As a special benefit to its Level 2 members and above (those who book six nights or more every six months), PointsHound is beginning to roll out a special concierge service to improve the hotel check-in experience. Not every reservation will benefit, but hopefully the service will expand if the beta test performs well.
Eligible guests will receive an email alert shortly before their arrival at the hotel asking for information like their room preferences, loyalty program number, and any other comments that may be useful to ensure a great stay. A representative will then reach out to the hotel. The loyalty program number is key as some chains pre-block preferred rooms or even suites for elite members. If they don’t have that number, then there is not much they can do until arrival.
Contacting the hotel before arrival is, in general, one of the best ways to improve the service you receive. PointsHound can’t guarantee any special treatment, but they hope that this personalized touch will result in better accommodations for their best customers. They’ll then get back in touch with you, sending another email with your exact room number and the view or upgrade you can expect.
Don’t forget that PointsHound is already one of the best ways to book hotel rooms online, with bonus frequent flyer miles on every booking. Many hotels require that you use their own website in order to earn stay and night credit toward elite status, but PointsHound also offers special Double Up rates with most major chains like Starwood, Hilton, and Hyatt that award slightly fewer miles yet ensure you still earn hotel points and elite status. Even if you don’t book a Double Up rate, the new concierge service may still help you take advantage of existing elite benefits on your upcoming stay.
If you haven’t tried PointsHound yet, I happy to report that they’ve improved the user interface significantly. You no longer need to create an account or log in to search for hotels, so you can poke around without any obligation. They have pretty much the same inventory as you’ll find on Expedia or Orbitz with a low-price guarantee on Standard rates. When Double Up rates are available, I often find they include some discounted rates like AAA for the same price as you would find on the hotel website.
Altogether these are some very nice improvements to see in PointsHound’s service, which I first wrote about roughly one year ago. I’m looking forward to seeing new airline partners and hopefully some further improvements to the concierge service.
Disclosure: Sign up for PointsHound today using my link and you can earn 250 bonus miles after completing your first stay. I’ll earn some bonus miles, too.