l’ve already posted about how you can sign up for hotel programs and, not surprisingly, I’ve certainly signed up for quite a few. In fact, when I look at AwardWallet, I see that I have accounts with these hotel programs:
- Starwood Preferred Guest
- Marriott Rewards
- Hilton Honors
- World of Hyatt
- IHG Rewards Club
- Le Club Accorhotels
- Wyndham Rewards
- Choice Privileges
- La Quinta Rewards
- M Life (MGM Resorts)
- Kimpton Karma Rewards
I’ll freely admit that I wasn’t enrolled in the last two programs on this list until this week. I signed up for them because I was staying, or thinking about staying, in hotels belonging to these programs. You’re going to get some benefit if you’re a member of that hotel’s program when you stay at their hotels, even if it is as simple as free WiFi or not getting the worst room in the hotel.
NOTE: Since this article was originally published, the Kimpton Karma program has merged with IHG Rewards Club. Top level Kimpton members still receive special Inner Circle benefits exclusive to Kimpton Hotels on an invitation only basis.
Kimpton Karma Rewards
We were planning a stay in Chicago for a long weekend last summer, when we were going to see “Hamilton” again. I had my eye on a couple of hotels that would be good for our stay and finally got around to booking one. One of them was the Kimpton Hotel Allegro. The prices had gone up since the last time I looked and when I checked on TripAdvisor the the least expensive room now cost $279 a night, which is the rack rate. I did go to the hotel to search if there were any discounts and AAA prices showed a bit lower (this is one of the reasons I keep my AAA membership – lower hotel rates).
Since this was a much better rate than any other website was offering, I signed up for a Kimpton Karma Rewards account and went to make a reservation. After signing up and logging into my account, this rate popped up.
So not only was this rate $55 less than the rack rate, it is also $21 less than the AAA rate that I found. You know what it took me to get this lower rate? Less than five minutes to sign up for an account and now I also got free WiFi and a “Raid the Mini Bar” credit upon check in. Not bad! BTW, my review of the hotel can be found here.
MGM Resorts – M Life
We are not gamblers and we really have no idea about Las Vegas. We depended on you to give us suggestions on what to do while were there, and you really delivered, with comment after comment on our Facebook page! I also spent quite a bit of time deciding where to stay, finally choosing the Delano with the AMEX benefits I’ll get there. Since I was staying at an MGM Resort hotel, I decided to sign up for the M Life program.
I remembered a post I read a while ago on Heels First Travel about how having a M Life membership can save you on hotels. I signed up and was immediately granted Sapphire status, the lowest level in the program. Just for fun, I looked for rates at the Luxor, one of the hotels I was considering before.
Just for signing up for M Life, the rate I was offered is $16 a night less than before. And that’s with only having the entry level Sapphire status; if you are a higher level then you will get even better pricing than this! If you happen to have status with Hyatt, you can match that to M Life. Having the Hyatt Credit card grants you Discoverist level and you can match that to M Life Pearl which will get you free self parking. Mommy Points, one of the blogs I follow, gives a full description of how to match status (unfortunately, the best perks she mentions were eliminated in March 2017).
These lower rates at the Luxor will make me reconsider where we might stay in Las Vegas (I know Sharon is just thrilled about me having to go over all of these hotels again). (Edit from Sharon: just kill me now…)
These are just two examples of why you should always sign up for hotel loyalty programs even if you will never stay enough to earn status. The benefits of being a member far outweigh the costs (it’s free!) of signing up.
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