There are many different hotel points you can acquire. Here is a list of several different brands that allow you to get hotel points via credit card sign ups:
- Starwood (now merged with Marriott
- IHG (Intercontinental Hotel Group)
- Marriott (now merged with Starwood)
- Le Club/Accor
- La Quinta
- Club Carlson
Each hotel point has a different approximate value so you’ll find that one point is not the same as another point. For example the most expensive amount of points you’ll spend on a top end hotel for Starwood is 35,000 points whereas with Hilton it is 95,000 points. A big difference. So let’s start with the most valuable points first.
The most valuable hotel point is Starwood. These have great value for 2 reasons. 1. The award chart starts at just 3,000 points needed per night for the lowest category hotels. These are often Sheraton type hotels that usually go for about $100/night. A great value at 3.33 cents/point. The top hotels in the Starwood system go for 35,000 points per night but are ultra-luxurious resorts that would cost near $1,000/night. If this is the way you want to spend your points it’s great fun to stay at a luxurious hotel for free.
The second reason that Starwood points are so valuable is that you can transfer them to 33 different airlines at a 1 to 1 rate. If you transfer 20,000 starwood points, you get a 5,000 point bonus. This is quite valuable as you become a seasoned and savvy points/miles afficionado because different airlines have different “sweet spots” for travel to certain parts of the world. If you want to fly business class (and who wouldn’t?) you can find the airline that has the cheapest award chart to that region and transfer your starwood points to that one. This gives you great options.
My other favorite hotel point is the Hyatt point. These are quite valuable as well and are on par with starwood value. The cheapest hotel in the Hyatt group starts at 5,000 Hyatt points. These are often Hyatt places or Hyatt house and sometimes Hyatt Regency. They often go for about $100/night so you are getting 2 cents/point value. The Hyatt credit card is offered by Chase Bank and comes in 2 different forms. You can get the Hyatt card and, after spending the minimum amount over 3 months, get 2 free night at any Hyatt. The other form the card takes is that you can get 50,000 points after meeting the spending requirements. Which one is best for you just depends on what your travel goals are. We redeemed the 2 free nights at an all-inclusive resort and got about $1,500 worth of value from just one credit card sign up!
There are many other hotel points that offer great value and much more to consider, especially when you book a lot of paid nights for business or personal reasons. The perks vary as well so you want to make sure you are getting the card that offers the perks that are most valuable to you. I hope this post has been helpful to you in your quest to travel the world for free (or at least close to it.)