I am a member of most hotel programs even if I haven't stayed with them as you get discounts for being a member. One of the best is Ihg (Holiday Inn and Intercontinental) and Hilton as they have no black out dates. All are free and offer members online promotions with extra points. Why do I sign up first? Even if you find a room on a website offering a cheaper price, you can still claim points when you book. Americas Best Value Inn gives you 15% when you sign up and with Choice you get free internet and late check out. Which programs have you found are the best?