Quick Rewards: Signup Bonuses for Travel Programs
Make your next trip more enjoyable with free perks that are available just for signing up for a loyalty reward program!
Airlines were some of the first companies to enter the loyalty space by awarding “Frequent Flyer Miles” to their passengers. They understood that loyalty to their airline meant more profit, so they set out to make these programs attractive enough to retain the business of the most frequent fliers.
Today, the business practice of retaining customers with loyalty rewards has caused an explosion in the number of companies with loyalty programs. It is also easier than ever to comparison shop for the best price, flight schedule, and airport location. Knowing this, companies have added great perks to entice customers to choose them over the competition.
Even if you are not a very frequent traveler, there are loyalty programs that start you off with an incentive to try their company. Take advantage of these immediate rewards by signing up before you book your next trip and find deals and bonuses on hotel rooms, car rides, car rentals, and even flights!
Travel Programs with Loyalty Signup Perks
Loyalty reward perks have been organized below by type of travel for your convenience.
Hotels & Lodging Bonuses
Even if you are not a frequent traveler, it is worthwhile to sign up for hotel loyalty programs that provide benefits immediately. Some hotel perks start even before you have a qualifying night stay (get free wi-fi code from the front desk when in the lobby, at hotel restaurants, etc.)!
Most of the major hotel brands have been consolidated into a handful of hotel ownership groups, so joining one program will provide benefits at multiple hotel brands. Enjoy your next trip even more with perks like free wi-fi, late checkout, and free welcome amenities at your favorite hotels!
- Best Western brands (includes brands Glo, SureStay + more)
- Early check-in (subject to availability)
- Late check-out (subject to availability)
- Choice Hotels brands (includes brands Comfort Inn, Sleep Inn, Quality Inn, Clarion, Econolodge, Rodeway Inn + more)
- Choose an “extra” perk for all weeknight stays (Sun – Thu nights) from: 400 Choice Privileges points, 100 airline miles, $0.20/gallon in Fuel Rewards, $2.50 Amazon credit, $5 coffee card, or $2.50 Uber trip discount
- Hard Rock:
- Free welcome amenity
- Late checkout (based on availability)
- Hilton (includes brands DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites + more)
- Free wi-fi
- Check-in, check-out, choose your room, and unlock your door with the Hilton App
- Free standard internet
- Free breakfast at participating Hyatt Place hotels
- IHG (includes brands Holiday Inn, Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites, Crowne Plaza + more)
- Free internet
- 1 Free Amazon Kindle eBook Biannually (US and UK members)
- $30 In-Room Spa Credit (only at Kimpton hotels)
- Marriott (includes brands Sheraton, Westin, Springhill Suites, Residence Inn, W Hotels, Ritz Carlton + more)
- Free in-room internet
- Use mobile key
- Radisson (includes brands Country Inn & Suites, Park Inn + more)
- 5% discount at participating hotel restaurants
- 2 complimentary bottles of water with every stay
- Red Roof Inn:
- Complimentary bottled water every night during your stay
- Up to 20% off our best available rate when you book up to two days in advance with Advance Purchase
- $2 discount on Premium Rooms AND 500 bonus points for each paid stay in a Premium Room
- Guaranteed 8 PM check-in**
- Members-only information/reservation line
- Wyndham (includes brands La Quinta, Ramada, Days Inn, Super 8, Howard Johnson, Travelodge + more)
- Free wi-fi
NOTE: the program benefits above are available when you book a “qualifying night”, which is typically for nights booked via the hotel’s own website or 800-number. You are unlikely to receive loyalty program perks when staying on super-discounted room rates that were booked through discount sites including Expedia, hotwire, Priceline, kayak, Orbitz, and other online travel agents (these discounters may have their own loyalty programs where you can earn free stays).
Enjoy discounts and time-saving amenities when renting autos with your loyalty membership at these companies:
- Alamo: 5% discount on standard retail rates
- Avis: Earn 100 bonus points when you opt in to Avis Preferred Points and rent once within three months
- Budget: Fastbreak members can register to earn $25 in Budget Bucks (now through December 31st, rent twice, and we’ll email you $25 in Budget Bucks) plus earn up to 52 coupons each year – that’s over $1,000 towards future rentals!
- Dollar: Skip the counter and go straight to the lot plus free Authorized Additional Driver (Spouse or domestic partner)
- Enterprise: members-only check-in at select locations
- Hertz: skip the counter for pick up and drop off
- National Car: choice of cars from Emerald Aisle, no second driver fees, faster checkout
- Thrifty: Skip the counter and go straight to the lot, free Authorized Additional Driver (Spouse or domestic partner), skip the line & priority counter service at select locations
Car Rides via Smartphone Apps
New members can take advantage of signup bonuses/discounts on their first rides with these discount incentives:
- Lyft: up to $25 off your first rides for new riders
- Uber: up to $25 off your first rides for new riders
Large cities are starting to offer services that provide short-term rentals / shared car ownership. There are many programs and they all operate differently, so you will need to do some research to find the best one to suit your needs. Fortunately, there are incentives while you familiarize yourself with Zipcar:
- Zipcar (shared car ownership program): join free for 30 days in participating cities (Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, Providence, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington DC), until 9/30/19. Valid for first-time members only or past Zipcar members whose account expired on or before 12/31/18. Not valid with any other offers. University and Zipcar for Business Rate Plans do not qualify for this offer.
- Amtrak: join Amtrak Guest Rewards and receive 500 bonus points when you travel within 90 days of enrollment
While most frequent flier programs provide the most benefit to those who actually do make frequent trips, there are a couple that will be worth the signup just to get some basic perks. All frequent flier programs allow you to earn free trips with your travel, but the programs below offer perks from Day 1 (before you have acquired miles).
- Alaska Air: Club 49 Mileage Plan (Alaska residents only)
- 2 free checked bags
- 2 “Travel Now” discounts per year
- Discounts on freight shipping
- British Airways: Executive Club
- free seat selection 24 hours before departure (not including travel on basic fare)
- stored preferences for seating and meals
- App for easy communicating with airline
In addition to these offers that are available to everyone, there are additional perks for certain groups of people. Check the separate posts for discounts and perks for traveling Students, Seniors, and Military Veterans.
While you travel, make sure to get the most out of your trip with handy travel accessories like these!
Your offers are really tempting, especially for air travel. I like the fact that I don’t have to be a regular customer and I will still have good benefits and discounts. This is very interesting and that is why I will recommend it to my friend who is constantly traveling by plane.
Thanks so much for sharing!
very nice post
Thanks for the feedback Jack!
thanks for sharing really this is very useful please keep on update.
Hi William! Thanks for the feedback!!
Wow thank you for your effort in compiling this list! You really listed many different areas in travel (eg hotel, airline, transport etc), the companies associated with them and the perks for using their service. However, for someone who travels at most once or twice a year, it would be a waste for me to sign up for those with loyalty points/perks as I don’t travel frequent enough. I should look at those that offer incentives for new sign ups instead.
One helpful area in this post is the list of car rentals. I like to drive when travelling abroad, so your list would really be of a great help in choosing the company that benefits me the most!
Hi Idris, although you don’t travel very frequently, you may be surprised at the perks that you could qualify for by joining the loyalty program. They are not all super-amazing, but hopefully this article helped you to spot a few gems that would be worth your time to sign up!
hey there, I always found that even though I travel a lot that the rewards just never seem to add up to anything worthwhile , but reading this article I am determined to make sure I now make the most of any and all rewards on offer. I just need to get organised and this post has given me both some ideas and also the inspiration to make the most of them
Hi Paul, It can be frustrating to have to wait for the rewards to accumulate when you are ready to travel NOW… but fortunately many of the loyalty programs have started adding extra ways to spend your points / miles for things like upgrades, gift certificates, magazine subscriptions, and more.
I’m amazed at the free perks available in the travel industry just for signing up. In the 1980’s and 90’s I travelled a lot for business. The best deal we ever got was from TWA. For only 50k miles we got 1st Class upgrades. We qualified for the Gold Card that provides us with Business Class upgrades if Space was available without using miles. We were very disappointed when TWA was acquired by American Airlines as these perks went away. The miles needed for 1st Class upgrades rose to 100k.
The latest loyalty program we like immensely is from Cunard. After our first cruise we now qualify for free stateroom upgrades and spending credits. We are now Gold class guests and get invited to special parties on board.
I like the idea of perks just for joining loyalty programs. Do these companies publicize them? Would they offer them when signing up or would you have to know about them and ask.
You’ve provided a comprehensive list that will come in very handy.
Hi Edwin, Each company is a little different, but generally they do try to “push” their programs to their customers because in the end, the loyalty programs will have a net positive effect on their bottom line.
Discount and bonuses are really nice things most people look out for whenever they are making any kind of payment of monetary exchange because it drops at least, so change into their pockets. I’ll take time to go over these offers again because I’ve seen a couple of ones I make us work a lot like the hotel and travel agencies. It’s so thoughtful of you to share.
If you are a frequent business traveler, you can definitely score some nice perks through travel loyalty programs. I do hope you found some new travel programs you would like to join!
Great post you have got here and I really appreciate it a lot. Just look at what you have shared here. It is not totally bad getting to have the quick rewards bonuses from a company as part of the travel bonuses and it can really be benfitcial to the journey and as such, would improve more patronages from one and also to recommend to friends. Though I do not know about most of these before but then, I just learnt well about them and I will ry to make good use of them all. Thumbs up to you for sharing
I hope you have some great trips in your future Bella!
Thank you for your post. I am travel lover and like to have tours around the world. Your article on signup bonuses is really helping me to save money for my trips.
It is amazing that for any kind of travels there there are signup bonus program. Right now when I book my traveling, I search through internet and in most cases I end up the websites such as Expedia, Priceline, and Kayak et al. I found that I could not claim the loyalty program perks. I don’t know if you have ways to enjoy the both benefits?
It is kind of you sharing this useful information with us.
Unfortunately the travel loyalty programs can make it difficult to “double-dip” and enjoy multiple offers at the same time. You may find a great low price on expedia, but it will not include access to loyalty program perks that you get when you book directly with the provider. It’s a tradeoff that can take you for a negative surprise if you don’t fully understand the rules of these programs.
This is also very useful, because I plan to have more traveling around the world next few years. Signing up for their loyalty programs will help me to save some features. I think I will start by signing up for Uber and Lyft. They will come into handy for local transportation. Thanks for the information
Definitely sign up early for the programs and spend some time to understand what kind of value they offer (some are more business focused while others cater to a leisure market).
I love making judicious use of every good chance I get at making some pennies into my pocket, so this sign up rewards bonuses is a good idea, I travel a lot and it’s something I can take advantage of since it operates in some hotels too. Everyone loves discount to be sincere so this will actually be of help, I’ve learned a new thing today, thanks to you.
Wonderful — I hope that you can start enjoying your trips just a little bit more with these great perks from travel program rewards!
I am big fan of the loyalty programs, in fact I’m part of the red roof inn and hyatt programs. This was brilliant because they know that people with cost the company that they have points already for than a new company if they are close in price. I never even thought about car rental companies since I don’t use those as often but I will keep that in mind next time I’m looking for a rental. Thank you for the information!
You are most welcome!!
It is a big dream of every potential customer to be offered the free gift that they can get the best out of. Seeing g all of these here is really great at least. The hotels you have talked about is right on. You cannot expect to be just ordinary in the service that one gets especially as bonuses for the travels. When it is centered towards customer satisfaction then it must be. Quick reqrds sign up bonuses however can be a blessing or a curse depending on the needs of the customers
We all enjoy upgrades and little extras when we travel — hopefully this list can help point you to ways to get these little bonuses!
Loyalty programs have been both a blessing and a pain for me. The blessing is in the perks but the pain is determining which ones to focus on and so forth.
I understand the whole loyalty thing but, for me, price plays a factor too. That leads to more pain in the form of “we’re sorry sir, but you didn’t book directly through us so this stay doesn’t qualify”, etc. Still, some of the discount sites to offer loyalty programs of their own so I just have to sit down and weed through it all to see what ends up giving me the best bang for my buck, so-to-speak.
All that said, I really do appreciate the list you’ve provided here. It gives me a lot to work with and will help me to narrow down my options.
Thank you so much,
Hi Scott, You are right, there are many things to consider when you book your travel. You can sometimes find a lower price when booking travel from discount sites — especially those that sell “opaque” discounts (where you don’t know the company / location that you’ll get until you have paid and recieved a confirmation). However, you will sacrifice some of the perks of loyalty programs when you choose the most discounted rates.
I’m happy to have helped you figure out whether or not the discounts are worth forgoing the loyalty rewards. It’s not always an easy choice!
Great article,all what you said about hotels are right and additional benefits make customers to consistently use your service and even advertise for others,customers would now turn to your marketer through the value you provided.Those free facilities provided goes a long way persuading people to choose a particular service amidst others. Quick reward makes more sales actually and also gives customers satisfaction.Thanks for sharing this article
My husband and I are avid road trippers. I love your article on travel program bonuses. We are currently Hilton Honor members we just love their hotel portfolio, its so amazing but I didn’t know you can open the door from the Hilton app. Technology today is so wonderful and I really appreciate your article We are always on the lookout for ways to save when traveling!
Hi Andria, That is a cool feature that actually saves time as well. Plus, no more fumbling to find a place for the key when you’re traveling!
I have found, generally speaking, that if you book a room via the hotel website, that more often than not, the price is competitive with Expedia, etc.. I have the Choice Hotel app on my phone, and when you factor in the rewards and the ease of booking and check in, I’ll book through the app even if it cost 10 bucks more once in awhile. I rarely fly though, I prefer to keep my feet on the ground, when possible.
Hi Troy, you are right about that pricing, as most hotels offer a “low price guarantee” when you book directly through them. You can often find some slightly lower prices when purchasing “opaque” rooms from online travel agents like Priceline — this is when you make a reservation without knowing which hotel you will be staying at — but often the loyalty perks (like late checkout) will make it worthwhile to book the “qualifying night” directly from the hotel.
Thanks for sharing!
Warm Regards, Alyce
I think I made a mistake a few years ago when I got a timeshare. They made it seem like I couldn’t live without it and we had to sue them to get rid of it. I’m not going to lie, the vacation spots and rooms our time share provided were amazing, but it was just too much.
I’ve been looking for something to compensate and your article might be just what I need. Loyalty programs are a great thing and I try to use them as much as I can, it’s like throwing money away if you don’t take advantage!
Hi Ibrahim, sorry to hear that your timeshare experience wasn’t great. My vacation habits are usually spontaneous adventures (rarely spending more than a few days in the same place), so I’ve never felt compelled to invest that way. I have enjoyed the benefits and perks of hotel loyalty programs though!
I also personally signed up for the IHG credit card, which previously gave cardholders their platinum status and a free night each year. The credit card program has changed a bit this year, but it continues to be a great value for my family. But even without elite status, it’s good to at least get a few perks with your membership.
Warm Regards, Alyce
Being a traveler your post means a lot to me and thanks a lot for the helpful and insightful article.
Nowadays all the posts and ads are trying to make money from our pocket but your post is helping us to save money which is amazing. Thanks a lot for sharing these details, your article is saving people time, trouble, money, and effort.
I will plan my next trip by having this article next to me.
I am bookmarking your article for future reference and I am going to share your article with my friends and I believe they are going to find great value from your article.
Information Is Wealth!
Thanks Paul, I do hope to help people get the highest value possible where they spend their time and money. I truly appreciate you sharing this post / site with your friends and family!!
Wishing you all the best, Alyce
I love reward options. I figure if you are going to buy something anyway, you may as well get something else for it. Having all the reward options laid out in your post, was fabulous, as it really gave me all the choices for hotels that I never even knew about. I am taking a trip this summer, so now I am going to make sure that I check out some of your choices. Really a great post. Thank you
Thanks Coralie! I hope you have a wonderful trip!!
Warm Regards, Alyce
Hi! Wao! Thank you for putting together all this information. This is definitely worth sharing with friends. I have already bookmarked this post.
I have signed up in the past to a couple of them (Lyft and Uber). And I have heard that in car rental, Alamo is quite cool! But there are so many other programs I can take advantage of. Thank you very much!
Hi Henry, I’m happy to hear that you may be able to benefit from the list! Safe travels!!
Warm Regards, Alyce