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Which Hotel Chain Has The Best Rewards

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Here’s a tip: If you don’t book through hotel rewards programs, you’re missing out on great deals and leaving money on the table. These programs offer free upgrades, luxury rooms, free breakfast, access to exclusive lounges and even free nights after you accumulate enough points. Now the question is which hotel plan is best for you?

Which Hotel Chain Has The Best Rewards

Which Hotel Chain Has The Best Rewards

Let’s take a quick look at each rewards program so you can more easily decide which one to invest in.

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Marriott is an international hotel chain. Its portfolio includes more than 30 brands and nearly 8,700 properties in 139 countries and territories. Wherever you go, there’s sure to be a Marriott hotel nearby.

A key benefit of the Marriott Bonvoy program is the five-night free benefit. You’ll get the lowest-priced night for zero points when you book five consecutive award nights. This can save you a lot of points on expensive stays, especially if you redeem your points in high-end destinations like the Maldives.

Another notable benefit is that Marriott Bonvoy members can transfer points to its 40 partners. The list of carrier partners includes some of the more elusive airline currencies, such as Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan and Asiana Club.

When it comes to elite status, there are five levels of Marriott elite. Some of the benefits include room upgrades, Suite Night Award upgrades and executive lounge access. However, TPG employees have experienced inconsistent benefits, even at properties with the same brand name.

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There are several cards you can use to earn Marriott Bonvoy points, but six are available to new applicants — three from American Express and three from Chase:

Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful Card information is independently compiled by The Points Guy. The card information on this page has not been verified or provided by the card issuer.

Marriott is also a transfer partner for American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards, meaning you have multiple ways to earn points.

Which Hotel Chain Has The Best Rewards

Hilton is another large hotel chain, with more than 1.1 million rooms in approximately 7,400 hotels in 124 countries and territories.

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Add the size of the hotel chain along with the complexity required to earn Hilton Honors points, and it’s clear that the Hilton Honors program could be the most viable hotel rewards option.

Hilton is a transfer partner for Amex Membership Rewards. For every Amex point you transfer, you’ll earn 2 Hilton points. Not to mention, you can get a frequent flyer bonus.

The hotel group also has four branded credit cards, all issued by American Express. You can find them offering welcome bonuses of 100,000 points (or more).

Cardholders of the following American Express cards automatically earn Hilton Honors Gold status (registration required) as long as they keep their card account open:

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Additionally, Hilton Honors American Express cardholders can upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year by spending $20,000 on the card in a calendar year.

Like Marriott, Hilton offers five consecutive free nights — but you must have Hilton elite status to unlock this benefit. Fortunately, you can achieve this by holding a Hilton credit card. With Hilton elite status, you’ll enjoy perks like room upgrades, free breakfast (or food and beverage credit when staying in the US), and bonus points.

Hyatt has a small—but growing—footprint and great elite perks. KYLE OLSEN/ THE POINTS GUY

Which Hotel Chain Has The Best Rewards

More than 1,200 hotels participate in the Hyatt World loyalty program in more than 70 countries. Hyatt hotels are generally only available in popular locations and cities. If you’re looking for accommodation in rural areas, chances are Hyatt points won’t work for you.

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Hyatt award rates are cheaper compared to other hotels like Marriott and Hilton. For example, a high-end Hyatt hotel might cost 40,000 points, while a luxury Hilton hotel costs 120,000. Perhaps most importantly, Hyatt still publishes award maps, making planning your trip easy.

Granted, Hyatt points aren’t as easy to accumulate as Hilton points (Hyatt only offers two credit cards with the same brand). However, Hyatt is a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner. You can also transfer Bilt Rewards points to Hyatt, which can be a great option for those who earn points for rentals.

Hyatt Globalist elite status has been proven time and time again by TPG staff and readers to be the most valuable elite hotel status. With free breakfast, waived resort fees and parking on award nights, room upgrades and more, it’s about as VIP as you can get in the world of hospitality.

Hyatt offers a personal credit card and a business credit card, which are great ways to earn points.

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The Hyatt World credit card has an annual fee of $95 and offers up to 65,000 bonus points. You’ll earn 35,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening. Plus, you’ll earn up to 30,000 more points by earning a total of 2 bonus points for every dollar you spend on products that typically earn you 1 point (up to $15,000) in the first six months of account opening.

Meanwhile, the Hyatt World Business Credit Card has an annual fee of $199 and offers up to 75,000 bonus points. You’ll get 60,000 after spending $5,000 in purchases in the first three months after opening the account, plus 15,000 bonus points after spending $12,000 in the first six months after opening the account.

Bilt Rewards from the Bilt Mastercard® (see rates and fees) transfer to Hyatt World 1:1. You can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt World at a 1:1 ratio from cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve and Ink Business Preferred Credit Card.

Which Hotel Chain Has The Best Rewards

For a stay in small-town America, there’s no better currency for hotel points than Wyndham Rewards. Wyndham has the most properties of any hotel chain on this list, with more than 9,000 worldwide. While Wyndham offers some high-end properties, most are budget hotels.

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Wyndham’s budget brands — like Super 8, Days Inn and Microtel — are ubiquitous in places where you can’t find Hyatt or Marriott. If your travel goals include visiting cities with populations under 10,000, this is a good plan to consider.

Wyndham also offers three branded credit cards, all issued by Barclays, to help you earn free nights in the Wyndham Rewards program faster. Cards offer between 7,500 and 15,000 points per card anniversary. Additionally, you can transfer Capital One miles and Citi ThankYou Rewards to Wyndham Rewards at a 1:1 ratio.

You can even use your points to book a free night at Vacasa properties, which charge 15,000 points per bedroom. If you look hard enough, you can find an absolute steal.

The IHG One Rewards program has recently been revamped, making it more competitive with more popular hotel programs. Due to variable pricing, IHG hotels are often low value for points. However, it’s easy to use and IHG hotels are in almost as many locations as Hilton properties. You can also regularly redeem IHG One Rewards points for great discounts.

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IHG offers three branded credit cards, all of which automatically offer the ability to receive a fourth consecutive award night for free. This is unique among rewards programs and a better value than Marriott and Hilton’s free five-night policy.

You can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points and Bilt Rewards points to IHG One Rewards at a 1:1 ratio. Plus, you can use IHG points to book a Six Senses resort. These are highly sought after features and a big win for IHG points collectors.

The program updated its elite status levels last year as well, meaning high-level Diamond Elite members now receive additional benefits such as free breakfast and a dedicated helpline. Elite members can also earn milestone rewards by staying a certain number of nights in a calendar year. Some options include annual resort memberships, bonus points and confirmed room upgrades.

Which Hotel Chain Has The Best Rewards

Points in ALL – The Accor Live Limitless program are some of the most important (and immediate) rewards. You can redeem them in increments of 2,000 to get €40 (or the equivalent in dollars) from your hotel bill.

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Yes, Accor is a transfer partner of Capital One and Citi. However, the transfer ratio is 2:1 (2 Capital One miles or Citi ThankYou Rewards points equals 1 Accor point). However, Accor can be a great place to earn hotel points if you primarily travel to Asia or Europe.

The program has four status levels, with the elite Diamond level offering free breakfast on weekends (or daily in Asia Pacific), nightly room upgrades and access to the main lounge. You will also receive perks for each brand at each status level, which may include;

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