Resources for working out which hotels and programs I should use

Discussion in 'Other Hotel Loyalty Programs' started by simongr, Aug 5, 2006.

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  1. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
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    Hi again all
    As per some of my other posts I am just starting out on a round of international business travel over the next couple of years - each trip is 1 - 2 weeks at a time rather than fly bys. I dont have much control over the hotel selection (I get presented a list of three options and should choose the cheapest - which was funny when the showed me three hotels in Singapore - 2 at about S$180/night and raffles for S$500 - even I couldnt bring myself to try that on) or flight selection for that matter.

    Over the years I have picked up various one off memberships (HHonors, Marriott, PC (I think), Hyatt gold) but none of them have got off the ground as my travel has been to generally crap places so I dont end up staying in a decent place more than once.

    Also I havent been much of a frequent flyer in the past so never got into the swing of maximising stuff like this. So as I build up my travel portfolio I was wondering if there were resources or advice on the following:

    - What are the benefits of membership of the various programs (Guess I could look in the promotions page - but things like upgrades are definitely a plus)?

    - Is there a good way of working out whether a hotel records you QFF number or not - I am on some levels a shy person and I being english I dont like to ask for things even if they are "free"?

    - Is it the done thing to pop down you QFF card and your hotel program card - will I be laughed out of the building?

    For some reason the hotels my company use are really nice but they also arent branded - and I am wondering if they are parts of chains that teh brand is hidden but I could still take advantage of. For example recently I spent two weeks at the Marriott in Cranberry (near Pittsburgh) so had to phoen home for my Marriott number - but that at least was a brand. After that I was sent to the Kitano in New York for three nights and now am at the Mal Maison in London. both lovely hotels but not branded (well the Mal Maison is a UK brand I guess). I was booked into the the Pacific Mandarin in Singapore - again a no-brand hotel. Any thoughts on if I am missing a trick here?

    S
     

  2. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
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    With most hotel programs you can choose to either get credit on the hotel's frequent stay program, OR get credit on partner FFP. AFAIK Hilton HHonors is the only one that allows you to credit both.

    In some ways frequent stay programs are even more valuable than frequent flyer programs. However, for someone with your travel and stay patterns it may be better for you to concentrate on crediting to partner airline FFP as a night here or there isnt going to amount to much on the frequent stay programs.

    Each FFP's website has a list of hotel partners. Generally covering several major chains plus a few independents. If you have a few FFPs (eg one for each alliance) then between them you probably cover most hotels other than those that choose not to participate in any program.
     
  3. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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    I've been lucky with HHonors; did not dream of joining. Then with prompting from this board and FT; was comped Silver as an QF SG; then HHonors Gold. I have earned 19,000 QFF points from 23 stays + 90K hhonours points (20K base, 70H bonus).

    I have had 2 award stays, 1 in DXB saving me ~AUD350 & one in ANC saving ~AUD490.

    PLus the generally 'free' breakfasts in most stays as a Gold. ;)
     
  4. Tiki

    Tiki Member

    Jul 21, 2004
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    BNE
    I'm by no means a business traveller, I do take exotic overseas holidays every year. What I did was figure out where I would be spending my holidays the next few years and which destination is the most expensive.

    Tahiti is a favourite place for both me and my husband but it is very expensive. PC IC hotel awards are the same 30k points whether the hotel is in PPT ($290 USD) or Cairo ($45 USD). So obviously that's where I want to burn my points. The only hotel loyalty programs which serve PPT are Priority Club, Starwood, Sofitel and Radisson. PC seems to have the most potential for bonuses so I went with them. They also serve Bora Bora and if we use points there we are getting a $500 USD room! We could also score an overwater bungalow with an Ambassador BOGO. Pretty good value since an OWB is like $7-800 a night but you pay $150 to join and get one night free! Since points don't expire and we go to Tahiti roughly every 3 years, we should be able to rack up enough points for a fancy trip that we normally couldn't afford.

    So basically, figure out where you want to burn your points and join a program that serves that place!
     
  5. infoworks

    infoworks Member

    Aug 11, 2002
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    Sydney
    To the extent that you can look ahead, see what hotel chains are likely to be most consistently available for you and then look at what it takes for status.

    If you can take a night at Raffles - I wouldn't knock it back!
     
  6. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
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    The raffles offer though was a little strange and I would have had a hard time explaining the A10,000+ hotel bill for me and the guy that works for me...
     
  7. QF WP

    Moderator

    Jun 20, 2002
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    You may be best looking for frequent guest programs that use nights, rather than stays, based on my understanding of your hotels stays posted here and in another thread.

    But if you are only offered three choices (that sound like they are not using any consistent choice of different hotel chains), then you may have to continue to hold multiple cards and "hope" that you can score a couple of stays in a year (they sound like 2 week per stay), so that would help you get some status.
     
  8. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
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    Thanks - yeah I think I am just going to have to live with it - I dont expect to get much status anywhere - just want to maximise my FF points... if I can...
     
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