Asia Miles extends 30% bonus on transfers from hotel partners, but SPG no longer included

Asia Miles is one of our preferred programs for long-haul oneworld redemptions, with favourable pricing over Qantas Frequent Flyer, for example, on a number of routes.

Like most frequent flyer programs they have a number of partnerships for earning points from hotel stays – whether you book directly with the hotel or via an online travel agent.

They have extended their 30% bonus on Asia Miles earned from points transfers from a range of hotel partner programs until the end of February, which is pretty decent deal. Continue reading…

When and why to consider Expedia+ rewards to earn points for flight, hotel and other bookings through Expedia

Expedia.com.au is understandably a popular booking channel for flights, hotels, car hire, activities, and many more travel needs.

When you book through Expedia you can also join their Rewards program – Expedia+ – which allows you to earn points which can be redeemed for credit for future bookings with Expedia.

Expedia+ points awarded for flight bookings are available in addition to the frequent flyer points you’d normally earn by booking direct. Expedia has no booking fees, and flight prices should generally match what you can find through the airline direct, so it’s worth considering ‘double-dipping’ by booking with Expedia and also earning Expedia+ points. Continue reading…

Intro to Club Carlson – hotel loyalty program for Radisson Blu, Park Inn and Plaza Plaza hotels

Club Carlson is the loyalty program of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, the owner of around 1,300 hotels in about 100 countries, including the Radisson Blu, Park Inn and Park Plaza hotel brands.

In this guide, we’ll highlight key hotels in Australia and overseas; explain status benefits; and how to maximise value in earning and redeeming Club Carlson points. Continue reading…

Intro to Virtuoso – a travel agent hotel booking channel for free upgrades, hotel credits and breakfast

‘Virtuoso’ is a travel agent only booking channel that offers customers free room upgrades, breakfast and a $100 USD hotel credits, and often at a cheaper rates than many of the popular online travel booking websites.

The system operates through an international network of travel advisors and includes over 1,300 hotel properties worldwide, from large chains to small boutique properties. Continue reading…

Hotel rewards demystified – everything you need to know to get started earning points from your hotel stays

Knowing how to navigate the world of hotel bookings for maximum return (points, cash, status and/or benefits) is a minefield, and is hard to get your head around at the best of times.

Hotel chains and their loyalty programs are constantly running offers for discounts, sales and bonus points, and ultimately it’s hard to know where to go to look for both a deal and to be rewarded for being loyal.

Given there are so many ways to book hotels, and methods of earning rewards and discounts, in this guide I’ll try and lay out my thoughts on the basics of hotel loyalty. A version of this guide was published back in 2015, so it was time for an update!
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Qantas Hotels have 9 Qantas Points per $ on all hotels worldwide until November 16th

In a quick 3 day flash offer, Qantas Hotels are offering 9 Qantas Points per $ on all hotels booked through the platform until midnight November 16th (Wednesday).

9 Qantas Points per $ is about the point at which I start to get interested in running the numbers on whether it’s worth booking through Qantas Hotels vs other channels – that’s a return of around 9% to 13% based on a Qantas Point value somewhere between 1c and 1.5c per point. The last time we saw this offer was in May.

The ability to earn points was recently opened up for all partner hotels – meaning there are now 140,000 at which you can earn at least 3 Qantas Points per $ at when booking through Qantas Hotels.

The offer excludes airbnb bookings, which still earn at 1 Qantas Point per $.
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Qantas teams up with Airbnb to offer Qantas Points with Airbnb stays

Qantas and Airbnb have just launched a new partnership offering Qantas Points for those using Airbnb to book share rooms, apartments and houses through the platform.

Qantas Frequent Flyer members who book with Airbnb after clicking through from Qantas’ dedicated Airbnb portal will pick up 1 Qantas point per $1 AUD spent – which is an OK earn rate given previously you would have earned no points with a local frequent flyer partner at all.

Airbnb doesn’t have it’s own dedicated loyalty program, but instead has generally chosen to team up with other partners to offer loyalty perks – previously the only airline that offered this was Virgin America for Elevate points, but Qantas and United (see below) have joined the Airbnb fold too.
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Want the lowest hotel rate? Don’t book direct

Major hotels have been waging a war against Online Travel Agents (OTAs) for years – hotels couldn’t publish lower rates than what is listed on the OTAs own platform. This is why room prices on OTAs and hotel sites have been similar for so long.

In most cases you could get more value from booking directly through the hotel as there would be loyalty points, elite status and often better rooms available that otherwise you wouldn’t be able to access if booked through an OTA, as hotels positively discriminate towards their own booking channel.

In this article, originally published on Medium and edited for Point Hacks readers here, loyalty program expert Mark Ross-Smith explores a range of options for trying to secure the lowest hotel rate when making your booking.
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Guide to American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts (FHR) – Amex’s luxury hotel booking service for Platinum cardholders

Access to American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts (FHR) is one of the key benefits of holding a Platinum Charge card.

In this guide we’ll look at some of the resources available to help dig into FHR properties, some examples of the benefits (think $100 room credits, spa treatments and upgrades).
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Hilton HHonors offering status matches up to Diamond level from other hotel programs until June 30

If you have status in any other hotel program, then Hilton HHonors are offering to match it at their equivalent level.

You’ll need to show proof of existing status and stays in the application, and while the offer page states the offer is targeted, sources say this is not being checked. Otherwise you should be good to go.

At the least, if you already have status with another competing program then it’s worth a try. Continue reading…

Guide to Hotels.com Rewards program – offers savings of 10% or more on hotel bookings

Hotels.com Rewards (formerly Hotels.com Welcome Rewards) is usually my primary hotel loyalty, although this year my travels will lead me to focus on Starwood – but that’s an anomaly.

Last year I used Hotels.com and managed to earn an average rebate of around 16% on my hotel spend, and with a vast range of hotels and accommodation types to choose from, it’s my go to program for making paid hotel bookings.

It won’t be for everyone, but here’s how it works for me. If you end up signing up for Hotels.com Rewards making bookings through them, then it would be greatly appreciated if you do so using my affiliate link below and help support the site.
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