Well, this will keep some travelers up at night!
CNN Money is reporting that a number of major hotel chains are getting stingier with their loyalty programs. Apparently, Hilton, Marriott and Starwood Hotels (which encompasses St. Regis, W Hotels, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points, Element and Loft Hotels) will be raising the minimum points needed for a nights stay in May.
So is it all bad news for point counters? No. Hilton will be adding fifth nights free for Elite Members; and recently Starwood starting partnering with Delta Airlines, so that members could earn points in the air as well as in bed.
The take away: You're going to have to be even more strategic than ever to make these loyalty programs work. So, look at what you're earning as compared to the price you're paying for a night's stay. It may make more sense, in the long run, to book a cheaper, non-loyalty hotel in many cases. Though that will depend on your travel patterns and the amount of time you spend on the road.