best hotel loyalty programs

Complete Guide: Best Hotel Loyalty Program

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The Top 5 List of Best Hotel Loyalty Programs

Are you an avid traveler? If so then it means you are often staying in hotel rooms. Looking for the best place to stay and top offers can sometimes become overwhelming.

There are many factors to consider when choosing the best fit when it comes to hotel loyalty programs: where are you traveling, how often you go on vacation, as well as your travel style.

Before starting to dig into this comprehensive article, ask yourself: are you that kind of person who is happy with getting a free waffle, or do you prefer going further and getting an entirely free breakfast?

Here are some variables to keep in mind about finding the ideal reward programs, how you can enroll in these programs, as well as the upgrades, benefits, and greatest perks.

There is no quick answer to cover the complexity of the hotel loyalty program. However, there are some hotels that stand out above the rest of the market.

To help you choose the best rewards as a traveler, we have evaluated 5 of the most popular hotel loyalty programs, so you can easily make a decision.

Before enrolling in any of these programs, make sure you check out each of these top places’ perks, then find the best that fits your needs.

Best Hotel Loyalty Program: Do You Truly Need One?

There is no hotel loyalty program that is ideal for each kind of traveler. Some of them are best for flexible holidays, while others offer better priority to accumulating lots of club points which lead to free nights.

Other programs are orientated to emphasize specific member-only privileges.

You have the final say in deciding what you need and want in a property. However, no one can match the privileges you get once joining a loyalty program. 

Here are the top advantages these programs include:

  • Better Guest Experience: Once enrolling in a loyalty program, frequent travelers will never be overlooked. Moreover, they will be much more pampered by the staff, and their preferences will be always recognized.

The hotel will take care of the loyalty program members, making their stay a lot more enjoyable.

  • More Bookings: A simple hotel loyalty program comes with lots of promises and rewards, as well as instant advantages you get once booking the hotel room. These perks of a loyalty program are attractive also for the new members, not only for members that have accumulated points.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Once enrolling in the best loyalty programs, you can save lots of money by simply booking with the same reward program with each stay. That shouldn’t be too difficult, many programs have 1,000’s hotels that are connected.
  • Happier Customers – Boosted Revenues: Guests who are happy with the loyal programs will keep coming to the same place. Obviously, the goal here is for the customer to be thrilled by the services they receive, and they are spending much more money on extras.

For the hotel business, this is bliss, while the travelers will be pleased to give their money on the service they love.  Everyone wins.

  • Customized Offers: Once offering a loyalty program, hotels have access to all the profiles of their customers. This means entrance to their interests, preferences, as well as traveling behavior.

Based on these values, the hotel will know how to interact with all the new and old guests and make their stay even more enjoyable.

How To Pick the Top Hotel Loyalty Program?

There is no rocket science to which we call choosing a hotel loyalty program that suits you. You simply need to consider a few factors first:

  • How many properties does the hotel chain have? Tip: the more, the better.
  • Where are the locations of these hotels? Are the hotels in places you want to travel to in this life?
  • How much does it take so you enjoy the perks of their loyalty program?
  • What are the main perks of the hotel’s loyalty program? Is there any free Wi-Fi, maybe free suites?
  • How easy or complicated is the way of earning points? Simply said, how quickly can you earn free night stays?
  • Do you have a chance to redeem the points? Rewards are not that pleasant if you cannot cash in on them.

The hotel loyalty programs are not the same, so each brand and each hotel has a different plan to attract their customers. Each traveler will have individual goals, so consider the previous list of factors as a way of sorting these programs.

Enrolling into a hotel rewards program is a kind of commitment: once making a decision and start earning points, it is wiser to stick to one brand in the long term. Consider this your method to maximize return.

Even though when starting out, the reward will be very small, as small as the value of a bottle of water, in the long term, you have all the chance to earn a valuable status.

For instance, you can earn free night stays, different discounts, free Wi-Fi, and so on. Earning valuable points will improve your stay. Needless to say, you will have lots of suite upgrades, free nights, and VIP advantages.

Top 5 Best Hotel Loyalty Programs

Lots of you have mostly waited for this part. Keep on reading to find the best hotel loyalty program to suit you:

1) Best Western Rewards

About the Program

The Best Western Rewards are one of the most popular traveling programs, that is orientated to budget-minded, as well as family travelers.

One of the best parts of the Best Western Rewards program is that its members can accumulate and redeem points while they stay at one of the 4,500 best Western units.

All these hotels are in nearly 100 countries, from which we need to mention the United States and Canada.

More than the traveling points for the accommodation itself, members of the Best Western Rewards will enjoy multiple advantages, such as the ones from the partner services. As such, you can have discounts at car rentals, even flower delivery.

All you need to use is the Best Western Rewards Mastercard. Another way of enjoying the benefits of this loyalty program is by converting Diners Club Rewards to Best Western Rewards points.

All the points you are accumulating can be used for future stays at Best Western hotels. Once accumulating the perks, you can redeem the points for members-only experiences. What does this mean?

By using your card, you can take advantage of the walking tours of Quebec City, or just attend the aerial tour of the Grand Canyon.

One of the best parts of the Best Western Loyalty Program is that this hotel chain partner with world-wide airlines, like Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, and Southwest Airlines.

Pros:

  • The accumulated points will never expire
  • The program is famous and trustful, as such there are around 4,500 participating hotels all over the world
  • The Best Western Rewards points can be easily redeemed for airline miles, gift cards, free nights, and so on

Cons:

  • In order to get free nights, you will mostly need to collect a large number of points
  • You will not be able to earn both hotel points and airlines miles if you apply for them during the same stay
  • Once purchasing gift cards with points, it might take a few weeks for the card to arrive

How You Take Advantage Of The Points

As you may know, the best way to enjoy the points you accumulate during a loyalty program is by staying at that hotel, which is Best Western Hotels. Of course, the second way to use the points is by using the Best Western Rewards Mastercard.

You can use the accumulated points for getting non-paying nights, lots of rewards, as well as airline miles. The nice part is that the points will not expire.

Earning Points by:

  • Hotel stays
  • Credit Cards

Using Points On:

  • Air Travelling
  • Booking Hotels

Types Of Memberships

There are five levels you can achieve with the Best Western Rewards Program, depending on how often you choose to book your stay here, how many points you accumulate, and so on.

2) Marriott Bonvoy Rewards

About The Program

Why Marriott Bonvoy, you might ask. Well, everybody is used to hearing only about Marriott, but, in February 2019, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Marriott Rewards finally made a deal, and combined a loyalty program.

The result? Marriott Bonvoy. This was great news, as travelers have now so many options to stay, much more than before. From luxury hotels, such as Ritz-Carlton, to the off-gems, you can travel the world and enjoy their loyalty program.

Perks

One of the greatest advantages of this loyalty program is that you can enjoy more than 6,900 hotels, across 130 counties. You just put the finger on the map and go where the heart wants.

Whether you book your stay at Starwood, maybe Ritz-Carlton or Marriott, you receive points. You will enjoy the advantages once renting a car with Hertz too, maybe booking some cruises through Cruises Only.

Of course, you can use the advantages of this program for booking airline miles, as you will earn up to two miles per dollar. There are multiple airlines that work with the Marriott Bonvoy Rewards, such as Virgin Atlantic, Alaska, Jet Blue, Delta, and many more.

Pros:

  • Almost 7,000 hotels in the 130-plus countries
  • No blackout dates when the program redeems free nights
  • Versatile rewards-usage, for hotel stays, flights, cruises, rental cars, vacation packages

Cons:

  • If you are not active for two years, the points will expire
  • Rooms at high categories require a larger number of points
  • It is way harder to reach Marriott Bonvoy’s top-tier membership levels. It is even more complicated than reaching the highest levels among Hilton Honors and World of Hyatt loyalty programs.

How You Earn Points

Once you enroll in the Marriott Bonvoy membership, you will start earning the points on different expenses at all the hotels in this program. Moreover, all the members will be able to take advantage of the points at the on-site dining and spa, or by making everyday purchases by using the Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card.

You Earn Points By:

Once you enroll in the Marriott Bonvoy membership, you will start earning points on different expenses at all the hotels in this program. Moreover, all the members will be able to take advantage of the points at the on-site dining and spa, or by making everyday purchases by using the Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card.

You Earn Points By:

  • Air Travel
  • Hotel Stays
  • Credit Card

Use Points On:

  • Air Travelling
  • Booking Hotels
  • Upgrading the Room Features

Membership Levels

When it comes to the Marriott  Bonvoy Loyalty Program, there are six membership levels you can acquire: The first one is simply a member, then Silver Elite, Gold Elite, Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite, and last but not least, Ambassador Elite.

The last level takes much more time to achieve, as you need to spend a certain amount of money with the Marriott program.

3) Hilton Honors Rewards

Overview

One of the best hotel loyalty programs, as well as a very popular one, is the Hilton Honors Rewards. Some of you might have recognized it as Hilton Hhonors, however, in 2017, they decided to drop the second H and offer a massive geographic footprint for their travelers.

The Hilton Honors Rewards encapsulates more than 5,000 hotels that are located in over 100 countries. As such, you will find the hotel chain much everywhere.

From luxurious options, including Conrad Tokyo, to mid-tier options, you can travel anywhere on the globe and enjoy their program.

For Whom Hilton Honors Program is Best For?

This loyalty program is best for those who travel in business interests, as well as for luxury travelers. As such, if you enjoy being spoiled while traveling, or your job allows you to stay in the best hotels in the world, consider this program.

If you mostly travel to major cities in the United States, Asia, and Europe, then Hilton Honors would be perfect. More than the points you accumulate during your stay in the 5,000 hotels and resorts, you can earn points by using the Lyft rides.

Your card will get points while you make purchases with the Hilton Honors credit cards as well, from American Express.

Pros:

  • Partnership with United MileagePlus and other 40 airline partners
  • No blackout dates
  • Over 5,000 participating hotels
  • Worldwide included resorts
  • All the resort fees are reward stays are accumulated as points

Cons:

  • The points expire once you don’t use the card for more than one year
  • The points cannot be accumulated during the same stay
  • If you want free nights and higher-end hotels, you need much more points

How To Earn Points:

  • Stay at any of the Hilton properties
  • Make everyday purchases using the special credit card
  • Air travel

Spend The Points On:

  • Booking Hotel Rooms
  • Air Travel
  • Free Nights
  • Rail Miles

Membership Levels

Like many other best hotel loyalty programs, the Hilton Honors comes with four different types of memberships: Member, Silver, Gold, and Diamond. If you are a loyal traveler and go to Hilton often, then the perks will be as expected.

4) Choice Privileges Rewards

About The Program

When it comes to Choice Privileges Rewards, this best hotel loyalty program is designed for families and business travelers. In comparison to the other programs, the Choice Hotels offer an alternative on a budget.

This program is versatile, as it covers around 7,000 hotels. So, you can travel to every continent and you will enjoy the privileges.

Some of the hotels that are included in this program are Comfort Suites, Comfort Inn, Econo Lodge, and many others. Earning the points is simple. If you have that specific card, you are able to start earning lots of points.

Every step is important, and every single dollar counts and it will be converted to points.

Pros:

  • More than 7,000 hotels that participate in the program
  • Even if you stay at budget hotels, you can earn free nights for high-end properties
  • You can earn points for hotel stays, cruise vacations, car rentals, and many more

Cons:

  • The points will expire after 18 months, in case you do not use the card
  • The only way of booking free nights is by calling the special center

Earning Points:

  • You accumulate points during each stay at one of these hotels
  • Use the credit card for accumulating points

Use Points on:

  • Booking Hotel Rooms
  • Air Travel

Membership Levels

The Choice Privileges program has also different types of memberships: simply member, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond.

5) IHG Rewards

Overview

One of the best hotel loyalty programs in the world is the International Hotels Group’s Reward Club. This loyalty program contains more than 5,600 properties, all along with more than 100-plus countries.

The main hotels are in major cities, such as Chicago, New York City, Shanghai, London, or San Francisco.

Moreover, you can earn lots of loyalty points within IHG’s extensive hotel chains, such as Crowne Plaza, InternContinental, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, or Kimpton hotels.

The IHG Rewards loyalty program offers different methods for their guests to accumulate points. From paying for hotel stays, purchasing goods with the card, or just enrolling in air travel, there are many ways to earn lots of points.

Pros:

  • More than 5,600 hotels worldwide you can stay at
  • No blackout dates for free nights
  • 44 partner airlines you can take advantage of

Cons:

  • The rewards are not the same, but vary by location
  • The points won’t be accumulated for discounted rooms
  • Once booking the rooms through third-party websites, the points won’t be eligible

How to Earn Points

There are plenty of methods to earn points when enrolling in the IHG Loyalty Program. As such, the very first thing to do is:

  • Booking your rooms at the partner hotels
  • Purchase goods and services using the IHG partner vendors
  • Make sure of the IHG channel, and take advantage of every perk
  • Book activities through the IHG Trip Extras page
  • Hold a Rewards Club Premier Credit Card and use it for your purchases

If you don’t want to use the earned points on different purchases, you can opt for donating them to the IHG Foundation. This is kind of unique, as you can help, by your traveling habits, different communities to develop and overcome disasters.

How to use Points On:

  • Air Travel
  • Booking rooms
  • Donate them to charity

Can Use Points On:

  • Booking Hotels

Membership Levels

As all the other best loyalty programs have, the IHG Rewards offer different kinds of memberships, depending on your traveling habits. So, based on the different points you will be accumulating during the 365 days of a year, your membership will be different.

Don’t forget to check them during every trip, and discover what advantages they bring. Only those who receive an exclusive invitation, they can become an InterContinental Ambassador. It’s true, you might have to support an extra fee.

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Hotel Loyalty Program

Final words

We hope that this article will help be helpful when booking your next accommodation. What I do want to specify is that these 5 are not the only loyalty programs out there, but they are the best ones.

Feel free to discover more programs and find the most suitable for you.

More Travel Tips

Hello friends, glad you could make it. Imagine if you could completely catapult your travel experience to the next level. That’s what kalistravelguide.com set out to do.

Sign up here Contact Kali for all of my insider tips, reviews, strategies and the best of Travel Deals.

Are you ready? Because this is what following your dreams looks like.   Enjoy!-Kali

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