Right here’s how one can get pleasure from a 5-star lodge keep, free of charge

That’s 5-star luxurious. And it comes at an exorbitant value. However, what should you might get the lodging there free of charge, together with a complimentary breakfast and another perks?

Throughout his five-day lengthy vacation in Bali final yr, Mumbai-based Tejas Ghongadi stayed at a luxurious 5-star lodge, free of charge. No, he didn’t win the holiday in some fortunate draw. Ghongadi paid 30,000— the tariff of the lodge room per evening—via reward factors that he had collected as a part of that lodge’s loyalty programme.

Ghongadi, not like many travellers, is a member of loyalty programmes of a number of five-star lodge chains. Nonetheless, he doesn’t often ebook rooms in these motels although that would earn him such good-looking rewards. As a substitute, he makes use of his bank card for many of his different common bills and transfers the reward factors thus earned to the lodge’s loyalty programme. “Reward factors earned on my bank card spends landed me a free keep throughout my Bali trip,” mentioned Ghongadi, co-founder, The Factors Code. However, he has a phrase of warning. “I’m very diligent with my bank card payments. I’ve been utilizing bank cards for normal bills for nearly a decade now and haven’t defaulted even as soon as.”

Many avid bank card customers like Ghongadi make the most of their bank card reward factors to bag free lodge stays and purchase flight tickets for his or her annual holidays. It’s a good hack to slash your journey bills as each lodging and flight tickets at all times make up a serious chunk of the vacation price range.

In the event you’re not eager on utilizing bank cards, you may earn factors with each keep in a selected lodge by enrolling in its loyalty programme. On this story, Mint tells you all about loyalty programmes of among the fashionable 5-star lodge chains and make use of bank card reward factors to earn free-stays in luxurious motels.


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Loyalty programmes

Step one to earn free stays is to enrol in a lodge chain’s loyalty programme, comparable to Marriott Bonvoy of the Mariott chain of motels, Membership ITC of ITC group of motels, World of Hyatt of Hyatt, and the Hilton Honors of Hilton. Every programme has a distinct reward incomes charge that begins within the vary of 1-4% per 100 and might go as excessive as 8%, as per the membership tier.

A tiered membership construction affords accelerated rewards as you climb up the tiers with rising spends or stays (see graphic). As an illustration, Membership ITC affords 2 factors per 100 to newcomers and this will increase to three factors after they enter the subsequent class, silver elite, on staying six nights or spending 60,000, whichever occurs first. After staying 30 nights or spending 3 lakh, whichever is earlier, you progress to the highest tier, and, as a Platinum Elite Member, earn 5 factors per 100 spent. Equally, Taj affords 8 factors per 100 to its prime tier members. Take word that these factors are earned solely on the bottom tariff and never the ultimate quantity after including taxes. Equally, whereas redeeming factors, solely the bottom tariff is roofed whereas the taxes are additional.

A membership additionally earns you further perks—a 5-20% low cost on room charges, entry to govt lounges, room upgrades, early check-ins and late check-outs, spa vouchers, and so on. Lots of these perks get unlocked as you climb up the tiers.

As for redeeming the reward factors, some motels supply a 1% redeeming charge, whereas others cost a flat charge. Accor costs 2,000 factors for each €40 spent, and Marriott affords award rooms, which implies the room tariff is ready in factors by the lodge. In an award room, it’s troublesome to establish the redeeming charge as they’re set by the lodge and might be dynamic.

Take word that reward factors are awarded solely while you ebook a room immediately with the lodge. “Even in case you are a member however ebook the room via an OTA platform (on-line journey agent), you received’t get the rewards. There’s a bent amongst folks to ebook via OTAs to get on the spot reductions and cashbacks, however you may lose the rewards by doing this,” mentioned Ashwin, who writes a weblog desipoints.com on bank cards reward factors.

Spends and rewards

How a lot do you must spend to earn free stays in 5-star motels? Mint’s again of the envelope calculations present that you’ll earn two free nights after spending roughly 7-8.5 lakh out of your pocket on lodge stays. Furthermore, the time taken to achieve this milestone might be fairly lengthy as most travellers do don’t remain in the identical motels regularly.

“In contrast to airways, that are a handful in numbers, there are a whole lot of lodge and BnB choices for a buyer they usually could not need to splurge on a five-star property each time, simply to earn rewards. Additionally, except your work requires you to journey usually, you’ll hardly keep 15 nights in a lodge in a single yr,” mentioned Ashwin.

“This will work properly for somebody who travels for work regularly. They’ll accumulate factors quick after which use them for holidays,” Ghongadi added.

Individuals can actually get worth from these loyalty programmes by transferring their bank card rewards to associate lodge programmes. A lot of the luxurious lodge chains have partnerships with bank cards provided by American Categorical, HDFC, Citibank and Axis and have switch ratios of as much as 1:3. Within the above calculations of two free nights, your out-of-pocket bills on lodge rooms can come down by 1.5 -2 lakh should you spend roughly 1 lakh via bank cards and add the rewards earned on them to the lodge programmes.

“You earn rewards even on bills for necessities comparable to insurance coverage premium, gasoline, youngsters’s tuition price, and so on. So use a bank card for normal bills and earn sufficient rewards to remain in 5-star motels. In fact, just be sure you pay the bank card invoice in time and in full,” Ghongadi mentioned.

Lastly, do be certain that your bank card has a partnership with the lodge chain of your most well-liked alternative .

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