Join and Participate In Hotel Rewards Programs To Earn Free Hotel Stays

Published 1/22/08 (Modified 11/22/13)
By MoneyBlueBook

I'm a frequent road warrior. I don't fly that often, but I do take frequent long road trips out of state for personal and business purposes. Every time I travel I frequently spend a few nights at a hotel. It doesn't matter whether I stay at an inexpensive motel or whether I stay at a higher end place, I always make sure I maximize my money by earning reward points for every night's stay. If you travel a lot, being a member of multiple hotel reward programs can help you save money and earn reward points for wherever you may choose to stay on a whim.

Joining hotel reward clubs and programs is one of the easiest way to effortlessly accumulate loyalty points for complimentary stays in the future. Many programs even offer frequent flyer miles as a reward option in addition to hotel points. The overwhelming majority of programs are free to join with easy online enrollment and management. Each hotel reward program covers a family line ranging from low cost budget chains to more expensive luxury brands. Many programs also offer upgrade opportunities and additional perks like complimentary newspapers, drinks, and meals. Just register via the program's website and report your assigned membership number every time you book a hotel stay. Even if you forget to use your membership card at the time of reservation, you can always go back later to report the missing hotel stay. I've done it a few times myself.

Here Are The Most Popular Hotel Reward Programs (Sorted Alphabetically):

1) Best Western Gold Crown Club International - Offers over 4,200 locations. Members earn 10 base points per $1 spent on the room rate, or 250 airline miles per stay. To redeem rewards for one night's stay starts at 8,000 points minimum. Extra bonus earning opportunities are available for frequent guests.

2) Choice Privileges - Offers over 5,000 locations worldwide. Participating hotel brand names include: Clarion, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Econo Lodge, MainStay Suites, Quality Inn, and Sleep Inn. Members earn 10 points per $1 spent, or 250 airline miles per stay, with more for certain brands. To redeem rewards for one night's stay starts at 5,000 points minimum. Extra bonus earning opportunities are also available for frequent guests.

Other ways to earn points include using the Choice Privileges Visa Platinum credit card. The card currently offers 8,000 instant bonus points after your first purchase. With the card, you can earn an additional 15 points per $1 spent at qualified hotel locations and 2 points for every other dollar charged.

3) GoldPoints Plus - Offers over 950 locations worldwide. Participating hotel brands include: Country Inns & Suites, Park Inn, Park Plaza, and the Radisson. Members earn 15-20 points per $1 spent. To redeem rewards for one night's stay starts at 15,000 points minimum. Extra bonus earning opportunities are available for frequent guests.

4) Hilton HHonors - Offers over 2,800 locations worldwide. Participating hotel brands include: Double Tree, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, and the Waldorf Astoria. Members earn a base double dipping rate of 10 points and 1 airline mile per $1 spent. To redeem rewards for one night's stay starts at 7,500 points. One great benefit is that points and airline miles can be exchanged for one or the other. Extra bonus earning opportunities are available for frequent guests as well.

Earn even more points with the Hilton HHonors Card from American Express, where you can earn up to 40,000 Hilton HHonors bonus points after you meet spend requirements in the first three months after account opening. With the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card you can earn Earn 6 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent at a participating hotel within the Hilton HHonors portfolio. 3 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent on purchases at supermarkets, drugstores and gas stations and 2 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent on all other purchases. Terms and conditions apply.

5) Hyatt Gold Passport - Offers over 470 locations. Participating hotel brands include: Hyatt, AmeriSuites, and Hawthorn Suites. Members earn 5 points per $1 spent at the Hyatt, or 3 points per $1 at AmeriSuites and Hawthorn Suites. To redeem rewards for one night's stay starts at 5,000 points minimum at the Hyatt, and 3,000 points at AmeriSuites and Hawthorn Suites. Extra bonus earning opportunities are available for frequent guests.

6) LaQuinta Rewards - Offers over 600 locations. Members earn 10 base points per $1 spent. To redeem rewards for one night's stay starts at 6,000 points minimum. Extra bonus earning opportunities are available for frequent guests.

7) Marriott Rewards - Offers over 2,700 locations. Participating hotel brands include: Marriott, JW Marriott, Renaissance, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Courtyard, and Residence Inn. Earnings vary depending on hotel brand ranging from 5 to 10 points per $1 spent. To redeem rewards for one night's stay starts at 7,500 points minimum but varies depending on length of stay.

8) Priority Club - Offers over 3,700 participating hotel locations. Participating hotel brands include: Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, InterContinental, and Crowne Plaza. Members earn 10 points per $1 spent on the room rate. To redeem rewards for one night's stay requires at least 10,000 points minimum. Extra bonus earning opportunities are also available for frequent guests.

9) Red Roof Inn RediCard - Offers over 335 locations. Members earn 10 points per $1 spent on the room rate. To redeem rewards for one night's stay requires 5,000 points. Pretty straight forward.

10) Starwood Preferred Guest Program - Offers over 825 hotel and resort locations worldwide. Participating hotel brands include: Sheraton, Westin, Four Points, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W, and Le Meridien. Members earn 2 points per $1 spent. To redeem rewards for one night's stay starts at 2,000 points minimum. Extra bonus earning opportunities are available for frequent guests.

11) TripRewards - This is the largest program by far, comprised mostly of budget and lower priced accommodations. It offers over 6,000 locations. Participating hotel brands include: Baymont Inns & Suites, Days Inn, Howard Johnson, Ramada, AmeriHost Inn, Super 8, Travelodge, Knights Inn, and Wingate Inn. Members earn 10 points or 2 airline miles per $1 spent on the room rate. To redeem for one night's stay starts at 6,000 points minimum, although there are other redemption options available such as gift cards. You can also earn additional bonus points using the Wyndham Rewards MasterCard, which gives you 13 points per dollar charged at a participating hotel and 2 points per dollar spent elsewhere.

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19 Responses to “Join and Participate In Hotel Rewards Programs To Earn Free Hotel Stays” 

  1. Anonymous User says:

    Triprewards is the best, by far.

  2. Raymond says:

    Well, TripRewards is certainly the one I use the most. They offer the largest number of budget hotels and have locations everywhere. TripRewards and Choice Privileges are the two I use the most for spur of the moment lodging when you just need somewhere to stay the night.

  3. Marcy says:

    Even if you only do occasional pleasure/family travel this is worthwhile advice. Our family exclusively utilizes the choice rewards program and stays at Choice hotel brands for our annual "big" summer trip and our occasional overnights. We always earn enough points to have at least 1 or 2 nights free hotel stays, especially if we hook up our online bookings with any special bonuses they happen to be offering at the time.

  4. QASIM says:

    i like your compnay i am intrested to get a membership

  5. Carol says:

    I joined a special promotion last Autumn 2007. The traveller can get extra 6000 pts when I stayed two separate nites in between September to November 2007. It was so easy for us to get 8000 pts. The minimum requirement for a free nite for some hotels are only 5,000 or 6,000. We are so pleased to join the Choice Privileages.

  6. Kevin Short says:

    Are there any hotel rewards programs that companys (not individuals) can sign up for?

  7. Raymond says:

    Kevin,

    I'm sure most of these hotel reward programs cater to businesses and corporate clients as well. You'll probably have to call their corporate customer line to talk with someone who can help you with special discounts if that's what your company is looking for. I suggest visiting the appropriate website listed above for more info.

  8. Michael Rockwell says:

    Stay away from Wyndham Trip rewards. If you ever have to cancel a reservation and hope to redeem your lost points, forget!!!!!

  9. Jason says:

    Watch out for Choice Hotels, their points expire!!! In november of 2008 I fineally got enough points for 1 night stay in an upgraded place. Well, I didn't realize that the bonus points are good for less than 2 years and regular points are good for less than 4. (They expire at the end of the year) So on December 31st my balance went from 12,XXX to 4XXX. With points set to expire in Dec 09 there is no way I will ever get enough points for a free room. Sorry Choice Hotels, You just lost a loyal customer who stayed with you for every family road trip for the last 3 years. I guess if you only stay with them 2-3 times a year they are not interested in rewarding you for being loyal.

  10. Toban says:

    HHonors also allows a 500 mile option on the double dipping program which is awsome if you only stay 1-2 nights at a time.

  11. Ron H says:

    Be careful of using Travelocity to book your fares. You will not be able count any reward points or or stays on your Holiday Inn etc "Priority Club" rewards card. I lost the benefit of 11 day stay because I booked through Travelocity.

  12. Renay J says:

    I am a member of all of these reward programs as I travel weekly on business. From my experiences all over the US, the best hotels for business travelers are through Priority Club, Marriott, Starwood, Hilton and Choice Privileges. I usually stay at higher end hotels but sometimes you end up in a place where they aren't available. These programs have hotels in every financial bracket and that comes in handy when you're in the middle of nowhere!

  13. John says:

    I'm a big fan of Mariott and Goldpoints. I have a lot of Hilton points but they require much more than most to get free rooms.

  14. Joshua says:

    Awesome thanks!

  15. Lina says:

    I also travel extensively for work, sometimes I'm on the road for 2-3 weeks per month. The best program that works for me is definitely the Marriot Rewards, Priority Club Reward and LQ Rewards...from time to time I will stay at Choice Hotels, however I am not a huge fan. You get great benefits also with Red Roof if you're just considering to stop for the night, after a few stays you get a certificate for a free one night stand, however, with me not being home all the time I just seem to miss the deadline on those :) Find what's best for you and what fits your budget or purpose. Good Luck!

  16. Jim McDermitt says:

    I recently joined Stash Hotel Rewards, a relatively new program. They only work with independent (non-chain) hotels. I like them because they have a good mix of hotels: business hotels I can stay at for work without getting funny looks from the boss, and beautiful resorts I'm planning to spend my points at. They give five points per dollar, and prices to redeem free nights seem better than the chains. I signed up when they were giving away 500 points to sign up; not sure if that deal's still going on.

  17. Boat Classifieds says:

    My wife and I travel quite a bit and are looking for a good rewards program. This is actually the first site that we have looked at. Thanks for getting us started with our search.

  18. KO says:

    Is there a fee for the membership on Choice?

  19. Elva Marie Morino says:

    Would like to join.

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