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If you’re sitting on Best Western Rewards points, but you don’t feel like redeeming them for a hotel stay, you can spend them at Best Western partners. And likewise, you can earn more Best Western Rewards points through other brands that aren't just Best Western.
While partner redemptions usually don't get you the same value as redeeming points for hotel stays in the Best Western family or spending points in the program from which you actually earned them, taking advantage of Best Western Rewards transfer partners may better fit your plans.
Perhaps you've got some Best Western Rewards that you don't intend to use at a Best Western again (maybe you no longer stay at Best Western hotels). If that's you, you can use Best Western points to:
Likewise, if you're looking to earn Best Western points, you can do that with the hotel company's partners, which include more than a dozen airlines, about a half dozen car rental partners, and even some shopping partners (and yes, one of them is a wine club). With that, here’s your guide to maximizing your Best Western Rewards points with partners.
» Learn more: 10 new Best Western properties for your return to travel
Ways to redeem Best Western points, besides hotel stays
Given that free award nights start at just 5,000 points per night (that's just about $40, based on NerdWallet's valuation of a Best Western point at 0.8 cent each), Best Western points typically are best spent on stays at actual Best Western properties. But maybe you have Best Western points that you don't intend on spending at a hotel. If that's you, here are other ways to redeem your Best Western points:
Shop on Amazon
You can redeem Best Western points for an Amazon.com voucher at the following ratios:
16,000 points for a $50 Amazon e-voucher.
32,000 points for a $100 Amazon e-voucher.
64,000 points for a $200 Amazon e-voucher.
To redeem, log in to your Best Western Rewards account and go to the Best Western Redemption Mall. Check "shopping" in the award category. From there, choose one of the three Amazon.com voucher options.
Just understand that this redemption is pretty bad compared to redeeming them at a hotel. 16,000 points are worth about $130 in NerdWallet's eyes when redeemed at an actual Best Western Hotel. And with redemption rates starting at just 5,000 points per night, you could have three nights in a hotel for less than the price of redeeming them for a $50 Amazon e-voucher.
Cash out (sort of)
You can redeem points for a digital Best Western Mastercard e-voucher that you can use online or on the phone (but not in a physical store).
The redemption rates are the same as for an Amazon.com voucher:
16,000 points for a $50 Mastercard e-voucher.
32,000 points for a $100 Mastercard e-voucher.
64,000 points for a $200 Mastercard e-voucher.
You might prefer a Mastercard e-voucher instead of one for Amazon.com since you can spend it at a wider array of online merchants. To access this redemption, go to the Best Western Redemption Mall and check "shopping" as the award category. Then, choose your Best Western Mastercard denomination.
Again, understand that this redemption rate is not ideal. You could exchange 16,000 points for about $130 in hotel value (which is also enough to cover three nights). A $50 Mastercard e-voucher might be worth it if you need the cash, or you just don't intend to stay at a Best Western again. Otherwise, skip this poor redemption.
Earn and redeem with Best Western airline partners
Best Western has about a dozen airline partners. Some let you earn airline miles for your Best Western stays. Others let you earn Best Western points for your flights. Some let you do both. Often, you can easily exchange airline miles for Best Western points on any given day, or vice versa.
Among the Best Western Airline partners are:
Aer Lingus Aerclub.
Air France Flying Blue (6,000 Best Western points for 1,000 miles).
Southwest Rapid Rewards (5,000 Best Western points for 1,200 Rapid Rewards points).
But even "best" is a bit of a misnomer. Points get massively devalued when you convert them this way between Best Western and the airlines. Take the Southwest conversion as an example. NerdWallet values 5,000 Best Western points at about $40. But it values 1,200 Rapid Rewards points at just $18, meaning you lose more than half the value in the conversion process.
These aren't exceptional values, to say the least. So convert your Best Western Rewards points into airline miles only to top off your airline's mileage account for a specific award flight, or if you never intend on using your points at a Best Western again.
To exchange your points for airline miles, go to the Best Western Redemption Mall and check "airline and partner rewards," then follow the prompts.
» Learn more: Which Best Western credit card should you get?
Give to charities
Best Western works with about a dozen charities, and you can typically donate points to these organizations at a ratio of 500 points to $2. Charities vary, but they often include:
Best Friends Animal Society.
BW for a Better World: American Red Cross.
BW for a Better World: Better World Fund.
BW for a Better World: KIVA.
BW for a Better World: Scholarship Program.
Hotels for Heroes.
Soldier On Fund (Canada).
The National Children’s Cancer Society.
To donate, go to the Best Western Redemption Mall and select "charitable donations."
» Learn more: How to redeem Best Western points for maximum value
The bottom line
Traditionally, loyalty points won’t take you far when you use them outside of their respective programs, and Best Western points are no exception. You’ll normally get a better value redeeming them on Best Western hotels. But if you have no need for a Best Western hotel stay in the foreseeable future, you can use the points to donate to a charity, cash out for an electronic Amazon.com or Mastercard voucher, or transfer to airlines.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card