Most Americans continue to spend cautiously and look for more value from every purchase they make. By joining loyalty programs, they can watch their dollars go further by earning valuable benefits. Or can they? According to a new survey from hotels.com, those who belong to loyalty programs are finding a number of shortcomings:

- Ninety-three percent want improvements made to their memberships.
- Almost six in ten (59 percent) want fewer restrictions on how they can use their program benefits.
- More than one-third (37 percent) don't think the value added bonus is ever really as great as the program wants them to believe.
- Nearly one-quarter (24 percent) don't like the fine print that comes with benefits.
- Nearly half (49 percent) didn't book anything in the last year using their reward travel benefits, such as a hotel stay, a flight or a car rental.

Loyalty programs have long been offered in the travel space, but have been a tricky proposition. Complicated terms, heavy restrictions and big redemption requirements have made them unattainable for nearly everyone except the frequent business traveler. hotels.com decided to change that with welcomerewards(TM), a simple program that offers one free night after every 10 nights booked.

A Game-Changer for Travelers

How quickly can people expect to earn a free night? In the last year, survey respondents who stayed in a hotel or other paid property in the past year spent an average of 12 nights in such a place. As welcomerewards members, they would already have earned one free night and be well on their way to earning a second. With other loyalty programs, they'd still be far from earning their first credit.

"welcomerewards is a favorite among travelers for one main reason - it doesn't require much loyalty," said Carl Sparks, general manager of hotels.com. "We know that every trip is different, and want to reward our guests for staying in the property that's right for them, every time they travel. welcomerewards brings tangible benefits within reach of the occasional traveler - it's a loyalty program 'for the rest of us.'" The program is easy to use and offers three key benefits:

- Choice - More than 53,000 property choices worldwide for earning and redeeming free nights. As long as you spend at least $40 per night on each of the 10, you can redeem a night up to $400 in value.
- Flexibility - Build up to your free night by staying in chain hotels, boutique properties, condos, B&Bs and resorts - mix and match to reach 10 however you'd like.
- Simplicity - Book 10 nights anywhere, get a free night. There are no blackout dates, points to collect, or restrictions.

How Valuable is That Free Night - What Would you Do to Earn It?

hotels.com only requires you book 10 nights to earn one free. Survey respondents would sacrifice a lot more in order to get a complimentary night at a hotel. Ninety-two percent would be willing to part ways with some of their most beloved habits and necessities for a month. Of those who would:

- 71 percent would give up clothes shopping
- 65 percent would abstain from chocolate
- 31 percent would drop their cell phone
- 29 percent would give up watching television