Loyalty programs weren’t around when the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus opined that the only constant in life is change. But the shifting earn-and-burn point levels established by hotel, airline and credit card programs add head-spinning haste to his thesis, especially in the past year.
In short, there are more ways to earn and spend as both sides of the loyalty equation — awards and rewards — inflate.
“Every loyalty point you hold today will be less valuable in two to five years,” said Leigh Rowan, the special projects director at UpgradedPoints.com, a website covering loyalty rewards strategies. “That’s the way airlines, hotels and private equity companies earn money, and they’re getting creative in how you can spend them.”
Some estimates put the value of unredeemed points in the United States and Canada at 0 billion. If you’re sitting on piles of points, now is the time to consider using them, as programs offer new incentives in travel and beyond.
From Marriott International’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts in 2016 to Hyatt Hotels’ recent purchase of Two Roads Hospitality, hotel companies are consolidating, dragging their membership programs into the unions. These marriages offer more places for members to redeem their points and new encouragement to do so.
“In general, the programs are rewarding people who stay at hotels more than ever before, the ‘heads in beds’ as they call it,” said Brian Kelly, founder of ThePointsGuy.com site, which is devoted to maximizing travel points.
In April, Wyndham Rewards from Wyndham Hotels & Resorts will incorporate the points program from its formerly separate La Quinta brand, and lower the entry-level redemption price for a hotel room from 15,000 points to 7,500. The program continues to reward 10 points per dollar spent or a minimum of 1,000 points, whichever is greater, at more than 8,000 hotels. It will also offer points-plus-cash plans, called Go Fast, starting at 1,500 points.
“Our core tenet is simplicity,” said Eliot Hamlisch, the senior vice president of global loyalty and partnerships at Wyndham, noting that the new plan moves from flat-rate redemption to one that disperses rewards more quickly. “Now members may only stay one night and have enough for a discounted stay on the next day.”
Marriott International just rolled out its new Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program, replacing three previous programs: Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest and Ritz-Carlton Rewards. The company says 70 percent of stays are at the same cost or less and members are now given elite status more quickly. Members now have access to rooms at 6,900 hotels across 29 brands.
“Loyalty programs have only increased over the last five to 10 years in the industry and certainly at Marriott. We now fill half of our rooms with guests in the loyalty program,” said David Flueck, the senior vice president of global loyalty at Marriott.
In a give-and-take move, the company has banished blackout dates for point redemption, but has announced it will introduce peak and off-peak pricing this year.
In November, Hyatt Hotels forged an alliance with Small Luxury Hotels of the World, allowing members of its World of Hyatt loyalty program to earn and redeem points at participating S.L.H. properties, now at 110. Last fall, it added Exhale, the spa and fitness brand that Hyatt acquired in 2017, to its World of Hyatt loyalty program, offering 10 points for every dollar spent at Exhale.
Hyatt also recently acquired Two Roads Hospitality and its five brands including Alila, Joie de Vivre and Thompson, which are expected to join the loyalty program in the future.
Instead of redeeming 360,000 Hilton Honors points for a few nights in the Maldives, Mr. Kelly, the Points Guy, recently spent them to take a friend to a private event honoring Dolly Parton.
“I’m officially the best friend ever,” he joked.
Hilton isn’t in the music business, but like other hotel chains it has started offering unique and often priceless experiences to spend points on in addition to free stays. The company says it increased the number of these experiences by 166 percent last year over 2017.
“Airlines and hotels have issued a lot of these currencies and want to find creative ways to get them off their books,” Mr. Rowan of UpgradedPoints said, noting that travel companies can leverage the sponsorships they have with sports teams and stars to offer V.I.P. access to loyalty members. “It’s the experience of meeting a chef or rock star that they’re banking you’ll pay for and won’t have a chance to do again.”
In addition to aspirational options for the point-rich — like driving a Formula 1 racecar in Singapore for 1.3 million points or a four-night stay in Lake Como for 2 million — Hilton Honors launched Lawn Days last summer. The concert program, designed to appeal to more casual travelers, offers a pair of lawn tickets to dozens of concerts throughout the country for 10,000 points. Last year, 95 percent of redeemers were first-time users of their points, according to Hilton.
Starwood Preferred Guest is credited with pioneering the practice of offering experiences for points, a legacy Marriott has expanded on with its auction platform, Marriott Bonvoy Moments. Members can bid on the chance to stand in the player’s tunnel with Manchester United soccer players before a match or rub elbows with members of Maroon 5, among other experiences.
World of Hyatt introduced its experience platform, Find, last summer, now offering more than 100 options such as hiking with wolves in California (21,429 points), a bonsai class with a professional bonsai designer (10,714 points) and a noodle tour in Cambodia with the chef of the Park Hyatt Siem Reap (7,071 points).
Airlines are also adding experience rewards. United MileagePlus is offering tickets to an Ariana Grande concert (about 16,300 miles) and “Wicked” on Broadway (from 14,000 miles). At Delta SkyMiles Experiences, members could recently use SkyMiles to attend Yankees spring training games (5,000 miles) or bid on a kitchen tour and dinner for two at the French Laundry in Napa Valley, Calif. (starting at 40,000 miles).
Loyalty programs, of course, favor the most frequent travelers. But entry-level perks, including discounted rates and free internet access, make them worthwhile for occasional travelers as well.
“We’re making sure the program is relevant for elite travelers with the richest benefits, but we’re also offering free Wi-Fi and special member rates on our website and those are things that appeal to infrequent travelers,” Marriott’s Mr. Flueck said.
Entry-level perks represent early steps in cultivating loyalty. IHG Hotels & Resorts, parent of InterContinental and Holiday Inn brands, says it now has more than 100 million members in its IHG Rewards Club and that loyalty members are seven times more likely to book directly with the hotel company — saving fees that otherwise go to middlemen — and stay 20 percent longer than nonmembers.
At its basic membership level, guests get free Wi-Fi and rates up to 5 percent off when booked at the hotel’s website, as well as access to special sales.
For the past two years, Hilton Honors has offered points pooling to its nearly 82 million members, allowing family or friends to combine their points and put them toward a trip. Basic membership includes lower rates when booked directly and the use of the Hilton Honors app to check in, choose a room or order extra pillows.
Airline programs are notorious for raising thresholds for redemptions and in some cases inflating membership minimums.
“Airlines have led the pack in increasing the amount of miles needed for rewards,” Mr. Kelly said. “There’s a constantly moving goal-post.”
This year, American’s AAdvantage program and United’s MileagePlus announced they will raise the threshold for top-tier status to ,000 spent in qualifying dollars from ,000 (qualifying dollars depend on the fare paid; some sale fares may earn fewer points than full-priced fares).
American’s mixed bag of changes includes now offering a point per mile spent on tickets with its foreign partners such as British Airways and Japan Airlines. But the carrier is also reducing points earned for many of its own economy flights from 1.5 per mile to one per mile.
In 2019, United is also knocking back its reward rate on some economy tickets, to 1.5 per mile from two per mile.
For elite Delta SkyMiles holders, one key benefit was just yanked. Delta limited access to its Delta Sky Club airport lounges to qualifying members flying Delta that day; previously elite level fliers could use the lounges even if they were flying on a competitor.
Last spring, Southwest Airlines announced that the cheapest fares redeemed with its Rapid Rewards points would cost about 6 percent more in points, but that its more expensive refundable Anytime fares would cost about 22 percent less.
As these points usually lose value each year, experts warn against hoarding.
“Don’t hold onto these points,” Mr. Rowan said. “Spend how it makes sense to you, feel good about it and don’t look back.”
Most hotels and airlines also have branded credit cards that can offer entry level perks, like a free night or early boarding on flights. Many competing bank cards also reward points that can be transferred to travel partners for free nights and flights.
“There’s this massive rewards race with credit cards,” Mr. Kelly said. “If you’re paying with cash, you’re leaving money on the table.”
New credit card offers are rampant, including aboard American Airlines flights where flight attendants recently passed out credit card applications offering 50,000 points — enough for a round-trip ticket to Europe — after spending ,500 within three months.
Hotels.com, an online travel agency that offers discount hotel bookings, recently launched a credit card partnership with Capitol One Venture and VentureOne cards that gives 10 points per dollar spent on bookings through the website.
Still, most points hawks recommend using a credit card that allows points transfers as a hedge against redemption inflation.
“Points that are transferable are resistant to devaluation,” said Alex Miller, the chief executive and founder of UpgradedPoints.com. “If you only have American miles, they can devalue overnight. If you’re collecting Chase points and can use one of 13 airline and hotel transfer partners, you have more options and when one devalues, you can transfer to others.”
Join the program of any hotel you may book. There is no fee, and basic membership usually offers rate discounts and freebies like Wi-Fi to members.
When it comes to redeeming hotel points, even if you have a low balance, look for cash-plus-points offers or programs like Hilton Honors that allow you to pool points with friends or family.
Join the frequent-flier programs of every airline you fly, whether frequently or not. Even low-points balances can be used for shopping programs. For free flights faster, consider an airline-branded credit card to add to the point balance and to gain perks like early boarding.
If you do accrue a balance that’s the equivalent of a free ticket, spend those points before they lose value.
For most flexibility in travel, look for credit cards with travel rewards that allow holders to transfer their balances to many airlines and hotel companies.
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特肖图a【见】【状】，【众】【人】【也】【不】【好】【再】【继】【续】【问】【下】【去】。 【一】【旁】【的】【温】【苑】【发】【现】【男】【孩】【始】【终】【没】【有】【睁】【开】【过】【眼】【睛】，【眼】【中】【闪】【过】【一】【丝】【疑】【惑】，【不】【由】【地】【出】【声】【说】【道】：“【夫】【人】，【为】【何】【你】【儿】【子】【不】【睁】【开】【眼】【睛】【呢】？” 【听】【到】【温】【苑】【的】【疑】【惑】，【正】【哭】【的】【不】【能】【自】【已】【的】【妇】【人】【身】【体】【顿】【时】【僵】【了】【片】【刻】，【而】【一】【旁】【的】【男】【孩】【身】【体】【抖】【了】【抖】，【悄】【悄】【地】【往】【妇】【人】【的】【身】【旁】【移】【了】【移】。 【随】【即】，【妇】【人】【将】【儿】【子】【抱】【在】【怀】
【刘】【素】【云】【本】【来】【就】【是】【个】【横】【挑】【鼻】【子】【竖】【挑】【眼】【的】【人】，【这】【会】【儿】【终】【于】【让】【她】【揪】【住】【了】【话】【茬】【儿】，【她】【自】【然】【更】【加】【不】【肯】【放】【过】【了】。 “【还】【有】，【你】【刚】【刚】【是】【什】【么】【意】【思】？【你】【那】【意】【思】【是】【不】【是】【说】【我】【冤】【枉】【了】【程】【小】【舟】？”【刘】【素】【云】【终】【于】【注】【意】【到】【了】【刚】【刚】【程】【思】【远】【话】【里】【的】【意】【思】。 “【我】【没】【那】【么】【说】。” “【怎】【么】【可】【能】【不】【是】？【刚】【刚】【你】【说】【是】【因】【为】【怕】【我】【们】【有】【冲】【突】【才】【会】【和】【我】【们】【分】【开】【住】【的】
【看】【乐】【衣】【衣】【走】【到】【前】【面】【挡】【住】【自】【己】。【朝】【向】【韩】【厉】【说】“【不】”，【吴】【聘】【不】【禁】【有】【些】【感】【动】。 【但】【是】【他】【的】【感】【动】【才】【刚】【开】【始】【荡】【漾】【呢】， “【这】【是】【给】【你】【的】【这】【两】【年】【学】【费】。【算】【是】【我】【资】【助】【你】【了】。【多】【余】【的】【钱】，【给】【你】【买】【糖】【吃】。”【韩】【厉】【迈】【步】【走】【的】【时】【候】，【也】【不】【忘】【叮】【嘱】【两】【句】。 【因】【为】【是】【大】【白】【天】，【村】【里】【好】【多】【人】【都】【外】【出】。【但】【还】【是】【有】【几】【个】【人】【围】【观】【韩】【厉】【跟】【洋】【蛋】【的】。【韩】【厉】【无】【视】【他】特肖图a【一】【晃】【眼】，【棠】【酥】【已】【然】【开】【始】【了】【自】【己】【的】【大】【学】【生】【活】。 【池】【君】【霖】【与】【棠】【酥】【的】【关】【系】【也】【日】【趋】【微】【妙】【了】【起】【来】。 “【棠】【酥】。” 【一】【听】【到】【这】【熟】【悉】【的】【声】【音】，【棠】【酥】【立】【刻】【回】【过】【头】【去】，“【你】【怎】【么】【又】【来】【了】？” “【你】【不】【高】【兴】？” 【池】【君】【霖】【的】【语】【气】【中】【掺】【杂】【着】【一】【丝】【淡】【淡】【的】【危】【险】【气】【息】，【某】【人】【立】【刻】【怂】【了】【起】【来】，“【没】【有】【没】【有】，【您】【亲】【自】【来】【接】【我】【是】【我】【的】【荣】【幸】，【我】【高】【兴】
【上】【官】【婉】【儿】【笑】【道】：“【杨】【大】【人】，【请】【跟】【我】【来】，……” 【杨】【清】【心】【说】：“【呃】，【不】【吃】【饭】【了】【吗】？”【心】【想】【这】【武】【则】【天】【想】【干】【嘛】，【怎】【么】【就】【不】【逼】【着】【自】【己】【吃】【饭】【了】？” 【杨】【清】【心】，【出】【来】【这】【紫】【宸】【殿】【的】，【打】【开】【后】【门】，【楼】【台】【之】【上】，【小】【兰】【抚】【琴】，【一】【首】【古】【琴】【曲】《【清】【音】【流】【云】》。 【楼】【台】【之】【外】，【高】【峡】【流】【云】，【人】【随】【飞】【鸟】【穿】【云】【去】。【数】【峰】【著】【雨】。【相】【对】【青】【无】【语】。【岭】【上】【金】【光】，