At the beginning of March last year American Airlines and Hyatt announced a partnership that has seen reciprocal elite status offered to select AAdvantage and World of Hyatt members and which allows travelers to earn Hyatt points when they book American Airlines flights and AAdvantage miles when they book Hyatt stays.
Make no mistake, hotel loyalty programs are not in existence to make guests happy or to thank frequent visitors for their continued loyalty. They exist purely to make hotels chains money and to encourage travelers to make irrational decisions by offering benefits that guests aspire to have.
Ok, clearly I'm never usually happy, delighted or ecstatic when a loyalty program puts through a change that effectively devalues its offering but, in the case of the recent changes we saw Hyatt announce to the World of Hyatt award chart, my overall feelings were those of relief and, yes, happiness.
Hyatt has just announced that it has added a further 56 Small Luxury Hotels (SLH) properties to the World of Hyatt program and this will see the number of SLH properties participating in World of Hyatt to over 300.
While only three of the major airlines are offering mileage sales worth considering this Black Friday, the hotel chains appear to be making more of an effort. With the exception of Hilton, all the major hotel loyalty programs are running points sales right now and most are well worth a closer look.
Back in May Hilton and Lyft announced a partnership that allows Hilton Honors members to earn points on the rides they book with the ridesharing service and today the partnership expands to allow riders to use Hilton Honors points for their trips instead of cash...but don't get too excited.
I've had mixed fortunes with Marriott's Suite Night awards this year with great success at stays in Sydney and, most recently, in Venice, but I've also had my fair share of frustrations with various properties choosing not to allow me to apply a Suite Night award to my reservation because Marriott allows them to opt-out of offering that particular benefit (the London Edition and the Langley both spring to mind). Now it looks as if Marriott has officially made Suite Night awards officially harder to use.
Hyatt's loyalty program has been expanding at an impressive rate over the past 18 months and after integrating 8 Destination Hotels properties into the World of Hyatt in August/September, and after adding a further 49 SLH properties to the program in October, Hyatt has now announced that a further 39 Destination Hotels properties will join the World of Hyatt in the next week....but this time there's a catch.
Buying miles and points from the various loyalty programs can be an effective and economical way to book great value awards if you're prepared to put a little thought into your purchase and if you're not afraid of doing a bit of math but, for the next two to three weeks, it will probably be a good idea to resist the temptation to top up your accounts regardless of what deals come along.
This is just a quick reminder that Marriott's points sale in which it's offering a 30% discount on the regular cost of points is ending tonight at 23:59 ET. If you need to top up an account or if you need to buy some points to transfer across to one of the airline loyalty programs you have just hours left to do so.