There are many, many promotions. But there are only a few really, really good ones.
In this monthly roundup, we highlight the five most lucrative offers (or categories of offer) currently available to members of airline and hotel loyalty programs.
1. Winter and Spring Hotel Offers
The two-year-long flood of hotel offers continues, extending the longest period of sustained promotional activity in memory. While the torrent of offers appears to be abating somewhat, there are still plenty of promotions worth taking advantage of. Among them:
- Members of the Best Western Rewards program will earn double points after the second, third and fourth qualifying stays completed by March 28. Stays booked at bestwestern.com during the promotion period earn triple points.
- Choice Privileges members who make two stays at Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay, Econo Lodge or Rodeway Inn hotels between February 22 and April 30 will earn enough bonus points for a free night at more than 1,500 hotels. To qualify, stays must be booked at 1-800-4CHOICE or ChoiceHotels.com.
- Through March 31, Hilton HHonors members can earn a free night certificate after four stays or 10 nights at participating Hilton, Doubletree, Hampton Inn, Embassy Suites, Conrad, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites, Hilton Grand Vacations, and Waldorf Astoria Collection hotels. A maximum of three free nights may be earned during the promotion.
- Between February 1 and April 30, members of InterContinental's Priority Club Rewards program can earn 1,000 bonus points or 200 airline miles for every qualifying night at InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, or Candlewood Suites hotels. Up to 20,000 bonus points or 4,000 miles may be earned during the promotion.
- Between February 1 and April 30, Marriott is reprising for the umpteenth time its MegaBonus promotion: 2,500 points for the second and subsequent stays at Marriott, JW Marriott, Renaissance, Courtyard by Marriott, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites, Fairfield Inn, and TownePlace Suites hotels, up to a maximum of 25,000 bonus points. Members must register by March 31.
- Omni is offering members of its Select Guest program triple United miles for qualifying stays through June 30.
- Between January 5 and April 15, Starwood Preferred Guest members can earn up to quadruple points for multiple stays, as follows: double points for stays of one or two nights; triple points for three-night stays; and quadruple points for stays of four or more nights at Sheraton, Four Points, St. Regis, Luxury Collection, Le Meridien, W, Westin, aloft, and element hotels. The bonuses are for consecutive nights spent at the same hotel. Program members must register to earn the bonuses.
- And through March 31, members of Wyndham's Rewards program can earn 1,000 bonus airline miles for every second stay at Baymont Inn & Suites, Days Inn, Howard Johnson, Knights Inn, Microtel Inn & Suites, Ramada, Super 8, Travelodge, Wingate, and Wyndham hotels. There are different bonuses on offer for members of Southwest's program, and for elite members of several other airline programs.
2. Best Western Matches Elite Status
If you're a silver, gold, or platinum elite member of another hotel frequent-stay program, Best Western will accord you equivalent status in its Best Western Rewards program.
Elite perks in Best Western's program are modest, to be sure. But if you already have status in another program, and foresee one or more stays at a Best Western property, this is an easy way to upgrade the experience.
3. Southwest's Bonus for California Flights
Members of Southwest's Rapid Rewards program can earn double credits for flights within the state of California completed between March 11 and May 26. Southwest flies to Burbank, Los Angeles, Oakland, Ontario, Orange County, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose. Qualifying flights must be booked at southwest.com or swabiz.com, and registration is required, by April 6.
4. US Airways Brings Back the Online Booking Bonus
Remember online booking bonuses? These days, they're as rare as hens' teeth. But US Airways has just such a retro offer in place: 1,500 bonus miles for flights purchased at usairways.com by March 31 and flown by July 31.
5. From US Airways: Buy Miles, Earn Miles
Through March 31, US Airways Dividend Miles members will receive a 100 percent bonus on miles purchased on the airline's website, either for the member's own account or as gifts, up to a maximum of 50,000 miles, not including the bonus.
The effective discount makes purchasing miles for a free domestic ticket (25,000 miles for $342.50) a decent deal, and purchasing enough for a business-class international ticket (80,000 miles for $1,030) a downright winner.