I started a thread on Flyertalk last year to get some consensus of what a hotel point was worth. There were varied opinions but most fell along these lines. The parenthesis again indicate my estimate of value in cents. (2) would indicate 2 cents per point
Starwood Preferred Guest or SPG is the most valuable because of the redemption schedule with the lower end properties being available as low as 2K per night on weekend. They always have a room available with no blackout dates and the cash and points option is a real money saver in higher priced markets. (2.5)
Hyatt: I wish I could address this program, but I never use it. If I can’t look for hotels all over the world with a program, and there are not many great promos, I just don’t get to excited.. Now I know the FFN program which offers Faster Free Nights is an outstanding bargain when you can find low priced rooms and use your free nights at high end resorts in Hawaii. I just can’t find the hotels to stay in.
Marriott: Offers worldwide hotels and some nice bonuses for their elite members including free night certs. The range of hotel types goes from basic to high end. I think the best part of this program is the travel package awards that combine not only the hotel stays for a vacation, but also include a airline frequent flyer mileage redemption to the program of your choice. Example you can get an award for any category 5 hotel for 7 nights and 70,000 airline miles in the program of your choice to get you there. Or, move up the line to a category 7 hotel and 150,000 miles for a nicer stay at a more exotic location. This travel package option stands out for the Marriott chain. (1.1)
Priority Club or Holiday Inn etc: This huge chain is worldwide offering again for low end budget to high end Intercontinentals and Crowne Plazas. The best thing about this program is the PointsBreak redemptions which allow rooms at bargain redemptions of only 5K per night, that may typically be as high as 25K to 40K per night. The PointsBreaks come out quarterly and should be checked immediately for future travel bargains. (1)
Hilton Hotels: From Hampton Inns to Conrad luxury and Waldorf style, this is a great chain of properties. They do offer a 40% redemption option called Pointstretchers, but the real bargain here is again for Elite members and the GLON type awards. Six nights that typically would be 240K Honors points can be had be elites for 175K. I’ve used this award in Hawaii several times successfully as well as the Rome Cavelleri and felt I got the best end of the deal. Hilton also offers a reduced 4 night stay award for members that carry the Hilton Honors American Express card. Four nights can be had with this award (AXON) without elite status, for only 120K. That is a nice savings on the high end resort locations. In fact, Katy and I are doing back to back AXON awards in December with four nights on Kauai and the Kauai Hilton, then moving to the Big Island and the Waikolola resort for 4 more nights. (.7)
Choice Privileges: Is a smaller chain than Hilton and tends to have a move scattered range of hotel quality throughout their different member hotels. These are the Comfort Inns, Clarion Suites and Sleep Inns. I have had some nice stays and some really marginal ones with this chain and always recommend a Tripadvisor review of these hotels before booking. The redemption range runs from 6K per night to 50K in the Preferred and Summitt hotel affiliated hotels. That is quite a range of points, but is needed based on the extreme variations in quality and condition. The limiting factor for me with this chain is award redemptions cannot be made domestically until 60 days before travel and 90 days for international stays, and, the Elite members get first shot at some of the higher end hotels internationally with an extra 30 day redemption window. I know of several people that swear by these redemptions in Europe. I have no experience there, but we were pleasantly surprised in Australia and New Zealand with the hotels we picked out as they had far more options in smaller cities and the locals took nice care of the properties. (1)
Wyndham: This is a little embarrassing for me, but until yesterday I had no idea I had points with them. It seems I’ve been a member since 2005 and have 8K points or enough for a low end room redemption. Surprise, Surprise, Surprise.
This chain for me is the home of the Best Rate Guarantee and that is where I use them. I don’t pay for these rooms, but will stay one night using the guarantee. I’m not suggesting they don’t have some nice hotels, as the Wingate properties have always been fantastic free nights when I can find them, and some of the Ramadas and Days Inns are OK as well. I tend to stay away from the low end of this hotel line and again recommend a Tripadvisor review before any booking.
I’m sorry, I can’t give a value in cents per point obviously, if I didn’t even know I had them, they can’t be worth that much to me.
The value of a point varies between individual tastes and redemption options available. Obviously a European hotel room in summer season has one of the highest $$ values, and if you could get one with a Priority Club PointsBreak night, that would indicate a value 10 times more than a Choice Privileges Preferred Hotel redemption of 50K in points. Those things do happen.
This exercise was to give an approximate trade value, if and only if, I was able to trade them in an open market. Obviously, this is not the case
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49