Are you dreaming of a vacation that doesn’t come with an expensive price tag? Or are you fantasizing about a relaxing trip with all the perks? There’s a reason why everyone’s talking about points these days (and I don’t mean WeightWatchers!). You may already know about airline rewards and credit card rewards. But are you signed up for any hotel rewards programs?
While it might take you years to earn enough points for free airfare, hotel points can often be earned at a faster rate. In general, there are two categories of hotel rewards programs: the type where you can exchange your points for free nights, and the type where you can exchange your points for perks like minibar treats, free WiFi access, and other perks.
Not sure where to begin? Here’s what we’ve found on how to earn hotel rewards programs points and which hotel chains offer the best rewards.
How Do You Earn Points?
The best way to earn points is by signing up for a co-branded hotel credit card. Every transaction on the card can earn you hotel points; however, you earn the most points when you use the card at one of the hotels in the group. No matter what, any purchases you put on the card will earn you points.
You’ll also earn a large point bonus when you sign up, but you may have to charge a certain amount on the card to earn the bonus. Plan ahead so that you sign up for the card at a time when you know you’ll make enough purchases on it to meet the spending requirement. Also, make sure you time it right and sign up when you’re planning your next vacation so you can put all those points to use!
If you don’t want to sign up for a hotel credit card but you still want the benefits of the points, you can still sign up for the hotel rewards program. Every time you stay at one of the chain’s hotels, you’ll earn points. You can use the points towards free nights or towards perks like free breakfast. You can also purchase points – but make sure you do the math first to see if you’re getting a deal.
Above all else, remember that loyalty really does pay. The more you stay with one chain, the more points (and perks) you’ll earn.
The Wyndham Rewards program is one of the best on the market. After all, you’ll have more than 9,000 hotel properties to choose from when you pick this program, including Days Inn, Trademark, and Wyndham Grand.
A major advantage of signing up with Wyndham is that they partner with Amtrak, American Airlines, and United. So if you book your transportation with any of these partners, you can earn either miles or points towards Wyndham hotel stays.
There are three different Wyndham Rewards credit cards you can sign up for if you travel frequently, or you can simply sign up for the loyalty program. Do what works best for you!
InterContinental Hotels Group owns hotels such as Holiday Inn, Hotel Indigo, InterContinental, and Regent. With over 6,000 destinations in almost 100 countries, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.
You can apply for the IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card if you plan on traveling frequently, and as soon as you’re approved, you’ll be eligible for Platinum status and perks.
If you’d rather not sign up for the credit card, joining the IHG Rewards program still comes with plenty of perks, such as the best-rate member rate. There are also no blackout dates on free nights, free WiFi every time, and more benefits.
There are three Elite status tiers: gold, platinum, and spire, with spire as the highest. You can earn bonus earnings on top of base points, extended checkout, welcome amenities, and much more. However, make sure you check before you book because some of the perks are only available at certain hotels.
Last but certainly not least, Marriott Bonvoy is the famous hotel chain’s reward program that will allow you to stay in the lap of luxury. Free nights earned in this program can be used at hotels such as The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, and Renaissance. You’ll also be able to use these points towards stays at Westin Hotels & Resorts and Courtyard by Marriott.
If you’ve decided to go the credit card route, there are plenty of options, such as the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant or Marriott Bonvoy Business from American Express, or the Marriott Bonvoy Bold or the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless from Chase. Marriott Bonvoy points can be applied towards United MileagePlus and Delta SkyMiles as well.
These are just a few of the many hotel rewards programs that are out there. Some of the other top programs include World of Hyatt, Choice Privileges, Best Western Rewards, and Hilton Honors. Make sure to check them out before you make your final decision.
Remember that no matter which hotel chain you choose, these programs work best when you really are loyal. So, make a plan to book with that hotel’s properties long-term. Once you start enjoying the perks, you’ll see how much it’s really worth it!