Maximize Your Next Hotel Stay: How to Optimize for Perks, Points & Unlock Other Secret Benefits
Issue #6-23: How I Book my Hotel Stays to Optimize for Perks, Points & Unlock Other Secret Benefits
How I Book my Hotel Stays to Optimize for Perks, Points & Unlock Other Secret Benefits
I always want to optimize the value I am getting from my hotel stay, whether it is in terms of overall cost, value of points being used, or other perks like free breakfast, room upgrades, special offers for free nights, or other promotions that may be available.
When booking a hotel stay, there are a lot of options, sometimes too many to sift through. It's important to consider several factors to ensure you get the best value for your money.
Here are things to consider when booking family trips for maximum value to optimize the perks you receive and unlock many other benefits:
Determine if using hotel points (or transferrable Chase/Amex points) is available for your dates.
If a points redemption is available and fits what you’re looking for, determine if it is a good use of your points, Example: How I Redeemed 2.1 Million Marriott Bonvoy Points to Save over $35,000 on Family Travel Hotel Stays in 2022
If you are not using points and paying for your stay, optimize and maximize the value of your stay, by considering these things:
I recommend always booking direct (or through a travel advisor who books direct) for the best rates, access to special promotions/offers and to ensure you get elite status night credit and points for your stay (if that is important to you)
Consider booking at the same hotel brand (Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, IHG, etc) if you have hotel loyalty program status that unlocks benefits like breakfast, room upgrades, etc.
Depending on where you’re traveling, not every hotel chain has a property under its brand umbrella in every location, i.e., Hyatt has a relatively smaller footprint that Marriott and IHG and less hotels in international locations.
I have Marriott Bonvoy Titanium status that gets us free breakfast at almost every Marriott hotel brand we stay at, club lounge access (if available), welcome amenities, room upgrades (better view, larger room, suite upgrades), extra points, late checkout and many other perks
Book with the right credit card to maximize the return on your stay.
I use my Amex Bonvoy Brilliant or Chase Ritz-Carlton Card to ensure I maximize the points I receive for hotel stays. For non-Marriott hotel stays, I would use the hotel branded credit card (if I have it) or the Amex Green Card (3x for travel spend)
If you don’t have hotel loyalty status to unlock extra benefits, consider signing up for a credit card that offers it for just for having it (or spending enough on certain cards yearly).
Hilton Honors Amex Aspire Card: Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status with your Hilton Honors Aspire Card
American Express Bonvoy Brilliant Card: Enjoy complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Platinum status with your Card
If you don’t care about hotel loyalty program status, your next best option, if the hotel belongs to one of the programs below and if you have the right credit card, are to consider one of the following programs that offer free breakfast, hotel credits, room upgrades and other special offers:
The Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection
Mastercard Luxury Hotel & Resorts Portfolio
American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts (Platinum card benefit)
The Hotel Collection from AMEX (offers similar benefits, but not as extensive as Amex FHR)
The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection program from Chase Bank
The Premier Collection from Capital One Travel
Book through the right Travel Advisor to unlock free breakfast, hotel credits and a suite of many other benefits, as well as special non-public offers like free nights or special savings.
Examples of hotel programs that only affiliated travel advisors have access to include:
Virtuoso Travel benefits
There are many other advisor only programs, depending on the particular hotel brand
I plan on discussing more about each of these programs more in the coming weeks - stay tuned!
“Not all those who wander are lost.” --J.R.R. Tolkien
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FAMILY TRAVEL OFFERS & INSIGHTS
Featured Special Offer(s) of the Week
Southwest Airlines: Earn a Companion Pass & 30,000 Points (link to public offer available from Southwest Airlines website)
This is a great offer if you fly Southwest Airlines often, don’t already have a Southwest Credit Card and qualify for the offer as the Companion Pass will allow a 2nd passenger to fly with you free (just pay taxes/fees from $5.60 one-way) until 2/28/2024
Southwest just extended their calendar and are currently accepting air reservations through October 4, 2023. On March 9, 2023 the schedule will open up for sale through November 4, 2023.
Third Night Free at Cavallo Point, the Lodge at Golden Gate
Stay three nights for the price of two until March 31, 2023 + exclusive Virtuoso amenities: Upgrade to next room category on arrival (subject to availability), Daily Breakfast for up to two guests per bedroom, $100 Hotel credit and Early Check-In / Late Check-Out (subject to availability)
THE FAMILY TRAVEL GUY
I hope this email helped spark some travel inspiration!
Learn More Here: Randy | The Family Travel Guy
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If you ever have a question or are looking to book a hotel where I can offer extra value and amenities, please reach out to me at Randy@thefamilytravelguy.com
The Family Travel Bulletin is a once weekly newsletter by Randy Singh featuring a curated summary of family travel news, special offers, travel advisor insights and recent blog posts from The Family Travel Guy to help you travel better, travel smarter and optimize value along the way.
The Family Travel Guy is an independent affiliate of 1000 Mile Travel Group, a Virtuoso Member, CST# California: 2129700-40
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