A number of hotel loyalty programs have released their promotions for summer 2022. If you’re planning any travel over the next few months, you should definitely check them out before you book. There are three that would be particularly handy for road trips. But which one is the best? The answer depends just as much on your future travel plans as your current ones.
Hotel Loyalty Programs
First things first. When you’re considering which hotel promotion to pursue, you should have an idea of how you’ll be able to use the points or free nights you’ll earn. If you’re not already up to speed with the programs, I’ll very briefly summarize how each one works:
Free nights a.k.a “Go Free” rates fall into three categories: 7500, 15,000 or 30,000 points per night. Cash & points or “Go Fast” rates are also available in amounts of 1500, 3000 and 6000 points respectively.
Reward rates range from 6000 to 35,000 points per night and are set on a seasonal basis (aside from the Nordic countries where rates are fixed). You can only book 100 days out from your stay. There is no cash & points option for Canadian residents.
Best Western Rewards
Free night rewards are dynamically priced so they vary greatly. Points never expire. There is a no-fee MBNA Best Western Mastercard with a 20,000 point sign-up bonus, no minimum spend required.
Summer 2022 Promotions
These three promos are variations on a theme: stay twice – get a bonus. They are all well suited to road trips where you’re doing a bunch of one-nighters at relatively less expensive properties. In turn, you can use the bonus for a future trip, perhaps to a more expensive destination.
Below are the registration links. Be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully if you decide to register.
Wyndham Rewards: stay twice, earn 7500 points
Register and book by September 2, complete qualifying stays by September 6, 2022. Members can earn up to two bonuses.
Hotels at the 7500 point level are quite few,so if you’re looking to get a free night, you’ll most likely need 15,000 points. Fortunately you can earn the bonus twice, so if you do four separate stays you’ll end up with enough points. If not, you can combine some of your points with cash to get a discount.
Choice Privileges: earn 8000 points after every 2 stays
Register and complete two qualifying stays by August 1, 2022
It’s framed as a gift card offer, but this is the one we often see from Choice. The nice thing about it is the ability to collect the bonus multiple times (although the promotion only goes until August 1). As with Wyndham, hotels at the 8000 point rate are scarce. Even at 16,000 points you might struggle, but there are indeed some sweet spots out there.
Best Western: stay 2 nights, earn a free weeknight stay
Register and complete two qualifying nights (consecutive or non-consecutive) by September 4, get a free night (Sunday-Thursday only) redeemable at any Best Western branded hotel in the US, Canada or the Caribbean by February 16, 2023.
This promotion has the highest potential value but the restrictions on using the free night could be limiting, depending on your travel plans. It would be ideal if two people each earn a free night so you could use them for a short getaway. I’ve stayed at the Best Western Premier Herald Square in New York City and can recommend it. We’ve also bookended an onsite Universal Orlando stay with nights at the nearby Best Western Universal Inn.
Other Hotel Promotions
If you’ll be staying at one hotel for three or more nights, it might be better to use one of these multiplier promos.
Hilton Honors: double or triple points
Register and earn double points for 1 and 2 night stays and triple points on stays of 3 or more nights until September 5, 2022.
If you’re not yet a Hilton Honors member, apparently you’ll also earn a new member bonus of up to 4500 points.
IHG One Rewards: earn 2x, 3x or 4x points
Register and earn 2x points on nights 2-5, 3x on nights 6-14, 4x on nights 15+ until August 31, 2022.
Between those two, my preference would be IHG as their dynamic pricing is more variable than Hilton’s, at least in my experience, which increases the chances of finding a low redemption rate. However, Hilton is bit more flexible than IHG in terms of points & cash bookings.
If you’re a Marriott Bonvoy member, be sure to check your account in case you have any generous targeted promotions.
If you’re not staying with one of the above chains, consider using Hotels.com to earn stamps toward a free night. Occasionally there are good Booking.com promo codes floating around although I haven’t seen one lately. If you’re looking to top up your Air Miles or Aeroplan account you can check how many bonus points are available for booking through Air Miles Travel or sites like Rocketmiles. Just be sure to check the hotel’s own website first as that’s where you’ll likely find the best deal at an independent property.
Wyndham Rewards, Choice Privileges and Best Western Rewards all have decent promotions if you’re going to hit the road in the next couple of months. You might even be able to capitalize on more than one. It’s hard to say which is the best overall as it depends on how you plan to use the points or free night.
The main goal is to not leave any points on the table. If you’re going to be staying at chain hotels, remember to keep an eye out for promotions. It’s worth that little bit of extra effort if you like to save money on travel.