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Advertising touting hotel reward programs are commonplace today, but it can be difficult to determine which ones are the most “rewarding.”
The best thing about these programs is you can join at no cost. Most importantly, the top hotel rewards programs let you redeem them easily. Rewards can range from free Wi-Fi, late checkouts and, among other things, allow customers to earn free nights.
WalletHub recently released its 2020 Hotel Rewards Report which is intended to help travellers figure out which program works for them. It examined the nine most popular U.S. hotel chains’ rewards programs using 21 key metrics, including point values, expiration policies and the difference in award-night pricing. It was also done for three different hotel budgets.
In this particular review, they found Wyndham Rewards to have the best rewards program – for the fifth year in a row – followed by Radisson Rewards, Best Western Rewards, Choice Privileges and Marriott Bonvoy.
In an interview with the International Travel & Health Insurance Journal WalletHub CEO Odysseas explained how travellers can use such programs to their own benefit.
“It’s best to use hotel rewards program rankings as a tiebreaker between two similarly priced lodging options,” Papadimitriou said. “Start by comparison shopping to find the cheapest hotel reservations with the amenities you want. Then, if there are a few options in the same ballpark, you can take their loyalty programs into account.”
However, for those who travel frequently and can commit to a certain hotel chain, then loyalty programs and the hotels’ branded credit cards should factor into their decision, he said.
In Canada, Wyndham has about 20 properties - branded as Microtel Inn and Suites - stretched across the country that qualify for their rewards. Radisson, which also has a significant presence nationwide, offers rewards at all of its seven different branded properties. Best Western has more than 200 Canadian locations where travellers can take advantage of points which never expire.
In addition, Choice Hotels, which includes in its stable brands such as the Comfort Inn and Quality Inn, has 300 hotels and the Marriot has nearly 200 properties located in Canada. In general, all programs, which you can join online, are detailed extensively.
So, whether you are travelling within Canada or abroad there are lots of ways to take advantage of rewards. Here are some tips about using them.
The bottom line? It always pays to shop around!