Generally it’s easy enough to be loyal to a hotel loyalty program. You get great benefits with your stays, so you don’t feel like you’re sacrificing anything. Then there are times where you know there are much better options at much better prices, but you have to make a stay for the sake of the loyalty program. Actually, I’ve been in that situation twice in the past week.
Thanks to Priority Club’s “Crack the Case” promotion, I had to make two more stays on Saturday nights this month, in order to unlock my last “latch” and earn 91,000 Priority Club points.
Last week at LAX, I had several choices as far as hotels go. Now that I’m a Starwood Platinum member, I was actually leaning towards staying at the Sheraton Gateway LAX, which I’ve heard great things about. The crazy part is that it was actually cheaper than the Holiday Inn Express. But instead of staying at the (much) better hotel, I went with the Holiday Inn Express. It wasn’t awful, though it was far from great too. I was upgraded to a “suite,” which I’m convinced was actually a standard room with a wall in the middle.
Even more extreme was my stay in Sydney last night. My original plan was to just stay at the Westin Sydney for the night on points. Instead, I stayed at the Holiday Inn Sydney Airport (the cheapest Sydney area hotel, by far). Worst of all, it cost me over $200USD for the night, not including the shuttle to/from the airport. And the hotel was, at best, your average airport Holiday Inn.
I guess the good news is that my “Crack the Case” promotion is now done. You can bet I’ll be using those points at a really nice hotel (hopefully one that honors Royal Ambassador benefits), because I sure as heck didn’t do this so I can redeem points for another Holiday Inn.
Yes, loyalty programs have me by the you-know-what.