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If you stay at hotels frequently, you probably belong to at least one loyalty program at a major hotel chain like Hilton, Hyatt or Marriott. But don’t overlook Best Western and its loyalty program because you might think of it as a budget chain. Acquisitions of upscale hotel chains this past year have diversified the company’s portfolio of products and filled in some gaps in its offerings.
Best Western is now one of the largest hotel brands, with over 4,500 properties in nearly 100 countries worldwide. The chain includes 16 different brands from its traditional value-oriented motels as well as boutique hotels, extended-stay properties, luxury hotels, resorts and other types of accommodations.
NerdWallet values Best Western points at 0.7 cent each. This is a baseline value, drawn from real-world data, not a maximized value. In other words, you should aim for award redemptions that offer0.7 cent or more in value from your Best Western points.
The rewards program
Best Western’s Rewards program has five elite levels, including Blue, Gold, Platinum, Diamond and Diamond Select.
You can earn elite status through nights, stays or by accumulating points:
Gold: 10 nights, 7 stays or 10,000 points.
Platinum: 15 nights, 10 stays or 15,000 points.
Diamond: 30 nights, 20 stays or 30,000 points.
Diamond Select: 50 nights, 40 stays or 50,000 points.
One of the best things about the Best Western loyalty program is that you can get an automatic status match if you're an elite member of another hotel chain’s loyalty program. That way you can enjoy the perks of being a Best Western elite status holder without having to earn it with only Best Western stays.
You can also get elite status by signing up for one of the hotel chain’s co-branded credit cards. The Best Western Rewards® Mastercard® offers Gold status and has $0 annual fee. The Best Western Rewards® Premium Mastercard® offers Platinum status and has a fee of $59.
Is elite status worth it?
Earning power is a big incentive to earn greater status, since each level earns a higher bonus on top of the base $10 points per dollar that regular ("Blue") non-elite members earn:
Gold: 10% bonus.
Platinum: 15% bonus.
Diamond: 30% bonus.
Diamond Select: 50% bonus.
Frequent business travelers, especially those who can take advantage of the status match, should do so for the extra points one can earn on stays. With such a wide distribution of hotels and types of properties, you might find yourself staying at a Best Western in the future.
Other things to know
Best Western points never expire, and there are no blackout dates when booking award nights. Free night redemptions also count toward elite status.
Members also get access to bonus earning opportunities with travel partners, including car rental companies and 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 2020, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card