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Travel Tip: Hotel Loyalty Changes

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We hear a lot about airline loyalty programs, but what about the hotels? Turns out, that side of the industry is also making big changes to make redemption more difficult.

Hilton just announced that the number of points to redeem a room will go up in the high season. They’re also adding levels to determine how many points are required for each hotel.

Before, the maximum points for a free night was 50,000. Now you may need as many as 80,000, or even 95,000 for a very high-end property like a Waldorf Astoria.

Starwood Hotels has raised the price of the Cash & Points program at many of its properties. Translation? It will cost you more points and higher fees. And Marriott has moved 36 percent of its hotels into a higher category that requires more points to redeem a room.

My advice: Do your due diligence about where you’re likely to travel the most, and which hotels to focus your loyalty on. Remember, many of these larger hotel companies have multiple brands at all sorts of price points, so you can remain loyal and still have a lot of choice.

For more information, visit our Mileage and Reward Programs Archive.

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