for Business make this a very attractive alternative to larger programs. You can receive benefits normally reserved for upper tier members of those programs at far lower cost - as long as the locations suit your travel patterns.

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How to join

It is easy to open an account as an individual - just apply for membership of My Millennium.

If you are an owner of a registered business, you will gain even more benefits by also applying for membership of Millennium for Business.

Note that:

For hints on how to extract the maximum value from your membership and tips on points planning and travel, subscribe to our free email service.  We don't like spam either and so we aim to only send you information that is relevant to you.    .  


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    FAQ

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