Securing your next hotel trip on points is a fulfilling and fun experience. For those starting, it can be overwhelming to navigate the world of points booking.
But don’t worry, while the details may differ depending on the hotel loyalty program, booking hotel rooms on points is typically similar across the board. You just need to be familiar with the process and pay attention to how many points you need for the hotel and the number of nights you’re eyeing.
We’ve created a quick primer on how you can book your next hotel stay using points from your favorite loyalty program. Whether it’s World of Hyatt, Marriott Bonvoy, IHG One Rewards, or Hilton Honors, you can use this guide to navigate through the process.
- World of Hyatt
- Marriott Bonvoy
- IHG One Rewards
- A Word About Points Valuation
- Points Valuation Table for Reference:
- Wrapping Up
World of Hyatt
Compared to Marriott and Hilton, Hyatt is one of the smaller hotel chains around. However, despite the size, they offer one of the best hotel loyalty programs around.
How To Earn World of Hyatt Points
To start earning Hyatt points, you need to first join the World of Hyatt program. Do this by signing up for the program at Hyatt’s website:
Hyatt offers 4 membership levels:
Each tier presents corresponding levels of benefits you can receive. The more qualifying activities you perform, the higher your tier goes.
To earn Hyatt points, you can do any of the following:
- Book and pay for a stay at any Hyatt property
- Sign up for a Hyatt credit card and earn points for each use
- Sign up for a partner credit card to earn points and convert them into Hyatt points
How To Redeem Hyatt Points
Once you have collected enough points, you can exchange or redeem them for free night stays at any of the 1,000+ Hyatt hotels worldwide. You can exchange as little as 3,500 Hyatt points for a standard room at a Category 1 property. Here’s the current Hyatt Awards Chart for your reference.
For All-Inclusive properties, Hyatt categorizes them from A to F.
Step 1: Make sure you are signed into your World of Hyatt account.
Step 2: Search for a specific hotel or location, and enter details of your stay. Before clicking “Find Hotels,” make sure the “Use Points” button is ticked.
Step 3: Filter the results according to the price range, property brand, or specific amenities you want.
Step 4: Pick a hotel. If you’re flexible on dates, you can check the points calendar for the exact points you’ll need based on the dates you want to visit. Off-Peak dates require lesser points while Peak Season points pricing is higher. Higher Award Category hotels will also require higher points. Click on the drop-down to choose the type of room and find out how many points it will need for a Suite Upgrade.
Step 5: Once you have the dates, just pick the type of room you want and proceed to book with points!
A quick note, certain Hyatt hotels live in infamy in the points booking community because they are notorious for being difficult to book on points. If you find a luxury hotel you want to book on points, you can play around with different dates and seasons, or even extend the search dates to see if they’ll be available.
Confused about this whole points business? Talk to a points consultant and get one on one guidance on how to book, earn, and redeem luxury hotel stays on points!
Booking Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) with Points
Don’t fancy large hotel chains? World of Hyatt partners with a series of SLH hotels, allowing you to book one of these exclusive properties using points. This collection of over 500 small independent luxury properties lets you book a free night using Hyatt points. Not all SLH properties participate in the Hyatt program but over 300+ SLH hotels are available for you to choose from.
Earn points faster when using the right credit cards. Here are some of our recommended travel credit cards that offer the most value for every swipe.
Although the Marriott Bonvoy program has gone through substantial changes over the past few years, the Marriott Bonvoy points are still one of the most convenient ways to redeem hotel stays and even airline tickets. Marriott has done away with a published awards chart and instead, now provides a dynamic pricing model.
How To Earn Marriott Bonvoy Points
You can earn Marriott Bonvoy points in a variety of ways. Some of the most common are the following:
- Stay at a Marriott property
- Host an event at a Marriott property
- Sign up and earn by using Marriott credit cards
- Earn from credit card sign-in bonuses
- Transfer points from other accredited credit cards
- Earn through booking Marriott Tours & Activities
- Book Marriott Cruises
- Rent a car through Hertz
- Purchase Marriott Bonvoy points
- Earn through shopping and dining
The Points University serves as your one-stop for learning everything about points earning and travel hacking. Join today!
How To Redeem Marriott Bonvoy Points
There are several ways you can redeem your collected Marriott Bonvoy points. The most popular is to exchange them for free hotel night stays. However, you can also use them to exchange for airline tickets with partner airlines or even exchange them for cruise bookings.
During your booking, you have the option of paying in points, a combination of cash + points, or using Pointsavers, especially if you’re flexible on dates.
Step 1: Go to Marriott’s website and sign in to your Marriott Bonvoy account. If you’re not a member yet, sign up for the program.
Step 2: Search for the hotel or destination you want to visit and choose the dates. Make sure the “Use Points/Awards” is ticked.
Step 3: If you want to check the lowest points available and you don’t have specific dates in mind, you can choose the “Flexible Dates” link to find the dates with the lowest points requirement.
Step 4: Once you pick the month you like, it will give you the corresponding Marriott Bonvoy points required for all the dates in that month. It will also indicate PointSavers dates.
Step 5: Select the type of room you want and make sure you are okay with the points per night it requires. (You can also opt to pay in Cash + Points if you want.) Then proceed to finalize the booking and you’re done!
A few things to remember, if possible, book at least 4 nights and get the 5th night free on your stay. This will automatically apply regardless if you use PointSavers or standard rates. It’s available for 29 of Marriott’s participating hotel brands.
With over 7,000+ hotels worldwide, Hilton Honors is one of the biggest loyalty programs you can join. Choose from budget hotels to luxury properties, spanning over 100 countries worldwide.
How To Earn Hilton Honors Points
It’s important to remember Hilton has two points categories. The first is bonus points. These are provided during promotions. Meanwhile, the second type of point is the elite-qualifying base point. It’s these points that count towards your elite status throughout the year.
Several ways you can earn Hilton Honors points.
- Earn points by booking Hilton hotels and resorts (always use Hilton.com so your points are counted)
- Use Hilton and Amex co-branded credit cards
- Transfer Amex Membership Rewards points into your Hilton Honors account
- Transfer points from other partner companies like Virgin Atlantic or Hawaiian Miles
- Earn more points through your Elite status
- Purchase Hilton Honors points
- Join the Hilton Honors Dining Program
How To Redeem Hilton Honors Points
You can exchange as little as 5,000 to 95,000 Hilton Honors points for every Standard Room. Higher-end luxury properties may require more, up to 150,000 points per night, for a base-level room. These numbers could change depending on the time of year, the hotel, and the cost of your chosen room.
Although you can redeem a hotel stay using just points, Hilton also offers the option to pay in Points & Money.
Step 1: Join or sign in to your Hilton account at Hilton.com.
Step 2: After signing in, search for a hotel or destination. Enter the dates and make sure to tick off the “Use Points” button (found under Special Rates) before clicking on Find a Hotel.
Step 3: Once you’ve found the hotel you like and with the best points value per night of your stay. Choose your desired room and proceed to book by paying with your Hilton points. The points are indicated in small print (in red) so they can be easy to miss. You also have the option to pay partially in cash.
To make it easier to find the right hotel that matches the number of points you want to spend, use the Hilton Points Explorer Tool. It can help you discover which hotels in your desired location will fit your existing points.
Like Marriott, Hilton Honors members get the 5th night for free on all standard room award bookings. So if you hold a Hilton Silver status and book five consecutive nights, you will only pay for the four nights of your stay.
IHG One Rewards
Considered one of the largest hotel chains in the world, IHG has over 6,000+ hotels and resorts available globally. This means there’s always going to be an IHG hotel near you. The group contains brands readily popular in the United States like Kimpton, Crowne Plaza, and Holiday Inn, among others.
How To Earn IHG One Rewards Points
Like Hilton, IHG has two points categories: bonus points, which are non-elite qualifying and allow you to earn rewards through special promotions. The other type is base points which are elite-qualifying and you can use for redeeming rewards, upgrades, and more.
You can earn IHG One Rewards points this way:
- Booking a stay at any IHG hotels and resorts
- Using IHG co-branded credit cards
- Book through various IHG travel, dining, and shopping partners
- Transfer to flexible credit card points to IHG
- Purchase IHG points
How To Redeem IHG One Rewards
Step 1: Join or sign up at IHG.com.
Step 2: Search for the hotel or destination you want. Choose “Reward Nights” from the drop-down to see the results in points.
Step 3: Pick your hotel and the room type. You can opt to pay in points or choose to pay in combination with cash.
Step 4: Complete your booking and enjoy your vacation!
Aside from hotel stays, which are the ideal way to spend your points, you can also redeem IHG One Rewards for airline miles, gift cards, or donate points to charity.
With the right IHG co-branded credit card, you can book a rewards stay of four or more consecutive nights and receive the fourth night free. But only those with the right IHG credit cards can utilize this option.
A Word About Points Valuation
Points valuation is the estimated cash value of a hotel reward point. These valuations vary greatly depending on the loyalty program, travel details, and personal preference of the individual. Having a personal points valuation guide can help you estimate whether you’re getting a good deal on your points redemption or not.
Points Valuation Table for Reference:
|Hotel Loyalty Program||Average Points Value (cents per point)||Estimated Value of 50,000 Points|
|World of Hyatt||1.5||$750|
|IHG One Rewards||0.5||$250|
There might be countless ways to redeem points but one of the most popular and highly recommended is to use them to exchange for free hotel stays.
From booking luxury nights at top brands like St. Regis, Park Hyatt, or The Ritz-Carlton, to name a few, you can transform your earned points into memorable vacations.