Is picking hotels based on points a risky move?
37% of Australian business travellers say points matter more than safety.
A recent survey highlights just how addicted Australian business travellers are to earning rewards points.
Given a choice between earning points and personal safety when selecting a hotel, 37% of Australians said points would prevail, according to the study commissioned by Carlson Wagonlit Travel.
That's close to the global average (30%) but not quite as high as Sweden, where 51% said points were the top consideration.
Of course, unless you've deliberately chosen a hotel that rents rooms by the hour or features a picture of a junkie as its logo, the safety risks of staying in the kind of hotel that offers a points scheme are fairly low.
And it's also worth remembering that while the loyalty points are welcome, the extra service that you get for being a repeat hotel customer are also a big part of the equation when it comes to making the choice.
I like knowing that I'll usually get a room upgrade, and that I'll always get a complimentary drink and a late check-out if I need one. As a result, I'll generally choose to stay with one of the chains where I have status if I have the option. If I don't, I'll try and use Hotels.com as my backup rewards plan.
Points are a welcome addition, but they're not the key consideration, and they're not in an either/or battle with safety issues. If I want to bulk up on points, credit card bonuses remain the most lucrative points-earning option.
That aside, just what are the safety risks that might be involved? Dodgy locations aside, potential problems canvassed in the survey include an intruder breaking into your room, your key being given out to a stranger, disruptive fellow guests or (and this seems extreme) terrorist actions.
Those scenarios aren't impossible, but they are unlikely. I do recall staying in a hotel in the US some years ago where the desk staff somehow managed to check someone else into my room after an early arrival. It was rather surprising to be woken at 6am, but quite possibly more for the person coming into the room than for me.
Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears regularly on finder.com.au.