I have been meaning to comment about a couple of hotel chain reward programs that offer some decent system-wide bonus point opportunities but usually only target them to the U.S. market. When I read this blog post about Choice Hotels wanting to grow Internationally it reminded me of the subject and I think now is the perfect time to comment on it.
Of the two hotel programs I mention above, one is Choice Privileges, the Frequent Guest program for Choice Hotels International. I have been posting bonus offers for the Choice Privileges program for many years and I would have to say that at least 75% if not more of their system-wide promotions were for members based in the U.S. only, the remaining 25% may have included Canada and the Caribbean as well. I have actually talked to Choice Hotels about this as I am affiliated with them and they wanted to know how we could increase bookings via the Frequent Flyer Bonuses Group of websites. I told them to increase bookings they need to open up the promotions to members outside of the U.S. but up until this blog post, they told me there focus was strictly on the U.S. market.
So the question is, will Choice Hotels bonus point promotions be expanded to include more or if not all possible members to help them grow Internationally? With the current promotion that runs until Feb 18 (see our Choice Privileges page), it has two options, you can earn Triple Privileges Points or Triple Airline Miles. The points option is only available to U.S. members and Miles option appears to be open to anyone. So here Choice does give an option to non U.S. members, however by offering only the miles, the member is remaining loyal to that airline program not to Choice Privileges. If Choice opened the points offering to all non U.S. members, some would choose to earn points and those members have a greater chance at staying at another Choice Hotel in the future to help build up their Privileges balance for a free stay. Right now, someone may stay at Choice Hotels for the miles but once the Feb 18 deadline comes up there is nothing stopping that person from staying at another hotel chain as they have no loyalty to Choice.
One thing I am not aware of, is if their is an issue with their IT or corporate procedures that prevents Choice Privileges from offering system wide promotions Internationally. If they want to compete with and become one of the top Frequent Guest Programs this is something that needs to be done.
I don’t mean this post to bash Choice Hotels, as I stated above we are actually affiliated with them and would like to see our partnership be successful but with much of our traffic originating from Frequent Flyers and Guests that are from outside of the U.S. it makes it difficult to do that.