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What’s the Best Hotel Rewards Program for You?

Many people wonder what the best hotel rewards programs are, which can be tricky as most of them have similar benefits. The key is to stick to the brands you like since loyalty often determines your status.

With so many hotel rewards programs, it can be hard to determine which program is best for you. It is best to look at the number of brands, hotel locations, quality of amenities and perks to start. To make it easier, we’ve rounded out the top loyalty programs’ best features to help you choose which hotel rewards program is best for you.

Top Hotel Rewards Programs to Consider Joining:

  • Marriott Rewards / SPG
  • IHG Rewards
  • Hilton HHonors
  • Wyndham Rewards
  • Club Carlson
  • Best Western
Marriott in Shanghai

Marriott Rewards / SPG

Participating brands: The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, EDITION, Autograph Collection, Renaissance Hotels, AC Hotels, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Gaylord Hotel, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Marriott Vacation Club, Protea Hotels, Delta Hotels, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, Le Méridien, Westin, Sheraton, Aloft, ElementS, Four Points

Marriott Rewards and SPG recently merged to become the largest hotel loyalty program in the world. Members will now have access to 6,500+ properties in 110+ countries. All members get free Wi-fi and when you book 4 nights, you get the 5th-night free. Silver, gold, and platinum members get additional perks such as early check-in, late check out, and extra points for every dollar spent. It doesn’t matter if you’re spending $500 a night at the Ritz-Carlton or $50 at the Courtyard Marriott, you’ll earn points either way.

Additional benefits including concierge service at select hotels as well as rewards and moments which can be purchased with your points. Your Marriott Rewards points can be redeemed for flights, car rentals, and merchandise.

Every hotel in the Marriott has an assigned category between 1-8. The higher the category, the more points it’ll cost you for a free night. There is peak and off-peak pricing so you may end up paying more or fewer points depending on the dates you’re looking for a free room.

Expiry date: After two years of inactivity

Intercontinental Pool in Boston

IHG Rewards Club

Participating brands: InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Resort Hotels, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites

What really makes the IHG rewards club unique is the ability to claim your points for flights with over 200 airlines, rooms at non-IHG branded hotels, and vehicles at almost all car rental agencies! Of course, you can also use points at any of the close to 5,000 InterContinental Hotel Group properties. Another fun fact about the IHG rewards club is that you can bid your points for merchandise on their auction site.

Expiry date: After one year of inactivity

Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa in French Polynesia

Hilton HHonors

Participating brands: Earn points at Hilton, Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, DoubleTree, Homewood Suites, Waldorf Astoria, Hilton Grand Vacations, Conrad, Home2 Suites, Hilton Grand Vacations

Hilton HHonors is one of the top rewards programs, and has two type of points that you can earn. 10 base points are earned per dollar spent regardless of your HHonors status, while bonus points are determined through a variety of ways. The quickest way to earn bonus points is to apply for one of their co-branded credit cards (this applies to pretty much any hotel rewards program). This may sound complicated, but if you’re loyal to the brand, these bonus points can add up fast.

Hilton HHonors also allows you to earn hotel and airline rewards at the same time. If you prefer, you can redeem your Hilton HHonors points for concerts, travel excursions, and other travel partners.

Expiry date: After one year of inactivity

Wyndham bar in Chicago, IL
Search the Wyndham Grand Chicago

Wyndham Rewards

Participating brands: Baymont Inn & Suites, Days Inn, Dolce Hotels and Resorts, Hawthorn Suites, Howard Johnson, Knights Inn, Microtel Inn & Suites, Ramada, Super 8, Travelodge, TRYP, Wingate, Wyndham Hotels and Resort, Wyndham Garden, Wyndham Grand Hotels and Resorts

Wyndham Hotels is based in the U.S., but they have locations all over the world. With Wyndham Rewards, you earn 10 points for every dollar you spend or 1,000 points on every qualified stay – whichever is more. With 15,000 points you can claim a free night stay at any Wyndham Rewards hotel. The free stays even apply to all-inclusive properties so you won’t need to worry about meals! If you don’t have enough points, you can use the ‘go fast’ option which allows you to redeem just 3,000 points for a discount on the regular room rate.

Expiry date: 4 years after they were earned or after 18 months of inactivity

Radisson Pool in Bangkok

Club Carlson

Participating brands: Radisson Blu, Radisson, Park Plaza, Park Inn, Country Inns & Suites

With Club Carlson, you earn gold points which can be redeemed at more than 1,000 hotels. This may not sound like a lot of properties, but if you’re loyal to the brand, it shouldn’t be that big of a deal. 20 Club Carlson points are earned for every U.S. dollar spent on eligible stays. Food and beverages charged to your room also earn Club Carlson points. It takes 9,000 points to earn a free stay and often double points are offered when booking rooms in certain destinations.

Expiry date: After two years of inactivity

Best Western in Paris, France

Best Western Rewards

Participating brands: All Best Western hotels

Best Western hotels have always targeted budget-minded business and family travelers, so they’ve made the Best Western rewards program easy to understand. Best Western rewards points never expire, there are no blackout dates, and they’ll even match other elite status hotel rewards programs that you’re part of at no extra charge. To qualify for their Diamond Select status, you only need 50 nights, 40 qualifying stays or 50,000 points which are a fair amount less than other hotel rewards programs.

Expiry date: None

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