Some Hotel Rewards Programs Get Less Rewarding

March 27 2013 by Chris McGinnis
Comments (2)

BWR_Base_Marketing.jpgOver the last few months, frequent travelers have been getting a lot of bad news when it comes to loyalty programs.

We are used to hearing about the declining value of frequent flyer miles, and the increasing difficulty we have redeeming them. That's old news.

But now we are starting to see hotel programs make similar moves.

For example, since the beginning of this year, Hilton, Marriott and Starwood have announced that they are creating more award redemption categories, which of course means that banked points lose value.

Experts say this happens when demand for hotel rooms increases, and the supply of unsold rooms contracts.

You can probably guess where I'm going with this... Best Western Rewards is not making any changes. As a matter of fact, CNBC says Best Western is "a standout that is bucking the trend."

Here's more:

"[Best Western Rewards] has no immediate plans to revise its points program and its points thresholds for redeeming free rooms have remained the same since 2002," said Tammy Lucas, Best Western's Managing Director of Marketing Programs.

"There's no question the rise in demand and the increase in average daily rates are certainly some things driving cost up on free nights. So from a business perspective, that would be my assumption [why other chains are making changes]," she said.

The article went on to point out that, "Best Western's decision to stay the course may be a sign that the brand is prioritizing its appeal to a value-oriented customer. [It's] hoping to position itself as an alternative for rewards members that are fed up with the wave of points devaluations."

Have you found yourself booking more stays at Best Western because you are feeling fed up with other programs?

Chris McGinnis is Best Western's travel trends expert and business travel blogger on

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    By Bill on March 31, 2013 6:24 AM

    Road trip planned and almost exclusively Best Western properties booked. Why? Value for the dollar invested. Keep up the good work.

    By Bill on March 31, 2013 6:26 AM

    Road trip planned and Best Western is booked. Why? Great value for the dollar.

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