Beginning of the End for Generous Hotel Rewards?

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Between Feb. 1 and April 30, Marriott Rewards members can choose to earn a free night after two paid stays, up to two free nights (the MegaBonus offer), or triple airline miles for the second and subsequent stays (the MegaMiles offer).

Starwood

Through April 15, Starwood Preferred Guest members can earn double points for all nights, plus an additional 500 points for Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, at more than 930 participating Starwood family hotels (Sheraton, Four Points, St. Regis, Luxury Collection, Le Meridien, W, Westin, aloft, element).

Hotel Rewards

Wyndham

Through April 30, members of the Wyndham Rewards program can earn up to quadruple points for stays at Baymont Inn & Suites, Days Inn, Howard Johnson, Knights Inn, Microtel Inn & Suites, Ramada, Super 8, Travelodge, Wingate, and Wyndham hotels, as follows:

Double points or miles for the second stay
Triple points or miles for the third stay
Quadruple points or miles for the fourth stay

The Beginning of the End?

The offers are a continuation of what has been the longest period of sustained promotional activity in the hotel industry's history. No one expects such marketing largesse to continue indefinitely. The question is: How much longer?

STR's CEO, Mark Lomanno, is bullish on the industry's near-term prospects.

"While it may be the second half of 2011 before we begin to see rapidly accelerating room rates, by the time we get to 2012 we now expect room rate growth to rival the boom years of 2006 and 2007."

If that's true, we could be witnessing the beginning of the end of an exceptionally lucrative era for deal-seeking travelers.

Because when the hotels are no longer down and out, their customers will pay more and reap fewer rewards for their stays.

Tim Winship is editor at large for SmarterTravel, as well as the editor and publisher of FrequentFlier.com, and a frequently quoted expert on frequent-flier programs. This article originally appeared on SmarterTravel.

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