The 8 best hotel loyalty programs for frequent flyers

03 Sept 2021 · 9
Selecting a hotel loyalty program can be a fantastic way to secure extra perks for your business trips if you are a frequent traveler. But with such a wide range of rewards programs available, deciding which is the right one for you can be challenging. Establishing what is important to you in a hotel loyalty program can be crucial to avoiding disappointment down the line. So how do you know which loyalty program to choose and which hotels offer the best reward schemes?

How do you choose the best hotel loyalty program?

If you have some extensive travel plans coming up, you can start racking up some serious points by sticking to one hotel chain. But to bag the best benefits, you will have to sacrifice an element of flexibility, and it can be frustrating if there aren't significant gains to be had from your loyalty program of choice. However, with a bit of planning and a few key considerations, you can set yourself up for success.
A great first port of call is to check if your credit cards partner with a hotel loyalty scheme. Booking with their points can often help travelers access better rates, plus using a hotel-backed credit card is undoubtedly the easiest way to obtain top-tier perks. Some cards even offer holders immediate elite status, such as the IHG Rewards Club Premier, Hilton Honors American Express, and World of Hyatt credit cards.

Which destinations do you visit most often?

The first thing to consider is which destinations you travel to the most. As a corporate traveler, you may return to the same location multiple times to visit important clients or another branch of your organization. If these are in major cities, you will have many options to choose from for your accommodation. But if you travel to regional offices, you might be more limited in the hotels on offer.
Scoping out the selection in your key destinations could save you many issues. No one is happy to face a half-hour trek across town to the Park Hyatt after discovering there's a Marriott hotel around the corner!

Which hotel brands are you drawn to?

When thinking back on your previous business trips, which hotels stand out in your memory? Which trips had the best service or provided a great night's sleep? Which hotel do you remember having fantastic amenities or a delicious complimentary breakfast?
Even if these don't fall into one specific hotel chain, they might help narrow down what factors are important to you when you travel.

Which perks would be most beneficial?

Elite tier perks can be alluring, but it pays to be practical. Ascertaining which benefits suit your travel style can help you select a hotel loyalty scheme that will fast track you to your goals. For example, if having a free breakfast with every stay would be a helpful perk, seek out the loyalty programs which include this at the lowest level.
Checking the T&C's of any prospective loyalty scheme can save a lot of heartbreak. You don't want to end up chasing elite status and only snagging free water or Wi-Fi. If you are a travel manager, you will undoubtedly have enough nights to bag top-tier benefits quickly.
However, it still pays to make sure you are getting the most beneficial perks for your organization. No doubt executives will be hoping their loyalty gets them more than just an early check-in.

What are the best hotel rewards programs?

Radisson Rewards

Overview
With offerings across four continents, Radisson Rewards is best for business travelers whose work takes them outside of the Americas. Boasting one of the fastest routes to top-tier perks, access to elite status can be gained from as little as 9 eligible nights or 6 eligible stays. Plus, users can exchange their balances for air miles and gain access to exclusive room rates.
Our favorite feature
Under the business branch of Radisson Rewards, members can speed track their way to silver status by 50%, with entry after just 3 stays compared to the usual 6. If you are frequently on the hunt for event venues, then be sure to earmark this loyalty program as they offer 10,000 bonus points each time you host in their hotels.
Tier Name
Club
Silver
Gold
Platinum
Qualification
0 night/0 Stays
9 nights/6 Stays
30 nights/20 Stays
60 nights/30 stays
Members Only Rate  
Discount on food and beverage
5%
10%
15%
20%
Partner Offers (Redeem points for air miles etc.)
Complimentary Water
Complimentary Room Upgrade
Rollover Nights
Early Check In & Late Check Out
Welcome Gift
Free Breakfast
Dedicated Customer Line

Marriott Bonvoy

Overview
The Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program provides a vast accommodation inventory, including luxury hotel options from St. Regis and Ritz-Carlton. With over 7000 hotels across 130 countries, users will rarely find a location where redeeming or accruing points isn't possible.
Members benefit from generous perks, including the chance to exchange their points for miles with a long list of airlines, including Delta, Virgin Atlantic, and JetBlue. Plus, points can be accrued through partners such as Uber and Hertz and Marriott's range of hotel credit cards with both AMEX and Chase.
Our favorite feature
All elite tiers of Marriott Bonvey come with their Ultimate Reservation Guarantee. A unique perk, members who Marriott cannot accommodate in their preferred hotels on their desired date will have alternative arrangements paid for and receive cash and hotel points as compensation for the inconvenience.
Tier Name
Member
Silver Elite
Gold Elite
Platinum Elite
Titanium Elite
Ambassador Elite
Qualification
0-9 nights/year
10-24 nights/year
25-49 nights/year
50-74 nights/year
75 - 99 nights/year
100+ nights/year and US$14K in annual qualifying spend (Terms Apply & Qualifying Spend will increase to $US20K from 2022)
Complimentary In-Room Internet Access
Member Rates
Mobile Check-In/Services
Ultimate Reservation Guarantee
Points Bonus
10% 
25%
50%
75%
75%
Late Checkout
(2pm)
(4pm)
(4 pm)
(4pm)
Dedicated Support
Welcome Gift
Points
Points, Breakfast or Amenity
Points, Breakfast or Amenity
Points Breakfast or Amenity
Enhanced Room Upgrade
Including Select Suites
Including Select Suites
Including Select Suites
Lounge Access
Guaranteed Room Type
48 Hour Guarantee (Guaranteed room availability for bookings made 48 hours in advance)
Ambassador Service (Personal Assistance during your stay)
Your 24 (Check in and out within a 24 hour period of your choice)
N.B. With Marriott Bonvoy Lifetime Elite status your points and benefits will never expire.
Lifetime Level
Entry Conditions
Lifetime Silver Elite
250 Lifetime Nights + 5 Years Elite Status
Lifetime Gold Elite
400 Lifetime Nights + 7 Years Gold Elite Status or Higher
Lifetime Platinum Elite
600 Lifetime Nights + 10 Years Platinum Elite Status or Higher

Hilton Honors

Overview
Boasting 5,900 properties across the globe, Hilton Honors members can benefit from a range of valuable perks. While entry-level memberships can avail of streamlined digital check-ins, waived resort fees, and the ability to choose their hotel room, Gold and Diamond members also benefit from instant upgrades whenever a higher-level suite is available. Elite Diamond level users also gain executive lounge access and Hilton's handy 48-hour guarantee.
Our favorite feature
Hilton Honors have partnered with American Express to provide a credit card that's perfect for frequent travelers. With no annual fee and no charges on foreign transactions, cardholders can also secure a boost of 80,000 rewards points when they sign up.
Tier Name
Member
Silver
Gold
Diamond
Qualification
0-4 nights
5-19 nights
20-29 nights
30+ nights
Discount Rates
No resort fees(on reward stays)
Digital Check-in & Digital Key
Choose your room
Free WiFi
Points Earning Bonus
20%
80%
100%
Free Bottled Water
5th Night Free
Rollover Nights
Room Upgrades
Daily Food & Beverage Credit (U.S. hotels only) or Continental Breakfast (non-U.S. hotels)
Milestone Bonuses(Earn 10,000 Bonus Points every 10 nights after you’ve stayed 20 nights in a calendar year)
Lounge Access
Premium Wifi
Elite status gifting (Hit 30 nights in the calendar year and you can gift Gold status to any member. If you hit 60 nights then you can gift Diamond status)
48 Hour Guarantee (Guaranteed room availability for bookings made 48 hours in advance)

Wyndham Rewards

Overview
Thanks to their simple three-tier free nights system, members of Wyndham Rewards can take advantage of a complimentary stay from as little as 7,500 points. Wyndham hotels have partnered with 20 respected brands to offer patrons nearly 9000 options worldwide and share generous special offers with their users.
Recent deals include book two consecutive nights and receive an extra reward night and a windfall of up to 90,000 points, the equivalent of 12 free nights, for members who sign up for their signature Visa credit card.
Our favorite feature
If you are in the market for a new credit card, you can use the handy Wyndhams Rewards Calculator to determine how many points you could earn each year with your everyday purchases. If you have the scope to pay a small annual fee, you could start securing hotel stays in the double figures with ease.
Tier Name
Blue
Gold
Platinum
Diamond
Qualification
0-3 nights
4-9 nights
10-24 nights
25+ nights
Member Rates
Rollover Nights 
Free Wifi
Accelerated Points Accrual
10%
15%
20%
Dedicated Member Services
Preferred Room Choice
Late Check-Out
Early Check-In
Avis/Budget Car Rental Upgrades
Suite Upgrades
Welcome Gift
Give Gold (Each year, gift Gold level membership to a family member or friend)

IHG Rewards Club

Overview
Members of IHG Rewards Club can choose their accommodation from a staggering portfolio across 6000 destinations and 16 well-respected names. Alongside free nights and airline miles, business travelers can redeem loyalty points against a wide range of benefits.
Whether it's subscribing to your favorite industry magazine, covering a business lunch, or using your points towards a new laptop, there are plenty of options to keep head office happy. However, it is worth noting, to avoid their balances expiring, users need to redeem or accrue new points each year.
Our favorite feature
IHG Rewards travelers can use their points to skip the lines at security with TSA Precheck. 96% of TSA PreCheck users streamlined their airport experience to a wait time of under 5 minutes, undoubtedly a fantastic perk for frequent travelers!
Tier Name
Club
Gold Elite
Platinum Elite
Spire Elite
Qualification
0 nights/0 points
10 nights or 10,000 points
40 nights or 40,000 points
75 nights or 75,000 points
Member Rates (Guaranteed lowest rates)
Exclusive Rates
Dedicated Customer Service 
Free Internet
Bonus Points Earning
10%
50%
100%
Late Check-Out
Members Points Don’t Expire
Priority Check-In
Rollover Nights
Complimentary Room Upgrades
Guaranteed Room Availability
Exclusive Benefit of your choice
Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Upgrade
Early Check-In

World of Hyatt

Overview
With the World of Hyatt membership, corporate travelers can minimize the hassle of traveling for business. Benefits for users include complimentary breakfast so you will never need to dash to a coffee shop before your first meeting, plus free Wi-Fi so you can always get to your emails on the go. Higher-tier members can benefit from late check-outs and Club Lounge access, so they always have somewhere to finish that proposal before catching their flight.
Our favorite feature
Want to stay fit and healthy while you travel? Whether you prefer to unwind with a relaxing Yoga class or get the heart pumping with a fast-paced HIIT session, globalist rewards members can sample complimentary fitness classes with an eligible stay at any Hyatt hotel.
Tier Name
Member
Discoverist
Explorist
Globalist
Lifetime Globalist
Qualification
0 nights/0 points/0 meetings or events
10 nights/25,000 points/3 meetings or events
30 nights/50,000 points/10 meetings or events
60 nights/100,000 points/20 meetings or events
1,000,000 LIfetime Base Points
Member Rates
Points Earning
5 Base Points per eligible $1 USD spent
5 Base Points per eligible $1 USD spent + 10% Bonus on eligible purchases
5 Base Points per eligible $1 USD spent + 20% Bonus on eligible purchases
5 Base Points per eligible $1 USD spent + 30% Bonus on eligible purchases
5 Base Points per eligible $1 USD spent + 30% Bonus on eligible purchases
Deduction of Resort Fee 
Waived on Free Night Awards
Waived on Free Night Awards
Waived on Free Night Awards
Waived on Eligible Rates & Free Night Awards
Waived on Eligible Rates & Free Night Awards
Spa and Fitness Benefits 
10 Base Points per eligible $1 USD spent
10 Base Points per eligible $1 USD spent
10 Base Points per eligible $1 USD spent plus a Week of Wellbeing
10 Base Points per eligible $1 USD spent, plus a Week of Wellbeing and complimentary classes when paying an eligible rate at any Hyatt hotel
10 Base Points per eligible $1 USD spent, plus a Week of Wellbeing and complimentary classes when paying an eligible rate at any Hyatt hotel
Benefits at Small Luxury Hotels of the World Properties
Premium Internet
Bottled Water
Room Upgrade
Upgrade to preferred room type within category booked
Excluding upgrades to Suites and Rooms with Club Lounge access
Including Standard Suites
Including Standard Suites
Expedited Check-In
Late Check-Out
2pm
2pm
4pm
4pm
American Airlines Advantage Bonuses
Guaranteed Availability
Up to 72 hours in advance
Up to 48 hours in advance
Up to 48 hours in advance
Club Access or Breakfast
Priority Room Access
Guest of Honour (Share your in hotel benefits with one other guest staying on the same booking)

Choice Privileges

Overview
Choice Privileges members can accrue points with total peace of mind. With no expiration date, points can be redeemed for award nights or a range of experiences or gift cards. U.S residents can also avail themselves of several additional rewards from their stays, including Amazon credit vouchers, Starbucks cards, and Uber discounts, as well as cheaper rates for fuel with selected partners.
Choice Privileges will also match the status of any new user coming over from a rival loyalty scheme.
Our favorite feature
At the time of writing, those signing up for the Choice Privileges Visa Signature credit card can swipe the equivalent of 9 free nights in bonus points (subject to terms and conditions). Plus, this credit card comes without the hefty annual fee of many of its competitors.
Tier Name
Member
Gold
Platinum
Diamond
Qualification
0-6 nights
7-14 nights
15-24 nights
25+ nights
Exclusive Member Rates
Elite Point Bonus
10%
25%
50%
Late Check-Out
Rollover Nights
Welcome Gift(in participating hotels)

Best Western Rewards

Overview
Users of Best Western Rewards can speed track their way to elite status with top-tier membership after just 5 nights or 3 valid stays. Guests on this loyalty program can access free room upgrades, redeem points for reward stays and even gift complimentary nights to friends, family, or colleagues.
The scheme partners with a host of international airlines and established car rental chains such as Avis, Budget, and Enterprise to simplify spending points. Plus, Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard holders can receive up to 7 award nights and instant Platinum status.
Our favorite feature
A fantastic feature of this hotel loyalty scheme is that your points will never expire. Additionally, if you are an elite member of another hotel loyalty program, you can automatically bag the same tier of perks with Best Western thanks to their status match promise.
Tier Name
Blue
Gold
Platinum
Diamond
Diamond Select
Qualification (N.B. These will change from 2022)
0 nights/0 stays/0 points/
5 nights/3 stays/5000 points
7 nights/5 stays/7,500 points
15 nights/10 stays/15,000 points
25 nights/20 stays/25,000 points
Exclusive Reservation Line
Points Bonus
10%
15%
30%
50%
Room Upgrade
Recognition Gift or 500 Points
Ultimately the best hotel rewards program is the one that most fits your needs either as an individual traveler or as an organization. At
TravelPerk
, we have the world's most extensive inventory of accommodation for corporate travelers. As well as the best rates available, with our seamless integration, business travelers and travel managers can collect their loyalty points with ease. To see how TravelPerk can streamline your corporate travel,
request a demonstration
from our team today.
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