Being a member of a hotel's loyalty program gets you a lot of perks
Being a member of a hotel’s loyalty program gets you a lot of perks – AndreyPopov (canva)

Hotel loyalty programs are all the hype and you’d be surprised to learn how many benefits they offer. Some programs are international, which means you can keep earning points wherever you go. Here is a list of the best hotel loyalty programs, so get to it and start signing up as soon as possible. You won’t regret it! 

1. World of Hyatt

World of Hyatt
World of Hyatt

Site: world.hyatt.com

Pros

  • Thousands of international accommodation options
  • Very rewarding elite program for top-tier members
  • Earn points with credit cards (Hyatt and Chase) and air travel
  • Straightforward award chart
  • Member points can be combined to redeem awards
  • Points can be used on various hotel services

Cons

  • Some hotels don’t offer elite membership benefits
  • Some free nights are subject to availability
  • Points can expire

The World of Hyatt program has four different tiers, each with its own attractive benefits, namely Member, Discoverist, Explorist, and Globalist.

Member is for newcomers and not-so-avid travelers. In this tier, you can save up to 10% at participating hotels, quickly earn and use your points for free nights, and receive a night for free after staying at 5 different Hyatt brands. Discoverist offers 10% bonus points on qualifying purchases, 2 pm late checkout, and complimentary premium internet. 

Once you reach Explorist, you’ll receive 20% bonus points on qualifying purchases, 2 pm late checkout, and upgraded rooms (subject to availability).

Lastly, for those with incurable wanderlust or a job that requires a lot of travel, there is Globalist. This tier offers 30% bonus points on qualifying purchases, room upgrades, Club lounge access or complimentary breakfast, and 4 pm late checkout. 

Being in a loyalty program is not the only way to get a room upgrade. Here are the other 8 ways that work: 9 tips to get yourself a free hotel upgrade.

Sign up for this program if you:

  • Typically travel to large cities or popular locations
  • Want to stay in luxury hotels
  • Are collecting Chase Ultimate rewards points
  • Enjoy all-inclusive offers

2. Marriott Bonvoy (Fastest Growing Program)

Marriott Bonvovy
Marriott Bonvovy

Site: marriott.com

Pros

  • More than 8,000 hotels in 131 countries
  • Earn points with credit cards (Chase and American Express)
  • Book 5 consecutive nights and get the cheapest one free
  • Points can be transferred to over 40 airline partners for air travel
  • Rewards can be used on various travel and hotel services

Cons

  • Top-tier levels are considered hard to reach
  • Points can expire

Marriott International is currently the fastest growing hotel chain with more than 8,000 hotels across the world. If you consider revenue and market size, Marriott is also the largest hotel chain in the world. Plus, they plan to add more than 195,000 hotel rooms and acquire multiple brands in the future. 

Their rewards program consists of six distinct tiers with many benefits, starting from Member.  This tier includes in-room Wi-Fi, exclusive discounts for members, and an app with a mobile check-in service.

Then, there’s Silver Elite, which includes 10% bonus points, late checkout, exclusive discounted member rates, in-room Wi-Fi, and mobile check-in on their application. 

The third tier is known as Gold Elite and it includes 25% bonus points, room upgrades, 2 pm late checkout, a welcome gift that consists of bonus points, and all the extras in the previous tier.

Platinum Elite provides you with everything in the previous tier plus 50% bonus points, your choice of welcome gift, 4 pm late checkout, Lounge access, and the Annual Choice Benefit (granted that you have 50 Elite Night Credits). 

Titanium Elite holds additional benefits like 75% bonus points, a 48-hour guarantee on late bookings, complimentary United MileagePlus Premier Silver Status, and Hertz Five Star Status.

Lastly, for the most elite members, there’s Ambassador Elite. This tier includes all the great benefits and you get to choose the 24 hours that you’d like to stay at the hotel. You also get a dedicated personal Ambassador to provide you with all your needs. 

Hotels in the Marriott chain are also among the best airport hotels in the US.

Sign up for this program if you:

  • Frequently travel internationally
  • Enjoy staying in non-textbook hotels
  • Frequently travel for five or more consecutive nights
  • Would like to convert points for air travel

3. Sonesta Travel Pass 

Sonesta Travel Pass 
Sonesta Travel Pass 

Site: sonesta.com

Pros

  • Sonesta World Mastercard from Bank of America is able to earn extra points
  • New members receive 500 bonus points
  • More than 1,200 properties
  • Sonesta matches your reward status from other loyalty programs
  • Free nights can be transferred to immediate family members
  • Cardholders are immediately upgraded to elite status (highest tier)
  • Straightforward free night rewards system

Cons

  • Free nights can only be booked by calling reception
  • Only in 8 countries
  • Only able to earn reward points when presenting Sonesta Travel Pass Member ID number
  • Points can expire
  • Points can only be used on bookings

Sonesta’s hotel loyalty program, Sonesta Travel Pass, is free to join and you can start earning points as soon as you sign up. The program has a total of 4 different reward tiers, including Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. 

Bronze is the beginner tier and it includes special member rates and promotions, complimentary upgraded Wi-Fi, partner benefits, and an enrollment bonus.

The Silver tier activates after 10 nights, or 10 000 points, depending on which milestone you reach first. It includes all the Bronze benefits, 50% bonus points, an exclusive reservations line, early check-in and late check-out, a welcome gift, and complimentary room upgrades. 

Then, there’s the Gold tier, which starts at 20 nights or 20 000 points. Once you reach this tier, you’ll receive all the Silver benefits, 75% bonus points, priority self-parking, and a complimentary continental breakfast daily.

Lastly, for the most loyal Sonesta members, there’s the Platinum tier, which starts at 40 nights or 40 000 points. This tier includes all the Gold benefits with 100% bonus points. 

Sign up for this program if you:

  • Frequently travel in North and South America 
  • Don’t mind calling reception to book free nights
  • Would like to use your points on bookings only
  • Would like to skip the process of acquiring points to get to the top tier

4. Hilton Honors 

Hilton Honors 
Hilton Honors 

Site: hilton.com

Pros

  • More than 6,000 hotels in 118 countries
  • Partnered with American Express
  • Elite members or credit card holders get the fifth consecutive night free

Cons

  • Bonus points don’t count toward elite status
  • Hotel and airline points can’t be earned at the same time

The Hilton Honors rewards program has four tiers, namely Member, Silver, Gold, and Diamond. In Member, you’ll receive an exclusive member discount, no resort fees when you use your rewards points, digital check-in and check-out with the app (which also acts as a digital room key), your choice of room, free Wi-Fi, and access to member-only experiences. Every dollar that you spend in this tier will give you 10 points.

You’ll receive the same benefits in Silver, which is where you’ll be after 10 stays. Together with 12 points for every dollar you spend, you’ll also receive a 20% bonus on points, free bottled water, your 5th night free when you stay longer, Elite Rollover Nights, and a 15% all-inclusive spa discount.

Gold includes all the Silver benefits and it activates once you’ve stayed 40 nights. You’ll get an additional 80% points bonus, room upgrades, daily food and beverage credits, and a milestone bonus which gives you 10,000 bonus points every 10 nights after your 40th stay. In this tier, you’ll get 18 points for each dollar you spend. 

Lastly, after 60 nights in total, you’ll reach Diamond. This tier includes all the previous benefits, plus a 100% points bonus and 20 points per dollar you spend. You’ll get access to the executive lounge, premium Wi-Fi, and a 48-hour room guarantee on late bookings. 

Sign up for this program if you:

  • Are an Amex Rewards Member
  • Frequently travel internationally
  • Would like a selection between budget and luxurious hotels
  • Frequently travel for five or more consecutive nights

5. Accor Live Limitless 

Accor Live Limitless 
Accor Live Limitless 

Site: accor.com

Pros

  • More than 50 hotel brands
  • More than 4,000 hotels worldwide
  • Many luxurious hotels in popular major cities
  • Transfer partner of Capital One
  • Straightforward rewards system
  • Points are very valuable
  • Earn points with other travel and hotel services

Cons

  • Most hotels are in Asia and Europe
  • Points can expire

The ALL rewards program has 5 different tiers, namely Classic, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. Classic is for new members and it activates as soon as you sign up for the program. It includes a special member rate (10% discount), free Wi-Fi, member-only offers, and access to partner benefits. 

Silver starts from 10 nights and it includes all the previous benefits. Plus, a welcome drink, priority welcome, and late check-out. Gold, which starts at 30 nights, includes everything mentioned and more. It includes guaranteed room availability, room upgrade, and early check-in or late check-out. 

Platinum starts from 60 nights and it includes all the Gold benefits. You’ll also get to upgrade to a Suite, access the Executive Lounge, and enjoy premium Wi-Fi. Lastly, Diamond starts from 26,000 status points and it includes an additional free breakfast on weekends, dining and spa rewards, and free Gold status for anyone you choose. 

Sign up for this program if you:

  • Collect Capital One points
  • Frequently travel to Asia or Europe

6. Choice Privileges 

Choice Privileges
Choice Privileges

Site: choicehotels.com

Pros

  • More than 7,000 hotels internationally
  • Both Capital One and Amex points are transferable
  • Credit cards from Barclays available to earn points
  • Budget stays earn free nights at high-end options
  • Points can be used for various benefits

Cons

  • Top-tier elite status isn’t as rewarding as others
  • Points can expire 

Choice Hotels International is even better than before as they have recently acquired Radisson Hotels Americas. With this, they have added a whole new batch of hotels and properties from across the globe to their portfolio. The list includes around 67,000 rooms and 9 brands.

If you were a member of Radisson Rewards Americas, you could be in for a treat when you move over to Choice Privileges! 

Their rewards program has four distinct tiers, known as Member, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. Member starts with an exclusive member-only discounted rate, Your Extras, and late check-out. Your Extras include rewards like 100 airline points or 400 Choice Privileges points.

The Gold tier starts from the 7th night and it gives you 10% bonus points, early check-in, rollover nights, and access to the Elite Customer Hotline. 

Platinum starts from night 15 and it includes all the great benefits of the previous tiers, plus 25% bonus points.

Lastly, the Diamond tier starts the 25th night and it gives you 60% Elite bonus points on top of the other benefits.

Sign up for this program if you:

  • Frequently travel to Scandinavia
  • Frequently travel to smaller towns in America
  • Collect Capital One or Amex points
  • Prefer to use your points for more than hotel rooms

7. Wyndham Rewards (Largest Hotel Numbers)

Wyndham Rewards
Wyndham Rewards

Site: wyndhamhotels.com

Pros

  • More than 9,000 hotels with many budget options
  • Various hotels in small towns 
  • Capital One miles are transferable
  • Points can be used to book free nights at Vacasa properties
  • Credit cards from Barclays available to earn points

Cons

  • Partner rewards take notably long to be processed
  • More budget options than high-end

If you consider size by number of hotels across the globe, Wyndham is in first place with the largest portfolio. They have more than 9,000 hotels in 80+ countries and a total of 22 brands. Their rewards program consists of four distinct tiers, namely Blue, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond.

Blue activates immediately and it includes benefits like member-only rates, 10 points per dollar you spend, free nights starting from 7,500 points, and free Wi-Fi. 

Gold starts from your 5th night and it includes member services, your choice of rooms, 10% bonus points, and late check-out.

Next, there’s Platinum, which includes all of the previous benefits and starts after 15 nights. It includes 15% bonus points, late check-out and early check-in, exclusive perks at more than 30 Caesars casinos, and free upgrades on car rentals through Avis or Budget. 

Diamond is exclusive to members who have stayed for 40 nights or more. It includes all previously mentioned benefits, 20% bonus points, suite upgrades, a welcome amenity, and gold membership to a family member or friend. 

Wyndham owns some of the best chains of budget hotel brands in the US. Check out the complete list here: 9 Best Budget Hotel Chains in the US.

Sign up for this program if you:

  • Frequently travel to small towns
  • Enjoy making use of budget accommodations
  • Collect Capital One points

8. Best Western Rewards  

Best Western Rewards 
Best Western Rewards 

Site: bestwestern.com

Pros

  • Credit cards from First National Bank of Omaha to earn points
  • More than 4,000 hotels in close to 100 countries
  • Points can be used on Experiences by Best Western Rewards
  • Points never expire
  • Partnered with airlines to earn air miles

Cons

  • Average to little benefits on elite status tiers
  • Air miles and hotel points can’t be redeemed at the same time

The Best Western Rewards program starts with Blue Member, which is the beginner tier. This tier includes great benefits like an exclusive reservation line, member rates, early check-in and late check-out, and the ability to pay with your points.

Gold includes everything from the previous tier, plus 10% bonus points, complimentary water, and bonus points upon your arrival. 

Platinum gives you the same benefits with 15% bonus points. Then, there’s Diamond, which gives 30% bonus points together with the other benefits.

Lastly, Diamond Select will give you 50% bonus points in addition to the previously mentioned benefits. 

Sign up for this program if you:

  • Would like to use points for various purposes
  • Want your points to stay active while you earn them
  • Frequently travel by air
  • Frequently travel internationally
  • Don’t care about elite status benefits 

9. IHG One Rewards 

IHG One Rewards
IHG One Rewards

Site: ihg.com

Pros

  • Accommodation options in many locations
  • Credit cards from Chase available to earn points 
  • Book four consecutive awards nights and get the 4th for free
  • Ability to book Six Senses resorts with points
  • Great top-tier and elite-status rewards and benefits
  • No blackout dates for reward nights
  • Partnered with more than 40 airlines

Cons

  • Points are typically worth less due to IHG pricing
  • Some rooms don’t offer points 
  • No points when booking through third-party sites
  • Points can expire

IHG offers five different reward tiers for dedicated members. Club Member is the beginner tier and it includes member promotions, free internet, and late check-out. Silver Elite includes 20% bonus points and your points won’t expire. Next, there’s the Gold Elite tier, which includes 40% bonus points, rollover nights, and milestone rewards. 

Platinum Elite includes 60% bonus points, guaranteed room availability, complimentary upgrades, Rewards Night discounts, a welcome amenity, and early check-in. Lastly, the Diamond Elite tier includes all the benefits plus 100% bonus points and access to the Diamond Elite support line. 

Sign up for this program if you:

  • Frequently book 4-night stays
  • Would like to stay at Six Senses resorts
  • Want to use your reward nights at any time
  • Want to earn air travel miles

FAQ

What should a good loyalty program include?

Not all programs are the same but a good program will be free and worth signing up for. Some incentives to sign up typically include:

  • a fair point system
  • a few complimentary services and inclusions
  • flexibility such as early check in or late check out
  • personalized experience

In some cases, reward members also enjoy a more lenient cancellation policy. If you can’t make your trip anymore and you need to cancel, have a look at our article on asking the hotel for a refund

Are hotel loyalty programs free? 

Yes, the biggest advantage of hotel loyalty programs is that you never have to pay for anything when signing up. A good program will not require a fee when joining and you should be able to start enjoying the benefits immediately. If you come across a program that requires a membership fee, it would be wise to do thorough research before signing up. 

Are hotel loyalty programs worth it?

Since these programs are free, you have nothing to lose if you sign up to become a member. Plus, you could enjoy discounted rates and we all enjoy a good discount! Have a look at our article for more ways to get the best deal when booking a hotel room. Who knows, you could be saving more on your next trip than you bargained for.

What are the benefits of loyalty programs for hotels?

There should be a valid reason for hotel groups to offer the amazing loyalty programs that they do, right? Well as it turns out, there are several reasons. Not only do they get increased bookings with travelers trying to earn more points, but they also get a larger audience for marketing purposes. 

They also get valued insights from their members, who tend to return and spend more money with each visit. Return travelers are more likely to use their favorite hotels for corporate outings and other big events. So, all-in-all, hotels benefit from their loyalty programs in many ways. 

Can I sign up for loyalty programs at multiple hotels? 

Yes, hotel loyalty programs aren’t restricted and you won’t be in the wrong if you sign up for more than one. As a matter of fact, it’s very beneficial to sign up for multiple programs because you never know where you’ll be traveling next.

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