Many hotel loyalty programs claim to be the best.

They also make ambiguous claims like “points never expire” or “guaranteed room availability.” But it seems like they don’t always deliver on those promises.

So what’s the deal?

We looked into the top 8 hotel loyalty programs so you don’t have to. And, of course, they’re all free.

One thing to note about hotel rewards is that they are on a sliding scale, meaning you get more money back when you spend them on hotel stays. You can spend them on other goods like meals, miles, gift cards, etc. But the percentage we list is based on redeeming for hotel stays.

 

1. Get 15-20% back with Marriott Rewards and their partner, Ritz Carlton Rewards.

You can stay at a Marriott or a Ritz Carlton and rack up points to use at either of them.

This means you can earn your points at a Marriott Hotel but use them on a splurge at a Ritz Carlton! Which you totally should do.

Use your points to book a stay (even if you don’t have enough of them yet) then earn the points prior to your arrival.

This can be super convenient if you want to book holiday vacations well in advance and you plan to travel frequently in the meantime.

  • Points: Get 10 points per dollar spent.
  • Redeem: For 10-15% back on hotel stays and 3-5% back on other goods.
  • Points expire: After 24 months of program inactivity.

 

2. Get up to 20% back as a Starwood Preferred Guest.

The Starwood Preferred Guest Program is a partner with Marriott/Ritz.

This means technically you can transfer your points between all three.

But, if you earn points at a Starwood and use them at a Marriott or Ritz, you won’t get as much value out of your points. If you’re earning at Starwood, spend at Starwood to get the most bang for your buck.

  • Points: Earn 2 points per dollar spent.
  • Redeem: For up to 20% back on hotel stays and 7-8% back on other goods.
  • Points expire: After 12 months of program inactivity.

 

 

3. Redeem points for up to 5% back through Hilton Honors.

Hilton offers so many perks! And you’ll always get the most value when you spend points on hotel stays.

But if your points are close to expiring and you know a weekend at the Hilton isn’t in your future, you can use points at partner companies like Amazon, Samsung, Keurig and Nike. You can even donate your points to charity!

Membership gets you exclusive discounts, digital check-in, free wifi and late checkout.

Stay frequently and earn the perks of their upper tier memberships like 15-50% bonus points, 5th consecutive nights free, and complimentary meals, upgrades and amenities access.

  • Points: Earn 10 points per dollar spent.
  • Redeem: For 3-5% back on hotel stays, 1-2% back on other goods.
  • Points expire: After 12 months of program inactivity.

 

4. Get 7% back with Best Western Rewards. (Plus, points never expire!)

Raise your hand if you remember staying at a Best Western when you were a kid!

Best Western is amazing for families because it’s cheap and often has swimming pools for the kids.

Plus, if you stay more than 10 nights a year, you can get 10-15% back on your hotel stays.

  • Points: Earn 10 points per dollar spent.
  • Redeem: Earn an average of 7% back on Best Western stays, 2-4% back on miles and other goods.
  • Points expire: NEVER!

 

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5. Score 10% back with La Quinta Returns.

When you stay at La Quinta, you get access to the basic loyalty program; plus, the more you stay, the more you save.

If you frequent La Quinta, you can earn up to 30% back on hotel stays, get express check in/out, enjoy late checkout and have access to a dedicated 800 number for members.

The kicker? You can earn points simply by sharing La Quinta on social media. So be sure to follow La Quinta on Facebook.

  • Points: Earn 10 points per dollar spent.
  • Redeem: Get 9-10% back on hotel stays and 2-4% back on other goods.
  • Points expire: After 18 months of program inactivity.

 

6. Earn 10% back with Wyndham Rewards.

Wyndham hotels include Days Inn, Ramada Inn, Howard Johnson, Baymont Inn & Suites.

And Wyndham Rewards guarantees you’ll earn at least 1000 points per stay. They offer 10 points per dollar, so this boosts your rewards on stays under $100.

Members enjoy special discounts and free amenities. Wyndham makes ranking up tiers a little easier by rolling over points from the previous year toward your status.

Benefits of leveling up include priority check in/out and complimentary upgrades when available. Wyndham is currently promoting 500 point bonuses for completing a survey and 7000 point bonuses for trying LifeLock.

  • Points: Get 10 points per dollar spent.
  • Redeem: Get 9-10% back on hotel stays and 2-3% back on other goods.
  • Points expire: After 18 months of program inactivity. Points will also expire 4 years after acquisition regardless of activity.

 

 

7. Earn up to 7% back with Intercontinental Hotels Group Rewards.

IHG Rewards brands include hotels like Holiday Inn, Candlewood Suites, Crowne Plaza and InterContinental.

Membership perks include late checkout, a dedicated phone number, and a free newspaper. Increasing your membership status to a higher tier through more nights can earn you a 10-50% points increase, free internet, priority check-in, and complimentary upgrades where available.

Plus, IHG will transfer points for free.

  • Points: Get 10 points per dollar spent.
  • Redeem: Get 6-7% back on hotel stays and 1-2% back on other goods.
  • Points expire: After 12 months of inactivity on your account.

 

8. Score 15% back with World of Hyatt.

In March of 2017, Hyatt changed their loyalty program. If you were already enrolled, don’t worry; you’ll maintain your points at an equal or greater value.

The main difference is now you must rank up your membership status by accumulating nights. (You can no longer use number of stays to climb tiers.)

Perks at higher levels include 15-30% point bonuses, free meals and wifi, a dedicated line, plus complimentary upgrades and customizable room preferences when available.

  • Points: Get 5 points per dollar spent.
  • Redeem: Use your points for 15% back on hotel stays and 6-10% back on other goods.
  • Points expire: After 24 months of inactivity.

 

 

9. Enjoy 8% back with Choice Privileges.

Choice Hotels include Clarion Inn, Comfort Inn & Suites, EconoLodge, Cambria Hotels, Quality Inn and more.

All memberships include express reservations and check-in, late check-out upon request, free wifi and a complimentary newspaper.

If you reach a higher membership level, you can snag a 10-50% increase in points, access to a dedicated line, exclusive offers, concierge service, and room upgrades when available.

  • Points: Get 10 points per dollar spent.
  • Redeem: For 7-8% back on hotel stays and 3-6% back on other goods.
  • Points expire: After 18 months of inactivity.

TIP: Choice Privileges lets you earn points on up to four rooms per night in the same hotel if all rooms are reserved in your name and include your member number. Mega points for big families!

 

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