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A couple of days ago Club Carlson released their first quarter promotion for 2014. Since Hyatt, IHG, SPG, Marriott & now Club Carlson all have released their upcoming promotions, I thought I would provide a small comparison to see which one is best.
Hyatt’s Endless Possibilities promotion offers increasing bonus points when you stay for a total of 5, 10, 15 or 20 nights between January 15, 2014 and April 30, 2014. In lieu of bonus points you can also earn a free night for every 5 nights stayed. The free night can be redeemed at any category 1-4 property and must be used before July 31, 2014.
IHG has decided to run their Big Win promotion again. While everyone’s offer is different, this promotion requires you to complete a series of tasks in order to gain bonus points. The tasks involve things like: staying at different IHG brands, staying over the weekend, booking online or on their app and staying a minimum number of nights.
I completed the Big Win the last time that they ran it. This is a hard promotion to compare since everyone’s offer is different. New members receive an offer for a 34,000 point bonus while some members have reported getting offers north of 120,000 points.
Marriott has been running their Mega Bonus promotion for a couple of years. They have once again brought the promotion back. Essentially you earn 1 free night in a category 1-4 property after two paid stays between February 1, 2014 to April 30, 2014 up to a total of 2 free nights.
SPG also recently announced a promotion. Called Bring On The Nights, the promotion is fairly straightforward. For stays between January 5, 2014 and April 30, 2014 you will receive 2,500 bonus points for every 5 nights stayed up to 20 nights and 10,000 points. If you continue to 25 nights, they will award an additional 5,000 points.
Club Carlson is the most recent loyalty program that release their promotion. They are offering 38,000 bonus points after three nights stayed between January 6, 2014 & April 13, 2014. The bonus is limited to once per account and cash and points rates are not eligible.
To be honest, there is no simple solution for determining which of these promotions is best for you. Everyone has different loyalty levels, property preferences and stay requirements. At least you can now see them in one place to determine where you should spend your money.
If you don’t have a lot of upcoming nights, I would probably recommend the Marriott promotion. While it stinks that it is only good for a category 1-4 property, you are getting a decent return with the condition that you complete two one night stays.
The Club Carlson promotion is very good if you have upcoming travel to Europe where they have some great properties. Additionally if you have a Club Carlson credit card and have some stays planned, I think it is a no brainer. For three nights stayed with the credit card and bonus, you are going to earn very close to 50,000 which can be used for up to 10 free nights.
For the road warrior, the Hyatt promotion looks very good. The more nights you stay, the more rewarding it gets. I don’t really think the SPG promotion is very good, but for someone who stays in their properties, getting a bonus is nice. This is especially true if you stay the full 25 nights.
Finally IHG’s Big Win is a wild card. If you have a lucrative offer and have access to cheaper properties, then it can be a good way to get a lot of points. If the requirements for your offer are tough to complete or all of the properties are expensive then it may not be worth it.
In the end you will have to decide which hotel promotion is the best for you. Since I don’t have a lot of paid stays planned, we will most likely be completing my wife’s lucrative Big Win offer, but not my own lesser version. If I happen to find a decent Club Carlson property, then we may try to complete that one as well since we do hold the credit card. While the Marriott promotion isn’t bad, we have status with the other chains which means something.
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