Party in Room 1028

Party in Room 1028

When is the last time any travel loyalty program truly added real vaue to your membership? In a day and age when the buzzword is devaluation, we think it highly likely goldpoints plus is the first program in a very long time to actually revalue their program. Granted, changes for members in the U.S. are far better than for those in Europe, but there’s enough here to cause many to consider changing their hotel loyalty. But it will not come without some sacrifice. Members are no longer able to earn or redeem points through Gold Points Reward Network. The Gold Points Reward Network will continue as before, but the partnership with goldpoints plus has ended. And while this component was valuable to the rewards consumer, most elite-level members are hardly going to notice they can’t earn points any more from Avon or the Tire Rack.

The real change is in earning points. Members will now earn points twice as fast at Regent Hotels & Resorts, Radisson Hotels & Resorts and Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts, 20 points per dollar instead of 10 points per dollar. And members will earn points 50 percent faster at Country Inns & Suites by Carlson and Park Inn hotels, 15 points per dollar instead of 10 points per dollar. Imagine earning points twice as fast. That must mean that rewards cost twice as much? Well, truth be known, only 25 percent of the hotels will increase their award levels, mostly at higher end hotels and the Regent Hotel brand. But for the other 75 percent of hotels, they are truly being revalued in your favor with these changes.

Among other positive changes is that the premium for “flex nights” is being reduced from 100 percent to only 50 percent. Want more? How about a discount for each additional night you book an reward? A category three hotel is 30,000 points and each additional night is 27,000 points. While you’ll need your calculator to figure out your savings, it’s worth the number crunching.

Members of goldpoints plus can now redeem miles for stays at over 950 locations around the world; convert their points to airline miles in more than 20 frequent flyer programs; use their miles for in-hotel Express Awards for free movies, room upgrades and more. Members can also take advantage of Points Plus Cash awards using a small amount of points supplemented with cash for a free hotel night or hotel package. But the best part? Cash in your points for Visa gift cards. Can you say, anything, anywhere, anytime rewards?

BOTTOM LINE: There are many reasons to look this new program over.

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