LA Times – Hotel chains boost loyalty point requirements to book a free room

The LA Times gives us some solid numbers on a trend we have noticed for the past year or so:  hotel companies are dramatically increasing the number of points required to book a free room.  From the LA Times:

los_angeles_times_logoStarwood Preferred Guests, the program for the Westin, Sheraton and W hotels, among others, raised the rate by at least 25% on nearly 250 hotels. The changes took place Tuesday.

Wyndham Rewards, which includes Days Inn and Howard Johnson, is raising the points requirement by as much as 66% on about 1,600 hotels around the world. At an additional 2,900 or so hotels the rates are dropping, and they are staying the same at about 2,700 hotels. The changes take place Thursday.

Hilton HHonors, which covers Hampton Inn, DoubleTree, Embassy Suites and Waldorf Astoria, among others, is hiking the points requirement on many of its hotels 14% to 50%. The changes start March 28.

The Marriott Rewards program, which includes Fairfield, Courtyard, Ritz-Carlton and TownePlace Suites, will raise the points requirement by at least 33% for more than 1,300 of its hotels. The program also created a higher tier for its most expensive hotels. The changes take effect May 16.

Most of the hotel companies adjust their point scale at least once per year.  It is not to surprising to see a big increase.  Many markets have seen incredible occupancy jumps over the last 12 months and most markets have an occupancy greater than the pre-recession years.

Source:  LA Times Article

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