Groups including Leading Hotels of the World, the Preferred Hotel Group and the Stash Hotel Rewards program are among the rising number of groups offering incentives to repeat customers who stay at their independent hotels. The result is that guests “no longer need to choose between staying at a unique property and earning credit toward a free stay,” said Jeff Low, chief executive of Stash Hotel Rewards, a three-year-old program that has signed up 200 independent hotels. A frequent-stay program lets independent hotels better compete with big brands, said Lindsey Ueberroth, president of the Preferred Hotel Group. “We want to attract customers who haven’t stayed at our hotels before and shift the loyalty of corporate travelers, who really value points, away from the chains,” she said. Get the full story at The New York Times