How to Use Hotel Rewards

Hotel

It’s really easy to earn free hotel stays even if you don’t travel all that much and aren’t earning a ton of points through any specific hotel chain’s loyalty rewards program. That’s because these programs—like those offered by Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, Starwood, and others—offer a variety of ways to earn points. You can stay at any hotel brand within the chain, charge everyday expenditures to the chain’s branded credit card, or do business with any number of the chain’s partners. You can also transfer flexible points from American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, or Citi ThankYou Rewards to a few of these hotel loyalty programs.

Once you have hotel reward points, you can redeem them for free room nights as well as upgrades and sometimes even travel packages that include both a flight and hotel accommodations. There are also ways to redeem points for other rewards like converting them into airline miles in your favorite frequent flyer program or purchasing gift cards with your points for restaurants and retail outlets. However, if you want to get the most bang for your buck, focus on redeeming your points for a free hotel stay. Here’s a rundown of the major hotel loyalty programs in the United States and what you can expect in terms of earning and redeeming points:

Best Western Rewards

Participating Brands: Best Western, Best Western Plus, Best Western Plus Executive Residency, Best Western Premier, BW Premier Collection

Earn: 10 points for every $1 spent during an eligible stay

Hotel Redemption Options: free nights starting at 8,000 points per night

Example Redemption: Pioneer Inn in Maui starts at 28,000 points per night; The Dana on Mission Bay in San Diego starts at 36,000 points per night

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Club Carlson

Participating Brands: Quorvus Collection, Radisson Blu, Radisson, Radisson RED, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson

Earn: 20 points per $1 spent on eligible hotel nights, meals, and beverages

Hotel Redemption Options: Free nights starting at 9,000 points per night; points and cash

Example Redemption: Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa starts at 70,000 points per night; Radisson Blu Hotel at Disneyland Paris starts at 44,000 points per night

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Choice Privileges

Participating Brands: Ascend Hotel Collection, Cambria Hotels & Suites, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Sleep Inn, Quality, Clarion, Mainstay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotels, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn

Earn: 10 points for every $1 spent (excluding taxes, restaurant, and other incidental charges) at Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, and Ascend Hotels; five points for every $1 spent at MainStay Suites, Suburban, Econo Lodge, and Rodeway Inn

Transfer Partners: American Express Membership Rewards

Hotel Redemption Options: Free nights starting at 6,000 points per night; points and cash

Example Redemption: Clarion Hotel in Branson, Missouri starts at 10,000 points per night; The Peery Hotel, an Ascend property in Salt Lake City, Utah starts at 20,000 points per night

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Hilton HHonors

Participating Brands: Canopy, Conrad, Curio, DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites, Home 2, tru, Waldorf Astoria, Hilton Grand Vacations

Earn: 10 HHonors points per $1r spent on eligible room charges

Transfer Partners: American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards

Hotel Redemption Options: free nights starting at 5,000 points per night; points and cash; upgrades

Example Redemption: Grand Wailea in Maui starts at 70,000 points per night; Hilton Anaheim starts at 40,000 points per night

Tip: Use the Standard Room Rewards Pricing Tool to find out how many points you need for a Hilton HHonors redemption.

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Hyatt Gold Passport

Participating Brands: Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Hyatt, Andaz, Hyatt Centric, Hyatt Place, Hyatt House, Hyatt Zilara, Hyatt Ziva, Hyatt Residence Club, The Unbound Collection by Hyatt

Earn: 5 points for every eligible $1 spent on room nights, on-site restaurant charges, and spa treatments

Transfer Partners: Chase Ultimate Rewards

Hotel Redemption Options: Free nights starting at 5,000 points per night, upgrades; points can also be used at hotel restaurants, the spa, and for things like parking and in-room movies

Example Redemption: Hyatt Regency Schaumburg, Chicago starts at 5,000 points per night; Grand Hyatt Regency Bali starts at 6,000 points per night

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IHG Rewards

Participating Brands: InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, HUALUXE Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo, EVEN Hotels, Holiday Inn Hotels, Holiday Inn Express Hotels, Holiday Inn Resort, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites

Earn: 10 base points for every $1 spent at all of the Holiday Inn brands, plus InterContinental, Hualuxe, Crown Plaza, Hotel Indigo, and Even Hotels. Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites stays net 5 points per $1 spent

Transfer Partners: Chase Ultimate Rewards

Hotel Redemption Options: free nights starting at 10,000 points per night; points and cash

Example Redemption: InterContinental Hong Kong starts at 60,000 points per night; Holiday Inn Sanibel in Florida starts at 35,000 points per night

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Marriott Rewards

Participating Brands: The Ritz-Carlton, Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, JW Marriott, Edition, Autograph Collection Hotels, Renaissance Hotels, Moxy Hotels, AC Hotels, Marriott, Delta Hotels, Courtyard, Protea Hotels, SpringHill Suites, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Marriott Executive Apartments, Gaylord Hotels

Earn: 10 points per $1 spent at Marriott, JW Marriott, Autograph Collection, Renaissance Hotels, Marriott Vacation Club, Edition, AC Hotels, Courtyard, Springhill Suites, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Gaylord Hotels, and at its partner, Ritz-Carlton. Five points per $1 spent on your room rate at the Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites. Earn 2.5 points per $1 spent on your room rate at the Marriott Executive Apartments and 2.5 points on all qualifying charges at Execustay.

Transfer Partners: Chase Ultimate Rewards

Hotel Redemption Options: Free nights starting at 6,000 points per night; cash and points; fifth night free; upgrades; travel packages

Example Redemption: The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas starts at 45,000 points per night; Marriott’s Mountain Valley Lodge at Breckenridge, Colorado starts at 40,000 points per night

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Ritz-Carlton Rewards

Participating Brands: Ritz-Carlton, The Residences at Ritz-Carlton, The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club, Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Earn: 10 points per $1 spent on your room rate at any Ritz-Carlton property

Transfer Partners: Chase Ultimate Rewards

Hotel Redemption Options: Free nights starting at 30,000 points per night; cash and points; upgrades; travel packages

Example Redemption: Ritz-Carlton Vienna starts at 40,000 points per night; the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman starts at 70,000 points per night

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Starwood Preferred Guest

Participating Brands: Sheraton, Westin, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, Le Meridien, Design Hotels, Tribute Portfolio, Element, aloft Hotels, Four Points

Earn: 2 points for every $1 spent at Starwood hotels; non-guests can earn on any purchases in a Starwood property restaurant or bar

Transfer Partners: American Express Membership Rewards

Hotel Redemption Options: Free nights starting at 3,000 points per night; upgrades; cash and points; fifth night free (on stays at hotels in categories 3–7); Nights & Flights packages

Example Redemption: Westin Grande Sukhumvit, Bangkok starts at 10,000 points per night; rooms at both the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin at Lake Buena Vista, Florida start at 12,000 points per night

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Wyndham Rewards

Participating Brands: Dolce Hotels & Resorts, Wyndham Grand, Wyndham, Wyndham Garden, Tryp, Wingate, Hawthorn, Microtel, Ramada Worldwide, Baymont Inn & Suites, Days Inn, Super 8, Howard Johnson, Travelodge, Knights Inn

Earn: 10 Wyndham Rewards points for every $1 spent on qualifying room rates at Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Wyndham Grand, Wyndham Garden, Wingate, Ramada, Days Inn, Super 8, Baymont Inns & Suites, Microtel, Howard Johnson, Travelodge, and Knights Inn. Five points for every dollar spent on a qualifying room rate at Hawthorn Suites.

Hotel Redemption Options: All Wyndham hotels offer free nights for 15,000 points per night; cash and points

Example Redemption: Wyndham New Orleans – French Quarter starts at 15,000 points per night; Wyndham Hotel Melbourne starts at 15,000 points per night

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