Sonesta Travel Pass Loyalty Program Basics

Filed Under: Hotels

Sonesta is a hotel group that many people may not be very familiar with. Currently Sonesta has about 80 properties. However, its portfolio is about to grow, as 103 IHG hotels and 122 Marriott hotels will be rebranded as Sonesta properties due to a dispute between the owners and management companies. On top of that, we may soon see 22 Hyatt hotels rebranded as Sonestas as well.

To be honest, I hadn’t looked much into Sonesta prior to this announcement, but as it turns out, Sonesta has a loyalty program. In this post I wanted to take brief look at how the program works.

Sonesta Travel Pass basics

Travel Pass is the name of Sonesta’s loyalty program. The program allows members to earn and redeem points, there are elite tiers, there’s a co-credit card, and there’s even a status match opportunity. Let’s go over some of those details.

Earning points with Sonesta

With Sonesta Travel Pass you earn 10 points for every qualifying dollar spent on room rates at participating locations. In other words, a $100 rate (excluding taxes and fees) would earn you 1,000 points.

Sonesta Lima

Redeeming points with Sonesta

Sonesta has no blackout dates, so as long as a standard room is available, you can redeem points for it. Redemption rates at Sonesta properties fall into one of nine Tiers:

  • Tier 1 free nights cost 15,000 points
  • Tier 2 free nights cost 17,500 points
  • Tier 3 free nights cost 20,000 points
  • Tier 4 free nights cost 22,500 points
  • Tier 5 free nights cost 25,000 points
  • Tier 6 free nights cost 27,500 points
  • Tier 7 free nights cost 30,000 points
  • Tier 8 free nights cost 40,000 points
  • Tier 9 free nights cost 50,000 points

As you might have figured out, based on earning 10 points per dollar spent, you need to spend anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 on room rates to earn a free night, depending on what kind of property you want to redeem at.

Sonesta Fort Lauderdale

Sonesta points expiration

Points in the Sonesta Travel Pass program expire after 18 months of inactivity. However, any account activity will reset the expiration.

Sonesta elite status program

Sonesta has three membership levels:

  • Member status is the basic membership tier
  • Preferred status requires at least six qualifying nights in a calendar year
  • Elite status requires at least 12 qualifying nights in a calendar year

Here’s a chart showing all member benefits in the Sonesta Travel Pass program:

Here are a few key takeaways on my end:

  • Non-elite members receive 5% off, plus upgraded Wi-Fi, plus a $5 credit at Sonesta ES Suites
  • Preferred members get early check-in or late check-out (up to three hours beyond regular times) subject to availability, plus a $10 credit at Sonesta ES Suites, plus a one category room upgrade at Sonesta and Royal Sonesta properties
  • Elite members get free breakfast or club lounge access at Sonesta and Royal Sonesta properties, plus 50% off suite upgrades at the time of check-in, plus a $15 credit at Sonesta ES Suites

I wouldn’t say those elite perks are all that much to get excited about, but they’re better than nothing.

Sonesta status match opportunity

Sonesta offers status matches to both the Preferred and Elite tiers, based on status in other loyalty programs. To take advantage of this:

  • Enroll in the Sonesta Travel Pass program
  • Email Travel Pass customer care ([email protected]) with your Travel Pass number and a copy of your current membership card or statement showing your status in another program

Status matches don’t get much easier than that! It appears that you don’t even have to prove stays (based on a membership card being sufficient), meaning that status you earned through credit cards should qualify.

Sonesta Guayaquil

Sonesta credit card

There’s a Bank of America Sonesta Travel Pass Credit Card, which is potentially interesting:

  • The card has a $75 annual fee that’s waived for the first year
  • The card offers a welcome bonus of up to 95,000 points (60,000 points after spending $1,000 within 90 days, 5,000 points for adding an authorized user, and 30,000 points as an anniversary bonus if you spend at least $7,500 in the first year)
  • The card offers Elite status for as long as you have the card
  • The card offers a 15% discount on dining and resort amenities

Bottom line

Sonesta’s footprint will be more than doubling, as 103 IHG properties are rebranded in the Sonesta portfolio. I knew almost nothing about Sonesta’s Travel Pass loyalty program, so it’s cool to take a brief look at how the program works.

For a fairly small hotel group, Sonesta has quite a robust loyalty program, with good earning and redemption rates, solid elite perks, a status match program, and a co-branded credit card.

Are any readers existing Sonesta Travel Pass members, and if so, what has your experience been like? Anyone plan on getting a status match?

  1. Actually they offer breakfast / lounge access which is orders of magnitude better than the shitty Spire Elite status from IHG.

  2. I like that the F&B credit at limited-service properties progressively increases with each elite status level whereas Marriott just gives all eligible elites a credit of $10. $10 isn’t enough for coffee and a parfait at Courtyards.

  3. I stayed at their St Maarten property for a couple of days in December. I booked via, but now I’m on all their mailing lists so I was peripherally aware of this program. The St Maarten property is all-inclusive, lots of families, but it’s right on Maho beach so you can watch the planes come in, or walk over to the actual fence.

  4. I’m fairly sure their point expiration policy is not 18 months. I earned points over 2 years ago and they still show in my account. I have had no other activity in the account. According to this: points never expire.

    However, in the T&Cs it states:

    “Members who do not engage in eligibility activity for 24 months will be re-classified as “Non-Active” and immediately forfeit all Rewards Points in their account. Eligibility activity includes accruing or redeeming Rewards Points and accruing a Qualified Room Night. Sonesta Travel Pass may extend active member status in its sole discretion.”

    Not really sure what the actual points expiration policy is…

  5. If the credit card gives Elite status and Elite status gives you breakfast / club access, that seems like a no-brainer. Certainly for the first year if you have some convenient and attractive Sonesta properties on your itinerary.

    I’m sure I’m not the only one wondering if the Elite status benefits (particularly, breakfast) apply to award stays?

  6. I status matched to them for a stay in December, as they had converted a hotel that was important to me personally. The hotel was nice, and I did like the buffet breakfast at the hotel restaurant. ES Suites are pretty much like any Hyatt House, Homewood Suites, Residence Inn, etc.

  7. Unless this program sells points like IHG, HH et al, it is useless for infrequent travellers who may only do a big trip every year or so.
    Seems to me there is a big potential market there they are ignoring.

  8. Some status matches expire and either can be renewed or are once in a lifetime. I’m curious about which scenario applies to Sonesta status matches.

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Reminder: OMAAT comments are changing soon. Register here to save your space.