If you travel frequently, or even occasionally, by now you've probably signed up for a Free Hotel Rewards program. Or two. Or three. Depending on how often you travel. Nearly every hotel chain offers them. Most are free to join and the points you earn add up to FREE stays for you, while gaining loyal customers for the hotel chain. After all, if you are staying in a town with a hotel that participates in the reward program, wouldn't you stay there and earn points towards a future stay rather than a hotel that doesn't? I would and do, especially if they are comparable in price and features that I'm looking for.
Personally we belong to several programs but have mainly used one exclusively for the past 15 months. Over that time we've earned Elite status, which means that my family stays in a lot of hotels and as a result we receive even more points. To give you an idea of how it adds up,I've included a screen shot of our account. You can see that I have just over 12,000 points, which in our program is enough points for two free nights at some hotels.
Before our recent Texas trip, I had just under 6,000 points. We spent 4 nights in a hotel room and paid under $60 per night. We earned enough points for an additional free night with our bonuses.
(The bonus would not apply to the basic membership, but with our particular rewards program as long as we use it every so often- I believe yearly- the points won't expire so if you don't travel frequently, it will still add up eventually.)
As a rewards member, you'll also receive notices of special offers, like extra points for staying during certain times or in certain destinations, free upgrades and special welcome gifts.
Want to hear more? I found this great post, The Best Hotel Rewards Programs to Earn Free Hotel Stays, that explains more of the benefits of joining a hotel rewards program. Oh,and just so you know, many programs allow you to use your points towards flights, gas and even dinner!
Do you belong to a rewards program? How does it work for you?