It is generally in the interest of any seasoned value traveller to be a member of most (if not all) available hotel loyalty schemes. Whether it’s perks on your stay, bonus loyalty point offers or priority access to sales etc, the benefits even at the lowest status can add up.
However, we would also caution against an immediate blanket application to every loyalty scheme. The reason for this is that hotel loyalty schemes will periodically run bonuses where new joiners get bonus points or an enhanced status level for signing up: offers not applicable to existing members. So, unless you are about to stay at a particular hotel, it’s worth holding off until a sign-up bonus appears.
Once such bonus is currently available with IHG Rewards, the loyalty programme of the Intercontinental Hotel Group, which is offering 2000 bonus points to new members who sign up on or before 7 December 2014.
Importantly, you technically need to be a resident of the USA or Canada to benefit from the 2000 points bonus. However, it’s very easy to change your address details, so there is nothing to stop you signing up with a US address and then changing it to a non-US address once the bonus points have posted:
As a related aside, we recently posted how new members of Hilton HHonors can get instant Silver (and fast-track Gold) status.