The cost of hotel vouchers has increased by 10% across the board, with the smallest US$300 voucher now costing 3,299 points (previously: 3,000).
HoteLux devalues points by 10%
First, some quick context.
HoteLux runs its own rewards programme in parallel with those of hotels. For example, when I make a Marriott STARS booking through HoteLux, I’ll earn Marriott Bonvoy points, as well as HoteLux points.
HoteLux points are awarded the following rates:
- Guest: 1 point per US$10 spent
- Elite: 2 points per US$10 spent
- Elite Plus: 3 points per US$10 spent
Points can be redeemed for HoteLux vouchers or dining vouchers. The cost of the latter remains unchanged:
- Raffles Afternoon Tea for two (worthS$188): 2,988 points
- Colony Seafood Dinner for two (worth S$254): 3,288 points
However, the cost of HoteLux vouchers has increased by 10%, as shown in the table below:
|US$600 voucher||6,000||6,599 (+10%)|
|US$500 voucher||5,000||5,499 (+10%)|
|US$400 voucher||4,000||4,399 (+10%)|
|US$300 voucher||3,000||3,299 (+10%)|
Frankly speaking, points are very hard to use for HoteLux vouchers in the first place. That’s because you cannot use points for a partial offset. You can only use a voucher to cover a stay that costs less than the face value.
For example, I cannot apply a US$300 voucher towards a US$500 stay and cover the balance with my credit card. Instead, I must look for a hotel that costs US$300 or less, after taxes and service charges have been included. Any difference between the voucher value and actual cost is essentially wasted.
Until HoteLux allows vouchers to be used as partial payment, its main draw will be the convenience of app-based booking, rather than the points themselves.
What benefits do HoteLux bookings enjoy?
HoteLux allows members to book what’s known as “luxury privileges rates” from programmes such as:
These bookings price the same as the hotel’s best flexible rate (usually refundable up to 24-48 hours before check-in), and enjoy additional benefits such as:
- Daily breakfast for two
- Up to US$100 hotel dining or spa credit per stay
- Room upgrade (subject to availability)
- Early check-in & late check-out (subject to availability)
- Welcome amenities
In other words, you receive all the perks of elite membership, without actually needing to have it. There’s also third/fourth/fifth night free offers and bonus hotel credits from time to time, depending on the property.
Luxury privilege rates are eligible to earn hotel points and elite night credits, where applicable.
Complimentary HoteLux membership
|Download HoteLux app|
While a HoteLux membership starts from US$89 on paper, it’s quite easy to get a free membership through one of the following partners:
- DBS/POSB cards: 3-month Elite membership
- OCBC VOYAGE: 12-month Elite membership + 500 points
- OCBC Premier Visa Infinite, OCBC Premier, PPC and BOS VOYAGE: 12-month Elite Plus membership + 500 points
- World Mastercard: 12-month Elite membership + 1,000 points
- World Elite Mastercard: 12-month Elite Plus membership + 2,000 points
Remember: you don’t need the HoteLux app to book luxury privileges rates; there are many agents online who can do it for free. What HoteLux provides is the convenience of app-based booking (versus correspondence over email for most other agents), as well as instant confirmation and cancellation.
The cost of HoteLux vouchers has quietly increased by 10%, without any notice. That’s poor form, even if points weren’t the main draw of the HoteLux app.
At the end of the day, it’s very difficult to use HoteLux vouchers in the first place, and the current system inevitably entails some wastage (unless you can find a hotel whose nett price is US$300, 400, 500 or 600 on the dot). Therefore, I wouldn’t consider points to be a big draw of the HoteLux ecosystem- more the convenience of instant searching and booking.