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Is there any reason to join travel (i.e., hotel) loyalty programs?

Is there any reason to join travel (i.e., hotel) loyalty programs?

Old May 7, 11, 4:27 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Spokane,WA
Posts: 75
Is there any reason to join travel (i.e., hotel) loyalty programs?

Ok, so I am oviously a newbie here...
Is there any reason why a person who flies or travels maybe once or twice a year to sign up for all these programs? I signed up for the carlson program only because I read a post on here and it sounded like it might be productive. Now I am a "silver". I don't even understand anything about it, LOL. I am just trying to see if there is any program out there that will give me a good deal on a hotel for Aug 22-25 in Flagstaff, AZ. Any suggestions? PM if needed.
Thanks!
K
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Old May 7, 11, 8:27 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Home Airports: CAE/CLT
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, National Executive
Posts: 5,443
In 2002 I signed up for the AAdvantage, just in time to fly to England for a round of golf. Flew a couple more times over the next few years, then I moved to Germany and started doing a TATL or two a year. Then one day I realized I enough miles to upgrade to business. Started flying a lot in 2008, but that's OT to your question.

In the '90s was a member of Skymiles and over a few years was able to take a free flight or two.

For someone who flies infrequently, join a program, work the credit cards a bit, join the dining program and shop on the online stores.

I'll bet you can earn a trip every couple of years, or if your trip is a TRANSCON have enough miles to upgrade.
Gamecock is offline  
Old May 7, 11, 8:44 pm
  #3  
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: dallas texas usa
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i would enroll in every award program which i flew or stayed....after a while, one tends to gravitate to a program that makes sense for them....along the way, one might get a bene or 2.....good luck...
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Old May 7, 11, 9:47 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Programs: UA 1K, AA PLT, HH Gold, MR Titanium, IHG Spire, Accor Silver, National EE, Hertz PC
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Generally, I think before book a flight you should make an FF account in the alliance of the airline you're flying with. If for example you're taking a holiday to Europe on LH or LX, you should open a *A FFP if you don't already have one and credit the miles to that. AC, UA and CO all have programs with some merit which would be more useful to NA residents. You may find yourself becoming loyal to one program/alliance in the future (which is why they're called loyalty programs!). I have Gold status on *A through AC, but I'm also Ruby on Oneworld through CX and I have varying levels of non-status miles on AS, AA, DL and UA.

I don't think it is worthwhile to use airline miles to redeem for hotel nights as the redemption rate will be lower. Signing up for a hotel credit card would be a better choice imo. If you live near a *A hub, CO might be a good choice and if you live near an AA/DL hub I think AS would be the best. AS has very good airline partners across two alliances and the miles never expire (as long as there is activity) so it should be easy for a casual flyer to collect miles. In terms of sheer number of partners, I would think DL is the biggest.

I always think that the airline is giving you the miles for "free", why wouldn't you take them? It's not like you're going to have to pay to store them and you could end up with a free trip somewhere in a few years.
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Old May 7, 11, 11:15 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Sparks, NV
Programs: NWA Plat, UA 1K, Hilton Diamond AA ExpPl
Posts: 183
I think the best thing for you is t read a little about each program. I started with the AX credit card and learned hoe points would work for each program. Was so much fun I started learning all the details and am still learning today. Meet some other FT and you will be amazed at what they are doing. I now take my kids and parents on trip just for free. They think I am nuts but they always want to go along. lol Happy learning.
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Old May 9, 11, 10:01 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: DFW
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Posts: 3,670
Originally Posted by familyoutdoors View Post
I am just trying to see if there is any program out there that will give me a good deal on a hotel for Aug 22-25 in Flagstaff, AZ. Any suggestions? PM if needed.
Priceline.com or hotwire.com

If you really only travel once or twice a year, I think the savings on an opaque hotel rate would far outweigh any loyalty benefits from sticking to a specific program. I use these sites when my normal hotel chain's rates are more than I want to pay.
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Old May 9, 11, 10:34 pm
  #7  
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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Hi familyoutdoors,
I have moved this from Mileage Run Deals (which is only for sharing airfare deals which earn a lot of miles and status with major airlines & alliances), to TravelBuzz.

Please read and look through the FlyerTalk forums before posting questions, since there are likely to be many, many answers and topics here which will help you.

Just familiarise yourself with FlyerTalk; it is primarily for people who travel enough to earn and make use of miles and points, rather than for people looking for a one-off cheap deal (although we all like those, too!).

Cheers,
BiziBB, Moderator Mileage Run forums
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Old May 10, 11, 9:26 am
  #8  
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Join Date: Jul 2010
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Outside of earning miles, there are times when being a member of the airline's FF program, even with absolutely no status, can be helpful. Particularly in irregular ops situations.
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