Hotel loyalty programmes
2 things we Singaporeans love: A good deal and a staycation. Combine both, and well, consider us satisfied. But this isn’t just about scouting for the best bargains out in the market right now.
Instead, we’ve rounded up 7 hotel loyalty programmes that reward you with discounted rates and room upgrades with every stay you book. Think of it as long-term planning towards bigger suites, priority check-ins, and free breakfasts. Here’s all you need to know:
1. Marriott Bonvoy – Earn points from 8,000+ properties worldwide
With more than 8,000 properties under the Marriott umbrella, chances are, you’ve stayed in at least one hotel of theirs in your lifetime. In Singapore alone, this includes The Ritz-Carlton Millenia, The St. Regis, JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach, and even The Westin Singapore.
Marriott properties include JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach that has a rooftop infinity pool overlooking the CBD.
Image credit: @jwmarriottsg
Good news then, if you’re looking for a hotel loyalty programme where you can easily move up tiers just by staycationing in Singapore. You can sign up for a basic Marriott Bonvoy membership online for free, which will get you instant benefits like member rates on rooms and the ability to use your mobile phone as a digital key.
Rising up the ranks requires stays of 10 nights to hit Silver Elite, and 25 for Gold Elite. The difference between a basic membership and the next tier up is negligible, as the additional benefits include priority late checkout and compensation for guests for dishonoured reservations.
This view from the Grand Marina room at Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore can be yours with a free room upgrade if you hold Gold Elite status.
Image credit: @ritzcarltonmilleniasingapore
The good stuff, like free room upgrades when available, only comes with Gold Elite and up, so you might want to plan your vacations around Marriott properties if you want that status.
With each stay and spending at the hotel, you’ll be able to earn reward points that can be used to offset payment on hotels, as well as redeemed for dining and spa vouchers. Points can also be earned through bookings on third-party platforms, as long as you choose to pay at the hotel.
And if you’re short on points needed for a redemption, you can purchase up to 100,000 points a year at US$1.25 (~S$1.69) each. Unfortunately, these don’t help to bump you up tiers.
Sign up for Marriott Bonvoy.
2. World of Hyatt – Up to 10% off hotel rates upon sign up
If you’re looking to book rooms at a cheaper rate, the World of Hyatt loyalty programme might be better suited for you. Upon signing up for free online, you’ll instantly be given a 10% discount on hotel rates.
Image credit: @andazsingapore
From here, climb a tier by staying 10 nights at a Hyatt property, which includes Grand Hyatt and Andaz in Singapore. The Discoverist tier will have you automatically prioritised for preferred rooms, such as ones away from the lift lobby or those on higher floors, as well as late checkout at 2pm whenever available.
Room upgrades and club lounge access comes from the next tier and up, which requires 30 nights stay at Hyatt within a year.
Spending on dining, like at Grand Hyatt’s 10 Scott can earn you reward points.
Image credit: @grandhyattsing
As with other loyalty programmes, you earn points with every booking made through the Hyatt website, as well as when you spend on dining and spa experiences at the hotel you’re staying at.
It’s a generous 5 points for every US$1 (~S$1.35) you spend. Redemption rates are also kept low, with free nights redeemable from 3,500 points per night, and dining and spa credits from 1,000 points.
Sign up for World of Hyatt.
3. IHG One Rewards – Only S$270 to achieve Platinum Elite status
The IHG One Rewards covers 6,000 properties around the world. Some brands you’d recognise in Singapore are Regent, InterContinental, Hotel Indigo, voco, Crowne Plaza, and Holiday Inn.
voco is a new hotel that just opened along Orchard Road in 2022.
Image credit: @vocoorchardsg
The loyalty programme offered looks just like any other. With a free sign up, members are privy to discounted rates and late checkout at 2pm when available. Tier-hopping takes place from 10-70 nights stayed a year at an IHG property.
What’s different though, is the ability to achieve the equivalent of Platinum Elite status with just S$270. In a viral TikTok hack, a frequent traveller revealed that you can pay for an InterContinental Ambassadorship at just US$200/year (~S$270). This guarantees you a room upgrade for any stay, extended 4pm checkout, and even a free weekend night.
You can upgrade from a Classic Suite to the Club Studio room with the InterContinental Ambassadorship.
Image credit: InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay
While this ambassador programme is only valid at InterContinental hotels, it does give you a status match for Platinum Elite under IHG One Rewards, which is only achievable by staying 40 nights in a year. This tier has free room upgrades only when available, but also gives welcome amenities and early check-ins to guests staying at IHG hotels that aren’t InterContinental.
Sign up for IHG One Rewards.
4. GHA Discovery – Room upgrade just by signing up
Chances are, you clicked on this article to find out if it’s possible to get freebies like a room upgrade just by enrolling in a hotel loyalty programme. Well, you’re in luck, as the GHA Discovery has just that with their free basic membership.
The basic Silver tier comes with a host of other perks too. You get 10% off available rates, a 25% discount when you dine within the hotel, and complimentary room upgrades at check-in when available.
Image credit: @panpacificsingapore
Pro tip: Plan for a staycation on your birthday at a GHA Discovery brand such as Pan Pacific, Parkroyal, Capella, or Kempinski. You’ll get to enjoy even more savings at 35% off room rates, free breakfast for 2, and a birthday cake just for the occasion.
Jumping tiers is also quite easy with GHA Discovery. To reach Gold from Silver, you only need 2 separate stays at the same hotel to qualify. But we recommend aiming for the tier after this, Platinum, which requires booking a stay at 2 different brands.
Parkroyal Collection on Pickering.
Image credit: @parkroyalcollectionpickering
For one, Gold doesn’t have any added benefits other than a slight increase in the number of reward points you can earn through spending at the hotel. Platinum, at least, provides a welcome amenity at check-in and access to members-only facilities at the hotel.
Unlike most other loyalty programmes that allow the use of reward points with travel partners, like airlines and car rental companies, IHG One Rewards only allows the use of points to buy curated local experiences and to offset the price of hotel stays.
Sign up for GHA Discovery.
5. Hilton Honors – Pick specific rooms with basic membership
If you’ve booked a hotel room promising views but got a room on a low floor instead, you might want to register for Hilton Honors. Apart from discounted member rates, the free membership allows you to pick specific rooms you want when you check in.
Image adapted from: The Frugal South
It’s just as it sounds. On the day before you arrive, digital check-ins are open to Hilton Honors members. From here, you’ll be given a list of floors containing your room category, then a rough blueprint that shows the location of each room. You can then pick whatever’s available, such as rooms away from the lift lobby for less noise or facing north to avoid the sun in your eyes.
Hilton Singapore Orchard recently took over the old Mandarin Orchard building.
Image credit: @hanafi.di
Signing up for this loyalty programme makes more sense if you travel abroad often. Although Hilton boasts a portfolio of 7,000 properties worldwide in 123 countries, only 2 hotels are available here: Hilton Singapore Orchard and Conrad Centennial Singapore.
It’s also more suited for travellers planning for longer stays. Once you hit Silver tier, which requires just 10 nights’ stay in a year, any future bookings gets you a 5th night free.
Sign up for Hilton Honors.
6. Accor Live Limitless – Use membership at airport lounges
Unless you’re flying out of the world’s best airport that has attractions like Jewel Changi, you’re probably not going to want to check in early for your flight. That is, if you don’t have access to an airport lounge.
Access Changi Lounge at Jewel Changi at 10% off with an Accor Live Limitless membership.
Image credit: Changi Airport
With Accor Live Limitless (ALL), you’ll be able to use your free membership to get 10% off entry into 1,300 airport lounges all over the world. In Singapore, this is applicable for access to Changi Lounge at Jewel Changi, SATS Premier, Marhaba, and the Ambassador Lounge found in transit areas.
ALL is useful to have on hand if you’re planning to rent a car as well. The basic membership gives you up to 15% off car rentals from Hertz and Europcar.
Raffles Hotel Singapore is part of Accor’s group of properties.
Image credit: Raffles Hotel Singapore
Moving up the tiers is slightly complicated with the ALL system. While you’re able to earn reward points by staying and spending at ALL properties, you can only rise up the ranks by earning status points by staying 10-60 nights a year or holding an event with Accor.
The 2 point systems are not interchangeable, and status points can’t be used to redeem rewards like booking experiences and free nights.
If it’s any consolation, Accor has a wide range of hotel types to suit any budget. Brands you’ll recognise that are available in Singapore include the ultra-luxurious Raffles Hotel, Fairmont, and Sofitel, and the budget-friendlier Mercure, Novotel, and ibis.
Sign up for Accor Live Limitless.
7. Wyndham Rewards – Get free nights via online shopping
Shopaholics, here’s how you can earn yourself a free night at a hotel just by spending online. The Wyndham Rewards programme doesn’t limit point earning to just staying nights or spending at one of their properties.
Turn purchase from Fenty Beauty online into reward points with Wyndham Rewards.
You can easily earn reward points by shopping online from a wide variety of brands such as Apple, Dior, Under Armour, and Fenty Beauty. On average, you’ll get 5-8 points per US$1 (~S$1.35), but Wyndham regularly awards bonus points of up to 20 points per US$1 spent.
There are also frequent promos that help to speed up point-earning all year round. From now till 13th January 2023, booking 2 nights and up earns you 3 times the number of reward points, as long as you complete your stay by 16th January 2023.
Your accumulated points can go towards free nights that are redeemable from 7,500 points onwards. Or, use them to shop for personal items such as watches, luggage, and gift cards to retailers including Grab Mart, Frasers, and Cold Storage.
Wyndham Rewards does have different tiers for its loyalty programme, if you’re looking for hotel-specific premiums like room upgrades. Go from a basic account to Gold easily with just 3 nights’ stay. This gets you benefits such as requesting for a preferred room upon check in, as well as late check outs, both subject to availability.
Sign up for Wyndham Rewards.
Best hotel loyalty programmes in Singapore
When staycations are booked for any and every occasion, it’s worthwhile looking into signing up for a hotel loyalty programme that rewards you for the nights you’ve crashed at their hotel.
In total, these 7 programmes cover more than 37,000 hotels around the world. So even if you’re travelling overseas, you’ll also be able to earn reward points on your trip. Then it’s free nights, suite upgrades, and experiences from here on out.
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