Elite 101 – Test Your Knowledge of the Elite Program!
Many Elite members are not aware of some of these program standards and rules. Test yourself to make sure you are getting the most out of your privileges and understand how to use your benefits.
Pre-Check in and Check in
- Are my Elite benefits guaranteed in my contract? The Elite Program is a Loyalty Program based on points usage, much like an airline’s Frequent Flyer program. As such, members should view the program’s benefits as rewards for their continued membership allegiance. However, Elite benefits are subject to change, and points purchased or membership upgrades should only be done with the basic membership rights as your primary motivator. Your underlying membership is what is most valuable – the Elite Benefits are just the cherries on your membership sundae.
- Resortcom already has my credit card on file – why does the resort they need it again? Just like the check-in procedure varies, the method in which your credit card is collected also varies. These variances are due to lobby space, internal staffing, percentage of Elite members on property, location of Elite Suites (if the property has them) and software capabilities. We are working to establish consistent check-in procedure across all properties so you have a better idea of what to expect during check in. For now, rest assured that each property has designated Elite personnel to make sure your check-in goes as smoothly as possible, and that your vacation experience is the best it can be.
- Why didn’t I receive an automatic room upgrade when I arrived at the resort? The Hotel will always work to offer a Room Upgrade using Club (and also Hotel) inventory – if it is available. During periods of high occupancy, and/or when inventory is not available for use, upgrades may not be available. Elite members should always book the room size needed for your traveling party! Please do not assume an upgrade will be available. Our goal is to delight you – not disappoint you. The benefit is intended to make you feel appreciated and afford you some extra space – not frustrate you because the room isn’t large enough for your party. Especially during this time of high demand, please plan and book accordingly.
- I am an Elite member – why can’t I automatically upgrade to an Elite Suite? Your Elite benefit allows you to request a room upgrade from one regular unit size to the next larger regular unit size. Elite Suites, however, are a separate class of inventory all together. They have been upgraded with furnishings and amenities and appliances that the regular rooms do not have. Because of that, this special inventory requires 10% points extra and must be booked in advance to be guaranteed. Here is a link to more information about Elite Suites.
- Why did I have to check-in at the desk in the lobby? Some Elite benefits are handled slightly differently at each destination; In-Room check in is only available in some resorts. At other properties, Elite members check in at a separate Elite desk. And at others, Elite members check in at the Front Desk, but have designated staff to help them.
- Why do I have to pay a guest fee if I am booking more than one room? You don’t! Effective immediately, all Elite member tiers will have guest fees waived when booking additional rooms for your guests.
- Automatic Late Check-out (5 star and Residence Club) Request and Early Check-In Request (Residence Club) These benefits are both subject to availability, should be coordinated with the Elite Concierge, and only apply to the individuals in the Elite member’s room.
- What pre-vacation and off-property Elite benefits are transferable to my guests? 4 star, 5 star and Residence Club non-resort benefits include dedicated Elite telephone line, additional booking windows, ability to borrow additional years’ points, room upgrade requests, access to special Elite inventory, ability to book Elite Suites/floors/buildings (as available per resort), use of Villa la Valencia (Villa Group members only), airport transportation, automatic vacation banking, ability to combine points for large unit Holiday Season reservations, four-year acceleration from back of contract benefit, short notice reservations, and additional referral fees.
These benefits are all “Non-transferable,” which means you must be the one booking the reservations on your account in order to use these benefits, even if you are booking for a guest. However, your guests indirectly receive these reservation benefits by virtue of you having flexibility with booking windows, last minute reservations, and access to special inventory. They also indirectly receive your airport transfer benefits if they are traveling with you in an upgraded vehicle. However, they still must pay for the service. If they are traveling without you, they would have to book their own non-Elite transportation from the airport.
This article has focused on some general questions about Elite benefits and Elite reservations. In our next newsletter, we will dive more deeply into specific on-site Elite benefits, and clarify which can be shared with your guests and which are not transferable. The Elite Program is becoming more and more popular, and it is our goal to make sure all members understand how best to use this Loyalty Program to enhance their vacation experience. See you soon in beautiful Mexico!