The great majority of the multitude of current hotel promotions are set to lapse on April 30. No doubt the hotel companies, when they designed their offers, had hoped that a rebound in travel demand would arrive in time to make summer promotions unnecessary.
But there's no sign of any imminent recovery in economic activity generally, or in travel particularly. So I've been anticipating a fresh wave of new hotel offers to replace the expiring ones.
Hilton—whose winter promotion expired slightly ahead of most other hotels', on April 6—has bitten the proverbial bullet and launched a new bonus-point offer, for stays between April 13 and June 30. The offer: 1,000 bonus points for stays at more than 2,800 participating Hilton, Conrad, Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn, and Homewood Suites hotels. (Hilton has 3,300 hotels in its network, so travelers should confirm in advance that the hotel they're considering is indeed offering the bonus.)
Hilton HHonors members have several options for earning points—10 base points, plus five bonus points, per $1 spent; 10 base points, plus one airline mile, for every $1 spent; or 10 base points for every $1 spent, plus 500 miles per stay. So whichever option they choose, with the bonus they'll be earning bonus points equivalent to spending an extra $100 per night.
That's somewhat less generous than Hilton's previous offer of double base points. But the previous offer applied to stays at around 400 fewer Hilton hotels.
Of course, the more important comparison will be between Hilton's latest offer and those of such competitors as Marriott, Starwood, and InterContinental. Hilton's new promotion makes it that much more likely that they will extend their current promotions, or launch altogether new initiatives.
Hilton's offer and the ongoing travel slump should be enough to ensure plenty of good hotel bonuses through the summer, and perhaps beyond.