Earn 1,000 Points When Joining Sonesta Travel Pass

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Sonesta bulked up its hotel portfolio over the last few years, picking up a bunch of properties that used to be part of IHG, Marriott and more. They’re now offering 1,000 bonus points for joining their Travel Pass loyalty program.

Living room & downstairs bedroom at Sonesta ES Suites Tucson, AZ
Living room & downstairs bedroom at Sonesta ES Suites Tucson, AZ

The Deal

Key Terms

  • Expiry date unknown.

Quick Thoughts

When everything shut down mid-March 2020 in the early days of the pandemic, my wife and I holed up for a few weeks at what was then a Candlewood Suites (part of IHG) in Albuquerque, NM. When returning to Albuquerque a year later, I looked into booking another stay there and noticed that it’s now a Sonesta Simply Suites.

A year later, we spent some time in Tucson, AZ and stayed at the Sonesta ES Suites there. It was formerly a Residence Inn (part of Marriott), with its layout being very similar to a Residence Inn we’d stayed at in Connecticut back in 2019.

All this to say that it’s much more common to come across properties in the US that are part of Sonesta nowadays due to all the hotels that joined them over the last few years. They now have more than 250 hotels in the US across more than 35 states.

Now could be a good time to join their Travel Pass loyalty program as they’re offering 1,000 bonus points for joining. Award nights start at 10,000 points and they helpfully have an award chart which makes it much easier to see what redemptions are like and where they have a presence.

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Czar

There is also a Amex offer for sonesta. Spend $300 and get $60 back through 4/30/23

Christian Bohyn

I used the direct link and signed up, but no 1,000 points were posted. Maybe with some patience, they will post?

Pam

Took a day for my friend

Vince

Historically have had an easy status match

stvr

I question whether this program is lucrative enough to compensate for its smallness, as should be the case but inevitably may not be.

Pam

Lots of great properties but hard to accumulate enough points for their better redemptions (Kauai, St Maarten, Austin) without their BOA credit card. Be aware Sonesta points expire if no activity in 24 months.

Repeat offender captain greg

I think the sonesta card might actually be a sneaky value for the places you mention. It’s like 1.5-2 cents per point. The no activity thing isn’t an issue if you get the card. I’d have to do the math, but it’s tempting to get the card and do the $7.5k spend for 30k points each year and redeem them for a week on Kauai or St. Martin in a few years.

Pam

Sonesta points are worth about .0075, so the 30k anniv point bonus alone is worth $225 (on a $75 AF).

We have had 2 cards for almost 3 yrs now. No AFs the first year; 2nd anniv year BOA offered a $100 statement credit on $7,500 spend (and as you note is the min to earn the 30k points!); 3x bonus points this past Nov during the BOA Sat special (did both our $7,500 annual spend that day for an extra 45k points), We have come out way ahead of the AF & had some great stays with nice Elite perks.

Yes you are correct about the credit card extending the point expiration, assuming you do the spend for the anniv points. I was referring to ppl signing up for this post’s 1,000 bonus points for joining the lp – they will expire in 24 months without stays/spend.

Ben

Do they have any luxury properties?

Pam

Royal Sonesta is their upscale brand

Czar

Yes. Royal sonesta

Repeat Offender Captain Greg

Good to hear this positive review. I’ve long wanted to find a decent place on St. Martin because I’d love to do a split vacation between there and Saba (St. Martin is one of only two locations that flies to Saba), but major chains are scarce on St. Martin. The only Marriott is a rebuilt Westin into a JW that’s supposed to open in a year, but who knows how many points that will be? Then there are two Hilton vacation clubs that are TERRIBLE points values (like 0.2-0.25 cents per point). Knowing that I’d get great value out of the Sonesta property makes the credit card very tempting. It looks like there are actually 2 Sonesta properties on St. Martin at the same address with different price points. I wonder what’s up with that….

Repeat Offender Captain Greg

It looks like Ocean Pointe might be suites only and adults only, which seems a little counter intuitive to me. It might be that the two properties are separate but on the same plot of land.

Pam

Correct – the adjacent Sonesta Maho Beach Resort is for families (although also where the casino is, go figure!).

Ocean Pointe guests also have access to MB’s entire prop (4 addtl restaurants & bars), but MB cannot use all of the OP since it is adult only. The sig Azul restaurant at the OP, for example, can only be used by OP guests. The OP Jr Suite is bookable with 50k points but also upgradable to a full suite with Elite status. The prop is all-inclusive and rebuilt after Irma.

OP/MB are on the Dutch/south side of Sint Maarten, the airport is minutes away. Secrets is AI & now bookable w only 21k Hyatt points. It is on the French/north side of St Martin where you can catch a ferry from Marigot to Saba, Anguilla, or St Barths. Scrub Island is also close, Westin is bookable with Marriott points.

Repeat Offender Captain Greg

Whoa, I did not realize Secrets was bookable with Hyatt points. I don’t know how I missed it. That’s a great value! I wish it wasn’t adults only because I’d love to take my family on the two island trip – especially for the hiking and diving on Saba – but that value seems so good that I might find a way for P2 and I to sneak away on our own. Thanks for the tip! I also appreciate the note about the ferry, but I’d only want to do it in a pinch. It’s basically an open ocean crossing that can be a miserable experience for anyone prone to seasickness.

Pam

The 2 Wyndham props are family friendly & bookable with WRs. Port de Plaisance Resort is Trademark Collection (one of their higher-end brands). The other is a Ramada.

Repeat Offender Captain Greg

A few friendly counters to your points….

-I don’t really think of the 30k points as an anniversary bonus as much getting 5x for exactly $7.5k annual spend. I could get the same result for Hyatt from fee-free visa gift cards at staples and spend as little or as much as I want (up to $25k). Yes, doing the spend on a credit card is much less of a hassle than doing the VGC thing, but it would also save $75/year and hyatt points are more valuable. Now, if the BOA Saturday special is an annual event, that might tip the scales. I’d be interested to hear what you put $15k toward on one specific day…

-It looks like Hilton gold status will match to Sonesta’s top status, so anyone who already has a (none-fee-free) Hilton card or a platinum card wouldn’t gain any advantage from the status of the card.

For me, in terms of it being a long-term keeper card, it really comes down to if it is worth $75 to be allowed to spend $7500 for the 30k anniversary bonus. It’s close. On the one hand, I would gladly pay $75 to get 5x Hyatt points through $7500 in credit card spend and avoid the whole VGC/staples thing, but Hyatt points are more valuable. I think it’s worth it to me if I could reliably count on the 3x event every year and know that I could do the full spend on that day.

Last edited 1 month ago by Repeat Offender Captain Greg
Pam

I own a business, so I also accumulate plenty of points via spend with all the other chains (along with the CIC gc deals). I am always on the lookout for niche programs with unique inventory. Omni Select Guest is another loyalty program I really enjoy, for ex.

Sonesta has no point transfer partners is why I have 2 cards – for the annual points which are very generous. I don’t like paying cash for hotel stays, so status (outside the card) does me no good if I don’t have the points available to book a stay. And since I don’t spend cash on stays to accumulate points, their card is really my only avenue. Sonesta’s point redemption value is excellent towards higher-end stays so I also don’t erase with my C1VX or use 2x on my Citi Dbl Cash to accumulate enough cash to pay.

I look at the card spend differently than you do as a free hotel night with only $7,500 spend v $15,000 with Hyatt (or Hilton), along with an annual fee that is $20 less (but I also do those as well for their own unique properties).

Bottom line is the redemptions have to be worth any of it, and I have had experiences I will definitely repeat with Sonesta stays. It’s certainly not my one-and-only program but one that is a worthwhile international program for me. If I was going to invest all my spend into one program, though, I would go all-in on Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Repeat Offender Captain Greg

Thanks for this. All good points. I’m kind of thinking that I might take the 1000 points for myself and P2 now and then try to sign up for the cards down the line. I agree that the redemption value is there for those higher end properties. What Sonesta stays would you repeat?

Pam

It was the dramatic photos of Ocean Pointe that first captured my own interest. I wanted a stopover from St Barths and as the island really isn’t all that impressive as a whole, I think, it was our best choice.

Clift Royal in SF has great views right off Union Square, free night bookable with the 30k anniv bonus. The Royal Sonesta NO has been a fixture in the French Quarter for decades. Now redone, also bookable with the 30k anniv bonus. Cannot beat the location. The Sonesta Bee Cave just outside Austin in the beautiful hill country is a lovely new(ish) prop with wonderful sunset views, 25k. The Stephen F Austin Royal downtown Austin is a prev IC, 30k. If we just need a room somewhere, 3 nights at a lower level prop can be had witb the anniv bonus. I don’t know of another hotel program that compares to that degree of usefulness and no dynamic pricing! Wyndham would probs be the closest.

You might consider applying sooner than later if you are wanting to redeem points at the 50k/nt Ocean Pointe. It took us a full year between the 2, 95k SUBs and 2, 30k anniv bonuses to earn enough points for 5 nights. An amazing value for a total $17k spend considering the prop is AI and the suites go for anywhere from $500 – $1k/nt. The closest I ever got to that level was the WOH card 4-nights at Miraval (2 cards) SUB with $18k spend, 5 or so years ago!

Stookey

I’ve seen several properties in my area which have moved from one of the major chains to Sonesta. It remains to be seen if franchise standards will be in place to ensure the quality of these newly branded hotels. Most are “budget friendly” and likely didn’t fit well in the portfolio of the hotel groups they left. I suppose if I were an owner, I’d sooner take my chances with a new upstart than shifting to Choice or Best Western. Nothing wrong with a cheap stay, but it does seem that there should be a baseline of badness which owners should not be able to drop below.