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Two Perks I Wish Hotels Would Give Loyalty Program Members

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


A few weeks ago, I was in Los Angeles’ Hollywood section working a photoshoot for one of my clients. Minutes after plunking down $20 to park in a ramp several blocks away from the venue, I walked past the W Hollywood.

It charges a $55 daily rate (yes) for valet.

My job was slated to last only about six hours. I thought I wish I could’ve parked at the W for $20 and earned Marriott Bonvoy points! Instead, some random lot — whose safety didn’t exactly inspire confidence — got my business.

That got me thinking.

Points and Discounts for Parking During Events

Wouldn’t it be great if loyalty program members could use hotel parking facilities at a discount and earn points when not staying at the hotel? This, of course, would have to be limited to a certain amount of time (before those overnight rates kick in). But it could be a great way for hotels to attract more people to their properties — and enroll in loyalty programs.

I understand hotels must keep a certain portion of parking available for overnight guests. And this is probably a pipe dream.

Points When Patronizing their Restaurants & Bars

I don’t usually hang out at hotel bars and restaurants. I occasionally spend time at local hotels meeting visiting friends or clients.

My wife and I were married at the Sheraton Universal; we enjoy having drinks and appetizers there during our wedding anniversary.

Earning loyalty program points would be a great way might incentivize more locals to stop in for a drink or bite even when not staying with them.

Pork Benedict breakfast at the US Grant hotel restaurant in downtown San Diego, California.
Pork Benedict breakfast at the US Grant hotel restaurant in downtown San Diego, California.

How Would Hotels Know Who’s in their Programs?

A simple match of photo ID and some kind of credential should be required. This would help limit “perk abuse,” if you will. Here are a couple of ideas:

Hotel Credit Cards

Most hotel credit cards print loyalty program membership numbers on the cards. Not only would that work great for identification purposes but also encourage members to use their co-branded credit cards onsite.

IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card and the old Hyatt credit card (replaced by the World of Hyatt credit card)
A couple of my hotel credit cards (with the membership numbers redacted)

Virtual Wallet

The Wallet feature on my iPhone contains many of my loyalty programs’ virtual membership cards.

Loyalty program cards are seen in an Apple Wallet on the iPhone.

They can be individually selected to reveal a member’s name and loyalty program number.

Would You Take Advantage of These Perks?

Are these perks something you’d enjoy and use? Or do you use patronize hotel amenities when you must? What problems or benefits do you see with these ideas? Please share your thoughts in the below Comments section!

— Chris

 

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


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6 Comments

  1. What free HBO isn’t enough? 🙂 I wouldn’t be impacted that much on the parking issue. Many hotels in large cities don’t even own their own parking. I guess they could partner on this but then would they raise the price to make up for it?

    Some hotels will give points on food only visits but it is rare. Radisson used to even do this with TGIFridays which Carlson had some ownership or partnership with at that time.

  2. On a somewhat-related note: I think if you have the highest level of status with a hotel…you should be entitled to free parking during your stay. I’m Diamond at Hilton and it is insane how much it can be to park at a Hilton in a city.

    To the point of your article, I agree…earning points for parking or dining at a hotel (when not staying ) is a great idea.

    And…while I’m at it…the Executive Lounge should be required at all properties from the Hilton level and above. These days trying to find a property that actually has a lounge is next to impossible. So, what good is a benefit…if it’s a benefit you can never use?

  3. I would love any options for point redemption, credit earned, discount etc around parking. I understand if it is a separate operation from the hotel but earning points, redeeming points for parking or anything similar would be terrific. In San Francisco and other big cities it can approach $65 per night. Consequently, you can drop 70K on points for a single night and be out some money as well after tipping on the parking base.

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