3 Hotel Reward Points to Buy this November 2017

By | November 28, 2017

Hotel rates in India are incredibly low for past 2-3 years with the entry of Goibibo & other online travel operators. I’ve stayed at 50+ hotels in past 2 years and almost all of them were booked at ~50% discount using a combination of coupon codes, credit card promo’s, cashback’s, etc. All of these hotels were decent 3/4 Star ones and i was able to get a night at ~2k INR instead of the usual ~5k INR.

I’ve even booked wonderful international hotels at this rate as i’ve mentioned in one of my previous article: How i Booked a Trip to Vietnam for Just Rs.3700. With domestic hotels, the best was Holiday Inn, Goa which i booked for 3.5k INR (B&B+10mins foot spa), which now conveniently goes for 10k INR and above. These kind of hotel promos are no longer available as most OTA’s donot accept promo codes at such upscale branded hotel chains.

spg_Starpoints

At present situation, the hotel offers are overall going down especially after merger of Goibibo-MMT. Even the Amex MMT Hotel offer is not so lucrative as before which pushes me to the next level of Hotel stays.

Getting into Hotel Loyalty Program:

Being a Taj Innercircle Gold member for a while, I’ve been experiencing its member benefits pretty well. With free room/suite upgrades like at Taj – Coimbatore, welcome amenity, late 4Pm checkout, the hotel loyalty programs are quite tempting and so going forward, i’ll be exploring some 4/5 Star hotels by being loyal to one or maybe few hotel Loyalty programs.

While i’ve been evaluating them for past few months, i came across few great deals which is worth sharing. Here are some good opportunities to buy hotel reward points at nice rates, so you can redeem them for your upcoming hotel stays.

#1 Buy Starpoints at 35% discount | Starwood Hotels

Offer Details:

  • 35% discount on minimum purchase of 5000 points
  • By buying at this price, 1 Point Value becomes = Rs.1.5
  • Hotel Redemptions starts from: 2000 Points
  • Expires on: 29th Dec 2017
  • Note: Your a/c has to be 14 days old to buy these points

How to get maximum Value? I’ve been exploring Starwood properties after its merger with Mariott and its exciting to see good set of category 1 hotels with nice redemption possibilities. Buying Starpoints under this promo puts you in good place to redeem at couple of amazing properties with decent value. You can redeem for as low as 2000/3000 points and are usually cheaper on weekends.

#2 Buy Club Carlson Gold Points with 100% Bonus | Carlson Rezidor hotels

Offer Details:

  • 100% Bonus on minimum purchase of 1000 points
  • By buying at this price, 1 Point Value becomes = Rs.0.23
  • Hotel Redemptions starts from: 2000 Points
  • Expires on: 28th Nov 2017 (Rush)

How to get maximum Value? There are a lot of Category 1 & 2 properties across India especially in non-metros that can give a pretty decent value on buying points with this offer. While it all appears to be good, its not as exiting as Starpoints for me.

#3 Buy IHG Rewards Club Points with 100% bonus | Intercontinental Hotels Group

Offer Details:

  • 100% Bonus on minimum purchase of 15,000 points
  • By buying at this price, 1 Point Value becomes = Rs.0.40
  • Hotel Redemptions starts from: 10,000 Points
  • Expires on: 8th Dec 2017

How to get maximum Value? IHG is known for its “accelerate” promos and “point breaks”. But most hotels need 10k or 20k points which becomes pricier even on points purchase at 100% bonus. However, the trick is with point breaks promos, wherein you can redeem for as low as 5k points in a set of properties that they release every quarter or so. But again, booking rooms during these Point Break promos is not so easy as it gets sold out faster.

Bottomline:

Overall, i’m excited to get into this Hotel Loyalty system, especially Starwood Hotels which seems to be quite good in most aspects. A problem with them however is that their loyalty program is going to be revamped shortly which may/maynot turn out good. I’ll be exploring few hotels in coming months and you’ll see a review of them soon.

  • Note: Donot buy points if you’ve no plans to use it in next 3-4 months. Anyways the offers will come again. As i always say, all kind of reward points are poor long term investment. Play safe!

While i’m relatively new to Hotel Loyalty program, there might be some experts around who know much better than me on how to make sue of points to get maximum value out of them. If so, do share your views in comments below.

 

Author: Siddharth

I’m a Credit Card freak minting reward points and cashback for years. Obsessed with aviation, airport lounges and luxury travel at affordable cost.

45 thoughts on “3 Hotel Reward Points to Buy this November 2017

  1. nithish

    pls also mention ACCOR membership card. Which gives a room complimentory and benefits of dining discounts anywhere on Asia Pacific

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      I see that, but is their loyalty system really good enough to explore?

      Reply
      1. nithish

        Indus Ind credit card holders can get accor membership for 10k . Actual fees is 15k

        Reply
    2. Amex Guy

      Accor membership in all forms is a joke. You get bought in by promises of offers, and you lose money. All (in capital letters) hotels around the world sell to OTAs at such a ridiculous price that you can very often book the same room at half the price of the website, which negates any value you can derive. Their ibis business card website (a paid ibis offering), which is supposed to give you extra 15% benefit and best rate guarantee sometimes lists prices 1.5X more than their own Accor hotels main website. When you ask customer support anything, they say it is a technical glitch, and the glitch takes weeks to rectify.

      Just this year, their was a “glitch” which prevented gold members to book hotels. Lasted a month and a half.

      While I like the efficiency and professionalism of Accor as a whole, their loyalty program is just a tool to make fools part with their money.

      I’m an Accor gold. It’s the worst hotel program to date. I get consistent room upgrades on SPG (in Asia only though), Marriott, and even at Carlson properties. I’m yet to get one at an Accor property. The “amenity” on my last stay was an extra bottle of Aquafina.

      Reply
  2. Rushabh

    Yes bank is offering 30% off on MMT. With maximum discount upto 10000. I guess that’s lucrative enough.
    Code is just one time use though.

    Reply
  3. Aman

    Hi Sid

    I am very new to hotel rewards.

    What do you OTA loyalty programmes like MMT black/ double black?

    Thanks

    Reply
  4. Aman

    MMT BLACK has offered 1 night at Trident against spends of 2l and 1 night a night at Oberoi against spends reaching 5l (additional 3 l). They have put value at 7.5k & 15k respectively.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Seems to be a great value. But am yet to get into that level of spending on hotels.

      Reply
      1. Aman

        Sid

        These spends can be on anything. Flights hotels holidays etc through MMT. Seems doable now?

        Reply
        1. Siddharth Post author

          Not really, as all my flights are taken care by points 🙂

          Else, yes, its a doable target.

          Reply
      2. Hari

        Sid, Spends not limited to Hotels but flights also included for MMT black offer.

        Reply
        1. Siddharth Post author

          I get that, but i said ‘hotels’ as i usually redeem points for flights.

          Reply
  5. Aman

    This values can alternatively be adjusted against future bookings as well and have a life of 90 days befire they expire.

    Reply
  6. Aman

    They have even given referral code bg which me as well as the person who joins & spends I get Rs. 2500 & Rs 2000 credits and further credits when referral spends. 🙂

    Reply
  7. Surya kiran

    The thing which I like most in your blog is you always value of a reward point or return percentage….. Keep doing it for every article ……. I check Ur blog everyday like I check facebook 🙂

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      I certainly believe that’s the easiest way for readers to crunch the numbers.

      Thanks for your kind words Surya. Do keep visiting 🙂

      Reply
  8. Majumdar

    Sid,

    Have got into the hotel game only recently, I guess great minds think alike. Member of IHG and Club Carlson, although I have had only 2 qualifying stays on the latter, picked up 13K points as part of a promo campaign.

    Subcribed to 80K points on CC. Paid with DCB. Should be for the International 10X offer. This is in fact a good double dip opportunity.

    Regards

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      That’s good. But i skipped Club Carlson as their hotels are not in proximity where i travel. Any great property you’ve found with nice value on redemption?

      Reply
  9. Jatin

    Hi Siddharth,

    Help me explain. I went to starwood website and checked prices for Le Méridien Goa. It says Rs. 8312 or 10000 starpoints per night.

    Now, 10000 starpoints costs $227.5 (after 35% discount) which equals around Rs. 14500+. Then how does the point system help if it is around twice the price?

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Points based redemption is good only for Cat 1&2 properties as of now and the Goa property maynot be in that range.

      There are some Cat 1& 2 are redeemable for 2k-4k while its rev. rate is like 10k. Points works only in such scenario AFAIK. It needs good amount of research 🙂

      Reply
  10. ND

    Hi Sid,

    It is good to see this topic being created. SPG/ Marriott are one of the better loyalty programs I’ve come across. Even Hyatt and Hilton have good loyalty programs.

    There are certain credit cards which offer elite membership status like Amex Platinum, Citi Prestige, SBI Elite. I wish India gets hotel cobranded credit cards soon like in US.

    More difficult part is to maintain or upgrade the elite status.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Yes, I’ve been poking CC companies for Hotel cards for a while. We’ll do some mass requests shortly to see if it helps. Separate article on that soon 🙂

      That aside, even hotel points transfer would help, especially to Hyatt. HDFC seems to be making a move on that and wish Amex shows up soon as well.

      Reply
      1. ND

        We will do the mass movement, for requesting only though… Let us know how!

        Diners Black has got Trident as a transfer partner.

        Reply
        1. Siddharth Post author

          Yes, noticed Trident transfer but couldn’t find any sweet spot for redemptions. Did you?

          Reply
      2. Amex Guy

        Very hard to see that in India, Sid. Indians don’t do loyalty. We either book nearest or the cheapest hotel. If a Hyatt property was 10km out of where you are and 1.5X as expensive as the nearest 5-star deal, 99 out of 100 times we will book the cheapest one. Nobody would pay extra simply for loyalty. So in India chains focus on keeping best available rate low rather than spending on CC promotions.

        For transfers, you have IHG, Taj, Hilton (going away 10th Dec), Club Carlson on Citi. You have SPG, Hilton on Amex. You have Trident (lol?) on HDFC.

        Out of these, the only good value prop I had noticed was booking Hilton hotels on Citi PM (10X partner) getting double dip of 15 points from Citi apart form usual points from Hilton, per 100 spent. That’s going away next week though. SPG on Amex is the best use I’ve found for Amex MR. Awful conversion rate, but better than other opportunities, if you optimise it well.

        Reply
        1. Siddharth Post author

          “Very hard to see that in India, Sid. Indians don’t do loyalty.”
          True that in past. But i see there is a shift recently. The rise of the Millennials in India is changing the face of the business/leisure travel. Airline passenger growth is getting to whole new level. Thanks to UDAN that has connected/re-opened lots of new routes. All of them has to favour high end hotel chains.

          Infact, i see Starwood hotels are growing super fast in India and soon seems to catch up with China. I’m sure its the indication that its all going in right path 🙂

          And yes, Amex SPG transfer gives a nice ~50ps+ value per point which is above the 18k/24k redemption that gives ~40ps value.

          Reply
  11. Anoop E S

    I got really fascinated by the club carlson offer. Registered in their website, bought 40000 points which will give me additional 40000 bonus points. Transaction went through smoothly. But 28th evening, I got a message saying that my purchase got cancelled.

    Reply
  12. hrishig

    There is more than 80k point for club carlson. There are three promotions that could help you earn 15,000 Bonus Points, plus get a Silver status and earn a 50% discount e-certificate just after completing one stay.
    If you do the booking via app 3k points more.

    So you get 80+ 15+3= 98k points plus get a Silver status and earn a 50% discount e-certificate just after completing just one stay. Now as mentioned by other get the 80k points by DB card so 10x points.

    Not bad right?

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Appears to be good. But the properties and the overall outlook isn’t as tempting as SPG 🙂

      Reply
    2. Amex Guy

      That’s a targeted offer. They only sent it to their Visa card holders and a lot of blogs misreported it. I was denied, in written, because they said it was targeted. I did register for each offer on their website from the link reported on website, and was still denied because they could tell I was not targeted.

      Reply
  13. Saurabh Aggarwal

    Thank you so much for the wonderful article. This made me check my IHG card. I am a Platinum elite member of IHG with about 61k points. I was planning to use these points for some catalog item. Is there anything else i can do with my points. My Elite Rollover Nights: 8. what does this mean ?

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      There should be some Marriott Plat’s here who can assist with this better than me 🙂

      Reply
    2. Amex Guy

      That should get you 12K BA Avios. Enough for one-way to Hong Kong with Cathay with around 4.5K taxes. The ticket typically is 35K, so you will get around 30K INR value out of IHG points.

      Reply
  14. puneet

    You are absolutely right that we no longer are getting those huge discounts on big chains. 2 years back I booked a flight + hotel stay where I got a booking at vivanta by Taj, Mumbai for just 2.2k for 2 paxs which was a steal given that breakfast alone with tax comes to 2k. This sepemtber I decided to take the ugprade offer given by AMEX to Platinum Charge ( I received 50k Taj vouchers compared to the typical 40k) and full fees waived off on Platinum Reserve which I took some 3-4 months so that esentially covered a large extent of my joining fees which is 59k.(50k + tax). This card directly gives me a gold status at SPG and I can status match with Marriott. Now both Marriot and SPG had great promotions rolled out in September and I had few trips which are official apart from personal so I took this opportunity to ask marrriot for “Platinum Status Challenge” which means I need to do 9 stays before December and I will have Platinum Status at both Marriot and SPG till 2019 Jan.

    I got an excellent promo signed up for SPG , I did two stays close to 11k in INR and I got about 10000 SPG points which is 30k Marrriott rewards , enough to stay for 5 nights at a category 1 hotel(5th night is free for reward stays, there are a few category 1 hotels in Bangalore and I am planning to use it here soon). I did 7 stays at Marriott so far and for all stays I had an upgrade. On top of that , for the promo I registered, 1 got one free reward certificate after 2 stays which I burned in JW marriott Beijing which was approx 13k. After the next 5 stays(i.e. 7 stays) I received another 10k points. Presntly I believe Marrriott + SPG program is the best and largest chain in India. They will continue to operate seprately atleast till end of Dec 2018. We need to watch out for the promotions and align our travel plans to make the best out of the money we spend.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Thanks much for sharing your experiences Puneet.

      I see great value with SPG, but it seems you go with Marriott most times, which i see it as a costly option especially when you buy points. Am i missing something when it comes to Marriott Reward system?

      Reply
  15. puneet

    Marriott Gold offers me free breakfast. Complimentary drinks /unlimited acess to Longues(if hotel has) . To get complementary breakfast you need to be have platinum status with SPG. You get SPG properties at more affortable prices in India but then it all depends on what promotion is running, what location you are going to. To reply to your question on , marriott points are expensive when you points. Lets take this example, I bought 5k SPG points last month(transferrable to 15k Marriott points) with promotion and I have some stays coming up in Bangalore , lets take the cheapest of the hotels in Bangalore around 2nd week of Jan with both SPG and Marriott. Cheapest I have with SPG is 3k per night at Four points by Sheraton , whitefield bangalore and note that I won’t get breakfast nor longue acess(drinks). I have 3 options with marriot for 7500 points which is 2500 SPG points, I get free breakfast and longue access. So it really depends on the location

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Brilliant. Yes, i do get the point that there is a lot of value with “Complimentary breakfast/drinks /unlimited access to Lounges” as this saves all food costs. I just heard someone say today as how he saves on bf/lunch/dinner with help of hotel lounges. Some hotels seems to have 24/7 lounge access which is unbelievable.

      Looks like i’m getting all info of Marriot all on same day. Thanks Puneet!

      Reply
  16. Majumdar

    In general, hotel RPs offer value for money only if you are staying in lower category hotels. For such redemptions, especially in the busy season (which is Oct-Mar for most parts of India) could actually offer great value. For instance some of the Club Carlson properties (9K for Cat 1 and 15K for Cat 2) go for anywhere between 5K- 9K in the high season, Good egs Radisson Khajuraho (9K) or Radisson Green Udaipur (15K). Some of the SPG properties like ITC Rajputana Jaipur (3K weekend/4K weekday) and ITC Mughal Agra (same) offer even better VFM.

    But again, some amount of R&D and prior planning is necessary to get best values.

    Regards

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Explored a lot lately on SPG & Marriott and i could see great value there. But Club Carlson is still greek & latin to me.

      Reply
  17. Majumdar

    Sid,

    There can be some good redemption opportunties on SPG again on Cat 1 and Cat 2 hotels. The only problem is limited opportunity to earn SPG points- the only way (apart from the current Marriott Rewards promos and actual hotel stays) are transfers of AMEX MRs. 3MRs = 1 Starpoint, although there are bonus redemptions from time to time. If you have Amex Gold Card or MR Card, there could be useful altho limited earnings. Either card would give 18K MRs (or 6K Starpoint) for a spend of 72K per annum (12*6*1000 pm) and a fee of Rs 5K. Since the value of Starpoints could easily be in excess of Rs 2/per point that gives a yield of 10%.

    Regards

    Reply

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