Although the hotels advertise the "member rates" or "exclusive discounts" broadly, they are technically only available to the millions who have signed up for their loyalty programs, which means the hotel brands don't have to provide the same discounts to online travel sites. The contracts that hotels sign with third-party websites often prevent them from offering lower rates on their own sites, though hotel brands say they are free to offer the discounts to members of their loyalty programs. In the past, most loyalty programs only offered perks like free Wi-Fi service, room upgrades and rewards points. This year, hotels started offering the discounted rates at, a travel site several own. Get the full story at Dow Jones Business News Read also "Tug-of-war between hotel brands and OTAs likely to continue"