1. Oberoi Advantage
The Oberoi Group is known to have the finest luxury hotels in India. Oberoi Advantage is very different to other hotel reward programs in that there’s no accrual and redemption of points. Instead, the benefit is simple and appealing — stay for five nights at Oberoi properties across India and Dubai, and receive a free stay or a room upgrade. This can also be redeemed at properties in Indonesia, Mauritius and Egypt.
- Terms and Conditions: The program’s offers are changed each year. Offers are only valid for limited time periods and at certain properties, and the initial stay has to be between set dates.
- Enrollment: Can only be carried out by providing e-mail address at the time of check in.
- Cost: Free.
- Website: Oberoi Advantage
2. Starwood Preferred Guest
Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ Preferred Guest reward program was launched in 1999. It’s perhaps the best loyalty program for Indians to join because of the hotel chain’s large presence in India — it’s expected that there will be 100 properties by 2016.
- Membership Levels: Preferred, Gold and Platinum.
- Points Earned: Two points for every eligible US dollar spent at the base level, and three points at the Gold and Platinum levels.
- Points Required for Free Stay: Free stays start at 3,000 points for a Category 1 hotel and 30,000 for a Category 7 hotel. Most hotels in India require 3,000-7,000 points.
- Where Can Points Be Redeemed: Over 1,200 hotels and 10 brands in 100 countries, including The Westin, Sheraton, W Hotels, St Regis and Le Meridien. ITC hotels and The Park Hotels in India are part of the Starwood Preferred Guest program. Note that ITC also has a separate loyalty program in India called Club ITC and The Park Hotels has a separate loyalty program in India called Preferred at the Park. Points can also be redeemed through a wide range of partners including airlines.
- Terms and Conditions: Members need to show account activity at least once every 12 months to prevent points from expiring. Membership upgrades require 10 stays or 25 nights per year for Gold, and 25 stays or 50 nights for Platinum. There are no blackout dates for point redemption on standard rooms at hotels.
- Enrollment: Enroll online.
- Cost: Free.
- Website: Starwood Preferred Guest
3. Club ITC
ITC’s India-only Club ITC reward program combines “fine fashion and fine living”. Points are accrued via eligible spends at participating ITC hotels and Wills Lifestyle stores in India.
- Membership Levels: Silver, Gold and Platinum
- Points Earned: At the rate of 3%, 4% and 5% respectively for each membership level.
- Where Can Points Be Redeemed: Jet Airways, Air India, ITC hotels, Wills Lifestyle, John Players, Bose.
- Terms and Conditions: Each membership has a required eligible spend per year. You can upgrade your membership by meeting the level of required eligible spend of the level. (For Gold, this is 25,000 rupees at Wills Lifestyle, or 8 stays or 16 nights at an ITC hotel. For Platinum, this is this is 50,000 rupees at Wills Lifestyle, or 16 stays or 30 nights at an ITC hotel).
- Enrollment: To qualify for Silver membership, you’ll need to either stay a night at an ITC hotel or spend 7,500 rupees or more at a Wills Lifestyle store.
- Cost: Free.
- Website: Club ITC