At first glance, Red Lion’s new bonus promotion looks promising. But a second look reveals a darker side.
Between December 21, 2012, and February 28, 2013, members of Red Lion’s R&R Club can earn 5,000 bonus points for every stay booked using the MYRATE01 promotion code, which also includes a 15 percent discount on the best available rate.
Deal or No Deal
R&R Club members normally earn 10 points per $1 spent. So a $100 night would net 1,000 points, and the 5,000-point bonus would bring that up to 6,000 points.
On the award side of the program, 5,000 points can be redeemed for a $10 Costco gift card. No great value there.
But 10,000 points are enough for a free night at a Red Lion hotel. So two one-night stays will generate more than enough points for one free night.
Stay two nights, get one free. That’s a compelling offer, as generous as you’re likely to find.
There are two notable downsides to the promotion, however.
First, the Red Lion network includes just 47 hotels, concentrated in the western states. That means the R&R Club simply won’t work as an everyday frequent-stay program for most travelers, who require more hotels in more locations to accommodate their travel patterns.
Secondly, the promotion itself isn’t widely available. A random search for rooms bookable using the promotion’s required rate code invariably displayed the following: “Unfortunately, the Package Rate MYRATE01 you requested is not available. Please make a selection from the room rates listed below or contact 1-800-Red Lion for further assistance.”
Bait and switch? There’s no definitive point at which the discrepancy between what’s offered and what’s available can be deemed intentionally misleading. But based on my admittedly limited test bookings, this promotion raises questions about the company’s determination to deliver on what is decidedly a rosy promise.
Reader Reality Check
Do you ever feel that a hotel or airline promotion promises more than it can deliver?
Other Posts of Interest
- Winter 2012/2013 Hotel Promotions, Compared
- Hilton Offers Bonus Points for Fall Stays (12/31/12)
- Starwood’s Upcoming Bonus: Up to 18,000 Points (4/15/13)
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