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One of the questions we get a lot here at TPG is how to maximize your earning potential for booking multiple hotel rooms. For airlines, with very few if any exceptions, miles that are earned are generally call “butt-in-seat” miles, meaning the person who is flying is the one who gets the miles. With hotels however, you can book a hotel for someone else, and in many cases, you can still earn points and/or elite credit for booking multiple hotel rooms.
Let’s look through some of the major hotel chains to see their policies.
In each of the below programs, we’ve linked out to the official hotel policy and included a snippet of the relevant text. However, bear in mind that exceptions may exist. If you’ve earned more points (or elite credits) than you expected on a prior stay, that’s a great surprise, but if it’s technically against the terms of the given program, don’t expect it to happen all the time. And of course, with the speed at which companies update their terms or change their websites, make sure to check the current policy for yourself before you stay.
At Marriott hotels, you earn points on up to 3 total rooms. Per the Terms and Conditions, section 2.1.b.i, you can earn points on:
“Charges incurred during a stay in a guest room at a Participating Property by a Member on his/her folio and up to two (2) additional guest rooms.”
However, the terms go on to say that the member must occupy one of the guest rooms and must pay for the charges. As a result, if you’re visiting a hotel with your friends or family members, be sure to pay the entire bill — and have them reimburse you afterwards, if so desired.
With the World of Hyatt loyalty program, you can earn points on up to three total rooms. From the World of Hyatt terms and conditions, section 1.a.8:
“A Member may earn points for up to three (3) rooms per night (Member’s room and two (2) additional rooms) within the same hotel or resort. The Member must be a registered guest, occupy at least one of the rooms, and pay an Eligible Rate for all applicable rooms.”
Like Marriott, this policy indicates that the member must pay for all three of the rooms, though it isn’t addressed as explicitly.
The Hilton Honors program allows you to earn base points on two rooms. The section “Accrual of Points” #5 includes the following:
“A Member may 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… For purposes of obtaining tier status, a Member will receive stay and night credit for one room only.”
This was borne out during one of TPG Editor Nick Ewen’s stays in January 2019. He booked a pair of rooms for a friend’s wedding at a rate of $99.50/night, and he made sure the front desk combined those charges onto a single folio. Sure enough, when the stay posted, he had earned 1,990 base points.
However, note that he only earned one 2,000-point bonus for the Points Unlimited promotion from the beginning of 2019.
IHG has one of the most lenient, customer-friendly policies for earning points for booking multiple IHG hotel rooms. In the US, Canada, Europe and China, you earn points for up to nine rooms. Per the program’s “General Terms,” section 21:
“At U.S., Canada, Europe, and Greater China (Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan) hotels (except InterContinental® Alliance Resorts), you can earn Points on all Eligible Charges for multiple hotel rooms (up to 9) provided those rooms are used in conjunction with the Member’s stay at the same hotel, and the Member’s IHG Rewards Club account number is recorded on each reservation, or the charges from those multiple room reservations are referred to on the hotel room bill associated with the Member’s reservation.”
This can be a terrific way to earn a slew of IHG points if you’re traveling with a large group — and it appears that you don’t even need to pay for all nine.
The Wyndham Rewards program allows you to earn points for up to three rooms. Under the terms and conditions of the program, Section II.B.2:
“A Member is eligible to earn Wyndham Rewards points for Qualified Stays and Go Fast award stays at Participating Properties pursuant to these Terms and Conditions for up to three (3) rooms/condos per night … Multiple room/condo stays can be processed in a variety of ways. To ensure that multiple room/condo stays are processed properly, please call Member Services at the applicable telephone number provided here following check out. The Participating Property should be notified of any request to earn for additional rooms/condos at the time of check-in.”
This appears to indicate that the process for earning points on multiple rooms is a bit more manual. However, your best bet is to make the request at the time of check-in.
With Choice Privileges, you earn points for up to four rooms booked under your name and member number. From Earning Choice Privileges Points, Section 4:
“You may earn points for up to four rooms per night at the same hotel. Rooms must be in your name and include your Member Number. You must stay in one of the rooms and the rooms must be paid in full. You only receive any applicable bonus points on one room. Elite members only earn Elite status on one room per stay.”
With Radisson Rewards, you can earn points for booking up to 3 rooms on one reservation. From section 3.a.i of the terms and conditions:
“Points may be earned by only one Radisson Rewards member per Eligible Stay, and that member must appear on the reservation and be the registered guest. Points may be earned 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 and the member must appear on the reservation for at least one of the booked rooms and be a registered guest for the duration of the Eligible Stay.”
Note that the multiple rooms must be booked under the same reservation to earn points on all of them.
At Accor Le Club, you can earn points on two rooms, though you do only earn an elite qualifying night for just one room. From section 7.3 of the terms and conditions:
“Expenses for Member accommodation and, if applicable, for one other room at the same hotel on the same date (for a maximum of two invoiced rooms), provided that (i) the Member is staying in one of these rooms and that (ii) the second room is not occupied by another Member. Note that if the Member books two rooms, Points are earned for these two rooms, but the number of Eligible Nights is based only on the Member’s room.”
With Best Western, you earn points on up to 3 rooms booked under your name and member number.
“You can earn Points for up to three (3) rooms per Eligible Stay provided that: (a) one (1) room is occupied by you; (b) you pay for all the rooms; (c) Points for that room have not been issued to another Member; and (d) you presented your Best Western Rewards® membership number at the time of booking or at check-in.”
The most important thing you can do when trying to earn points for multiple hotel rooms is to follow the above policy for the given chain exactly. If the program doesn’t award those points properly, submit documentation proving that you followed the requirements, and cite the specific wording that demonstrates your compliance.
Of course, if you’re traveling with your family, you may simply want to consider alternative lodging. Remember that there are quite a few chains out there that offer one- or two-bedroom suites, so that may be an option to consider. Several of these are actually bookable with hotel points, and if you have any type of elite status at all, you can often book a regular room and get upgraded to a two-bedroom suite if you’re at a chain that offers them (Residence Inn, Homewood Suites, Staybridge Suites, etc.). Airbnb or other vacation rentals can also be good options.
For additional suggestions, check out our Complete Guide to Booking Hotel Rooms for Large Families
As you can see, hotel chain policies are all across the board on earning points for multiple hotel rooms — from being able to earn on two rooms all the way up to nine (IHG). However, each has its own quirks, so be sure to carefully read each program’s policy if you’re hoping to earn points on multiple hotel rooms during your next stay.
Bear in mind that you will only get an elite-qualifying night (good towards earning elite status) on one room at every chain listed here. Starwood Preferred Guest was the only exception to this policy, though this disappeared when it was integrated with Marriott last year. You’ll also typically only receive elite benefits (room upgrades, lounge access, etc.) on your own room even if you book multiple rooms — though you may be able to finagle added perks by simply asking at check-in.
Featured photo courtesy of the InterContinental Hong Kong.
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