The Stash redemption model: part 2 – no rate categories

It’s no secret; at Stash we do things a little differently. For travelers and hoteliers used to the chain programs, our unique redemption model generates some head-scratches at first, but once they get it, they’re hooked. In this two-part series, we look at the ways Stash does it better (in our humble opinion).

Difference Maker #2: No Rate Categories

Doors open when you throw convention out the window.   Hotel Lucia | Portland, OR
Doors open when you throw convention out the window. Hotel Lucia | Portland, OR

The Chain Way: The major chain programs place their properties in categories and assign a standard redemption value for each category. For example, a “Category 7” hotel at Marriott requires 35,000 points for redemption, regardless of occupancy and other supply and demand factors. High season, low season, doesn’t matter – 35,000 points.

Chains are founded on the principal of consistency. While predictable redemption rates may be easy to understand, they aren’t necessarily good for travelers. The category system is subject to seismic shifts from program administrators. With fixed redemption rates, hotel properties often move to a higher rate category to make up for lost redemption revenue they could have earned during periods of high demand. What was once a category 5 hotel, may suddenly become a category 6. This results in overall higher redemption rates for travelers, even when the hotels have lots of rooms available. Just this year, Marriott, Hyatt and Hilton made significant changes to their categories, effectively devaluing their currency and their members’ stockpile of points.

The Stash Way:  At Stash, we let each partner hotel set their redemption rates based on supply and demand in their market, just as they do for all their rates.  When rates are low, you use fewer Stash points to book a room. When rates are high, you use a bit more. Even in high season, Stash partners typically provide discounted redemption rates; they are eager to get frequent travelers and loyal Stash members to their hotel, with the hope that you’ll keep coming back. Plus, because we pay hoteliers the full rate + tax, they have even more incentive to hook Stash members up with awesome redemption rates.

Take a peek at some sample redemption rates* from chain hotels and Stash partners.

Photo: flickr | iceman9294


Photo: Dauphine Orleans
Photo: flickr | nathanpirtz
Photo: flickr | nathanpirtz

Why we do it?
We’re hell-bent on being the friendliest loyalty program for travelers and hoteliers. We believe that Stash points are valuable, and we want to preserve that. That’s why our points are not tied to categories, but to actual market supply and demand. As a program, we don’t systematically devalue the points you’ve earned by manipulating redemption rates. We might not be as predictable as the chains, but we’re okay with that.

Check out more Stash redemption rates to see where points can take you.

See also: The Stash Redemption Model: Part 1 – Show Me the Money

*Examples for illustration purposes only based on of Stash points needed to earn a free night at identified hotels at the listed dates. Rates pulled on 5/15/14. The actual number of points needed is subject to change based on a number of factors, including seasonality & occupancy rate.

Marriott Rewards, and Hilton HHonors redemption rates are current as of 5/15/14. Rates are subject to change and availability. 

One thought on “The Stash redemption model: part 2 – no rate categories

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