Hey, you. Yes, you, the guy with the piles and piles of hotel rewards points stacked up nice and neat. Might want to think about booking a vacation and using up those points soon, as most of the major hotel chains have either already devalued their points or will do so pretty darn soon.
According to Reuters, the tweaking is already underway: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide changed its program earlier this month; Hilton Worldwide has scheduled changes for Mach 28; Marriott International is changing its program as of May 16; InterContinental Hotels implemented changes in January but will honor old rates until March 18 and Wyndham Worldwide has a new plan as of March 14.
So why are your points about to plummet? It’s because everyone is all excited to travel again, which means demand for rooms is up and hotels can charge higher prices, say experts. They don’t need guests with points just to fill their rooms.
The best plan is to book as soon as possible to ensure that your points have as much spending power as possible. For example — a night at the New York Hilton costs 60,000 points this month but shoots up to 80,000 in April. Wyndham lists 215 pages of hotels that will cost more points now compared to the 42 pages of hotels that will require fewer points.
You don’t have to actually go on the trip before your loyalty program changes, just book it before they get devalued. The lesson here being: Hoarders don’t win. At least not in this situation — my grandmother always said that hoarding good advice never hurts.
And if you’re not happy with your choice of hotel chain or even a credit card company paired up with a hotel? Let them know you’re displeased, as the more complaints they get about unhappy customers, the more likely they are to put the brakes on changes in the future. If that doesn’t help the situation, perhaps it’s time to make a change of your own and check out another company’s perks.