Is it possible to book multiple rooms at the same property on the same night, earn points from them all and have them all count as qualifying nights for elite status or for a promotion?
I’m not sure when it happened, but IHG Rewards Club has recently improved its rules. I came across it by accident when looking to see if I would receive points for two rooms booked in Dubai last week. Under the old rules I wouldn’t, but now it seems I will.
I thought it was worth running through the policies of the major chains when you book multiple rooms. Note that, in all cases:
All rooms must be booked in your name, and
You must occupy one of the rooms, and
You must pay for all of the rooms
Multiple room rules with IHG Rewards Club
Let’s start with IHG Rewards Club, as IHG recently changed its policy. Historically IHG only allowed multiple rooms to count in the US and Canada. A couple of years ago it added Europe and China. It has now filled in most of the gaps.
Can you earn IHG Rewards Club ‘qualifying nights’ credit for multiple rooms per night? No
Can you earn IHG Rewards Club points for multiple rooms per night? Yes, up to NINE rooms per night.
The only exceptions are InterContinental Alliance Resorts and hotels in Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Brazil, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela where you can only earn points for one room per night.
Multiple room rules with Accor Live Limitless
Accor has the most restrictive policy of the major chains:
Can you earn Accor Live Limitless ‘qualifying nights’ credit for multiple rooms per night? No
Can you earn Accor Live Limitless points for multiple rooms per night? Yes, up to two rooms per night
The Accor Live Limitless terms and conditions are here (PDF). See paragraph 7.2 under ‘Eligible Expenses’.
Multiple room rules with Hilton Honors
Hilton Honors has a decent policy but you need to be aware of the small print:
Can you earn Hilton Honors ‘qualifying nights’ credit for multiple rooms per night? No
Can you earn Hilton Honors points for multiple rooms per night? Yes, up to four rooms per night, but ONLY if the bills for the two rooms are merged into one bill at check-out.
The Hilton Honors terms and conditions are here. See paragraph 6 under ‘Accrual of Points’.
I came a cropper here a few years ago at an Embassy Suites, because the hotel had already prepared the bills the night before and I forgot to merge them. Whilst my name was on both rooms I only received points for one of them. Luckily the Hilton contact centre took pity on me and credited the additional points, but you shouldn’t rely on this.
Multiple room rules with Marriott Bonvoy
Following the merger of Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest, this is what the combined Bonvoy programme offers:
Can you earn Marriott Bonvoy ‘qualifying nights’ credit for multiple rooms per night? No
Can you earn Marriott Bonvoy points for multiple rooms per night? Yes, up to three rooms per night
This is a change from the old Starwood Preferred Guest rules, which DID let you earn qualifying nights for up to three rooms per night. People who were close to status would often book three nights at one of the Heathrow hotels over a cheap weekend.
The Marriott Bonvoy terms and conditions are here. Click on ‘Earn Points’ to bring up the relevant section – it is in Clause 2.1.b
Multiple room rules with Radisson Rewards
Radisson Rewards has an identical policy to Marriott Bonvoy:
Can you earn Radisson Rewards ‘qualifying nights’ credit for multiple rooms per night? No
Can you earn Radisson Rewards points for multiple rooms per night? Yes, up to three rooms per night. Note that the rules say “credit for multiple rooms must be requested at or before the time of check-in”.
You can clarify this in the Radisson Rewards terms and conditions here under Clause 3 / a / i.
Multiple room rules with World of Hyatt
World of Hyatt also has the same rules:
Can you earn World of Hyatt ‘qualifying nights’ credit for multiple rooms per night? No
Can you earn World of Hyatt points for multiple rooms per night? Yes, up to three rooms per night
The World of Hyatt terms and conditions are here. See clause 1.8 in Appendix A.
Starwood Preferred Guest used to be the only programme where you could earn status more quickly via qualifying nights, or trigger night-based bonuses, by booking multiple rooms. Following the merger with Marriott Rewards this is no longer possible.
There is now no major scheme which allows multiple rooms to count towards additional elite qualifying nights. The good news is that, if you are pushing for elite status, you can qualify more quickly via elite qualifying points (as opposed to nights) in many schemes by crediting multiple rooms to your account.
PS. It is also worth mentioning Hotels.com Rewards as part of this discussion. Hotels.com Rewards gives you status AND free night credits for ALL rooms in a booking. Book two rooms for five nights and that counts as the 10 nights required to earn a free night. You don’t even need to be staying – if you make a booking for a friend or relative via your Hotels.com account, you still get the credit. The only downside is that the benefits of Hotels.com Rewards status are limited compared to having status with a major chain.