Your options of where to place your head at night are many as a business traveler. Of course you want to optimize the number or hotel points you earn in your travels, and it is key to be able to transfer those miles to make the most of them. Pretty much any major hotel chain in the United States will let you transfer your hotel points to airline miles, which is the most popular option for many business travelers. Other chains, like Hilton, will offer the option to earn points and miles at the same time. These deals sound good, until you realize you earn far fewer miles than you could with a competitor.
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Whether you stay at a moderately priced, mid-range hotel, or someplace fancier is completely up to you and your employer. In my experience as a sales person, I often opted for a mid-range place like the Holiday Inn Express because they offer free Wi-Fi and breakfast. I don’t want breakfast cutting in to my per diem.
It is important to keep in mind that some chains dole out the points per stay rather than per night. You may initially think you’re getting a huge amount of points, but you could end up with a huge points deficit compared to spending your nights with a different chain.
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Hotels like Starwood and Marriott consistently rate at the top of the Hotel Rewards food chain, and generally for good reason. However, with rising costs associated with business travel, your employer may not be willing to fork out the dough for a nicer place when the Ramada will do just fine.
You can alway book through a service like Priceline. You can get one heck of a deal on a nice room, but then not be able to collect your points for that room. New services like Points.com are springing up these days, allowing you greater freedom to transfer your points and miles between programs. If you really need your points to be flexible or if they don’t automatically work with your airline program of choice, have a look at this type of service.
Whether your goal is to amass points to book a great room for your next vacation or to earn enough airline miles to get you there first class, hotel rewards are one of the major benefits for business travelers.
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