2022’s Best Hotel Rewards Programs Save Members 11.8%
With a busy summer travel season expected and consumers confronted by record inflation, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its picks for 2022’s Best Hotel Rewards Programs to help travelers maximize their savings.
WalletHub’s study ranks the 10 largest U.S. hotel chains’ rewards programs based on 21 key metrics, including the average value of a point, point expiration policies, and the volatility of award-night pricing. WalletHub’s study also includes a handy calculator that allows travelers to customize the results based on their specific spending habits. Please find key takeaways below, followed by commentary from WalletHub experts.
- Radisson Takes the Top Spot. Radisson Rewards Americas is the best hotel loyalty program for travelers of all spending levels in 2022, earning an average WalletHub Score of 73 out of 100.
- Members Save an Average of 11.8%. The five best hotel rewards programs save their members an average of $11.83 for every $100 spent.
- Less Rewards Value in 2022. Hotel rewards programs are offering 3% less value now than they did one year ago, on average.
- Rewards That Never Expire Are Rare. Best Western and Sonesta are the only major hotel chains whose points do not expire due to account inactivity.
- Best Hotel Credit Card of 2022. The IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card is the best hotel credit card of 2022, according to WalletHub’s editors. It stands out because it is affordable and highly rewarding.
What Is the Best Hotel Rewards Program in 2022?
“Radisson Rewards Americas is the best hotel loyalty program for travelers of all spending levels in 2022, according to a new WalletHub study. Radisson Rewards Americas earned an average WalletHub Score of 73 out of 100, topping big names like Marriott (62 points) and Hilton (60 points),” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Radisson Rewards Americas scored particularly well in terms of its rewards-earning policies and rewards value.”
How Much Do the Best Hotel Rewards Programs Save Their Members?
“The best hotel rewards programs save members an average of $11.83 for every $100 spent. Getting the equivalent of close to 12% cash back can go a long way toward making a summer vacation affordable,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Joining hotel rewards programs is free, though you will need to spend money through a given hotel chain to get the best benefits.”
What Benefits Do the Best Hotel Rewards Programs Offer?
“The best hotel rewards programs offer a wide range of perks, including points redeemable for free nights, member discounts, free room upgrades, express check-in, late check-out and free access to health clubs and spas,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst.
What Should Hotel-Goers Watch Out for With Loyalty Rewards Programs?
“Members of hotel rewards programs should double-check the programs’ point expiration policies. Sonesta and Best Western are the only two major hotel chains whose points will not expire due to inactivity. Members of other hotels’ loyalty programs may need to act fast to avoid losing value,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst.
How Should Hotel Loyalty Programs Factor Into People’s Travel Plans?
“People who stay in hotels often should seriously consider whether it’s possible to commit to a single hotel chain. If you can commit to one hotel chain and then regularly stay there, joining the hotel’s loyalty program can save you a lot of money over time,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Casual travelers should focus on finding the cheapest hotel first and then join that hotel’s loyalty program to get free benefits.”
What Advice Do You Have for People Looking To Save the Most With a Hotel Rewards Program?
“If you want to take your savings to the next level, pair the best hotel rewards program for your budget with the best credit card affiliated with the program. The best hotel credit cards provide automatic elite status plus a ton of extra rewards,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Many hotel rewards credit cards offer initial bonuses to new cardholders, which could help you save big on summer travel.”