The 10 Best Hotel Rewards Programs—Ranked
ThePointsGuy.com rated hotel loyalty programs based on ten factors: ease and value of earning/redeeming points, number of hotels/rooms, perks, elite status), percentage of luxury properties, geographic spread, co-branded credit cards, promotions/bonuses, non-hotel aspects and percentage of economical properties). Read on to find out how your favorite hotel ranked.
10. Radisson Rewards
The Radisson hotel rewards program offers a members-only rate, discounts on food and beverage, free breakfasts, and in-room welcome gifts. Radisson rewards can be exchanged for benefits with partners like airlines, retail gift cards, TSA pre-check privileges, and in-hotel rewards like movies, dinners, laundry service, and free room upgrades.
Best for: Families and business travels looking for a higher level of comfort away from home. Not into hotels? Try out one of these 15 wacky Airbnbs you can rent right now instead.
9. Club Carlson
“The Club Carlson program, with brands like Radisson, Radisson Blu, and Country Inn & Suites, brought up the rear,” explains The Points Guy. “While it does have locations in a large number of countries and provides solid elite status benefits, it too suffers from a lack of true luxury properties and less valuable points.” Hotel rewards points do expire.
Best for: People traveling to large cities in the United States and Europe.
9. Choice Privileges
“The Choice Hotels program has a huge number of economical properties for those looking for a no-frills, standardized stay, but on the flip side, offers no truly luxurious brands. It also has a smaller global footprint, offering more limited opportunities to earn and redeem points outside the United States,” says The Points Guy. Points do expire.
Best for: Redeeming hotel rewards points for things other than hotel stays. In addition to hotel rooms, points can be traded in for airline miles, cruise vacations, gift cards, and more. If you’re the type who likes the frills, check out these awesome hotel amenities.
8. Best Western Hotel Rewards
“Best Western offers a large percentage of economical properties and a decent elite status program. However, Best Western points aren’t as valuable as most other chains, and it also falls short when it comes to luxurious properties at which you can redeem your points,” says The Points Guy. Points don’t expire.
Best for: Budget-minded business and family travelers.
7. IHG Rewards
“The IHG Rewards earned the top spot when it comes to promotions thanks to the regular Accelerate offers it has provided to members over the last couple of years,” says The Points Guy. “It also has a great co-branded credit card that comes with a free night certificate every year (valid at any IHG property worldwide) and provides incredibly valuable Point Break redemptions, a rotating set of hotels each quarter that are available for just 5,000 points per night.” The program allows various ways to collect points, from paying for hotel stays and air travel to purchasing goods and services online. Points do expire.
Best for: Those who like to experience different accommodation chains, while receiving hotel rewards. IHG is the parent company for InterContinental, Kimpton, Holiday Inn hotels, and more. Here’s a little insight on how to use credit card rewards for your hotel upgrades.
5. Le Club AccorHotels
“Accor’s LeClub hotel rewards program offers a great value for its points (2,000 will get you 40 Euros off). However, it’s important to note that the chain has very few hotels in the United States,” explains The Points Guy. Points do expire.
Best for: Business and luxury travelers visiting major cities in Europe, including Paris, London, and Berlin.
4. Hilton Honors
“The Hilton Honors program provides perks to all its members (regardless of status), including complimentary Wi-Fi, late checkout, and the ability to pool points with friends or family members. The program also has a terrific portfolio of co-branded credit cards, including a new exclusive partnership with American Express,” notes The Points Guy. Points do expire.
Best for: Business and luxury travelers who frequently fly to and stay in major cities in the United States, Europe, and Asia. While you’re using your Hilton Honors program perks, use these tips and tricks to score hotel upgrades.
3. World of Hyatt
“Hyatt does a great job at rewarding its elite members with perks like suite upgrades and guaranteed late checkout,” notes The Points Guy. “The program’s co-branded credit card also adds significant value with a lucrative sign-up bonus and a free night certificate every year (valid in Category 1-4 properties). The downside is they have a very small portfolio of properties around the world (less than 800). Hotel rewards points do expire.
Best for: Business and leisure travelers who visit major cities within the United States, Europe, Mexico, and Asia.
2. Wyndham Rewards
“The Wyndham Rewards program is unique among the ten we analyzed in that all of its hotels have a flat redemption rate; from the cheapest Days Inn to the most luxurious Wyndham Grand Resort, you’ll pay 15,000 points per night. As a result, every member will earn enough points for a free night at a Wyndham property anywhere in the world after spending just $1,500, a fantastic return on spend and the primary reason the program earned second place,” explains The Points Guy. Points do expire.
Best for: Leisure and business travelers who visit popular destinations in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and Asia. If you’re on a budget, check out these travel steals and deals.
1. Marriott Bonvoy
The Marriott Bonvoy program is the result of a merger between rewards programs for the Marriott, the Ritz Carlton, and Starwood Preferred Guest (our previous pick for the best hotel rewards.) Starwood offered “Free hotel stays at as little as 2,000 points per night” with the possibility of transferring hotel rewards points over to 30 airline partners, “including a 5,000-mile bonus for every 20,000 points you transferred,” explained The Points Guy. Due to the Starwood, Ritz-Carlton, and Marriott’s merger, the Mariott Bonvoy program has the “widest geographic coverage of any of the programs analyzed,” says The Points Guy. The Bonvoy program also offers elite experiences around the world.
Best for: Leisure and business travelers. Read on to learn all the secrets the hotel clerk won’t tell you.