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Best hotel rewards program

Find a program that will best serve your travel needs.

Our pick for high-value hotel rewards: World of Hyatt Credit Card

Up to 60,000 points

From signup bonuses

  • Earn up to 9x points at Hyatt hotels
  • 2x points on gyms, commuting, dining and airlines
  • Annual Free Night Award
See offer
The value you find in a hotel rewards program greatly depends on the hotels you prefer and how frequently you use them. However, some hotel reward programs excel in certain areas and can provide even greater value for the right traveler.

Highest value for earning and redeeming rewards: World of Hyatt

The World of Hyatt program pulls ahead of the pack with an average point value of 1.9 cents a piece as of our latest calculations. You’ll get a generally strong redemption rate for spending on hotels, regardless of hotel category, as well as bonuses for transferring points to airlines.

How to earn World of Hyatt points

There are several ways to earn points to your World of Hyatt account. Check out our earning guide for more details on how to best earn points.

  • Stay at Hyatt properties
  • Make purchases with eligible credit cards
  • Book a FIND experience
  • Book or dine at partnered outlets
  • Host a meeting or event on a Hyatt property
  • Rent an Avis car
  • Purchase points directly

What you can redeem World of Hyatt points for

Here are a few of your options for redeeming your World of Hyatt points. Read our full redemption guide to find out which offer the best value.

  • Book an award night at a Hyatt property
  • Book a night at a Hyatt or Miraval resort
  • Upgrade your room
  • Transfer points to a partnered airline

Top travel perks

Here are some of the perks you can expect as you grow as a World of Hyatt member.

  • Late checkout
  • Club lounge access
  • Free breakfast
  • Member rates

Use a cobranded credit card to earn more points

World of Hyatt Credit Card offers a great way to jump into the program for a few reasons. The first is the healthy signup bonus — you’ll earn 30,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in purchases within your first 3 months of account opening and another 30,000 points when you spend up to $15,000 on purchases that typically earn 1x points in the first 6 months.

This card also automatically grants you Discoverist status for as long as your account is open — a great head start to earning the next elite tier and enjoying even more benefits.

Easiest to earn and redeem rewards: Marriott Bonvoy

The newly renovated Marriott Bonvoy program has numerous properties you can earn and redeem points on. It also has a great selection of credit cards for earning points through Chase Ultimate Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards.

This program provides a great variety of tertiary ways to earn points, such as booking cruises, hosting meetings or referring a friend to stay at a hotel. You can also transfer your Marriott Bonvoy points to a variety of partners.

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

Here are just a few of the ways to start earning Marriott Bonvoy points. Check out our Marriott Bonvoy earning guide to compare which options help you earn the fastest.

  • Stay at eligible Marriott Bonvoy hotel properties
  • Spend with eligible credit cards
  • Book cruises
  • Host meetings or events on Marriott Bonvoy properties
  • Refer a friend to stay at a Marriott hotel

What you can redeem Marriott Bonvoy points for

Here are a few ways you can redeem your Marriott Bonvoy points. Check out our Marriott Bonvoy redemption guide for more information on where to best put your points.

  • Stays at Marriott Bonvoy properties
  • Marriott experiences such as concerts or guided tours
  • Transfer your points to partnered airlines

Top travel perks

As you progress through the elite tiers of the Marriott Bonvoy program, you’ll enjoy a large variety of perks during your stays.

  • Late checkout
  • Ultimate Reservation Guarantee
  • Enhanced room upgrades
  • Room type priority

Use a cobranded credit card to earn more points

On top of earning additional points on eligible Marriott purchases, you can earn 100,000 bonus points with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card‘s welcome offer. To qualify, you must spend $3,000 within your first 3 months of account opening.

This cobranded card will also grant you Silver elite membership just for signing up, so it’s a great way to start earning and redeeming even faster.

Best for complimentary travel benefits: the Hilton Honors program

While the Hilton Honors program generally caters to luxury travelers, the complimentary benefits offered by the program are hard to ignore. Chief among these benefits is the free night you’ll receive if you book four award nights. Even the lowest elite tier receives this bonus and, depending on where you stay, this benefit alone could be worth hundreds of dollars.

Climb the status ranks and you’ll enjoy complimentary breakfast, room upgrades, welcome amenities, lounge access and milestone awards at a value that few hotel programs can match.

How to earn Hilton Honors points

Here are some of the primary ways to earn Hilton Honors points. Check out our Hilton Honors earning guide for more information on how to best earn Hilton points.

  • Stay at Hilton branded properties
  • Spend with eligible credit cards
  • Book a cruise through Hilton
  • Dine with the Hilton Honors Dining program

What you can redeem Hilton Honors points for

You have a variety of options when it comes to redeeming your Hilton Honors points. Check out our full redemption guide to find out which options provide the most value.

  • Free nights at Hilton properties
  • Book Hilton experiences including guided tours and concerts
  • Dine and shop using points

Top travel perks

Here are just a few of the valuable perks you can earn when you join the Hilton Honors program.

  • Fifth reward night free
  • Elite tier rollover nights
  • Executive lounge access
  • Room upgrades when available

Use a cobranded credit card to earn more points

Complete the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card‘s welcome offer by spending $2,000 in eligible purchases within your first 3 months of account opening and you’ll earn 130,000 bonus points for redemption(Terms apply, see rates & fees).

Largest hotel network: Wyndham Rewards

If you often travel for business and never know where your trip may take you, the Wyndham Rewards program can offer you peace of mind. They have more than 8000 hotels across 66 countries.

This means that no matter where you travel, you’ll almost always be able to earn and redeem rewards for your hotel stays. Compare this to a hotel brand such as Hilton, which has just over 500 hotels worldwide, and you’ll see how Wyndham’s coverage is a great boon for those traveling to parts unknown.

How to earn Wyndham Rewards points

Wyndham recently expanded your earning options to include a wider variety of activities.

  • Stay at Wyndham properties
  • Spend with eligible credit cards
  • Shop or dine at partnered brands
  • Fill up on fuel
  • Book an experience such as a concert or guided tour

What you can redeem Wyndham Rewards points for

Here are a few of the ways you can redeem your Wyndham Rewards points.

  • Stays at Wyndham properties
  • Stays at Caesars resorts
  • Gift cards or merchandise
  • Vacation packages

Top travel perks

Enjoy a variety of perks during your stay as you progress through Wyndham’s elite status levels.

  • Late checkout and early check-in
  • Dedicated member services
  • Caesars Rewards status match
  • Welcome amenities

Use a cobranded credit card to earn more points

You have just one card available for earning Wyndham Rewards points, the Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Card. It comes in two versions: one with an annual fee and one without.

The version without the annual fee lets you earn up to 30,000 when you make your first purchase or balance transfer. This is on top of an additional bonus rate on eligible Wyndham Hotel purchases.

Best hotel rewards program for free nights: Radisson Rewards

While the Radisson Rewards program may not have the highest point values, using the cobranded card earns you free night stays for each $10,000 you spend using your card, up to three nights total.

This means you can earn vacation days just for spending money on everyday purchases. Radisson also offers a variety of family-friendly amenities, such as a kid-friendly library. You can typically find a Radisson property near most family attractions such as Disney World.

How to earn Radisson Rewards points

Here are some of the ways you can earn Radisson Rewards points.

  • Stay at Radisson hotel properties
  • Spend with the Radisson cobranded credit card
  • Host a meeting or event with Radisson

What you can redeem Radisson Rewards points for

You have a few options when deciding to redeem your Radisson Rewards points.

  • Stays a Radisson hotel properties
  • Airline miles
  • Priority Pass membership

Top travel perks

As you stay with Radisson, you’ll earn status levels in their elite status program and earn a variety of travel perks during your stays, including:

  • A members-only rate
  • Free breakfast
  • Rollover nights

Use a cobranded credit card to earn more points

Though all of the Radisson Rewards cobranded cards can earn free nights, the Radisson Rewards Premier Visa Signature® Card allows you to earn 10 points for each dollar spent on eligible Radisson purchases and 5 points on all other purchases.

Plus, you can earn up to 85,000 bonus points – 100,000 after your first purchase within 90 days of account opening and an additional 35,000 after you spend $2,500 within that same time period.

Best for points transfers: IHG Rewards Club

The IHG Rewards Club encompasses properties such as the InterContinental, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and more. It’s a transfer partner of Chase, which means you can earn points with products like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® and convert rewards to IHG points.

How to earn IHG Rewards Club points

There are multiple ways to earn IHG Rewards Club points, and you’ll find just a few below. Read our earning guide to see how you can best earn rewards.

  • Make purchases with eligible credit cards.
  • Stay at eligible IHG properties.
  • Book activities through the IHG Trip Extras program.
  • Rent cars through Hertz.
  • Take advantage of increased earnings through IHG promotions.

What you can redeem IHG Rewards Club points for

You can use points for redemptions such as:

  • Stays at eligible IHG properties.
  • Reward transfers to partner airlines.

Top travel perks

There are five tiers in the IHG Rewards Club. As you move up in status, you’ll enjoy benefits that include:

  • Extended checkout.
  • Priority check-in.
  • Complimentary Internet.
  • Spa credits.
  • Room upgrades.
  • Welcome amenities.

Use a cobranded credit card to earn more points

With the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card you’ll earn 125,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

You’ll also earn 25x total points at eligible IHG hotels, 2x points at restaurants, gas stations and grocery stores, and 1x points on all other purchases.

More ways to earn miles

Cobranded credit cards aren’t the only way you can earn rewards points for many of these hotel rewards programs. Many cards, including the Chase Ultimate Rewards line and Amex Membership Rewards line, can earn points that transfer to your hotel rewards account.

Compare hotel rewards credit cards

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Hilton Honors American Express Card
80,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months, plus 50,000 points after spending a total of $5,000 in the first 6 months
7x points on Hilton Honors purchases, 5x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
With a massive welcome offer for a no-annual-fee card and up to 7x points at Hilton, this is a solid pick for Hilton fans and occasional travelers. Terms apply, see rates & fees
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, a value of up to $900 through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
10x points on Lyft rides, 3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases
Earn a huge signup bonus worth $900 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards with Chase’s premier card.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
80,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, a value of up to $1,000 through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Plus up to $50 statement credit towards groceries
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on up to $1,000 on groceries until April 30, 2021, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
Earn a signup bonus worth $1,000 plus up to $50 statement credit towards groceries with this popular travel card.

Compare up to 4 providers

How to choose the best hotel rewards program for you

Ask yourself these questions to help determine which hotel rewards program is right for you.

  • Do you have a preferred hotel?
    Luckily, few hotel reward programs are worth skipping completely, so take your hotel preferences into account when making your selection.
  • What’s the hotel coverage?
    If you’re traveling frequently for business, you’ll want to make sure the hotel brand offers enough worldwide coverage to let you take advantage of the rewards program.
  • How often do you travel and how much do you spend?
    Some hotel reward programs only really start paying off if you can ascend through their elite status ranks. For hotel programs that don’t have a shortcut to elite status through a cobranded card, gaining sufficient rank could require a large number of hotel stays.
  • What are the additional perks?
    Aside from point value, look at whether the additional perks for signing up — and sticking to the program — is worth the commitment. For some programs, the biggest value comes from these perks.
  • What kind of credit card do you want?
    While you don’t need a credit card to sign up for a hotel rewards program, a card can help you make the most out of the program. While cobranded cards are often a great choice for pure point gains, cards that can transfer to the hotel program can also be great choices since they tend to have more expansive earning categories.

How we make our selections

When choosing the best hotel rewards programs, we looked at a variety of factors for each category. These include how easy it is to gain elite status, the benefits offered through elite tiers, how many points you need for a reward night, the overall value of points, overall hotel coverage, how much you need to spend to find value and other considerations a consumer might look at when choosing a hotel program.

Those hotel rewards programs that stood above the others in a particular category or fulfilled a specific niche were chosen for highlight in this year’s “best of” list.

Hotel booking without a credit card

Booking a hotel without a credit card can cause you to miss out on a few perks that can make your stay more comfortable – or cheaper. Some of the more common hotel perks associated with hotel credit cards include:

  • Free reward nights
  • Concierge services
  • Elite status
  • Discounts on eligible stays
  • Travel insurance

Given the value of elite status in many hotel loyalty programs, it’s wise to review travel credit cards that offer complimentary silver status or gold status if you’re a frequent traveler.

Bottom line

Provided you stick to a hotel brand you enjoy and regularly use, you can’t make a “wrong” choice when picking a hotel rewards program. However, if you want to make the absolute most out of your loyalty programs, try selecting a card based on the strengths described above.

Frequently asked questions

  • Do hotel reward programs cost money to join? No. Most hotel reward programs are free to join.
  • How many points do I need to book a hotel? The number of points you need to book a free night at a hotel depends on the specific hotel brand.
  • Can I use my hotel reward points on other rewards other than hotel nights? Yes. However, points redeemed this way tend to be worth less than if you had redeemed them on reward nights.

Pictures: GettyImages

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