Leading Hotels of the World has over 375 properties worldwide in their portfolio. On the small side when compared to giants like Marriott and Hilton, they nonetheless have a loyalty program called Leaders Club that offers really good benefits to members.

Members get free Wifi, a special welcome amenity, Sixt status, and daily continental breakfast (which in some parts of the world equals full breakfast). Members also get early check-in, late checkout and room upgrades, based on availability. Arguably the best benefit are the free nights that you can earn after a handful of stays.

Leading Hotels of the World property Bagni di Pisa even has a dessert selection at the breakfast buffet

Breakfast buffet dessert selection at Leading Hotels of the World property Bagni di Pisa Palace & Spa

The unusual part about the Leaders Club hotel loyalty program is that it is not points based. You don’t have to scramble to stay a certain number of nights to maintain your level of status, nor do you need to meet a threshold with stay counts.

There are just two levels of membership, and you simply pay for the one that best fits your needs.

The basic Leaders Club membership is $150 a year, and the Unlimited membership is $1,200 a year.

screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-9-02-38-pm

Leading Hotel properties tend to be upscale but a bit on the expensive side, so for me the basic Leaders Club membership makes sense at the $150 level. A big attraction is the simplicity of the program, and members get a free night at any Leading Hotel for every 5 stays.

Photo via Leading Hotels of the World website

Photo via Leading Hotels of the World website

For those who might scoff at the high $1200 membership level, it does come with a free night after every 4 stays, plus free airport transfers in a ton of cities so if you stay often the savings add up.

Throughout the year there are promos where you can earn double or triple stay credits through Leaders Club, and there are also “stay two nights get the third free” and “stay 3 nights and get a $100 property credit” offers.

I made a Leading Hotels redemption at the Hotel de Russie in Rome where going rates were around 800 EUR for the date I chose, and I consider it to have been an excellent redemption value.

Hotel de Russie

Hotel de Russie

One thing in particular I’ve noticed about the Leading Hotels of the World properties I’ve stayed at so far is that they tend to be in very good locations rather than on the outskirts of town.

Although the cost for a one-year Leaders Club membership is typically $150, last year we learned about a free one-year membership benefit when making a first Leaders Club booking using a MasterCard, via their Priceless Cities offer.

FrequentMiler reports today that there is an even better free year membership offer where you don’t even need to make a booking.

This offer is through a partnership with Diners Club International, though it doesn’t appear that you have to be a Diners Club card holder.

Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 9.59.29 AM

Here is a link to the free Leaders Club year of membership offer page.

All you need to do to get the free Leaders Club year of membership is enter your email address, and since the offer is only open to those who have not previously had a Leaders Club membership registered using the same email it will check against their database.

If approved, you simply fill in your personal details and receive a welcome email from Leaders Club.

On top of the free membership offer, Leading Hotels of the World is having a private sale for members, with savings up to 50% on bookings made through March 1, 2017.
Stays must be completed by May 1, 2017. In order to view the participating properties you have to log in to your account first.

Here’s a link to the sale page.

Note that reservations require a two-night stay minimum and that rates are pre-paid and nonrefundable. I’ve still found these sales to be pretty good when they fit my dates of travel and locations.

If you haven’t tried Leaders Club out before I recommend giving it a go. With a free year you have a chance to try some properties and see if the program is a good fit for you.