The program is level-based, meaning user “level up” as they meet certain tiers of lifetime spend in the app. It was generally well received but maybe a little under ambitious – it maxed out at level 4 – which granted a user as much as 20% off in extra savings after spending a lifetime total of $5,000 in the app.
So today they are updating the program and expanding these four tiers to an infinite amount.
In the new program users get a discount off of base rates once they hit level 2 at $250 in lifetime spend, and that discount doubles at level 3 for $1k lifetime spend, triples at level 4 for $2k lifetime spend. and quadruples at level 8 for $6k in lifetime spend.
After hitting level 4 for $2k lifetime spend, you level up each $1,000 you spend. So level 5 would be $3k, level 6 would be $4k and so on. Unlike rewards programs for most airlines and hotels, your “status” never expires, making the program useful for both frequent and infrequent travelers.
You also get $30 in coupons each time you hit a new level (besides the main tiers that give you a percentage discount) which is essentially equal to 3% cash back.
The whole thing is little complicated, at least until you get to level 5 where it becomes a straight $1k spent per level increase. But HotelTonight said they adjusted the thresholds to match their booking patterns, and to ensure that more hotels opt in to offering the special Perks rates. Basically they had to readjust the levels to make sure certain levels didn’t have too many (or too few) users. Today about 50% of all hotels opt in, which should increase after today’s changes.
There’s one other cool feature coming with this upgrade, called Save for Later. This lets you use any discount on HotelTonight including GeoRate, Perks discounts, and the $30 coupons at a later date. So if the base rate tonight is $200 but your Perks status is giving you 5% off, you can choose to use the $10 discount when you book or save it for a future booking.
This should be popular among business customers, who would rather save their discounts for a personal booking and not use them on ones paid for by the company – just like most do with hotel and airline points. Sam Shank, founder and CEO of HotelTonight explained that in testing they also saw customers use the feature like a savings account – i.e., accumulating small discounts from each stay and saving them for a special trip.
The update launches today, and all accumulated spending transfers to the new program.