The major hotel chains have been offering one promotion after another after another. With the end date of each offer, travelers are left to wonder if this or that bonus was, finally, the last gasp in what has become one of the most protracted and lucrative periods in the history of hotel marketing. So far, though, the combination of sluggish travel and aggressive competitive activity has maintained pressure on the hotels to keep the bonuses coming.
I've had my eye on Hilton for the past few weeks, because its most recent offer was scheduled to end on June 30. Would it extend that offer, replace it with a new one, or allow the bonuses to lapse?
That question was answered this week with the announcement of a new promotion, for stays between July 15 and September 30.
With the new offer, HHonors members can earn up to 10,000 bonus points, keyed to the number of stays: 500 points for the first stay, 1,000 for the second, 1,500 for the third, 2,000 for the fourth, and 5,000 for the fifth. Taken together, the bonuses total 10,000 points for five stays.
Starwood's free-night offer is also in effect through September, so September 30 now becomes the new focal point for promotion-watchers. Will that be the end of the bonuses, or just another pause on the road to more promotions?
InterContinental recently extended its free-night offer for Priority Club Rewards members, pushing off the end date from July 3 until August 15.
And Marriott's free-night offer ends on August 31.
Time will tell whether those and other hotels modify their offers to match the timing of the Hilton and Starwood promotions. Or extend their offers even further into the fall.
At least through September, though, the longest, richest period in the history of hotel bonuses will continue.