EARN MILES FROM HOTEL STAYS
Hotel stays are an opportunity to boost your airline miles. Most major hotel chains offer an airline miles earning option instead of hotel points. Over 60 airlines partner with one or more major hotel chains including Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental, Marriott and Starwood allowing guests to earn miles from hotel stays.
In general, I am not a fan of using hotel stays for earning miles, but high value hotel promotions for airline miles bonuses are prevalent in 2009. Earning frequent flyer miles is also an option for hotel stays at a chain you seldom visit. Miles will boost your redeemable miles and keep your frequent flyer account active.
Hyatt, Marriott and Starwood have just over 30 airline partners, IHG Priority Club about 50 and Hilton has around 60 airlines. Earning rules vary among hotel programs and airline partners. You need to evaluate your specific airline choice with the specific hotel program and brand to find the best value.
Hyatt Gold Passport offers a set number of miles per stay while Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest offer miles per $1 spent. Hilton HHonors and InterContinental Hotels Group IHG Priority Club offer both styles of earning, but rules vary depending on airline and hotel brand within the chain.
The Italian Job example:
Assume you plan to spend 1000[euro] (1[euro] = $1.40USD for calculations) on a five-night stay in Milan, Italy and you have British Airways Executive Club, Lufthansa Miles & More and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club frequent flyer accounts.
* Hyatt Gold Passport members staying at the Park Hyatt Milan can earn 500 miles with Miles & More or 1,500 miles with British Airways (request offer code BA360) or 4,500 miles in Flying Club (see promotion details below) instead of 7,000 hotel points.
* Marriott Milan earns 2,800 miles in any one of these programs instead of 14,000 points.
* Hilton Milan earns either 2,800 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles or 1,400 BA miles with Points and Variable Miles earning, but only 500 miles in Miles & More with Points & Fixed Miles.
HHonors has an astounding 58 partners; however, not all airline programs (Miles & More) participate in Points and Variable Miles. Either Double Dip points and miles option also earns 14,000 HHonors points.
* Milan City Crowne Plaza earns 500 miles with BA or Lufthansa. Stays at the Holiday Inn Express Milan Airport earn 500 Miles & More miles, but only 100 BA miles. Virgin Atlantic is not a Priority Club airline partner.
* Starwood Hotels’ Westin Palace Milan earns 2,800 miles with British Airways, Lufthansa or Virgin Atlantic (4,200 miles for SPG elite members). Register at spg.com/moremiles for Starwood airline direct deposit and your Starpoints earned will be automatically converted to airline miles. The advantage of direct deposit miles over SPG points-to-miles transfer is bypassing the 2,500 Starpoints minimum transfer rule. The disadvantage is no 25 percent bonus on 20,000 point transfers.
Hyatt Gold Passport 6x miles promotion through Aug. 31, 2009 with 12 airline programs including nine U.S. airline partners, Air Canada, Turkish and Virgin Atlantic. Hyatt is also offering triple miles with British Airways. A minimum two-night stay is required. Each hotel stay normally earns 500 miles (750 Virgin Atlantic miles). Contact Gold Passport for promotion registration.
Hyatt’s promotion earns 4,500 Virgin Flying Club miles per stay: http://www.goldpassport.com/VS334. Other participating airlines earn 3,000 miles per two-night Hyatt stay (Southwest = three credits).
Hyatt also has a double United miles offer for hotel stays through July 15, 2009 outside of the Americas. This offer (request UA 310) does not require a two-night stay.
Links to Earning Airline Miles with Hotel Loyalty Programs:
Hilton HHonors Double Dip earnings style allows the choice of either Points and Fixed Miles (generally 500 miles per stay) or Points and Variable Miles (one mile per USD). You can change your earning preference and airline partner with each stay. Hilton ran several airline partner offers for double or triple miles for hotel stays from April through June 30. This promotion offered an incredible 9,000 bmi miles per three-night Hilton stay.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) Priority Club international airline partners mostly earn a fixed number of miles, but earnings differ between airline partners and hotel brand.
Marriott Rewards Most airline partners earn two miles per $1 spent at Marriott, JW Marriott, Renaissance and Vacation Club International brands or one mile per $1 for other Marriott brands.
Starwood Preferred Guest, 32 airline partners in auto-conversion program. You still earn the regular number of Starpoints and they are converted into airline miles.