Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, the 40-strong UK hotel group, receives very little coverage on Head for Points. This is despite the fact that it runs one of my favourite hotels, the Bath Spa Hotel (below), a surprisingly impressive property that I used to visit a lot when at university. It also runs the famous Compleat Angler in Marlow.
I want to give you a quick overview of The Club, the Macdonald Hotels & Resorts loyalty scheme, before revealing a little quirk about the programme.
Full details on The Club can be found on the Macdonald website here.
The Club is very straightforward. You earn 1 point for every £2 you spend at Macdonald Hotels and those points can be converted into hotel stays or partner rewards.
Almost all of the UK properties take part in the programme, although you cannot earn points at their hotels in Ireland or Portugal.
There are only two status levels:
Club Member – 30 bonus points on your first stay and exclusive offers throughout the year
Elite Member – requires 15 nights or £1,500 of spend within a 12 month period. You receive a £30 Macdonald voucher (valid for dining, golf or spa) on being promoted. Benefits include a room upgrade (subject to availability), a welcome gift, free newspaper and no ‘tray charge’ on room service orders.
If you manage 30 nights or £3,000 of spend within 12 months you will receive a ‘special gift’.
(This is the first time I have ever seen ‘no tray charge on room service orders’ offered as an elite benefit.)
Your points expire 24 months after earning them on a rolling basis.
Redemptions start at 120 points which gets you a £15 voucher. As this requires £240 of spending, you are getting around 6% of your spending back in rewards. There is no benefit in saving up for larger vouchers as the 6% ratio stays the same.
Hotel room redemptions are based on dynamic pricing linked to room rates. Based on ‘best flexible’ pricing you will receive around 15p per point. Based on ‘advanced purchase’ pricing you will receive around 14p. This is only around 12% better than redeeming for an in-hotel voucher so I would not necessarily be tempted to hoard my points for a free room.
If you don’t want to redeem for hotel stays or in-hotel benefits, there are external redemption partners:
- House of Fraser
- Hotel Chocolat
- The Langham Hotel
- National Gardens
- Red Letter Days
- Hawes & Curtis
- The Gluttonous Gardener
- Function 18
- Magazine subscriptions
- Virgin Wines
- Taste of Arran
- Arran Aromatics
Partner redemptions do not appear to be good value. You receive 6p per point – you would receive more than double that (12.5p per point) by redeeming for ‘in-hotel’ vouchers and even more (14p – 15p) by redeeming for free nights.
And a quirk ….
A HFP reader got in touch to say that he had been sent a £15 Macdonald Hotels gift voucher by email as a birthday gift.
This is valid on “food & beverage, spa treatments or leisure facilities”.
Being the sensible sort, the reader popped into the bar of his local Macdonald Hotel and bought £15 of drinks!
Interestingly, every year he receives a £15 voucher. The member has had no Macdonald stays for the last two years and has never been anything more than a base level Club Member.
There is no guarantee that you would receive a £15 birthday voucher if you joined The Club and had no stays at all. There is also no point doing this speculatively unless you live or work near a Macdonald property – here is the list.
It is an interesting perk, however. Remember too that, since you get 30 free points on your first stay, as a new member you would only need to spend £180 to generate 120 points to get your first £15 reward voucher anyway.
You can find out more about Macdonald Hotels The Club, and sign up, on their special website here.
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)