In the hotel business, where repeat customers are crucial, hotels have developed loyalty programs that provide guests booking advantages, point redemptions for flights, free stays, and much more.  These programs first began 30 years ago with Holiday Inn. Now, nearly every hotel chain has developed enormously beneficial and creative ways to reward loyal customers.  

Most guests find these programs to be an important part of their lodging decisions. However, each reward program can be different than the next.

With so many options, here are five things to look for when choosing the right rewards program for you:

  • No expiration date: For those hotel goers who don’t travel often or want to accumulate points over time, make sure your points don’t expire.

  • Points and airfare options: If you’re looking to cut the expensive cost of flights, make sure your loyalty programs allow you to redeem hotel points to book airfare.

  • Free nights: Look for points that give you free nights after you’ve reached a certain plateau. If you’re a globetrotter, some loyalty programs offer free nights anywhere in the world.

  • Access to the world: If you plan to travel abroad, make sure you program offers you access to worldwide properties so that you can redeem your rewards at the loyalty program’s hotel property or their affiliates anywhere you want to go.

  • No blackout dates: For those planners and last minute travelers who want to ensure a reservation on a specific date, this is the one for you.

With a lot to choose from, pick the rewards program that is best for you and make sure you book directly with your hotel to get valuable offers and discounts.