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

Published 1/22/08 (Modified 2/29/16)
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, for a limited time, you can earn 75,000 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points after making $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.* Earn 6 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent at any participating hotel within the Hilton HHonors portfolio.* Earn 3 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent on purchases at supermarkets, drugstores, and gas stations *, and earn 2 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent on all other purchases. * Plus, enjoy the benefits of HHonors Silver status as long as you are a card member.*

* See card offer for full terms and conditions.

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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