After almost three years of back-to-back hotel promotions, travelers might expect to see a cutback in the steady stream of bonuses deployed by the major hotel networks in a frantic move to fill their empty rooms.
After all, the economy is on the mend, and travel in particular is rebounding strongly.
For November, hotel research company STR reports that U.S. occupancy rates improved 9.0 percent over the previous year, and the average daily room rate was up 2.5 percent.
But even with the increases, the occupancy rate for the month remained a lackluster 53.3 percent, and the average daily rate was just $96.70.
And besides, the first quarter is always a weak one for travel, even in the best of times.
So for at least the next few months, the hotel promotional juggernaut will roll on, extending an exceptionally lucrative period for those who are still on the road.
To wit, the new triple-points offer from Choice Hotels.
Between January 6 and March 2, Choice Privileges members can earn triple points, double points, or 500 bonus points for stays at Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, MainStay Suites, Cambria Suites, Suburban Extended Stay, Ascend Collection, EconoLodge, and Rodeway Inn hotels.
The default promotion awards triple points for the second and subsequent stays booked directly with Choice, with two lesser offers for those booking through other channels, as follows:
- Triple points for all stays booked at choicehotels.com or 1-800-424-6423, beginning with the second stay (no registration required)
- Double points for general or Gold elite members who book through a third party, beginning with the second stay (registration required)
- 500 bonus points for Platinum or Diamond elite members who book through a third party, beginning with the second stay (registration required)
The bonuses are only on offer to Choice Privileges members with U.S. mailing addresses.
Deal or No Deal
With Hilton offering double, triple, or quadruple points for stays of two, three, or four or more nights, respectively, and Starwood offering double points for all nights, plus 500 extra points on weekends, Choice’s promotion is neither the most nor the least generous of the first-quarter hotel incentives.
That means that committed Choice customers can continue booking Choice family hotels without fretting that they’re foregoing significantly better bonuses available elsewhere.
Travelers who are brand-agnostic can add the Choice promotion to their lists of solid bonus options for first-quarter stays.
Reader Reality Check
Have you benefitted from the recent spate of generous hotel offers?
Of the current batch of promotions, what’s your pick?