Every major hotel brand has a loyalty program. You’ll earn points for your stays, which can be used for a free night or two on a future trip.
I always sign up for programs even when I’m not sure if I’ll stay with the hotel chain again. You never know when points may come in handy. Besides, just joining a program gives you perks like in-room internet or at it least (usually) prevents you from getting the worst room in the hotel (and trust me…years ago, I got that room on more than one occasion).
Keeping hotel points active requires effort. However, using a website like AwardWallet helps you keep track of all of your points and miles accounts.
Here are links to the sign-up pages for the major hotel programs, along with the expiration policy and perks each program gives to entry-level members:
Marriott Bonvoy (Marriott, Residence Inn, Courtyard, Fairfield, Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels, Aloft & others)
Points in the Marriott Bonvoy program expire if you don’t have qualifying activity in your account in the prior 2 years. That includes earning or redeeming points. The following activities don’t count towards keeping your status active:
- Gifting or transferring points; however, converting points to miles or miles to points does count toward maintaining an active status;
- Receiving points as a gift or transfer;
- Earning points through social media programs, such as #MarriottBonvoyPoints.
All Marriott Rewards members get free in-room Wi-Fi when they book through Marriott’s website or apps.
IHG Rewards Club (Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Candlewood Suites, etc.)
Points expire after 12 months of no account activity (either earning or redemptions). Points of Elite members, which includes cardholders of the IHG Rewards Club Premier, never expire.
All IHG Rewards Club members get free internet.
World of Hyatt (Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Place, Andaz, Hyatt Regency, Park Hyatt)
Accounts that are inactive for 24 consecutive months will be closed and all points and benefits associated with the account will be forfeited at that time. These activities will keep your account open:
- Receiving points via authorized means
- Receiving credits with a partner in the program for a stay at a Hyatt hotel or resort
- Redeeming points (and, if applicable, completing any reservation for which such points were redeemed)
- Gifting a program award (in accordance with these terms)
- Converting points to Partner Loyalty Points (as defined in Appendix B),
- Purchasing or combining points
- Having a valid Hyatt co-branded credit card, including the World of Hyatt Credit Card and/or World of Hyatt Business Credit Card (collectively, “Hyatt-branded credit card”) associated with the member’s program account.
If a Member redeems points for an Award Reservation and either cancels that reservation or does not actually check-in on the appointed date (i.e., no-shows), that reservation will not count as a redemption of points pursuant to subsection (iii) of the preceding sentence and will not toll the measurement of that Member’s Program inactivity.
All Hyatt guests receive standard complimentary internet, and members pay no resort fees on award stays.
Hilton Hotels (Doubletree Suites, Hampton Inn, Embassy Suites, etc.) – Hilton Honors
To keep an account active, members can stay at one of Hilton’s hotels, or earn or redeem Honors points within 12 months. Here are some of the qualifying activities:
- Stay at a hotel within the Hilton Portfolio pursuant to the terms herein
- Earn Hilton Honors Points through any third party source of Hilton Honors Point accumulation, including a Hilton co-branded credit card, pursuant to its terms
- Purchase Hilton Honors Points
- Donate Points through The Hilton Honors Giving Back Program
Members receive complimentary in-room and lobby standard internet access. They also receive late check-out (must be requested and subject to availability). Members do not pay resort fees on award stays.
Wyndham Hotels (LaQuinta, Days Inn, Super 8, Ramada Inn, Travelodge, Howard Johnson’s, etc.) – Wyndham Rewards
All accrued points in a member’s Wyndham Rewards account may be canceled or forfeited if the member has no account activity for a period of eighteen (18) consecutive months. Wyndham Rewards points expire four (4) years after being posted to the member’s account, unless the points are forfeited or cancelled earlier due to membership inactivity or otherwise in accordance with these terms and conditions.
Wyndham Rewards members enjoy free Wi-Fi.
Choice Hotels (Comfort Inn, EconoLodge, Rodeway Inn, etc.) – Choice Privileges
As long as you stay an active Choice Privileges member, you keep the points you earn. So as long as you have a qualifying activity every 18 months, you keep your points.
Radisson Hotels (Radisson, Radisson Blu, Park Inn, Country Inn & Suites, etc.) – Radisson Rewards
Points do not have an expiration date as long as your account remains active by earning or redeeming within a 24 month period.
I couldn’t find extra benefits for being a Club (basic) member.
Choice Hotels has announced they will be acquiring the Radisson US hotels in a deal to close in the latter half of 2022. No details of how Radisson Rewards will be merged into the Choice program.
Best Western – Best Western Rewards
Best Western Rewards points do not expire for members of the North American club, which includes members who reside in North, Central and South America, Asia and South Africa.
There are no listed extra benefits of being a Blue (basic) member besides getting early check-in or late check-out based on availability.
MGM Resorts – MGM Rewards
For those of you who visit Las Vegas, this is the points program of MGM Resorts.
Base level Sapphire membership can get you personalized offers on mlife.com, including discounts on rooms and retail shops.
If you’re planning on staying in Las Vegas, it pays to sign up for this program. Tier credits to advance to the next level reset on October 1st each year. If you qualify for a higher tier, you’ll keep those benefits for at least one full year.
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