Sunday Reader Question: How Do Corporate Rates Affect Hotel Points
TPG reader Eric had two questions this week about getting credit for hotel stays:
"Do you still earn reward points and/or status if I book a room with either a corporate discount or employee discount? And, can I get reward points for booking a room for another person as a gift using my rewards number if I pay with my own credit card?"
In general corporate codes are fine for earning points and elite status as long as you pay for the stay with your credit card (if paid by a central bill or directly by a company, you don't earn anything).
Hotel employee discounts generally do not earn miles and points, so do the math before using a friends & family rate. Sometimes you can get similarly priced discount rates that do earn points and elite status, which might make more sense (plus you have a better change of getting upgraded vs. a reservation made with an employee discount rate).
As for getting credit for other people's rooms, Starwood is the most generous, allowing an SPG member to earn credit for up to 3 rooms booked under their name. Most hotel chains only give elite status for your room, but I've had many situations where I got credit for multiple rooms, so it can't hurt to try - the key is paying with your credit card and making the reservation with your loyalty program membership number.
I wanted to highlight some of the other hotel chains' rules when it comes to booking multiple rooms and earning points.
Club Carlson states that only one person per stay may receive points and that points will be credited to the individual whose name appears on the reservation. You may earn points on up to three rooms booked under the same reservation, but credit for multiple rooms must be requested at or before the time of check-in. You may not earn both points and program partner airline frequent flyer miles/credits for stays at a participating hotel. Points can only be earned in one program, and by providing a Club Carlson Card at check-in, you are selecting to earn points in the program for the stay. Here are the full Terms and Conditions for earning points with Club Carlson.
Hilton allows members to earn base points for up to two rooms per stay if all eligible charges for both rooms are paid on one folio. Base points will be earned for all eligible folio charges incurred on both rooms. The term "eligible folio charges" is defined below. Bonus points issued on base points, including tier bonuses (15%, 25% or 50%, depending on member tier), bonus points earned through the HHonors Points and HHonors Points Earnings Style and double or triple base point promotions, will apply to the total base point credit earned for both rooms. For any other bonuses, including HHonors Marketing Partner bonus points and other promotional bonuses, bonus points will be awarded on one room only. For the purposes of obtaining tier status, a member may receive one stay credit on one room only. For purposes of earning miles for stays, miles may only be earned on one room only. See the entire rules of earning points with Hilton in the Terms and Conditions.
Hyatt allows their Gold Passport members to receive Hyatt Gold Passport points for up to three rooms (member's room and two additional rooms). Member must be a registered guest, occupy at least one of the rooms and pay for all three. Only the room occupied by the member will count toward tier status, benefits and current Hyatt Gold Passport promotions. The occupant of the second or third room may not receive Hyatt Gold Passport points, airline miles or Amtrak Guest Rewards points, either at time of stay or retroactively. Learn more about earning Gold Passport Points in the full Terms and Conditions for Hyatt.
Marriott states that a member is eligible to receive points/miles for staying at participating Marriott-brand hotels or Ritz-Carlton hotels for his/her room and up to two additional rooms (three rooms total). At least one of the rooms must be reserved and registered in the Member's name and the Member must pay for all rooms, which payment arrangement must be requested at time of hotel check-in. The member must also stay in one of the rooms. To ensure points are automatically posted to the correct membership account, the member's rewards program membership number must be present on his/her room folio and up to two additional rooms, as applicable. See the full Terms and Conditions on earning points at Marriott hotels.
Priority Club is pretty stringent about who earns credit and how much. Points are not issued for stays at the following reduced room rates (non-qualifying room rates; non-qualifying stay): net wholesale individual and group rate, certain package rates, employee discount rate, friends and family rate, crew rate, special discounted contract rates, seasonal worker/crew rate, 50% travel club discount rate, travel industry discount rate, distressed passenger rate, Priority Club Reward Nights/Airline Hotel Reward rate, most rates booked through most third party web sites, complimentary hotel stays and any other rates not defined as a Qualifying Room Rate. You must have stayed in the room and paid for it in full to receive Priority Club points. Only one room will be credited per member per night; however, at U.S. and Canadian hotels (except InterContinental), you can collect points or miles on all eligible charges for multiple hotel rooms (less than 10), provided those rooms are used in conjunction with your stay at the same hotel, and your Priority Club Rewards member number is recorded on each reservation, or the charges from those multiple room reservations are referred to on the hotel room bill associated with your reservation. Only the member whose name is on the reservation record will be awarded points and will be awarded qualifying night credit toward achieving elite-level status or other promotional goals. Only one qualifying night credit, per member, per night will be awarded regardless of the number of reservations booked and paid for by the member. Find the full T&C here.
However, when your goal is to earn Elite Status, Starwood is the only one that officially states you can earn Night and Stay Credits for booking multiple rooms, so if you typically book multiple rooms, you might want to consider making Starwood your preferred hotel company as you could attain SPG Platinum Status fairly quickly.