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Loews Hotels Offers Fast Track to Elite Perks

The great majority of the many current hotel promotions either offer bonus points or the third night free.

With its newly announced summer promotion, in place through August 31, Loews Hotels has taken a rather different tack. During the promotion period, members of Loews' YouFirst program will be awarded Gold elite status after a single weeknight stay, rather than the five stays normally required.

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The YouFirst program has four tiers: Member status for those with one or fewer stays; Blue for two to four stays; Gold for five to nine stays; and Platinum for those with 10 or more stays. The benefits vary, increasing in number as one graduates from lower to higher tiers.

So, if a traveler is currently an entry-level member, the upgrade to Gold represents an additional 250 Membership Rewards points, free Internet access, a room upgrade, late checkout, guaranteed room availability, "custom-created destination packages," and a special welcome.

For those who are already Blue members, the upgrade means the addition of just the last three items: guaranteed room availability, destination packages, and welcome gift.

Deal or No Deal?

Certainly this offer puts elite status within easy reach. But the elite perks are only meaningful for travelers making future stays at Loews hotels. And the more stays, the more value there is in those perks. So the payoff depends both on the likelihood that one will be staying at a Loews hotel again, and how often.

But unlike the mega-chains such as Hilton or Marriott, which have hundreds of individual hotels in their networks, the Loews group comprises just 17 hotels and resorts in the U.S. and Canada. So the opportunities to make multiple Loews stays are limited.

Bottom line: Unless you're a regular traveler, whose travel patterns happen to match up with Loews' very limited locations, this is not a compelling offer.

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