Hotel rewards programs reward the loyalty of their frequent customers by offering perks and discounts. Each rewards program targets different preferred lodging styles, travel habits and goals. Where some hotels prioritize flexibility and earning points for free nights, others focus on membership-only privileges, such as free WiFi access or minibar credits.

Frequent travellers for business or pleasure can reap the benefits of hotel rewards programs without breaking the budget, but infrequent travellers can also obtain points by signing up for hotel rewards credit cards, and meeting some basic requirements. Even families can profit this way, by using the credit card for everyday purchases in order to gain points, as opposed to doing so through paid hotel stays.

When choosing a hotel rewards program, consider your reason for travelling. Business travellers are more likely to gain points through hotel stays, whereas leisure travellers do so through credit cards. Perhaps a combination of both is the best solution for you. It’s also important to compare the earned points per dollar across different programs, and whether the points ever expire.

Some hotel rewards programs also include many limitations to the usage of points, such as restricting the brands you can stay at within the hotel chain, incorporating blackout dates and different weekend rates, and change their rewards system if reservations are booked last minute. Getting the most out of your points requires planning, understanding the rules and stipulations, and finding lodging you can travel to easily.


Top 10 Companies

#1
Our Partner
8.9 / 10
  • Special Rates
  • Room Upgrades
  • Point Upgrades
  • Instant Redemption
  • Marriott Vacation Club
#2
Our Partner
8.8 / 10
  • Air Travel
  • Hotel Stays
  • Earn Points
  • Room Upgrades
  • Redeem Free Nights
#3
Our Partner
8.6 / 10
  • Convert Points to Miles
  • Purchase or Combine Points
  • Earn Points with Meetings
  • Free Nights
  • Points + Cash
#4
Our Partner
8.4 / 10
  • No Blackout Dates
  • Combine Points with Cash
  • Redeem with as little as 10,000 Points
  • Experience Ultimate Flexibility
  • Redeem Free Nights
#5
8.3 / 10
  • Convert Points to Miles
  • Purchase or Combine Points
  • Earn Points with Meetings
  • Free Nights
  • Points + Cash
#6
8.0 / 10
  • Award Night Stays
  • Airline Miles
  • In-Hotel Express Awards
  • Purchase Points
  • Gift Cards & Prepaid Cards
#7
7.4 / 10
  • Earn Complimentary Nights
  • Special Room Rates
  • Room Upgrades
  • Daily Complimentary Breakfast
  • Free Internet Access
#8
7.3 / 10
  • Points Never Expire
  • Free Nights
  • Airline Miles
  • Gift Cards
  • More than 4,000 Hotels Worldwide
#9
6.4 / 10
  • Earn Points
  • Airline Miles
  • Rail Points
  • 7,500 Hotel Brands
  • Deal and Discounts
#10
6.2 / 10
  • Free Nights
  • Free WIFI
  • Exclusive Offers
  • $10 Bar Credit
  • $30 Spa Credit
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How We Compare Hotel Rewards Programs

Earned Points

20%

Guests should consider how much they're required to spend before gaining enough points to receive a free night or receive other incentives at the hotel. Ideally, the value of the loyalty or rewards points should benefit you their versatility, e.g. zero expiration date, ability to use over a variety of different properties, does not include black-out dates, etc. When comparison shopping, consider:

  • Earned Points per Dollar
  • Point Expiration
  • Earning Limitations
  • Elite Bonus
  • Credit Card Bonus

Redeeming Points

20%

Things to look out for when reading the fine print on how to redeem points include:

  • Brand Exclusivity - Can you use your points with any brand in the hotel chain? 
  • Blackout Dates & Weekend Rates - Does the hotel enforce blackout dates or not take cheap weekend rates into account when tabulating point redemption?
  • Reservations - Does the rewards system change whether reservations are made last-minute or in advance?

 

The best hotel rewards programs generally offer upgrades, elite status, earning points for-onsite expenses, access to promotions and/or free nights with low point requirements. Consumers should look for a loyalty program that has redeemable rewards in which they can enjoy instant gratification.

  • Point per Free Night
  • Brand Exclusions
  • Money Spent
  • Credit Card Bonus

Upgrades

20%

Hotels should include a selection of upgrades in their rewards program. A privilege of room upgrade that is redeemable or discounted is one factor that guests should experience with their loyalty plan. Customers must also consider other upgrades that hotels offer before investing for their rewards program.

  • Preferred Room
  • Confirmed Upgrade Rewards
  • Suites

Amenities

15%

Hotels should allow their guests to experience first-class amenities and services at the period of their stay. Customers should also be able to enjoy an extensive range of facilities and services that displays a quality design and attention to detail. Some amenities that consumers should look for are:

  • Free Internet
  • Free Breakfast
  • Food/Beverage option
  • Free Bottled Water

Reservations

10%

Hotel’s reservation system should provide a convertible room rates in different currencies for their international guests. Companies must also support known and trusted online payment methods that will allow their international travellers to pay online with ease. Guests must also consider the safety of a company’s reservation system and its process time.

  • Guaranteed Availability
  • Late Check-Out