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December 2019 News

Smaller Chains Dominate Best Hotel Rewards Rankings

WalletHub today released its annual Hotel Rewards Record, and it was smaller chains that dominated the top five.

WalletHub examined the 9 greatest U.S. hotel chains’ rewards programs using 21 key metrics, including the average value of a spot, point expiration procedures and the volatility of award-night costing.

In order, the business discovered that Wyndham Rewards was the best hotel loyalty program, accompanied by Radisson Rewards, Best American Rewards, Choice Privileges and Marriott Bonvoy.

“Many people will be surprised to learn that Wyndham, Radisson and Best Western top WalletHub’s list of the best hotel rewards programs for 2020, assuming bigger names such as Hilton and Marriott would lead the way,” WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou said in a statement. “But smaller players in the travel space often provide more incentives because they have to do so in order to compete with bigger names. And that underscores the value in shopping around.”

Papadimitriou said the WalletHub ratings are best used as a tie-breaker, of types, between two similarly category lodging options.

“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,” he said. “Of course, things are a bit different for frequent travelers who are in a position to commit to one of several hotel chains for the foreseeable future. In that case, the loyalty programs and the hotels’ credit cards should be focal points when making your selection.”

Wyndham Rewards offers up to $13.46 in rewards value per $100 spent, the highest amongst most the major hospitality loyalty programs.

“One big thing to watch out for with hotel loyalty programs is rewards-point expiration. Best Western is the only major hotel chain whose rewards points do not expire due to account inactivity,” said Papadimitriou. “So, at the very least, make sure to search a program’s terms and conditions for the word ‘expire’ to make sure you know what to prevent from happening.”