The Guide to Best Western Elite Status
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With 18 brands located in over 100 countries, the Best Western Hotels & Resorts group is a worldwide name. Alas, it's elite status program is largely undeserving of worldwide fame.
The Best Western Rewards program is free to join, so it's tough to complain too seriously about it. But if you're not an elite, there's no need to feel any sort of FOMO. The benefits of holding elite status in the Best Western Rewards loyalty program just aren't that enticing.
Based on NerdWallet's analysis of hotel elite status programs, you'd have to spend $1,000 at Best Western to earn Gold status. But given that Gold status is worth just $8 by NerdWallet's estimates, that's a measly 0.8% return. Best Western Diamond Select status is worth $200, but it costs $5,000 to earn, what shakes out to be a 4% return. Those returns just aren't that generous, especially compared to other hotel loyalty programs.
So with that, here's a breakdown of how the Best Western elite status works, how to earn it and what it can offer you.
What is Best Western elite status?
Like most hotel loyalty programs, Best Western elite status can be earned one of three ways:
Elite night credits.
Once you’ve met the threshold for each level of status, you’ll be automatically bumped up to that new tier. With each paid night that you stay at a Best Western hotel, you’ll also earn bonus points that can be used toward award redemptions.
Best Western rewards levels
There are a total of five different tiers of Best Western elite status.
The most basic, Blue, has no requirements; this is the level you’ll receive when you sign up for the program. The highest tier, Diamond Select, normally requires you to earn at least 50 nights, 40 stays or 50,000 bonus points.
Here's a closer look at each tier and its benefits.
Blue members earn 10 bonus points per dollar for an eligible stay. Best Western points never expire, and blackout dates never limit bookings. Members have access to an exclusive reservation line, early check-in and late check-out where available, exclusive member rates and the ability to pay with points.
Plus, all free night redemptions for members count towards earning elite status.
Gold members receive all Blue level benefits plus complimentary water and points upon arrival.
Bonus points increase to 10% of spend rather than 10 points per dollar spent.
Platinum and Gold benefits are identical except Platinum-level members earn a 15% points bonus.
Diamond perks match Platinum and Gold members, except bonus earnings jump significantly to 30%.
The highest tier, Diamond Select members earn a 50% points bonus, plus all perks from lower status levels.
» Learn more: Which hotel elite status should you pursue?
How to earn Best Western elite status
To earn Best Western elite status, commit to fulfilling the following requirements.
Elite status level
Bonus points earn per eligible stay
Free to join.
10 points per dollar.
5 nights, 3 stays or 5,000 points.
7 nights, 5 stays or 7,500 points.
15 nights, 10 stays or 15,000 points.
25 nights, 20 stays or 25,000 points.
» Learn more: The best hotel elite status programs
How much is Best Western elite status worth in 2023?
Although Best Western boasts a loyalty program like other hotels, in reality, the perks that it provides offer very little substantial value. In a comprehensive analysis of the dollar value of hotel elite status memberships across hotel chains, we broke down the perks offered by each level of status, along with their hard value and cost to earn.
From there, we determined the “elite earn rate” for each tier:
Value of benefits
Elite earn rate
Even the highest tiers at Best Western receive very little in return for their spend; this is due in large part to the lack of tangible benefits such as suite upgrades, free breakfast and lounge access.
For a higher return on investment for your elite status pursuits, consider instead aiming for status with Hyatt, Hilton or Marriott.
» Learn more: Your guide to booking award nights with Best Western
Best Western status match
Although Best Western elite status doesn’t give you much, the ability to earn additional rewards points on all your stays is certainly worth matching for. Matching is easy thanks to Best Western’s well-publicized Status Match…No Catch program, which will grant you up to Diamond Select status depending on your existing elite status with any other hotel loyalty program.
» Learn more: How matching hotel elite status works
You’ll need to provide the following information in order to receive the match:
Best Western Rewards member number.
Proof of Elite status in another hotel program; either a screenshot of your loyalty card or an account statement.
If you’re in the United States, you’ll email this information to [email protected] If you’re a resident of Europe, you’ll instead need to send your request to [email protected]
Unlike other status match or challenge programs, Best Western doesn’t limit the number of times you can status match to its program. This means that as long as you hold elite status with another eligible hotel chain, you can have your status matched over to Best Western status too.
This can be good for those who hold credit cards that provide complimentary elite status, such as the World of Hyatt Credit Card, which provides Discoverist status.
Other good options include The Platinum Card® from American Express, which provides both Marriott and Hilton Gold elite status (enrollment required), as well as the IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card, which grants Platinum status. Terms apply.
That said, applying for a Best Western status match requires a decent amount of work, which might not be worth it depending on the value of your own time. Even if you can status match to Best Western Diamond Select status, the real standout benefit is the 50% bonus points for qualifying nights. Yet even still, that requires earning enough points to book a free night to begin with. Though, if you are staying a few nights at a Best Western on a cash rate, then it could be worth it to earn points with Best Western Rewards for future use.
» Learn more: A beginner’s guide to hotel elite status
Is Best Western elite status worth it?
It’s true that the Best Western loyalty program doesn’t do much for its members. Aside from free bottles of water and increased rewards points, there isn’t much draw to becoming a Best Western elite member.
However, thanks to its easy status matching program, those with an upcoming stay and existing hotel elite status elsewhere can at least maximize the amount of points they’ll earn on their travel. It's better than nothing, if you're willing to put in the woork.
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 2023, 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