The Top Five Frequent Traveler Deals for April 2010

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.

(Promotions are listed in alphabetical order.)

1. Spring and Summer Hotel Offers

The two-year-long flood of hotel offers continues, extending the longest period of sustained promotional activity in memory.

A number of offers expire at the end of April, and thus far have not been extended or replaced. Could it be that the hotel chains are throttling back somewhat on their marketing initiatives as the economy revives? That remains to be seen. For now, there are still plenty of promotions worth taking advantage of. Among them:

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  • Members of the Best Western Rewards program who complete two or more qualifying hotel stays between April 4 and May 30 can earn the following: 250 bonus points for bookings made online; 1,000 bonus points for bookings charged to a Best Western MasterCard; entry into a 100,000-point sweepstakes for bookings made by elite members; or a $50 Best Western Travel Card. The bonuses can only be earned once, and you must register before the first qualifying stay.
  • 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.
  • Between April 6 and June 30, Hilton HHonors members can earn a free night or double base points after either four qualifying 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. Registration is required, at which time program members must opt for either free nights or bonus points. The free night certificate must be used within one year.
  • Through June 30, Hyatt Gold Passport members can earn a free night or 5,000 bonus points after every two qualifying stays. There's no limit to the number of free nights that can be earned, but they must be taken between April 1 and August 31.
  • 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.
  • Through April 30, Marriott has reprised 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.
  • Also from Marriott: First-time members of Marriott Rewards who enroll online will be automatically registered to receive a certificate for a free night at a Category 1 through Category 4 hotel after completing two stays between May 1 and July 31 at a Marriott family property. The certificate can only be used by the member who earned it—it's not transferable.
  • And Omni is offering members of its Select Guest program triple United miles for qualifying stays through June 30.

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. More Miles from Midwest

Midwest is offering double miles on a number of new routes: between Milwaukee and Raleigh/Durham, St. Louis, San Diego or San Francisco from April 15 through June 19; and between Kansas City and Columbus or New Orleans from May 3 through August 20.

Later this year, Midwest and Frontier will be merged and their mileage programs consolidated. So any Midwest miles earned today will ultimately be miles in a larger, more robust program.

4. Southwest Offers Double Credits for All Flights

Between April 7 and May 26, Rapid Rewards members will earn double credits on all Southwest flights booked on Southwest's website.

Business Select tickets earn 2.25 credits for flights less than 750 miles, and three credits for flights 750 miles or more.

The offer is for new reservations only. Registration is required.

5. US Airways Doubles the Miles

US Airways not only matched Southwest's double-credit offer (see above), they upped the ante by making the extra miles count toward elite status.

Between April 13 and June 15, Dividend Miles members will earn double miles for all flights on US Airways, US Airways Express, and the US Airways Shuttle.

Those double miles can be redeemed for awards as well as counting toward elite status.

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