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No more IHG Rewards Club points on food and drink on Expedia stays

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The major hotel chains are involved in a minor war with the online third-party booking sites such as Expedia.  They don’t like the commission these sites take, which is not surprising when Expedia is known to keep up to 25% of your purchase when you book an ‘Expedia Special Rate’ hotel.

Last week I wrote about how Starwood and Marriott have discovered a new trick.  From February, you will receive free internet when you stay with these chains – but ONLY if you book directly.  Anyone booking via Expedia etc will still need to pay.

The major hotels chains already refuse to give stay credit or points in their own loyalty schemes when you book via a third party.  What differs between the chains is:

whether your status benefits are acknowledged – Hyatt, Marriott and (in my experience) Hilton are OK for this

whether you earn points for your food and drink spending – all chains except Hilton have historically allowed you to do this

IHG Rewards Club 350

View From The Wing notes that IHG Rewards Club, the Holiday Inn / Crowne Plaza / InterContinental etc scheme, has changed its rules.

Take a look at the new point 12 of the IHG Rewards Club terms here:

IHG Rewards Club: OTA Earn Restriction.  IHG Rewards Club members will not earn points during a stay or retroactively on any reservations booked through Online Travel Agencies (OTA). This restriction includes but is not limited to: earning points on  food and beverage purchases, parking, in room dining, movies, and any other incidental charges incurred during the member’s length of stay.

The lines are being drawn.  On one hand, hotel chains want you to book direct and get stay credit, points for incidental spend, points for your room rate spend and elite benefits.  On the other, the online travel agents offer you their own rewards scheme (eg Welcome Rewards from Hotels.com) and cashback via TopCashback etc.  The choice is up to you.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  To see our complete list of promotions from the major chains, click here to visit our ‘Hotel Promos’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (20)

  • DJ says:

    I have an upcoming Park Hyatt stay, booked through Expedia as it was approx 25% cheaper than the best rate on the Hyatt website. The Expedia confirmation email gives me an Expedia itinerary number as well as the Hyatt reservation number, which means I can access my reservation directly on the Hyatt website too. Here, I can enter my Hyatt Gold Passport number (not an option on Expedia), make special requests… potentially even delete the travel agent codes from the reservation which marks it as an Expedia booking. Haven’t tried any of this for fear of voiding the booking, but does anyone have any experience re: accessing / changing Expedia bookings directly through hotel sites? And with Hyatt in particular?

    • Alan says:

      From what I’ve heard Hyatt are the best of all the chains at honouring benefits/points on third party stays, not sure if that’s changed recently at all.

      • Max says:

        Hyatt have never awarded me points in recent times when I have booked the room through a third party.

        • Alan says:

          Ahh OK – I’ve not stayed with them for a while myself, this may have been ‘enhanced’ away at most properties now, they certainly used to offer credit, but that was perhaps 2011! They do honour elite benefits though I believe.

  • gnarlyoldgoatdude says:

    Of course there’s always SPG who will give you points for food in one of their properties (sometimes including elite discounts) even if you are not resident.

    Club Carlson gives elite discounts but no points for non residents.