Are you a frequent traveler looking to maximize your hotel rewards? If so, you’re in the right place!
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The hotel with the best rewards program depends on your travel preferences and loyalty. In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide to hotel reward programs and help you determine which program is best for you.
Throughout the article, we’ll cover the benefits and drawbacks of the most popular hotel reward programs, including Hilton Honors, Marriott Bonvoy, World of Hyatt, IHG Rewards Club, and Wyndham Rewards.
Understanding Hotel Reward Programs
What are hotel reward programs? Hotel reward programs are loyalty programs offered by hotel chains to incentivize customers to stay with them. Customers earn points or miles by staying at participating hotels, which can be redeemed for various rewards such as free nights, room upgrades, airline miles, or other perks.
How do hotel reward programs work? Hotel reward programs typically work by giving customers points or miles for qualifying stays at participating hotels. The number of points or miles earned is usually based on the amount spent on the stay. Once enough points or miles are accumulated, customers can redeem them for rewards. Some hotel reward programs also offer elite status tiers that come with additional benefits such as late check-out, free breakfast, or lounge access.
Types of hotel reward programs There are several types of hotel reward programs, including:
- Points-based programs: Customers earn points for each qualifying stay, which can be redeemed for rewards such as free nights or room upgrades. Examples of hotel chains with points-based programs include Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, and IHG Rewards Club.
- Miles-based programs: Customers earn airline miles for each qualifying stay, which can be redeemed for flights or other perks. Examples of hotel chains with miles-based programs include Radisson Rewards and Wyndham Rewards.
- Cashback programs: Customers earn cashback or statement credits for each qualifying stay, which can be used to offset future hotel expenses. Examples of hotel chains with cashback programs include Best Western Rewards and Choice Privileges.
- Hybrid programs: Some hotel chains offer hybrid reward programs that combine points, miles, or cashback. Examples of hotel chains with hybrid programs include World of Hyatt and Accor Live Limitless.
It is worth mentioning that some hotel reward programs also offer co-branded credit cards that allow customers to earn additional points or miles for everyday spending. Keep in mind that hotel reward programs can have blackout dates, limited availability, or other restrictions, so it is important to read the fine print before redeeming rewards.
Overview of Hilton Honors
Hilton Honors is the loyalty program of Hilton Hotels & Resorts, which includes over 6,000 properties in more than 100 countries. Members can earn points for staying at Hilton properties or by using a Hilton co-branded credit card. Points can be redeemed for free hotel stays, airline miles, car rentals, and more.
Earning Hilton Honors points
Members can earn Hilton Honors points in a variety of ways. The primary way is by staying at Hilton properties, with members earning 10 base points per dollar spent on eligible room rates. Members can also earn points through Hilton’s partners, such as car rental companies and airline partners. Additionally, members can earn points by using a Hilton co-branded credit card for everyday purchases.
Redeeming Hilton Honors points
Members can redeem Hilton Honors points for a variety of rewards, including free hotel stays starting at 5,000 points per night, airline miles, car rentals, and experiences through Hilton Honors Experiences. Hilton also offers a Points & Money option, which allows members to use a combination of points and cash to book a room. It’s worth mentioning that Hilton Honors is known for its flexible points redemption options, allowing members to use points for a wide range of rewards.
Elite status with Hilton Honors
Hilton Honors offers elite status to its most loyal members. Members can earn elite status by staying a certain number of nights or by earning a certain number of base points in a calendar year. Elite status benefits include room upgrades, free breakfast, and late checkout. Hilton Honors has four elite status levels: Silver, Gold, Diamond, and Diamond Select. Keep in mind that earning elite status with Hilton Honors can also help members earn more points and rewards.
For more information on Hilton Honors, visit https://www.hilton.com/en/hilton-honors/.
Marriott Bonvoy is the loyalty program of Marriott International, one of the largest hotel chains in the world. The program was launched in 2019 after the merger of Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest, and Ritz-Carlton Rewards. Marriott Bonvoy offers its members a variety of benefits, including free nights, room upgrades, and exclusive experiences.
Earning Marriott Bonvoy Points
Members of Marriott Bonvoy can earn points by staying at Marriott hotels or by making purchases with Marriott’s partners. Members earn 10 points for every dollar spent on eligible hotel stays, and 5 points for every dollar spent on eligible purchases at participating hotels, restaurants, and bars. Marriott Bonvoy also has partnerships with credit card companies that allow members to earn points on everyday purchases.
Redeeming Marriott Bonvoy Points
Marriott Bonvoy points can be redeemed for a variety of rewards, including free hotel stays, room upgrades, and airline miles. The number of points required for a free night varies depending on the hotel category and the time of year. Marriott Bonvoy has eight hotel categories, ranging from Category 1 (7,500 points per night) to Category 8 (85,000 points per night). Members can also use points to book flights, car rentals, and vacation packages.
Elite Status with Marriott Bonvoy
Marriott Bonvoy has five levels of elite status: Silver, Gold, Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassador. Members can earn elite status by staying a certain number of nights per year or by earning a certain number of points. Elite members receive additional benefits, such as room upgrades, late checkout, and free breakfast. The highest level of elite status, Ambassador, is by invitation only and offers personalized service and exclusive experiences.
World of Hyatt
The World of Hyatt is a loyalty program offered by the Hyatt hotel chain that allows members to earn and redeem points for hotel stays, dining, spa services, and more. The program offers four tiers of elite status: Discoverist, Explorist, Globalist, and Lifetime Globalist. Members can earn points through hotel stays, credit card spending, and partner activities.
Earning World of Hyatt Points
Members earn 5 base points per eligible dollar spent at Hyatt hotels and resorts. Elite members can earn bonus points, ranging from 10% for Discoverist members to 30% for Globalist members. The Hyatt credit card also offers bonus points for spending at Hyatt properties and on other eligible purchases.
- World of Hyatt Credit Card: Earn up to 60,000 Bonus Points – 40,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus an additional 20,000 bonus points after you spend a total of $6,000 on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening. Learn more
- Partner activities: World of Hyatt members can earn points through partnerships with airlines, car rental companies, and other travel partners.
Redeeming World of Hyatt Points
Members can redeem points for free nights at Hyatt properties, room upgrades, dining and spa services, and more. The number of points required for a free night varies depending on the property and room type, but generally ranges from 5,000 to 40,000 points per night. Points can also be redeemed for experiences, such as concerts and sporting events, through the FIND program.
Elite Status with World of Hyatt
Elite members of the World of Hyatt program receive benefits such as bonus points, room upgrades, and free breakfast. To qualify for elite status, members must meet certain criteria, such as a minimum number of nights stayed or base points earned. Benefits increase with higher tiers of elite status, with Globalist members receiving the most perks.
|Discoverist||10 qualifying nights or 25,000 base points||10% bonus points, room upgrades, late checkout|
|Explorist||30 qualifying nights or 50,000 base points||20% bonus points, lounge access, suite upgrades|
|Globalist||60 qualifying nights or 100,000 base points||30% bonus points, free breakfast, club lounge access, suite upgrades, free parking|
IHG Rewards Club
The IHG Rewards Club is the loyalty program for InterContinental Hotels Group, one of the largest hotel chains in the world with over 5,500 properties in more than 100 countries. The program offers several ways to earn and redeem points, as well as exclusive benefits for elite members.
Earning IHG Rewards Club points
Members can earn IHG Rewards Club points by staying at any of the IHG hotels, including InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, and more. Points can also be earned through partner offers and promotions, such as booking with IHG’s travel partners or using an IHG Rewards Club credit card.
- Members earn 10 points per $1 spent on eligible bookings, excluding taxes and fees.
- Elite members earn bonus points, up to 100% more than base points.
- Members can earn points through partner offers and promotions, such as booking with IHG’s travel partners or using an IHG Rewards Club credit card.
Redeeming IHG Rewards Club points
Members can redeem IHG Rewards Club points for free nights, merchandise, flights, and more. The number of points required for a redemption varies depending on the property, room type, and season.
- Free nights range from 10,000 to 70,000 points per night.
- Members can also redeem points for merchandise, gift cards, and experiences.
- IHG Rewards Club also offers a Points & Cash option, where members can use a combination of points and cash to book a stay.
Elite status with IHG Rewards Club
Members can achieve elite status with IHG Rewards Club by staying a certain number of nights or earning a certain number of points. Elite benefits include free room upgrades, bonus points, and early check-in and late check-out.
|Elite Status||Nights or Points Required||Benefits|
|Gold Elite||10 nights or 10,000 points||10% bonus points, priority check-in, and late check-out|
|Platinum Elite||40 nights or 40,000 points||50% bonus points, room upgrades, and guaranteed room availability|
|Spire Elite||75 nights or 75,000 points||100% bonus points, top priority check-in, and free breakfast|
It is worth mentioning that IHG Rewards Club points do expire after 12 months of inactivity, so members should keep this in mind when managing their account. Overall, IHG Rewards Club is a great loyalty program for frequent travelers who stay at IHG hotels regularly.
Wyndham Rewards is a loyalty program offered by Wyndham Hotels & Resorts that allows members to earn and redeem points for free nights at over 9,000 participating hotels worldwide. Here is an overview of the program, including how to earn and redeem rewards points and how to achieve elite status.
Earning Wyndham Rewards points
Members can earn Wyndham Rewards points by staying at participating hotels, booking through the Wyndham Rewards website or app, or using a Wyndham Rewards credit card. Members earn 10 points per dollar spent on qualifying stays or vacation rentals, and 1 point per dollar spent on everything else.
- 10 points per dollar spent on qualifying stays or vacation rentals
- 1 point per dollar spent on everything else
Redeeming Wyndham Rewards points
Wyndham Rewards points can be redeemed for free nights at participating hotels, with redemption rates starting at 7,500 points per night. Members can also use points to book vacation rentals, car rentals, and more.
- Redemption rates starting at 7,500 points per night
- Points can be used for vacation rentals, car rentals, and more
Elite status with Wyndham Rewards
Wyndham Rewards offers four levels of elite status: Blue, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. Members can achieve elite status by staying at participating hotels or by earning a certain number of points.
|Elite Status Level||Requirements||Benefits|
|Blue||None||Free Wi-Fi, early check-in, late check-out (subject to availability)|
|Gold||Stay 5 qualifying nights or earn 6,000 points||All Blue benefits plus preferred room choice, dedicated member services hotline|
|Platinum||Stay 15 qualifying nights or earn 15,000 points||All Gold benefits plus late check-out (up to 3 hours), early check-in (up to 2 hours), annual points bonus|
|Diamond||Stay 40 qualifying nights or earn 40,000 points||All Platinum benefits plus suite upgrades (where available), welcome amenity at check-in, guaranteed late check-out|
It is worth mentioning that Wyndham Rewards also offers a “Go Free” program, which allows members to book free nights at participating hotels with no blackout dates, and a “Go Fast” program, which allows members to book rooms for a combination of points and cash.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Hotel Rewards Program
When it comes to choosing a hotel rewards program, there are several factors to consider. Each traveler has unique preferences and priorities, so it is important to evaluate each program based on what matters most to you. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:
- Travel preferences: Before signing up for a hotel rewards program, consider your travel habits. Do you frequently stay at a particular hotel chain or do you prefer to switch things up? Are you more interested in earning points or getting perks like free breakfast and room upgrades?
- Brand loyalty: If you are loyal to a particular hotel chain, it may make sense to enroll in their rewards program. Many hotels offer exclusive perks and benefits to members, such as free nights, late checkouts, and complimentary upgrades.
- Redemption options: Look for a rewards program that offers a variety of redemption options, such as free nights, airline miles, or gift cards. Some programs also allow you to use your points for experiences, such as tours or spa treatments.
- Elite status benefits: For frequent travelers, elite status can provide significant benefits, such as room upgrades, free breakfast, and access to exclusive lounges. Consider the requirements for achieving elite status and the benefits that come with each level.
- Credit card partnerships: Many hotel rewards programs offer co-branded credit cards that allow you to earn points on everyday purchases. These cards often come with additional perks, such as bonus points for signing up and free anniversary nights.
Ultimately, the best hotel rewards program for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Consider these factors when evaluating different programs to find the one that aligns with your travel goals.
Recap of hotel reward programs:
To sum up, there are numerous hotel reward programs available, each with its own unique features and benefits. Some of the most popular programs include Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, World of Hyatt, IHG Rewards Club, and Radisson Rewards. These programs offer a range of rewards, including free nights, upgrades, and exclusive experiences.
It is worth mentioning that each program has its own set of terms and conditions, so it’s important to carefully read through the details before signing up.
Tips for maximizing your hotel rewards:
- Choose a hotel chain that aligns with your travel needs and preferences.
- Sign up for the hotel’s loyalty program to start earning rewards immediately.
- Consider using a hotel-branded credit card to earn even more rewards.
- Keep in mind that booking directly with the hotel will often result in more reward points than booking through a third-party site.
- Take advantage of promotions and bonus offers to earn extra rewards.
Hotel reward programs can be a great way to earn perks and benefits while traveling. By understanding the various programs available and following some simple tips for maximizing your rewards, you can enjoy free nights, upgrades, and more. Remember to always read the fine print and keep track of your rewards to ensure you are getting the most out of your hotel loyalty program.
In conclusion, the hotel with the best rewards program ultimately depends on your travel preferences and brand loyalty. By understanding the benefits and drawbacks of each program, you can make an informed decision and maximize your hotel rewards.
Remember to consider factors such as redemption options, elite status benefits, and credit card partnerships when choosing a hotel rewards program. And don’t forget to take advantage of promotions and special offers to further boost your rewards!
We hope this comprehensive guide has been helpful in your search for the best hotel rewards program. Happy travels!