La Quinta Returns, the loyalty program of La Quinta Inns & Suites, isn’t the most lucrative – or rewarding – of hotel loyalty schemes. However, there are a few reasons to pay attention to earning points with them.
The first is that Wyndham Worldwide announced in January that they’d be buying La Quinta for almost $2 billion. That deal’s due to close in the next few months, so there’s a good chance that La Quinta Returns points will be converted to Wyndham Rewards at some point. Wyndham Rewards has some sweet spots and occasional great deals (as Nick discovered), so it’s good to have a stash of them on hand (as I now have.)
Secondly, they’re pet-friendly and charge no pet fee. That’s especially helpful if you’re traveling with your dog and need somewhere to stay for one night seeing as some brands charge a $100+ pet fee regardless of length of stay.
Thirdly, they’re the only chain I’ve come across that consistently gives AAA and AARP discounts that cost less than their cheapest Advance Purchase rates.
There are currently several La Quinta Returns promotions running. Some of them are offering free points while another’s giving triple points for stays at certain properties. There’s the chance to earn 4,000 bonus points after four nights or 1,000 Amtrak Guest Rewards for a one night stay.
Here’s a list of all their current promotions that I’m aware of:
1) 1,500 Free Points
The Deal – Enroll in Redeem Away! by linking your Visa card and phone number to your La Quinta Rewards account and earn 1,500 points.
2) 100 Free Points
The Deal – Download and log in to the La Quinta Returns app by December 31, 2018 and earn 100 points.
Quick Thoughts – I did this just now and it only took me a few seconds to do. I’m assuming you can delete the app immediately after logging in and still receive the bonus points, but I’ll probably leave it on my phone until the points are credited. It apparently takes up to 72 hours for the points to hit your account.
3) Up To 4,000 Bonus Points
The Deal – Between March 1, 2018 and April 30, 2018, earn 1,000 points for one night, 2,000 points for two nights and 4,000 points for four nights.
Quick Thoughts – There’s no link to register, so this promotion appears to be automatically credited to La Quinta Returns members.
One thing I’m not entirely certain about is if these are bonus points on top of your base points, or if you’ll receive additional points on your base points to reach the 1,000 / 2,000 / 4,000 threshold.
For example, let’s say you paid $75 for a one night stay and so earned 750 base points (as you get 10 points per dollar.) In the first scenario, you’d end up with 1,750 points (your original 750 points and the 1,000 bonus). In the second scenario, you’d only earn 1,000 points (750 base points plus 250 bonus points to take you to the 1,000 points threshold.)
Have any of you had La Quinta stays during this promotion and can advise how it’s calculated?
4) Double Or Triple Points On Stays At Select Locations
The Deal – Stay at select hotels between March 12, 2018 and April 5, 2018 and earn double or triple points.
Quick Thoughts – There are 24 properties offering triple points and 91 offering double points. You earn 10 base points per dollar spent at La Quinta Inn & Suites, so a $75 pre-tax rate at a triple points property would earn you 2,250 points per night.
Depending on how the bonus points for the 4,000 point deal listed above are awarded, you might be able to earn double or triple points and 1,000 / 2,000 / 4,000 bonus points, depending on how many nights you stay.
Again, do any of you know if these promotions stack with each other?
5) 1,000 Amtrak Guest Rewards Per Stay
The Deal – Earn 4x Amtrak Guest Rewards (i.e. 1,000 points) when you stay at La Quinta through June 30, 2018. When checking in, mention that you want to earn Amtrak Guest Rewards rather than La Quinta Returns points and give both member numbers. Direct link to further details about the offer.
Quick Thoughts – We wrote about this offer a few weeks ago, but the promotion’s running for another three months. The Frequent Miler Reasonable Redemption Value for Amtrak Guest Rewards points is 2.9 cents per point (cpp), making 1,000 points worth $29. That’s not a great return if you’re booking a lengthy La Quinta stay, but it’s a decent return for a cheap one night stay.
6) 600 Southwest Rapid Rewards Per Stay
The Deal – Earn 600 Rapid Rewards points when you stay at any La Quinta property. When checking in, advise that you want to earn Rapid Rewards points rather than La Quinta Returns Points and provide both member numbers. Direct link to further details about the offer.
Quick Thoughts – This appears to be the standard number of Rapid Rewards bonus points awarded per stay. I figured it’s worth noting this Southwest offer though as you only earn 250 miles with most of their other airline partners.
As with the Amtrak offer, it’s not worth crediting to Southwest if you have a longer stay booked. However, it might make sense to credit a short, cheap stay to your Rapid Rewards account, especially if you don’t expect to stay at La Quinta properties in the future and so wouldn’t benefit from earning La Quinta Returns points. One downside is that these Rapid Rewards points don’t count towards earning the Companion Pass.
7) 750 Frontier Early Returns Per Stay
The Deal – Earn 750 Frontier Early Returns points per stay through June 30, 2018. When checking in, advise that you want to earn Early Returns points rather than La Quinta Returns Points and provide both member numbers. Direct link to further details about the offer.
Quick Thoughts – I’ve never flown Frontier and have never investigated their loyalty scheme. However, the Frequent Miler Reasonable Redemption Value for Frontier Early Returns is 1.02 cpp, making 750 points worth $7.65.
That’s certainly not a stunning return, but it might be worth it if you’re a frequent flyer on Frontier and have a cheap stay at La Quinta.
8) Save Up To 25% When Purchasing La Quinta Returns Points
The Deal – Between March 12, 2018 and April 20, 2018, buy La Quinta Returns points and save.
- 5,000-9,000 points – Save 15%
- 10,000-24,000 points – Save 20%
- 25,000-35,000 points – Save 25%
Quick Thoughts – For the most part, this deal’s not worth it, although there are some potential deals. La Quinta Returns award nights cost from 6,000 points per night for category 1 properties up to 24,000 points per night for category 6 properties (their highest tier).
Buying 30,000 points in this promotion would cost you $270. That could get you five nights in a category 1 property at an average cost of $54 per night. That’s not terrible, but I doubt a category 1 property would cost that much more in cash. At least when paying cash, you’re also earning points. Having said that, you don’t pay tax on award stays, so the amount saved would be higher than $54.
If you did buy their points, the best value will be gained by staying at lower category La Quinta properties with high cash rates. A good example of this is San Diego from July 19-22 during Comic-Con.
The La Quinta San Diego Old Town/Airport is a ten minute drive (in theory) from the Convention Center. During Comic-Con, it has a nightly rate of $369 which increases to $415.84 when including taxes.
The great thing is that the La Quinta San Diego Old Town/Airport is a category 4 property. That means it costs 15,000 points per night, so buying 30,000 points would get you two award nights.
As mentioned earlier, those 30,000 points would cost you $270, whereas the cash rate for two nights at this hotel during Comic-Con would be $831.68, saving you $561.68.
This is obviously an extreme example, but it shows potential for some good value when buying their points.
What are your thoughts on the La Quinta Returns program? Are you aware of any other promotions or sweet spots that people should be aware of? Do you know if the double / triple points promo stacks with the 1,000 / 2,000 / 4,000 points promo? Let us know in the comments below.