Omni Select Guest was for many years a recognition program with perks for members but they could not earn credit toward a free night. That changed, however, in 2009 when the program introduced free nights as part of their 20th anniversary. Members could earn a free night after 10 stays. Now, with an email sent to members, the program has changed to offer a free night stay after 10 stays to 20 stays starting with the 2013 program year.
Free night awards also now expire one year from the date of issue instead of two years. And as before, the benefit is intended for the member only–free nights cannot be transferred to friends or family–and blackout dates may apply. Free nights redemption is applicable for the room rate only. Taxes, fees and other charges may apply and will be charged upon checkout.
To lessen the blow, Select Guest now offers double stay credits for elite status members and until April 1, 2013, all members receiving the email about the changes who register for the promotion, will get double free stay credits. Another change for the better is that the Omni Stay Well Program has been extended to all tier levels instead of being available only for elite members. The Omni Stay Well Program offers healthy options including sleep kits, specialty pillows and fitness classes such as yoga or Pilates.
Omni Select Guest eliminated the ability for members to earn frequent flyer miles with 15 frequent flyer programs in 2012.
Bottom line: The only reason given by Select Guest for doubling the stay credits needed for one free night was, “From time to time, we evaluate Select Guest to ensure we’re offering competitive benefits.” Elite members will be affected the least by this change because now that they are getting double credit for stays, it’s like the award redemption is the same for them. But for other guests, this is a huge devaluation if they value free hotel nights.