We recently released the first segment of the Beginner’s Guide: Best Hotel Loyalty Programs Part One. In that post, I shared how lucrative hotel loyalty programs can be and the specific perks offered by the programs that took my top three spots: the Starwood Preferred Guest Program, IHG Rewards, and Hyatt Gold Passport. Today I’ll highlight the hotel loyalty programs that fall next in line, specifically Club Carlson, Hilton HHonors, and Marriott Rewards. Remember, all hotel loyalty programs can be lucrative, but that doesn’t mean they are all created equal!
#4 Club Carlson
Club Carlson’s hotel loyalty program is popular with international travelers for a reason; it offers a wide range of comfy and upscale accommodations all over the globe. From Germany to Paris to Tahiti, it’s possible to find a Club Carlson property that will meet your needs and your budget. But the best part about the Club Carlson hotel loyalty program isn’t the affordability of its properties, it’s the fact that you can get your lodging for free by using the points you earn in this program. Here’s how:
Club Carlson Award Chart:
|Hotel Category||Category 1||Category 2||Category 3||Category 4||Category 5||Category 6||Category 7|
|Points Needed for an Award Night (Standard Room)||9,000||15,000||28,000||38,000||44,000||50,000||70,000|
|Points Needed for an Award Night (Premium Room)||13,500||22,500||42,000||57,000||66,000||75,000||105,000|
#5 Hilton HHonors
Hilton is another hotel brand with beautiful and unique properties spanning the globe. However, as you’ll see, it takes a whole lot of points to book them. The following chart shows how many points it takes to book a free room in each category:
|STANDARD ROOM REWARDS|
|HOTEL CATEGORY||HHONORS POINTS REQUIRED FOR ONE FREE NIGHT|
|4||20,000 to 30,000 Points|
|5||30,000 to 40,000 Points|
|6||30,000 to 50,000 Points|
|7||30,000 to 60,000 Points|
|8||40,000 to 70,000 Points|
|9||50,000 to 80,000 Points|
|10||70,000 to 95,000 Points|
To put this in perspective, let’s look at a few choice properties and see how many points they require to book:
Hilton Paris La Defense- Paris, France
- Category 7= 60,000 Hilton HHonors Points
Waldorf Astoria Berlin- Berlin, Germany
- Category 8= 70,000 Hilton HHonors Points
Embassy Suites Orlando- Orlando, Florida
- Category 4= 30,000 Hilton HHonors Points
You’ll notice that some categories require a range of points to redeem. That’s because Hilton requires more points for a free room during peak season and fewer points if you go off-peak.
#6 Marriott Rewards
Marriott Rewards points are like Hilton points in the fact that they are fairly devalued.
What do your points get you? Let’s see:
|Hotel Category||Hotel Reward||PointSavers Reward|
It’s also important to note that the Marriott Rewards program allows you to book your “fifth night free” if using points for four consecutive nights, which is an awesome perk. But where can those points take you? A few examples:
Courtyard Beijing Northeast, China
- Category 2= 7,500-10,000 points
Courtyard Sydney-North Ryde, Australia
- Category 5= 20,000-25,000 points
Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino
- Category 7= 30,000-35,000 points
As you can see, Marriott Rewards points aren’t quite as valuable as points in comparable programs, but they aren’t worthless either.
Can’t decide which hotel loyalty program you like best? Consider signing up for a few of them- or even all of them! When it comes to earning points and miles, the best strategy is to diversify and that often means taking advantage of more than one program. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, so consider signing up today!
Which is your favorite hotel loyalty program?
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