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Best Western Rewards has sweet spots on both ends of its unpublished award chart. Some of the high-value redemptions include lower-category hotels that start at just 5,000 points per night and penthouse upgrades for just 10,000 points more.
To find out if you’re getting above-average value for your Best Western points, you’ll want to compare your redemption with the baseline value. NerdWallet collected the data to find that Best Western points are worth 0.7 cent each on average when used to book award stays.
Here are some strategies you can use to redeem Best Western points for maximum value.
» Learn more: Your guide to booking award nights with Best Western
The best redemptions with Best Western points
Hotels with 5,000-point nights
Best Western Rewards doesn’t publish an award chart; instead, its redemption levels are linked to the cash price of booking. In general, that means the cheaper the hotel room is, the less it’s going to cost in points.
Best Western has a 5,000-points-per-night category. There aren’t many Best Western hotels at this price point, but they do exist and sometimes in popular tourist cities. For example, here are 5,000-point rooms in Hong Kong.
And a 5,000-point room in Osaka, Japan.
And a 5,000-point room at an upscale resort in Phuket, Thailand.
Of course, the 5,000-point redemption level, just like all others, is a base cost that will change along with the cash price. But you'll need to compare the cost of point redemptions with the corresponding cash booking price and — if you want to take it even further — with similar properties in the area.
In the example of the Best Western in Osaka above, you would pay 5,000 points for a $39 room (the equivalent of 4,104 Japanese yen at the time of writing), plus around $3 Osaka accommodation tax. That brings the point redemption value to 0.84 cent ($42 / 5,000 points, multiplied by 100), which is a good choice because it’s more than NerdWallet’s valuation of 0.7 cent.
Don’t forget to add any taxes and additional fees to the cash booking price when you do the math. New York’s taxes and fees, for example, pack quite a punch.
Rooms with one bed
This feature is a bit unusual, but many Best Western hotels charge more for two beds in a room than one. They also charge more for a king-size bed than a queen or double. That’s true for both cash and points bookings, so if you don’t need a second bed in the room, book only one.
Not all Best Western hotels follow that trend, however.
Hotels that charge standard rooms and suites at the same rate
You might be able to get a bigger room or a suite for the same cost as a standard room. For example, a standard room at Nordic Hotel Forum in Tallinn, Estonia, costs 20,000 points per night. This is already a great deal compared with the cheapest cash booking price of 224 euros.
But if you keep scrolling, you’ll see that other rooms at this hotel for our dates cost the same 20,000 points, culminating in a one-bedroom suite with a cash price tag of 294 euros.
Converted to U.S. dollars, that would give you a whopping 1.7 cents per point. I don’t think this value can be beat, especially since Tallinn is a fascinating old European city well worth a visit.
Let’s go to Hospitality House in New York. A regular room for our date would cost 22,000 points, and that’s already a good deal, considering the hotel’s unbeatable location.
But a one-bedroom penthouse apartment with a huge terrace for the same date goes for only 10,000 points more.
Paying 32,000 points for a one-bedroom terrace suite in a city that’s notorious for tiny hotel rooms is an exceptional value. However, that option isn't always available, and you should be fairly flexible to catch a bargain like that.
Best Western allows you to book up to 350 days ahead. You can usually cancel your reservation for free a few days before your trip. If you book in advance, you can always cancel and rebook if you see the price go down before your travel.
» Learn more: The best hotel credit cards right now
The bottom line
Best Western isn't very big on bonus points promotions or sales. If you want to maximize your Best Western points value, the best way is to make sure you don’t overpay.
Whether you’re looking for a budget, midscale or upscale experience, check your redemption cost against the cash price (taking into account taxes and fees) and, if you’re flexible enough, tweak your travel dates or preferences to spend as few points as possible.
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 2021, 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