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Hotel rewards programs can offer a lot of value to loyal customers, but each loyalty program comes with its own set of benefits, as well as requirements to earn elite status.

While it can make sense to focus only on one hotel card to maximize your free nights and other benefits, hotel credit cards can also make it easy to take advantage of the perks offered by multiple programs. Many of the top options offer limited or no blackout dates, discounted members-only rates, free internet and other perks when you stay.

Here are some of the best hotel loyalty rewards programs and why you should consider joining them:

  • Best for high points value: World of Hyatt
  • Best for flexibility and airline partners: Marriott Bonvoy
  • Best for dynamic pricing deals: IHG One Rewards
  • Best for lots of property choices: Wyndham Rewards
  • Best for longer stays: Hilton Honors

World of Hyatt: Most Value for Your Points

Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana

Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana/Hyatt


The World of Hyatt program offers a range of properties, including all-inclusive resorts. Plus, World of Hyatt offers the most valuable rewards of all the loyalty programs. That said, Hyatt has the smallest footprint of any hotel chain on our list, with roughly 1,000 properties in 68 countries.

Program Highlights

  • According to our points and miles valuation guide, Hyatt points are worth 1.7 cents apiece on average. That's even higher than most airline frequent flyer programs. 
  • You can earn points on hotel stays, dining, spas and more.
  • You can also earn points toward free nights with no blackout dates, starting at 5,000 points.

Membership Perks

Rewards depend on your membership tier, but here are a few benefits available through the World of Hyatt loyalty program:

  • Member discounts
  • Free water and Wi-Fi
  • Free night after staying with five different brands
  • Room upgrades
  • Late checkout

Best for

Those who don’t mind Hyatt’s relatively small footprint and are looking to get the most bang for their buck—thanks to World of Hyatt points’ high valuation.

World of Hyatt Credit Cards

With the World of Hyatt Credit Card, you'll get some impressive rewards:

  • We value World of Hyatt points at 1.7 cents each.
  • Free night every year.
  • Automatic Discoverist status, which is the program's lowest status level.
  • There's a path to earn up to Globalist status, depending on how much you spend on the card.

Marriott Bonvoy: Most Flexible Points

Marriott Bonvoy hotel family



Marriott International has more than 7,000 properties in 131 countries and territories, making it so you can enjoy earning and redeeming rewards just about anywhere you go.

Program Highlights

  • Can transfer points to nearly 40 airlines plus use them for car rentals, cruises and more.
  • Airline points transfer at a rate of 3:1 in most cases.
  • Can earn points at eligible restaurants, golf, spas and more.

Membership Perks

Rewards depend on your membership tier, but here are a few perks available through the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program:

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Discounted rates for members
  • Can redeem points during same stay as when you earn them (for things like drinks)
  • Priority late checkout
  • Room upgrades
  • Earn extra points with higher tiers
  • Welcome gift

Best for

Travelers looking for flexibility or who want the option to redeem their points for more than hotels, like with airline partners.

Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards

Three consumer credit cards allow you to earn Marriott Bonvoy points:

Each card has its own set of benefits, with the Bonvoy Bold card offering no annual fee and few perks and the Bonvoy Brilliant charging a $650 annual fee and offering several high-end perks. The Bonvoy Boundless is a mid-tier card with a modest fee but solid benefits. Bonvoy points are worth 0.4 cents apiece, on average.

The Marriott Bonvoy rewards program also includes Starwood Preferred Guest and Ritz-Carlton Rewards, which were incorporated into Marriott's program after it acquired Starwood Hotels. 

IHG One Rewards: Best Deals with Dynamic Pricing

Kimpton Angler's Hotel South Beach

Kimpton Angler's Hotel South Beach/IHG


Most hotel loyalty programs have an award chart that tells you how many points you need for certain property categories. With IHG, though, the pricing is dynamic and can change depending on a variety of factors. While this makes for less certainty, it's also sometimes possible to snag an incredible deal on an expensive hotel stay with points. IHG has nearly 6,000 properties in more than 100 countries. 

Program Highlights

  • Slickdeals estimates that IHG points are worth 0.5 cents apiece on average and free nights start at 10,000 points. 
  • Points don’t expire.
  • No blackout dates for reward nights.

Membership Perks

Rewards depend on your membership tier, but here are a few perks available through the IHG loyalty program:

  • Member discounts
  • Free internet
  • Can earn bonus points 
  • Can earn points toward reward stays
  • No blackout dates for reward stays
  • Late checkout

Best for

Savvy travel-bookers who don’t mind the risk of dynamic pricing to score great deals and can qualify for the program’s higher tiers, which have notably better rewards.

IHG Credit Cards

You can earn IHG One rewards points with the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase. The card offers an ample sign-up bonus, decent rewards and a free night every year—plus you earn a free Reward night when you book a consecutive four-night stay with points. This is a unique benefit that no other major hotel credit card offers.

Wyndham Rewards: Most Properties

TRS Yucatan Hotel

TRS Yucatan Hotel/Wyndham


Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is the largest hotel chain in the world, with more than 9,000 properties in more than 80 countries. The chain offers properties across the spectrum, ranging from Super 8 to The Registry Collection Hotels.

There are two Wyndham co-branded credit cards, including the Wyndham Rewards Earner® Card and the Wyndham Rewards Earner® Plus Card. Both offer free nights, but the Earner Plus card also offers a bigger welcome bonus, easy bonus points, better elite status and more.

Program Highlights

  • Points are worth 1.1 cents apiece, on average.
  • You can redeem a free night for 7,500, 15,000 or 30,000 points—relatively cheap compared to other top hotel programs.
  • Rollover nights don't expire.

Membership Perks

Rewards depend on your membership tier, but here are a few perks available through the Wyndham loyalty program:

  • Member discounts
  • Preferred room choice
  • Accelerated earning at higher tiers
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Late checkout and early check-in at some tiers

Best for

Travelers looking for more variety in their hotels, as points can be redeemed at cottages, Vacasa rentals, European bungalows and more.

Hilton Honors: Best Chance for Elite Status

hilton property at night



Well-known brand Hilton has more than 6,500 properties in 119 countries and territories. That said, Hilton Honors points aren't worth a lot at just 0.5 cents apiece. But they're easy to earn, and it's the only hotel rewards program that offers its top elite status tier to credit card holders, which is a perk for many.

Program Highlights

  • Guaranteed lowest price when you book through
  • Can redeem points for concerts, dining, online shopping, rental cars and more.
  • Can transfer points to airline miles.
  • No resort fees on reward stays.

Membership Perks

Rewards depend on your membership tier, but here are a few perks available through the Hilton Honors loyalty program:

  • Member discounts
  • Points toward free nights
  • No resort fees on 
  • Food credits and free bottled water
  • Digital check-in and checkout
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Free fifth night on reward stays

Best for

Travelers who like longer hotel stays and aspire to elite membership status—and who plan to redeem points for more stays as you’ll probably get the most value that way.

Hilton Credit Cards

With the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, you'll pay an annual fee but get a free weekend night award you can use at most Hilton properties—most cards restrict your free night to lower-category properties—and Diamond status, among other things. With Hilton, Diamond status is as good as it gets.

That said, you can also apply for the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card or the Hilton Honors American Express Card. But you have to hit a spending requirement to get a free night with the Surpass card and the basic Hilton credit card doesn't offer much at all in the way of perks.

Benefits of Joining Hotel Loyalty Programs

A hotel loyalty program can help you save money and take advantage of a wealth of perks. Here’s a look at some of the top benefits of joining hotel loyalty programs:

  • Get discounts on hotel stays: Most loyalty programs offer members a discount on their bookings, and in some cases, that discount goes up as with higher program tiers.
  • Access to special perks: Depending on the program and tier, you could get anything from free bottled water and Wi-Fi to access to suites and other room upgrades, late checkout, free nights and more.
  • Earn points: You’ll typically earn points with your stays and can redeem them toward more bookings, airfare, events, drinks or other benefits.
  • Enjoy something familiar away from home: If you love to travel but want a little familiarity along your journey, you might benefit from sticking with a hotel brand you already know you love, and a hotel membership program can help you do that.

Pros and Cons of Hotel Loyalty Programs


  • Helps you save money if you travel a lot
  • Get perks like early check-in, late checkout and free meals
  • Get discounted members-only rates
  • Earn hotel points for stays


  • Less flexibility in hotel choices
  • May not save a lot at lower tiers
  • May not have use for hotel points or other rewards
  • Redemption and tracking can sometimes be complex

How to Choose the Right Hotel Rewards Program

It can be difficult to choose the right hotel loyalty program for you, but here are some factors to think about to make the process easier:

  • Consider the hotels you prefer: Think about your favorite hotel brands and check out what they offer. If you tend to stay at one chain more than the rest, that could be a good place to start. If you prefer to get the cheapest hotel every time, it doesn't make sense to stay with one brand every time you travel if it means paying more.
  • Look for programs that match your travel plans: If you already have some travel destinations in mind, check which programs match up with locations you expect to visit in the near future. That way, you’ll be in good shape to take advantage of the program when you book your stay.
  • Review the perks: Hotel loyalty programs aren’t just about having a place to crash. Look into the perks that come with the program you’re considering to see if they offer ones you value most. This could include early check-in, late checkout, a travel credit and even top-tier perks like free breakfast and executive lounge access. 
  • Check how you earn and redeem rewards: Make sure you know how to make the most of the program. You might already have a travel credit card, for example. In that case, it's worth checking if your favorite hotel is on that issuer’s transfer partners list. Make sure the rewards system works for your spending and traveling habits so you’re not leaving money on the table.
  • Review other hotel programs: In addition to the programs described above, you might also consider Radisson Rewards, Best Western Rewards, AccorHotels Live Limitless, Sonesta Travel Pass and more. 
  • Check for other deals: Get the absolute best deals on your trips with Travelocity Promo Codes and status-based discounts. also offers loyalty programs that can help you save more. promo codes can help you earn points and miles for your next trip. 
  • Examine your credit cards: If you're OK with having multiple credit cards, getting more than one hotel credit card can make it so you can enjoy the benefits from multiple programs at once.
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  • Hotel memberships are worth it if you pick one for a hotel brand you love and stay with a lot because you can score discounted rates and other perks like early check-in or free cancellations.

    They typically aren’t worth it if you don’t stay at hotels a lot or can’t find a program with hotel brands you know you will use.

  • Wyndham resorts is the largest hotel chain with the biggest footprint—around 9,000 properties, so its hotel loyalty program is the largest in the sense of giving guests the most options due to the sheer volume of hotels.

  • Yes, hotel points typically expire somewhere between 12 and 24 months, but it depends on the program. Check the fine print of any program you’re interested in so you can be sure you’re able to use your points before they expire.

  • According to the U.S. News Best Hotel Rankings, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts is the best hotel chain in the world, with IHG and Marrriott right behind. But the best hotel for you depends on your personal interests and needs, so it’s best to check for your favorite perks, whether that’s a late checkout, free breakfast or the flexible cancellations.


Ben Luthi

Ben Luthi is a personal finance and travel writer and credit card expert. He has a degree in finance from Brigham Young University and worked in financial planning, banking and auto finance before writing full-time for NerdWallet and Student Loan Hero. Ben is now a full-time freelance writer and enjoys traveling and spending time with his two kids. His work has appeared in several publications, including U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Money, Success and Slickdeals.