End of Year Hotel Point Account Audits – Maximizing the Points That Are Rightfully Yours
As year ends comes and everyone is most concerned about maintaining elite status, it’s always good to cross-reference your hotel loyalty program accounts and make sure that all of your stays were credited appropriately.
I almost always find discrepancies and I've noticed that phone operators are always more than helpful to make things right, and will often take your word for it (especially if you have elite status) – this is not a suggestion to take advantage of them!
While most of this should be automated, there are plenty of ways that reps can miscode your stay or forget to give you points you are owed, so it’s always best to conduct your own audit. After all, every point and stay counts, so give yourself the year-end gift of knowing your account is fully up-to-date.
So with that in mind, here is a checklist to follow when auditing your account for miles and points credit from the past year.
1. Amenities: If you’re a top-tier elite with Hilton, Hyatt or Starwood, you get (or can choose) a point bonus when you check in for each stay, so be sure that it has been credited in every instance. Also some chains will give bonus points if you decline housekeeping so make sure to keep track of those.
2. Promotional Bonuses: If you took advantage of hotel promotions this past year like Starwood’s Better By The Night promo, Hilton’s 1,000 Reasons, or Marriott’s Megabonus, make sure you got all the bonus points that were supposed to come your way. It may take a little time to calculate, but it’s worth it!
3. Correct Base Points: Remember, you earn base points not just on your accommodation rates, but also on the money you spend at your hotel during your stay, whether it’s on incidentals like restaurants, meals or spa treatments - all of which is compounded by elite status or holding a co-branded credit card. But sometimes charges slip through the cracks, like parking or internet. So take a look back at your entire bill and then cross-check it with your account. If they don’t add up, call and politely ask to be credited with the appropriate amount of points and it’s usually not an issue. Conversely, you’re also sometimes charged for internet that you either didn’t use, or that should be discounted or free thanks to your elite status, so always double check your bill.
4. Non-Stay Charges: Even if you don’t actually spend the night at a hotel, you can sometimes get points for dining at a restaurant within the hotel or getting a spa treatment. Both Starwood and Hyatt award points for such spending at participating resorts, so even if you just went out for a special dinner or treated colleagues to a work lunch, you could be racking up the points for that spending.
5. Multiple Room Earning: Many of the hotel chains allow you to earn points and stay credit for multiple rooms when the reservation is under your name and point account number. 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. Hyatt allows their Gold Passport members to receive Hyatt Gold Passport points for up to three rooms (member’s room and two additional rooms). The 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. 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. Priority Club is strict – you can only earn night credit on one room per night, but you can earn points on up to 10 rooms at a time. Starwood allows members to earn points for up to three rooms when they stay in one and pay for them all, though they only get one stay credit. At Carlson, you can earn points on up to three rooms booked under the same reservation, but night stay credit for multiple rooms – just make sure you request the credit at check-in. Finally, at Choice you can earn points for up to two rooms per night and at Wyndham, it’s three rooms per night.