Ascend Hotel Collection member Hotel Florence in Florence, SC. Photo: Choice Hotels International
Choice Hotels began offering exclusive rates directly to its loyalty members Wednesday, becoming the fifth major global hotel chain with a direct-booking campaign.
Choice Privileges’ 27 million members will receive up to 7% off the best available rate when they book through the company’s website or mobile app. Choice also is offering a lowest-price guarantee; if a guest finds a lower rate on another site, Choice will match it and give them a $50 Visa gift card.
Discounted rates are available across all Choice Hotel brands, including Cambria Hotels & Suites and Comfort Inn.
Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels and Holiday Inn parent InterContinental Hotel Group all launched similar programs this year, offering 10% discounts. The hotels say they are an attempt to move consumers away from booking with online travel agencies, which charge hotels fees of 15% or 20%.
But whether travel professionals and corporate travel managers can take advantage of the same low rates often remains unclear. Many agents see them as a way of sidestepping them as a distribution channel.
Choice said its program is not available to agents, but it is “evaluating making this available to travel agents in the future.”