Preferred Hotel Group has revamped its I Prefer loyalty programme, with two new membership tiers, new earning and redemption options, and a refer-a-friend bonus offer.

A new Explorer tier sits in between the entry level Insider and Elite tiers, and offers benefits including “a unique welcome amenity such as a bottle of wine, spa credit or bag of locally made coffee”, and 20 per cent bonus points earning per eligible stay.

Meanwhile the Authority tier is invite-only, and offers members benefits including complimentary daily breakfast for two, concierge lounge access, a dedicated reservation line, and the ability to gift Elite status to three friends per calendar year.

In addition members now have the option to book reward nights directly using points at selected properties, with redemptions starting from 15,000 points per night. Currently the scheme lists 36 properties in the US, Canada, Jamaica and Mexico which are eligible for points redemptions.

Preferred has provided Business Traveller with the following comment on the changes to points redemption:

“Prior to launching Reward Nights this summer, I Prefer Members were able to redeem their points for Reward Certificates. These could be used like cash for payment on property towards their stay. We also ran Auction events and Points for Good campaigns where Members could redeem their points for experiences or charitable donations. However, Reward Nights now allows them to use their points as payment during the checkout process to book a free night (or nights!).”

Finally members can now earn 1,000 bonus points for each new I Prefer sign-up they refer to the programme. Preferred said that the bonus points “are also extended to each new member”, and that “There is no cap to the number of friends, family, and clients that members can refer through the new offer”.

The group recently extended the suspension of points expiration until December 17, 2021 (points normally expire after 24 months of inactivity), and as previously reported Elite members will maintain their status through to June 30, 2022, regardless of travel activity.

Commenting on the news Jeri Salazar, vice president of loyalty for Preferred Hotels and Resorts, said:

“Over the past year, our loyal I Prefer Hotel Rewards members have shared consistent feedback requesting greater value and differentiation in their membership, a faster route to more benefits, a wider variety of points redemption options, and earlier recognition.

“As part of our constant commitment to improvement and service excellence, we took on board these learnings to create several new member-focused initiatives that travellers can enjoy this summer and beyond as more travel freedoms are introduced.”