Travel smart: how to get the most out of a hotel rewards programme

If you’re the type of person who for both work and leisure seems to be travelling constantly overseas – or even one who’s constantly travelling within your own country – it’s likely you’ll want to leverage the nights you spend at hotels to your advantage; that is, maximise hotel rewards programmes as much as you can. But how? How can you best stretch your hotel points?

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Now, generally speaking, ‘rewards travellers’ tend to fall at three different points along one spectrum. That’s to say, at one end there are people who like to redeem a big number of points all in one go for high-end experiences, while at the other end there are travellers who prefer to redeem fewer points each time for smaller yet, ultimately, more rewards. And then, of course, there are those who fall between these two ends of the spectrum; those who redeem both large numbers of points now and then and, perhaps just as often, smaller numbers of points in one sitting.

Ultimately, though, there’s no right or wrong way to play the hotel rewards game – whether you’re with the best hotel rewards program or not. Whatever your preferences when it comes to staying in accommodation and/ or how you enjoy flight experiences will affect your rewards goals and how you earn and redeem your points. Yet, what unites rewards scheme members should be that they seek the best possible value from whatever programme they participate in.

So, you might want then to keep in mind the following pointers when choosing how and when to earn and redeem points in your scheme (for instance, when you’re staying in London at, say, the BW Premier Shaftesbury London Piccadilly – and so taking advantage of Premier Club Rewards):

• Always take advantage of free-night bonuses – look out for the offer of an extra night; whether it’s a third free night following two, a fourth free night following three or a fifth free night following four, try to arrange your trip accordingly

• Can you use both cash and points? – if a property requires more points for your stay than are in your scheme’s account, see if you can combine cash and point redemptions for your stay

• Can you pool points with your companions for longer stays at particular properties? – if you don’t ask you’ll never get it; look into whether it’s possible with your programme (if your travel companions are with the same programme) and at a specific participating property

• Always look out for special offers – all rewards programmes tend to have general benefits for their members (access to club lounges during a trip, special touches in a booked room and so on), but they’ll also offer temporary deals for their members based on the time of the year and the level of your membership; in short then, do your research and don’t look a gift-horse in the mouth

• Don’t make mistakes – try to avoid making decisions you’ll regret when it comes to redeeming points you’ve earned; happily, with Premier Club Rewards, you can always contact us for advice and for explanations of exactly what you’re entitled when you’re staying at any of our participating hotels like, for example, the Shaftesbury Hyde Park International, located in the heart of the UK capital.

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