Your Guide to the Sonesta Travel Pass Loyalty Program

This growing hotel chain has properties all over North America.
Ramsey Qubein
By Ramsey Qubein 
Edited by June Casagrande

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.


If you’ve never stayed at a hotel with “Sonesta” in the name, that could change soon. The small Sonesta hotels chain is growing rapidly, planning to add around 100 hotels this spring to expand its portfolio to about 300, nearly tripling its size in a little over a year. You’ll find Sonesta hotels in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America under the brand names:

  • Sonesta Hotels and Resorts.

  • Royal Sonesta.

  • Sonesta Select.

  • Sonesta ES Suites.

  • Sonesta Simply Suites.

  • Sonesta Posadas del Inca (Peru).

A lot of newly added Sonesta properties were previously part of the InterContinental Hotels Group, and rumor has it a batch of hotels in the Marriott Bonvoy program may also jump ship to join Sonesta. So if you’re a member of IHG Rewards or Marriott Bonvoy — and even if you’re not — it’s a good time to learn about the Sonesta Travel Pass loyalty program. Here’s what you need to know.

Photo courtesy of the Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta St. Louis (foreground).

How to join Sonesta Travel Pass

Like other hotel loyalty programs, Sonesta Travel Pass membership is free. Just sign up at the Sonesta Travel Pass website by supplying your name and email address and creating a password. Then, starting with your next stay, you can enjoy membership benefits including upgraded Wi-Fi, hotel offers and chances to earn and redeem points.

How does Sonesta Travel Pass work?

Sonesta Travel Pass is similar to most other hotel loyalty programs. Members accrue points and exchange them for free hotel stays, and elite members get even more benefits when they stay with Sonesta properties.

Members earn 10 Sonesta Travel Pass points for every eligible dollar spent at properties booked through Sonesta, either on its website or by phone. Everyone earns a flat rate of 10 points per dollar spent, no matter their elite status. There is no bonus for elite members like with other programs.

Members can redeem points at Sonesta Travel Pass-participating properties by calling Sonesta directly. The number of points you’ll need for an award night are based on a tier system, with lower-end Tier 1 properties going for 10,000 points per night, high-end Tier 12 properties going for 60,000 points per night and lots of mid-priced options in between.

Tier 1 hotels include the Sonesta Simply Suites Charlotte University in North Carolina and the Sonesta Simply Suites Dallas Galleria in Texas and can be booked for 10,000 points per night. At the other end of the spectrum, the adults-only Sonesta Ocean Point Resort in St. Maarten is a Tier 11 property. For 50,000 points per night, it packs in a lot of value since it is an all-inclusive.

Sonesta points expire after 24 months of inactivity. If you notice that points haven't hit your account following a recent stay, Sonesta Travel Pass makes it easy to request missing points online.

What you should know about Sonesta Travel Pass elite tiers

There are two elite status levels above standard membership, and neither is difficult to achieve. “Member” status is the entry level, and anyone who joins the program is eligible for free wireless internet and discounted member rates. There’s also an automatic $5 credit for drinks or a snack at Sonesta ES Suites, which is Sonesta’s limited service brand with grab-and-go food and drink offerings.

You reach Preferred status by staying six qualifying nights per year. Preferred members can request early check-in or late checkout (up to three hours earlier or later) and get a guaranteed bed type. Preferred elites staying at Sonesta Hotels and Resorts or Royal Sonesta properties also qualify for space-available room upgrades and get a slew of discounts like an automatic $10 credit for drinks or a snack at Sonesta ES Suites hotels and a 10% discount on dining and resort amenities at Sonesta Hotels and Resorts or Royal Sonesta properties.

The highest membership level in the program is called Elite status, which you earn by staying 12 nights per year at participating properties. Elite members get all the perks of Preferred status plus priority parking, a room upgrade, welcome amenity, complimentary nonalcoholic welcome drink, and club lounge access or complimentary breakfast.

Other perks include an automatic $15 credit for drinks or a snack at Sonesta ES Suites and a 15% discount on dining and resort amenities at Sonesta Hotels and Resorts or Royal Sonesta properties. Elites can also get half-off a paid suite upgrade at check-in.

How to get a status match from another hotel loyalty program

Photo courtesy of Royal Sonesta New Orleans.

If you’re an elite member with another hotel program and would like to enjoy comparable benefits at Sonesta properties, first join Sonesta Travel Pass, then email [email protected] to request a status match. Include your Travel Pass member ID number and either a photo of a current membership card with another hotel program or a statement showing elite status in the program.

How to earn Sonesta Travel Pass points with a credit card

The Sonesta World Elite Mastercard is an easy way to rack up a lot of points at once. Cardmembers earn:

  • 60,000 points by spending $1,000 on the card in the first three months.

  • 30,000 on your account anniversary if you spend $7,500 on the card in a year.

  • 5,000 points for adding an authorized user in the first 90 days.

  • 3x points on purchases with Sonesta.

  • 2x points on other travel and dining.

  • 1x points on other purchases.

Cardmembers also enjoy automatic elite status and no foreign transaction fees. The annual fee of $75 is waived the first year.

The bottom line

As the Sonesta hotel group grows, the chances you’ll want to stay at a Sonesta property continue to go up. You can join the Sonesta Travel Pass loyalty program before you stay, or sign up at the hotel desk at check-in. Then you’ll enjoy a lot of the loyalty program perks you’ve come to expect from far bigger hotel chains.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024, including those best for:

Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.