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Sonesta Travel Pass loyalty program: Pros and cons

Until 2020, I had never heard of it sonesta or its Travel Pass loyalty program. It is known that at the beginning of 2020, Sonesta only had 58 properties. But now that the Red Lion hotel family has joined Sonesta, the loyalty program has quickly grown to more than 1,100 hotels in eight countries.

If your travel is primarily focused on the countries served by Sonesta — United States, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Peru, and Sint Maarten — you may be wondering whether you should be interested in Sonesta and its Travel Pass program or not.

So far I’ve mostly ignored the Sonesta Travel Pass program. However, 2023 overhaul of the Sonesta Travel Pass and the recent addition of Red Lion hotels has encouraged me to reconsider the program. Here’s what I learned.

Sonesta elite status is easy to earn

Sonesta Travel Pass has four elite membership tiers: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Requirements to achieve each membership level are as follows:

  • copper: Do not have
  • Silver: 10 nights or 10,000 points per calendar year
  • Yellow: 20 nights or 20,000 points per calendar year
  • Platinum: 40 nights or 40,000 points per calendar year

However, you don’t need to stay 20 nights or earn 20,000 points for Gold status. Finally, primary cardholders of the Bank of America Sonesta Credit Card will automatically receive Gold status as long as their card is open.

Information about the Sonesta Credit Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Sonesta also offers elite members in other hotel loyalty programs the opportunity appropriate to their status. To request a status comparison, apply for a Sonesta Travel Pass and contact Travel Pass customer service with your Travel Pass member ID and a copy of your current membership card or status statement. status in another hotel loyalty program.

Related: Compare hotel elite status levels and how to earn them

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The Sonesta Travel Pass uses a fixed award night price

Sonesta Travel Pass has set award night prices for each of its properties. While the program previously published award charts and which hotels were in each award chart tier, you can now only find award night costs when you search for a stay and click on the facility. Accommodation to see room types.


The lack of a published award chart and the fact that you have to look up the length of stay to find out award costs are huge drawbacks. Without a published awards chart, Sonesta can change awards night prices at any property whenever they want without the negative press often associated with switching to Dynamic prize pricing (alike Marriott Bonvoy, IHG One Rewards And Hilton Title) or do Categories change every year (alike World of Hyatt).

Related: Maximize your hotel points by getting the fourth or fifth night free on award stays


40,000 Sonesta points for an all-inclusive resort

Sonesta has two all-inclusive resorts located next to each other in St. Maarten. However, I was only able to see the bonus rates for one of these resorts, Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, online. Each awards night at this resort costs 40,000 points/night.


This beachfront resort is an AvGeek favorite because it’s located minutes from Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) and overlooks Maho Bay in Sint Maarten. This 420-room resort features an oasis pool with swim-up bar, a kids’ club, a water park and a teen area.

The remaining resort, the adults-only Sonesta Ocean Point Resort, was previously bookable for 50,000 points per night. However, Ocean Point Resort no longer appears in search results on the Sonesta website.

Related: 26 of the world’s best all-inclusive resorts as rated by frequent travelers

The benefits and utility of Sonesta have not been clearly defined

While writing this article, I became increasingly frustrated by the lack of information and poorly defined benefits when looking through Sonesta’s website.

According to Member benefits chartSilver, Gold and Platinum members receive a welcome gift, early check-in and late check-out. However, despite searching Terms and conditions and the Sonesta website as a whole, I could find no further mention of welcome gifts, early check-in or late check-out benefits depending on membership tier. Since these benefits are not clearly defined and can be at the discretion of each asset, they don’t have much value in my eyes.

Sonesta Hilton Head Island Resort in South Carolina. SONESTA

Complimentary daily continental breakfast is a benefit offered to Gold and Platinum members, but it is only offered at select hotels and those that do not offer this perk to members will not determined. Likewise, all Sonesta Travel Pass terms and conditions talk about the breakfast benefit as follows:

“Free continental breakfast benefit allows members to receive a voucher or credit for a free continental breakfast at participating Sonesta stores. Free breakfast benefit may vary by brand .”

This statement from the terms and conditions leaves me with many questions. For example, how many vouchers or credits does a member receive? Is the voucher or credit just for members or is the voucher or credit also offered to each guest staying with the member?

Finally, a complimentary breakfast is generally offered to all guests at Sonesta ES Suites. However, because some properties do not offer breakfast, the Sonesta ES Suites brand page states there is no “free breakfast guarantee at all Sonesta ES Suites” and guests are instructed to “check with the respective hotel Contact for details”. As a guest, I would like to know that all Sonesta ES Suites properties offer free breakfast instead of having to check each property individually.

Related: How and why you should maximize your hotel stay by using multiple loyalty programs

Bottom line

Sonesta travel card customer loyalty program has several attractive elements, including an easily attainable elite hotel location and an all-inclusive resort that can be booked for 40,000 points per night. However, the poorly defined benefits and lack of a rewards chart made me lose interest in the program.

Although I have no current plans to stay at Sonesta, I will take advantage of the status comparison when and if I book a stay at a Sonesta property. At that point, I’ll want to know what the on-site experience with Platinum status is like, including any breakfast vouchers or credits I receive.

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